In the Dargle there are plenty of folk who are perfectly happy to do without eggs for a few weeks while hens follow their natural Spring cycle and sit around broodily all day hoping to hatch their eggs. Others will wait patiently for Piccolo the cow to finish weaning her new calf Cello, forgoing the extra milk which would be just perfect for making yoghurt. Gathering wild Spring greens in the fields is an activity eagerly anticipated for much of the Winter. This is really what slow food is all about; not making unreasonable demands, taking only what is needed and being mindful of the entire process.
We are fortunate that the Dargle valley is home to many small producers of vegetables, trout, chicken, honey, cheese, herbs, pork, milk and eggs. Most homesteads have a food garden to supply their kitchens and share the surplus with neighbours. Local restaurants are committed to supporting local producers and serving seasonal, organic food as much as possible, serving food that satisfies your taste buds and your conscience.
Dargle Local Living lists all our local food heroes and service suppliers. Where to find the yummiest feta cheese (just alongthe D17), have your haircut (behind the trading store), stock up on essential oils (on the hill of D666), drop off your bottles for recycling (Dargle Primary School), get some fresh kale (from Baba Sokhela) or buy a cake made with love for a friend’s birthday tea.
I have been working on this for about a year and we launched last night at Tanglewood Country House with over 60 people in attendence! We showed the hair raising movie Food Inc about the industrial food industry – which revealed surprising and often shocking truths about what we eat, how it is produced, who we have become and where we are going. Afterwards we enjoyed a buffet suppet prepared by Nicky Mann of all local produce -Fennel and Citrus Salad, Garden salad (including lucern) with Feta, Spring Greens with Parmesan (including imifino), Pumpkin & Sweet Potato with sage and almonds Roast Chicken with Pork Stuffing Leek and cream cheese Phyllo pie Handmade Pasta with burnt butter Pecan & Brandy Tart Cheesecake Ice Cream . Only brandy, almonds and phyllo were not from Dargle. Pecans came from Hilton because the Cape Parrots have eaten all of ours! A few local food heros brought along some produce to sell and share – we had an enormous cauliflower, magnificent leeks, goose eggs, fruit, jam, horseradish, mixed greens, herbs, pickles and other delcious Dargle goodies.
We recognise that it is necessary to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels and the industrial food chain and many residents are committed to living as locally as possible. We plan to respond proactively to peak oil and climate change, and begin to build a better, low- carbon and more sustainable future for our community. We are even talking about having our very own “Dargle Dollar” to spend in the valley. This will ensure that our money stays right here and doesn’t leak away to the big cities. This is the first step on our path to resilience, which will need to include surrounding communities too. have a peek: www.darglelocalliving.wordpress.com or www.dargleconservancy.org.za