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WDYT - How to balance healthy, with ethically produced, with environmentally friendly, with a budget
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#1 Snot stew

Posted 08 February 2013 - 03:43 PM

So WDYT... any great tips?  We are renting and there is very limited space to grow vegies etc.



#2 Bobsygirls

Posted 08 February 2013 - 03:54 PM

First stop buying any processed foods, if you do. Second join a coop, something like food connect is good. Organic local food you pick up from a local contact. Third bake your own bread, I use a book called Artisan Bread in Fine Minutes a Day. And only buy in season of course.

If you can grow herbs they don't take up much space and they are so expensive to buy.

I also make my own pickles with a Pickl it fermenting system and home made soft drinks like water kefIr and kombucha.

I also buy dry good in bulk from honest to goodness and meat in bulk and on special from feather and bone.

We only eat organic and all our meat is pastured free range.

#3 jessie123

Posted 08 February 2013 - 03:58 PM

ethical.org.au

There are some household items that manage to be ethical and cheap.

Biggest $$ for me is meat.

#4 weepingangel

Posted 08 February 2013 - 03:59 PM

You'd be surprised what fruit/veges/herbs can be grown in pots or large tubs.

I belong to a fruit & vege co op, buy free range meat and poultry and eggs. Buying the meat in bulk works out cheaper.

As a general rule we don't eat breads/grains, but pantry staples like raw honey we also source locally.

#5 Mumma3

Posted 08 February 2013 - 04:03 PM

Don't let renting stop you growing vegies!

I picked up some wooden crates from our local green grocers for $3 each, and they are perfect for growing vegies. I currently have carrots and capsicum in one, and tomatoes in another. Very portable, and easy to access, too.

You can also grow things like strawberries and hebrs in hanging baskets. Have a look on kerbside collections for old clamshell sandpits as well. They make great herb gardens, too.

Agree with the PP about home baked bread, too, although I find when I bake it they eat it straight away, so we probably go through more bread than we otherrwise would!




#6 Fire_fly

Posted 08 February 2013 - 04:03 PM

I agree ethical.org.au

I would also look at cutting down on the meat meals if you are on a tight budget. Finding a good butcher that sells organic free range meat can help.





#7 Guest_divineM_*

Posted 08 February 2013 - 04:10 PM

QUOTE (Bobsygirls @ 08/02/2013, 04:54 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
First stop buying any processed foods, if you do. Second join a coop, something like food connect is good. Organic local food you pick up from a local contact. Third bake your own bread, I use a book called Artisan Bread in Fine Minutes a Day. And only buy in season of course.

If you can grow herbs they don't take up much space and they are so expensive to buy.

I also make my own pickles with a Pickl it fermenting system and home made soft drinks like water kefIr and kombucha.

I also buy dry good in bulk from honest to goodness and meat in bulk and on special from feather and bone.

We only eat organic and all our meat is pastured free range.

I'm in melbourne - does anybody have details of co-ops that operate in Melbourne?

#8 ~Supernova~

Posted 08 February 2013 - 04:15 PM

We rent, and every house we are in, we build a vege patch. DH made a large wooden box, was I guess 2 x1 metres, and put it up on besser blocks. We've just moved, and so far just have a bunch of things in pots, need to get another vege garden going.

#9 axiomae

Posted 08 February 2013 - 04:24 PM

This is my conundrum! Ethical everything is so expensive! It's easy to say "buy organic meat" etc but in reality the budget often doesn't stretch. We cut down on meat and buy the organic range of basics (muesli, yoghurt, pasta, tinned tomatoes, beans etc) from ALDI, which is actually quite cost effective. Meat is a treat, and although we can't afford organic we shop from a locally sourced butcher, which makes me feel better. Free range eggs from ALDI cost half what they do in the supermarkets.

#10 Cat People

Posted 08 February 2013 - 04:25 PM

Going meat-free covers all of your concerns OP.  It's enviro friendly, ethical and budget friendly.  Aim for all meat-free dishes, or  X amount of days.  

Cleaning products that are enviro friendly are often quite inexpensive.  I only buy wash up detergent and laundry powder.  I buy it when it's on special - usually Planet Ark - and it last forever as I use a little less than they say.  Everything else just gets cleaned with hot soapy water.  Recycled toilet paper is just as cheap or cheaper than the other stuff.  

