Blog Post #2 – Food, Glorious Food.
For the last few weeks – amidst the usual mid-semester drinking, cafe hopping, and sleeping ’till noon (oh my) – I’ve been helping out at The Field Institute. It started when a friend suggested I volunteer to write for The Locavore Edition‘s next book The Field Guide to Tasmanian Produce (The Locavore Edition is a publication by the people at The Field Institute, keep up). Honestly I knew very little about food, and even less about Tasmania, but I did know how to write, research, and get enthusiastic about learning something new, so I applied and to my surprise they selected me. Hooray!
At first I was just happy to be invited. The news I’d been accepted had me riding full speed up Royal Parade scaring the other cyclists with the crazy grin on my face. I got home and actually squealed at the top of my lungs (sorry neighbours), threw down my backpack, and collapsed into one of those glorious moments where instead of feeling like a sham I felt like a writer with a future.
Of course those moments are fleeting. It’s the work that keeps you going and it wasn’t long before I was completely enthralled. The book is about local and sustainable growers, producers, and providers across Tasmania and my job was to go through submissions for my region (Hobart & The Derwent Valley) and write profiles on some of the awesome businesses you can find there. Reading stories of beautiful farms, cute shops, and trendy artisan cheese makers was inspiring and took me back to some memories I thought I’d forgotten. Like riding the tractor at my grandfather’s farm, planting beans in Ag’ class at high school, or helping mum make her famous rosella jam. Little things I haven’t done in years.
It’s easy to go through life without thinking about where your food comes from. Most of it is processed and packaged and lined up on supermarket shelves. It certainly feels like no one cares. But hanging around The Field Institute has taught me that there are people out there thinking in innovative ways about the future of our food consumption. Smart, enthusiastic, and creative people. It’s really reassuring and exciting. I think I’m going to get a veggie garden going this spring.
Stay tuned for news of the Tassie Guide. My name’s gonna be in a book! Also if you’re in NSW or Victoria you can already buy a guide to your state here.