by Karen Spiak
When you live mindfully, every challenge can be seen as an opportunity for growth. One of the main concerns at New Life today is the rising cost of food needed to feed our growing community. Although our gardens provide us with daily produce, we still buy food from external sources to supplement our grocery needs. For every product purchased, we move further away from our goal of sustainability and have fewer funds to allocate towards new projects, scholarships, and maintenance work.
This year we decided to meet this challenge head-on. During the month of December we will try to cook only with food grown on our farm. The goal is to ensure that every meal we eat in community that month, excluding things like spices, comes from food we produce ourselves at the foundation.
We have only a couple of months to prepare so have been busy planting nutritious staples: 12,000 square metres of rice, 2000 square metres of sweet potato; 2000 square metres of pumpkin, and 6000 square metres of beans (mung, kidney and black). We also planted 1000 square metres of watermelon and will also have fruits from our papaya and banana plants to supplement our diets. Other ideas include milling flour from rice and making tempeh from soybeans.
Three of our cows will be nursing young calves so any extra milk can be made into yoghurt and cheese. Fresh food will be dried, pickled or frozen in the months prior so that we’ll have enough to keep us going.
What do you think? Can we do it? We will be posting monthly progress reports so keep checking back.
Got any ‘Month of Sustainable Eating’ ideas? Let us know in the comments section of our blog or post your suggestions to our Facebook page!