Shop locally - a local fruit & veg is usually cheaper than the big stores and the quality if far better.  Go to your local Sunday markets if you can, then you can buy it straight from the farmer.  Buy in season, buy when on special and stock up (for non perishables).  Grow a few things in pots - I've successfully grown herbs, strawberries and tomatoes in pots.

#11 Feral-as-Meggs

Posted 08 February 2013 - 04:30 PM

Im not really up to doing a lot of preserving or veggie growing, but some friends and I just started a wholesale market co-op.  We are still learning the ropes but are already saving heaps of money.

What I have been starting to do is pay strict attention to waste.  I put anything leftover or near its date on the top shelf of the fridge and have to use that before starting anything new.

#12 ~iMum~

Posted 08 February 2013 - 04:31 PM

In addition to the above fantastic suggestions, Google 'container gardens' for inspiration re growing your own. Also, hook up with your local permaculture group, find out who manages your closest community garden and get involved, switch to more raw food recipes to cut down on meat. Ask on local fb pages if anyone has backyard poultry and is selling or trading excess eggs. Oh, and shop at markets.



#13 ~iMum~

Posted 08 February 2013 - 04:35 PM

I can't believe I forgot to mention AQUAPONICS!

We have been doing it for almost a year now and it's fantastic, so much more 'rental friendly' than a dirt garden, the yield is faster than with a dirt garden, and you can plant more densely. Check out www.backyardaquaponics.com.au for the interwebz most comprehensive info and forums about aquaponics. Happy to answer any questions on it, too biggrin.gif

#14 Orangedrops

Posted 08 February 2013 - 04:39 PM

Food connect are in Melbourne I think also contact Ceres in Brunswick they may know of local coops operating around you.

Also for meat and Eggs contact Taranaki Farm see if you can get into one of their buying groups.

#15 Snot stew

Posted 08 February 2013 - 05:25 PM

Looks like I'll be getting a pot vegie garden growing soon!

I have cut down on processed foods (trying to bring husband and kids to the party, the are not convinced, LOL).  Trying very hard to have 2 meat free nights a week (hubby is the 'where is the meat?' type).  I think I will have a good look around the local markets although the timing is a bit inconvenient, but I can rearrange a few things to get there.

What type of soil do you put in the pots if you want to keep it organic?



#16 Sassy Dingo

Posted 08 February 2013 - 05:32 PM

Can I ask why everyone is advocating organic produce?

My understanding is that organic is actually worse for the environment as it requires a much larger land investment to give the same yield. As in they lose much more produce to pests so they require a larger farm to produce the same amount. So they're worse environmentally and inefficient (especially important for developing countries where poverty means they have such a small plot so need every bit that can be grown on it).

Agree regarding the free range meat/eggs/hormone free points previously mentioned.

OP, you didn't mention if you were in an apartment or a house, but even if you live in an apartment and have limited sun you can grow a lot of veges with little to no sun - lettuce for eg. Vege were you eat the leaves rather than the plant having to produce a separate edible part don't require as much sun. Silverbeet grows pretty much everywhere in my experience.

#17 ~Supernova~

Posted 08 February 2013 - 05:32 PM

QUOTE (Orange Underpants @ 08/02/2013, 05:25 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Looks like I'll be getting a pot vegie garden growing soon!

I have cut down on processed foods (trying to bring husband and kids to the party, the are not convinced, LOL).  Trying very hard to have 2 meat free nights a week (hubby is the 'where is the meat?' type).  I think I will have a good look around the local markets although the timing is a bit inconvenient, but I can rearrange a few things to get there.

What type of soil do you put in the pots if you want to keep it organic?


We get ours from Bunnings. They have heaps of different types. We never use any sort of pesticides either, only natural remedies. If you google it, you will find many options.

With household cleaning, for almost everything I use a spray bottle with half water, half vinegar, and a squirt of dish liquid. If you don't like the smell of vinegar (even though in this mix it isn't overpowering) then just add a few drops of your preferred essential oil.

#18 Snot stew

Posted 08 February 2013 - 05:57 PM

I am in a house original.gif and there is actually a large front porch area where I could put pots, having pots there wouldn't damage the bricks would it (bricks on the 'floor')?

I am not keen on lettuce but perhaps I could grow cherry tomatoes?  What else grows well in pots DYT?

Not sure how to go about finding a local co op... is there a listing?



#19 Clever Clogs

Posted 08 February 2013 - 06:10 PM

We are vegan. Groceries are $60 a week, sometimes a little more.

We eat whole grains, vegetables and fruit.

