Our farm tour this season took us to Eden Hope Dairy, the dedicated suppliers of our weekly milk and the Clark’s, growers of tomatoes, herbs, cucumbers and lettuce. Temperatures in single digits and early starts don’t necessarily go hand-in-hand with Sunday mornings but when there is a lure of milk fresh from the cow we couldn’t resist. Seeing, hearing and smelling the 60 strong herd of predominantly Jersey cows (and a few of their calves) make their way to the milking shed is an experience to behold. As was glimpsing the huge vat of creamy milk they produced. We learnt about the twice daily routine of the dairy farming family while children played on hay bales in the sun.
With a delicious Hale Foods (caterer and resident chef of the FC community kitchen) rhubarb and ginger muffin and a hot cuppa (with fresh milk) in hand we listened to the avuncular figure of Glenn Bunter talk us through his family history in farming and their change to using organic biodynamic principles.
Touring the pastures Glenn and Therese helped us understand why Eden Hope dairy farm is a truly dynamic place. Glenn explained how their biodynamic farming practices have resulted in healthier cows and a cleaner, kinder way of working with the land. WIN News Sunshine Coast even paid a visit fascinated at the concept of city folk getting their feet dirty and producer being able to talk directly to their customer.
All too soon we were off to see Janice and Russell Clarke up the road where we relaxed in a sunny spot on the front lawn to have a spot of lunch and introduce ourselves. Janice told us how they began planting and selling tomatoes as a way of funding a ski trip. They did so well that it wasn’t long before Robert Peakin, founder of Food Connect, had got wind of their tasty produce and they were asked if they’d like to supply us.
With dogs and children running about in equal measure we strolled off our lunch walking through the Clarke’s paddocks of leafy greens. Some of us even got a chance to do a little gentle weeding between the lettuces.
Farm tours make for long but rewarding days. A huge thank you to our farmers for their generosity in allowing us to visit, ask questions and generally have a poke around. Also a huge thank you goes to you, subscribers, for making the trip and joining in on the day.
Here at Food Connect we are always looking for novel ways to get our message out to the audience of potential subscribers. When a lecture was given to Queensland College of Art design and marketing students explaining the ideas behind our eye catching ‘Dirty/Rough/Imperfect/Unruly’ campaign, the students responded by asking if they could create a ‘guerrilla’ campaign of their own on at the Southbank campus. Never one to shy away from something grabbing people’s attention, we said ‘YES!’.
The two groups of third-year students produced two very different campaigns designed to engage the population of the Southbank campus.
One group chose to run a pop-up ‘farm’ encouraging passers by to ‘pick’ their own and sign-up to know more about Food Connect’s place within the fair food movement. They set out the colourful mandarins, lemonade fruits, pink lady apples, avocados and sweet potatoes on hay and engaged with the passing traffic. By the end of the day they had successfully found a home for all the ‘freshly picked’ produce and we had a list of potential interested parties.
The second group took an edgier approach choosing to shock their audience into engaging with the message. They developed banners for our facebook page and took to instagram (@foodconnectbrisbane) and twitter (@food_connect) to get people talking on social media.
Both these campaigns were short and sharp, with the aim of motivating a student audience. It was great fun to negotiate with the students and we hope that it helped them in their learning process.
Biome Eco Store at 215 Adelaide Street in the Brisbane CBD is now a Food Connect City Cousin. This is a refreshing option for those working and/or living in the City, or for those who just regularly pass-through.
The Biome (rhymes with ‘home’) stores are overflowing with learning and products that meet earth-friendly criteria. They bring you the widest range of natural skin care and green cleaning in Australia, plus safe, reusable bottles and many more clever, stylish and practical eco-products. Biome specialises in beautiful Australian hand-made gifts and home accessories, making it easy for you to support Australian small business. The Biome concept was inspired by those of us who want to make a difference, but feel the actions we take may have have little impact or simply can not find the choices.
Their products are carefully assessed against these criteria:
grown & manufactured in a sustainable way (sun-grown, renewable, organic)
contains no petrochemicals, harmful ingredients or non-renewable resources
recycled or assists recycling
non-toxic and biodegradable (biodegradable alone is not sufficient)
saves resources or reduces consumption
traded fairly and with respect for the producers
produced without exploitation or harm to people and animals
longer lasting than the alternative, thus saving resources & pollution
designed to be recycled or responsibly disposed of at the end of its life
inspires love for the environment
Local :: Biome chose products made in Australia wherever possible. Sometimes they choose products made overseas – while local products save resources in transportation and support local business, some products are simply not available in Australia.
Biome is keen to help its customers and inner City inhabitants support local farmers and eat ecological food. This pick-up point also helps commuters keep their weekends free from fruit and veggie shopping (handy hint: bringing your own reusable bags/backpack to pack your order into means you don’t have to return your Food Connect box and makes it easier to carry home, especially if using public transport). Also, if you work in a City office or store and are interested in sourcing local seasonal and ecological fruit to munch on in your workplace, get in touch.
To celebrate, Biome is offering 15% off store-wide for Food Connect customers*! These locally owned and family run stores have always believed in supporting local eco business wherever possible.
They have a wonderful collection of Australian-made brands for you to choose from. To redeem the 15% off* special, simply mention at the counter, or, if shopping online enter the code ‘FC15′. You may also like to shop online and choose to pick up in store by selecting this option at Checkout).
Biomes stores include their Brisbane City store at 215 Adelaide St, Brisbane, and their Paddington store at 2 Latrobe Tce, Paddington.
* 15% off Food Connect special available until 30 June 2013.
Here’s our weekly newsletter for you to feast your eyes upon - Farmletter Week 21 - bringing the latest news from our diligently hard-working farmers supplying the freshest seasonal fare. You will also find a recipe embracing the riches of beetroot leaves in Beetroot Leaves Stir-fried with Coconut & Raisins, plus updates and insights about what’s happening within and around Food Connect Brisbane. Enjoy!