'We are evolving the art of paying it forward' - family going without the supermarket says community is crucial


Our new columnist Lydia Harvey says giving up grocery shopping for the year has been made easier by the community surrounding her family. 

Lydia Harvey and her family are trying to do what seems utterly impossible – live off their backyard for one whole year.
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How does she do it? That's the question I have been asked many times since we began this journey from living off the supermarket shelves to the backyard garden.

People keep asking me how can this be possible?

Well, firstly, remove all assumptions that we are doing this solo.

Yes, we have converted our backyard to a sustainable garden on our own, yes we raise and look after our own chickens which supply us with eggs, and yes, 90 per cent of what we make we create on our own from scratch.

But we are also lucky enough to live in a community of growers, bottlers, seed savers and craftspeople who help make this all possible.

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Together as a community we are evolving the art of paying it forward.

On our own, we cannot meet every single need we have, but collectively we are not only meeting our needs but the needs of those around us with surplus produce from our garden.

To put meat on the table a couple of nights a week we have exchanged eggs and veggies we don’t need for protein given to us by our neighbours who hunt.

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Generous neighbours have given us their excess staples such as sugar, flour and pasta as a thank you for vegetables we have given them or for helping out with their gardens.

The household items which people frequently ask how we source without going to the supermarket is cleaning products and that much-needed item toilet paper.

We currently have a stash of toilet paper which has been given to us, but the plan for when we run out is to buy the eco-friendly toilet paper 'smartass' online.

We use warm water and eucalyptus oil to make our own cleaning products, while we use a home-made recipe to make our own laundry powder.

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Yes, we still use a few basic items that come our way every now and then from the community, but we've learnt to make do without when we don't have them and enjoy them when we do.

We have removed our dependency from store brought items to more ethically and locally produced ones.

From Lydia’s Garden: Garden pizza

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Everyone love pizza night! And Lydia has the perfect guilt-free homemade pizza for those cooler autumn nights.

Pizza base
1 ½ cups of self-rising flour (Gluten Free or standard)
1 cup of natural yoghurt
Blend the flour and yoghurt together and roll out on an oven tray.
Red onions
Plum source

Spread a relish of your choice (I like to use a home-made courgette relish) and spread onto the base.

Then layer on the finely sliced tomatoes, finely sliced red onions, fresh basil, mozzarella and plum sauce on the pizza base

Bake the pizza for approximately 15 minutes or until base is firm. Set the pizza out of the oven for 10 minutes before serving.

Serve with home-made wedges topped with natural yoghurt and avocado.

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