#20 mez70

Posted 08 February 2013 - 08:14 PM

Where abouts in Melbourne are you. there are some excellent Farmers Markets springing up around the place but one place I ADORE is the Dandenong Market for Fruit and Veg.. You can buy individual amounts or if like me you go with a friend or 2 you can make bulk purchases really cheap and split the cost and purchases between you all for example a BOX of in season apples could cost say $12.00 but I would never eat a whole box.. My friend and I would go halves and what our $6.00 each got was amazing, we did that for carrots, potatoes all sorts of things. Another great time to go is on a Saturday as they need to clear the stuff... We go early to get the better stock but if you are not fussed on a specific thing after 12.00 on a Saturday there are BARGINS to be had (mind you it is super busy lol)

#21 Feral-as-Meggs

Posted 08 February 2013 - 08:25 PM

Im not really up to doing a lot of preserving or veggie growing, but some friends and I just started a wholesale market co-op.  We are still learning the ropes but are already saving heaps of money.

What I have been starting to do is pay strict attention to waste.  I put anything leftover or near its date on the top shelf of the fridge and have to use that before starting anything new.

#22 Orangedrops

Posted 09 February 2013 - 06:16 AM

QUOTE (Sassy Dingo @ 08/02/2013, 06:32 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Can I ask why everyone is advocating organic produce?

My understanding is that organic is actually worse for the environment as it requires a much larger land investment to give the same yield. As in they lose much more produce to pests so they require a larger farm to produce the same amount. So they're worse environmentally and inefficient (especially important for developing countries where poverty means they have such a small plot so need every bit that can be grown on it).


Well you'd be wrong, conventional growing depletes the soil, destroys topsoil so eventually the land becomes impossible to farm without more and more chemical inputs damaging chemicals t that then get into ground water, rivers etc destroying eco systems, causing algal blooms etc etc etc . Organic growing, when done well, improves and enriches the soil and doesn't leach fertilisers and pesticides.

#23 Yogurtbliss

Posted 09 February 2013 - 07:18 AM

Hi! My first ever EB post, yay!

My little family is also on this journey. We have been making little changes, but they quickly become habit!

I always check www.onlyoz.com.au to see what is Australian owned and made.

Buy local organic milk

Make my own yoghurt

Organic eggs

Shop at local fruit shop

Plan healthy meals in advance- less waste and less likely to go for something mo convenient

DIY cleaning products- vinegar!

Good luck, I am really enjoying this journey too!

#24 feralgreenthumbs

Posted 09 February 2013 - 07:49 AM

QUOTE (Orangedrops @ 09/02/2013, 07:16 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Well you'd be wrong, conventional growing depletes the soil, destroys topsoil so eventually the land becomes impossible to farm without more and more chemical inputs damaging chemicals t that then get into ground water, rivers etc destroying eco systems, causing algal blooms etc etc etc . Organic growing, when done well, improves and enriches the soil and doesn't leach fertilisers and pesticides.



yyes.gif

Sassydingo - sounds like you've come across a few too many chemical fertiliser company pamphlets Tounge1.gif

#25 livvie7586

Posted 09 February 2013 - 08:03 AM

QUOTE (Orange Underpants @ 08/02/2013, 06:57 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I am not keen on lettuce but perhaps I could grow cherry tomatoes?  What else grows well in pots DYT?


i can't help with anything else, but currently (as we rent) i have a container garden.  i have tomatoes (and this year i discovered tumbler tomatoes, they can go in hanging pots.  it is getting late for tomatoes, though), strawberries, silverbeet, herbs (parsley, oregano, chives, thyme, spearmint and chamomile), cucumbers, plus a lovely little briar patch (5 different varieties of raspberries, a blackberry and a boysenberry.  these are actually doing the best out of anything).  i also have a baby loquat as an experiment, and a couple of apples (the apples and loquat have come from seeds i've been given, and are an experiment)

In the past i've successfully grown beetroot, japanese silverbeet (which for the life of me i can't remember the proper name for), carrots (although my last crop was crap), garlic, onions, chillies, and have even had a corn crop (although i do have a raised garden bed, which makes growing bigger stuff easier).  and don't just think pots, i have strawberries, herbs, silverbeet etc in styrofoam boxes (which i picked up from aldi, they're now close to 3 years old and still going strong), i have a 'tea' herb garden in an old wheelbarrow (off freecycle), and for pots, reject shop do great ones (and they're cheap)




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