It seems like kind of a big thing, in the modern urban workaday world, to live for one whole week only on home-grown and wild food. Outside of that world, it might seem as unremarkable a challenge as going without a fax machine. But the eight of us doing it are mostly desk workers, in small houses and apartments in the city, albeit foragers, fishers, hunters and vegie growers to varying extents in varying amounts of our spare time.
It isn’t intended as some desperate challenge where a reality TV version would find some of us in starving tears. It is intended as a celebration. Kind of like an old-fashioned harvest festival. We have enough up our sleeves in terms of backyard crops, fishing kit including boats and skills, hunting gear, property access and foraging knowledge to suggest that hunger will not be a huge shadow hanging over us. We are doing it because we never have before and because we can, fully aware that this means that we are very fortunate people.
It begins on Sunday 1st of March and ends with a feast on the following Saturday the 7th. At the discretion of each of us on board, we can nominate exceptions. I could call mine the ‘amphora rule’, allowing me olive oil and wine. Another guy is allowing previously foraged condiments; of two caffeine loving blokes who live near each other, one has chosen tea and the other coffee and plan to meet regularly to make each other a cuppa over food swaps; one guy is hedging his bets with flour – quite sensible really, allowing the week to be the fun that it is meant to be with a backup sure to guarantee him a seat at the final feast table of set-aside treats.
It will be busy, ‘hard work’ when added to the fact that we will all be largely keeping up the real jobs, so there will be no blogging at the time. Instead, I have gotten my head around Instagram to try to document the week as it unfolds. Images will come up here (at right of screen) if you aren’t on Instagram. If you are, my pics are @foragersyear. There will also be posts by others on Instagram using the hashtag #FOTLAS2015. Come along for the ride.
Mike H: Spearo, fisher, forager (www.theforagers.com.au and @mostlyfish on IG)
Mike L: Fisher, hunter, grower
Ed: Hunter, forager
Justin: Hunter, forager
Alex: Spearo, fisher, forager
John: Spearo, hunter, fisher, forager, chef (@johnralley on IG)
Andrew: Grower, forager
Oliver (me): Grower, hunter, beekeeper, fisher, forager