There are a few things in life I’m really passionate about: kindness, compassion, social change, community and… food. Food! I’ve always believed that we can change the world by being more thoughtful about the way that we eat – not just for our bodies, but for our communities too. Every week you will find Bo and I driving around our regional area doing our grocery shop. We don’t do it the conventional way, there are no shopping trolleys or self serve checkouts on our weekly shop… instead there are cups of tea and warm hugs and fresh produce grown nearby. Seasonal food pulled straight from the earth, avocados straight from the tree, eggs fresh from the hens (or geese!) and the creamiest milk direct from the farmer. There is something very special about living in regional Australia, where the climate is temperate and good fresh food grows all year ’round.
For me, it’s not just about the freshness of the produce, or supporting local farmers (though both of those things are important to me) – it’s about the connections that we make along the way. About knowing not just where our food comes from, but who it comes from.
This week we took our Ford Kuga MKII on our jaunt around the greater Bunbury region to collect our fresh food for the week. From Harvey through Boyanup to Kirup we drive stopping at roadside stalls, family run shop fronts and honesty box carts to chat and buy and connect with our community. It’s terribly cold and rainy out here at the moment so the comfort of this smooth ride (and that heated seat!) was much appreciated as we battled high winds and short bursts of torrential hail.
We have made a few really good friends along our usual route. The kind of friends where a quick stop in for a cup of tea to pick mandarins straight from the tree, becomes seven hours of chats by the fire, endless cups of tea, helping out with some chores and a hot meal before we finally pile back in the car to drive the dark, winding roads back to our cottage in town.
That’s the beautiful thing about community living. It keeps us connected to our local world. It keeps my three year old connected to the earth and to the cycle of food – and keeps us connected to each other.
Besides, there is nothing that tastes quite as good as a mandarin picked straight from a tree (or a carrot pulled straight from the earth).
Want to know what else is really awesome about the Ford Kuga MKII (besides just warm bums in the middle of winter)? It’s hardly surprising that we carry around a lot of stuff over the weekend; from seed trays to fruit and veggies, from loaned gardening tools to snacks, to bikes and baskets – and I almost always have my hands full with a toddler in tow. That’s where the handsfree tailgate comes into play… with just a wave of my foot the boot pops open ready to be stacked to the brim. We made a cute little stop motion video about it. Check it out!
The super cute music in the clip is from ‘In a Perfect world’ by Uncle Neptune courtesy of free music online and the creative commons agreement – Thanks Uncle Neptune for your cool tunes!
This is my second of three posts for the #FordThinking Challenge as part of Kidspot’s Voices of 2015. We were very lucky to be given the very comfortable, very easy to drive Ford Kuga MKII from Ford Australia for six weeks to go on amazing adventures in and see corners of our little part of Australia – where our old car doesn’t dare to go. Thanks Ford!