Tag Archives: local food

Local Food Growing

From ABC News Online

Farmers’ markets drawing the crowds

By Amanda Collins

Good generic shot of fruit and veges from a Stanthorpe farmers market

Farmers’ markets have been trading in Australia for almost 10 years, but now more than ever, consumers are headed to market for fresh local produce.

Australian Farmers’ Markets Association chairperson Jane Adams says there are about 120 markets operating regularly throughout the country, with more expected to be trading by the end of the year.

Situated on the southern downs in Queensland, Stanthorpe is the latest community to launch a farmers market.

Reliant on agriculture, the region produces a diverse range of fruit and vegetables and almost all of Queensland’s apple and pear crop. Read more….

Despite this, Stanthorpe resident Gwen Jones says local produce is difficult to find and a regular farmers’ market is long overdue.

“We pass the farms but we just can’t seem to buy the local produce in the supermarkets. So it is really good to be able to come here and get fresh local produce,” she said.

Ms Adams, who also works with communities to establish markets said: “The growth of farmers’ markets has really come from two ends, one is the consumer and the other is the producer.”

Stanthorpe organic fruit and vegetable grower, Ray Palmer agrees farmers’ markets are becoming more popular for a couple of reasons.

“Producers can get retail prices and consumers can ask questions,” he said.

“There are also people who are wanting to reduce the amount of miles the food travels before it gets to their plate.”

Day 30-The Finale!

24/8, Sunday- Well I’ve made it, 30 days of pretty much living off local food and drink. There’s been a few slips, but it’s to be expected. One slip that completely slipped my mind was ginger. The whole month it has been a regular ingredient in my cooking. I’d sourced it from the grocers on Victoria st, who sourced their vegies from a farm near Geelong. In my mind, ginger got lumped into the vegies category. It wasn’t until Natascha Mirosch replied to my comment on her blog,  asking where I’d managed to get ginger from within the reaches of wintry Melbourne, that I twigged it was most likely not local. For me this highlights how vigilant you need to be to try and stick to local food.

For breakfast this morning I used the ‘foreign’ ginger, along in the breakfast from yesterday, but added eggs into the mix. Still a hit, even better I’d put forward. Today however was about transition. I’d finished my fast of all things foreign, and no longer had to act as though I was a shopkeeper from Royston Vassey. I’ve found over the last few days, I’ve been genuinely excited about finishing this experiment, and being able to eat foods without restriction. I think the whole experience has made me more aware of how much I value food, and more so variety of food. I have to say, while I think the principles of the locavore movement are very worthy, I’d find it hard to commit to it indefinitely. I enjoy food too much for that. However, as we discussed in class, this wasn’t meant to be an excerise in creating hardcore locavores. It was more, that by going through the experience, for what really isn’t a long period in the scheme of things, it makes you, and the people around you more aware of the world of food, and all the baggage that goes along with it. How much of it will stick afterwards depends on the individual. I’m going to post a more indepth reflection on the whole shabang later in the week, so if your interested stay tuned…

But to wrap up the day I thought a little celebration was in order. We’re having a local pot luck meal in class this friday, so instead I decided to a have a celebratory transitional meal. First stop, Victoria Markets. Well with the end of exclusive local eating, meant that I was to re-enter the food matrix of the Glenferrie estate. For the last month, I’ve been something of an outcast, with my ‘local’ meals and quarantined food. My other housemates had their fun offering me forbidden foods, and I responded by segregating my bits and pieces. Now however I’d re-entered the fold, and it was time to restock the larders. The vegetables, were mostly local expect for some oranges. Things such as cheap, quality bread and chocolate, that till now had been strictly off limits, was picked up. My brief foray into the world of organics is over for the foreseeable future. A big slab of beef was purchased, origin unkown, other then Australian, along with a flagon of olive oil, sourced from Italy. Another of the contraband, coffee was bought. This was blended and packed in Preston, here in Melbourne, but your guess is as good as mine to where the actual beans originated from.

So the meal was prepared, and well the table would’ve been set if we had one. A mixture of local and not so, there was roast beef with a range of roast vegies. All the vegies were in season, and mostly locally sourced. The oil however was from Italy. The garlic used to season the vegies and meat, was local. The salt, not so I think. The mixed herbs where from several places unknown. The beer was Australian, though brewed across the southern strait, down in Launceston.

After dinner was where it really strayed from the local. Coffee, and also chocolate (from France), but with a local Baram orange, while not ‘local’ its more local then France. It was a pretty decent meal though, and I’m glad to have gone through the the locavore experience, but to be done with it. I wonder how long it will take me to fully slip back into my old eating habits, pre the local explosion. We shall see…

Day 3- The search begins…

28/7 Monday: Today I woke up got ready and went to have breakfast. So it was yoghurt again. I don’t really mind it, but I don’t think its going to be a long term solution, I’ll need a bit more variety. I’d just last week made up a big jar of muslei, and optimistically checked out the various ingredients packets to see if they were edible with my new mindset. As I only use the finest Homebrand ingredients in my muslei, I discovered that all the ingredients were made from Australian and imported goods, and also packed on Woolworths Way in some place up in NSW that starts with W. So thats a no go. Maybe there’ll be some left after the month…

After uni I set out to try and find some local food sources. I’m going to need more then yoghurt. I wasn’t really sure where to start as all the markets were closed today. I decided to head to the 100 mile cafe, and see if they had some advice. Here I had a chat to one of the managers and he had some handy advice. Some stuff I already knew, like hit up the weekend farmers markets and what not. But he also gave me a booklet on seafood that had whats local, whats ok to fish sustainably and what not. He also put me onto a good website that lists fruit and veggies that are in season. So with a bit of info I set out on the ol’ treddly. Near my old share house from last year, I’d riden past a cheese factory heaps of times, but never stopped to check it out. Its up near Barkley Square, so on my bike and I was there. After having a chat with a lady there, I found out that they made their own cheese there, but weren’t sure where the milk was from. The person who did know had gone home for the day and I’d have to come back one morning.

Another lead I’d thought of was Victoria st. Its close to my house and there’s tonnes of grocery shops near by. After a few false starts I noticed a lady shucking cauliflowers at a grocers, so I went to inquire. After having a chat and explaining what I was after, I was pleased to be told that all their veggies came from farms around Geelong, well within my range. Things are looking up. I only had a small backpack, but ended up with some carrots, mushies, potatoes, sweet potato, onions, beans, mint, parsley, spring onions, eggs, ginger and chilli. Then wandering about I tryed a butchers. Their boss had gone home and they weren’t sure where the meat was from. I tried another specialising in pork and they said their meat was from near melbourne. They didn’t know exactly where cos the boss had left as well, but I went with it and got half a kg of pork shoulder.

So for my first meal in Melbourne that was local, I had pork and stir fry veggies with egg through it. I hadn’t eaten anything all day, so I was starving. I was pretty happy with it. I even made some mint tea to go with it all. For dinner I made some soup. It was just a veggie and pork soup with a bit of chilli and ginger to flavour it. Pretty basic but it was filling. I need to find some oil or local butter to fry with.