Sunday, December 19, 2010

Bob's Wonderful Plums

Jessica and Bob at Byron Markets
Raining today at Byron Markets, but Bob was still there with his chemical-free fruit and vegetables. Jessica came along for the tomatoes (and Russian cucumbers). Normally plums are not my favourite fruit, but these ones were deliciously sweet. 

Bob grows all this wonderful produce at his property in Dunoon. He tells me some of the trees there are very old – at least 30 years. Bob has a great variety of fruit for all seasons – peaches, custard apples, plums, pineapples, tomatoes, cucumbers, avocados and even a few bananas. His vegetables are great and this week he had enormous spring onions, lettuce, chokos and beans. Like everyone else in the district Bob also grows macadamia nuts, but unlike some of his neighbours, he does not spray.

Bob and Jessica and Bob's splendid market stall
Bob started life as a dairy farmer (conventional) but gave that up 15 years ago and now concentrates on growing fruit and vegetables the natural way.

You’ll find Bob at the local Sunday markets. He does Bangalow, Byron, The Channon, Mullumbimby (on the third Saturday) and travels over to Casino on a Thursday.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Raw Vegan Potluck - Uki

Amidst the rain and thunder last night, 20 of us gathered at Avi and Mehavit's organic farm in Byangum. December 2010 and the eighth Raw Vegan Pot Luck at Uki. It is inspiring to see such a beautiful group of people and the wonderful food they've brought to share along with stories, songs and laughter.

As Menkit points out, eating a raw vegan diet contributes not only to personal health and well-being but also to the sustainability of mother earth. Eating less meat and dairy helps reduce the impact that animal agriculture has on our soils and waterways. Eating fresh, local produce straight from nature (no cooking, processing, packaging) reduces the impact on the environment and climate change. It's all good.

And as we can see from the sumptious spread, eating raw food need not be boring. My preference is to eat mainly fruit and to keep meals simple. No need to add salt, condiments, spices as the food itself has it's own splendid and delicate flavours. The meal i prepared was a simple recipe; in-season local organic produce all purchased from the New Brighton Farmers' Market on tuesday (except for the mangoes). Zucchini fettucine with a mango and tomato sauce and finely chopped parsley for garnish.

The most elaborate meal was Tess' Mock Turkey Pate with fresh cranberries. Nice idea and definitely in keeping with the christmas tradition, but won't it be good when we can shift our minds away from trying to mimic the animal-based food we used to eat. Having said that, i can say it was a delicious combination of flavours.

The entire spread

Tess's Mock Turkey Pate with Cranberry Sauce

Zucchini Fettucine with mango and tomato sauce

The most popular dessert was Mark's classic banana and strawberry icecream, made fresh on the spot with the champion juicer. Was it really just frozen bananas and strawberry? How can that taste so good!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

who says GM is ok? say no to contamination of organic produce

Are Genetically Engineered crops grown in Australia? You betcha. 

this was reported recently from True Food Network via the permaculture forum:

"Today, WA organic farmer Steve Marsh revealed that two-thirds of his 
farmland is contaminated by someone’s GM canola crop. The canola 
travelled at least 1.5 km and contaminated 220 hectares. Marsh could 
also potentially suffer huge financial losses, as Australian organic 
standards don’t accept any GM presence.

He is considering legal action, which would be the first case of its 
kind in Australia. The WA Government showed its bias to the GM 
industry when the agriculture minister, in response to Marsh, stated 
that zero percent thresholds are “unrealistic”. Organic certifier, the 
National Association of Sustainable Agriculture Australia (NASAA), is 
conducting an official investigation."

Don Hamsford from Warick South East Queensland says "What's the bet 
Monsanto are on his doorstep, looking for their royalties, before you 
can say "substantially equivalent!"

So if you want to know who in your area is GM-free, check out this map. Produced by Gene Ethics, it presents the enterprises who endeavor, through certification, quality assurance and audits, to exclude from their products, services and facilities all GM soy, corn, canola or cotton - and products from animals fed GM feed. Let's hope these enterprises aren't too close to any GM crops that could jeopardise their clean status.