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ABC Radio Sydney By Amanda Hoh

FoodFaith, along with Crop Swap, showcases Oliver Brown, who spent one year avoiding the supermarket and eating only what he could grow, forage, fish and hunt.  

The Sydney resident from Maroubra set himself a task - to spend 365 days only eating food he could either grow in his backyard, hunt for himself or barter.

He lost 15 kilograms in the process and now has a deep appreciation for where food comes from.

"I don't think sustainability was the driving thing for me," he told ABC Radio Sydney.

"There was very little waste involved, but it was really more about where food comes from, where you are in a food system."

The only exception to the rules were 10 ingredients which Mr Brown bought at the beginning of his challenge, including olive oil, wine, coffee, milk and a staple such as oats.

Everything else he either grew, fished or shot himself on managed grazing land or bush blocks.

He raised chickens in the backyard for eggs, kept an urban bee hive and "ate a lot of meat. I'd go hunting and shoot five goats and that would last me for awhile."

The only time Mr Brown gave himself a break or broke his fast — what he called the "Ramadan rule" — was when he was sick or was at a conference for work.

Mr Brown is a consultant archaeologist working in Aboriginal cultural heritage management.

"It started out as so much fun, but six months on ... the hardest thing was the tedium," he said.

"There's no choice about what there is. If there was rabbit stew and sweet potato today, that's all there is.

"There's no getting up if you're hungry and getting a sandwich."


PHOTO: Mr Brown would swap his home-grown produce with neighbours or food co-ops. (Supplied: Oliver Brown)

Mr Brown said living off the land was "a lot of work".

He would spend an extra two to three hours a day foraging in the garden to harvest produce, then have to make all his food from scratch, including grinding wheat.

However, he also became involved in food co-ops and bartered his produce with neighbours or other food growers, which was the most enjoyable aspect of the experience.

Mr Brown said he was surprised by the number of people growing their own food around the city and encouraged others to do the same.

"I think a city of more than five million people could do a lot more to know where their food comes from," he said.

Despite surviving a year without stepping foot into a supermarket, Mr Brown said he wasn't planning on keeping up with the challenge in its entirety.

"I went hunting a few times but I couldn't take my son and I'd like to do more camping with him," he said.

"So if he comes, I'll need to buy some extra food to sustain us."

Mr Brown said he planned to continue being active in the local food network by bartering and swapping produce from his backyard with others.

Thanks to ABC News