Here’s three of our hottest local producers selling directly to chefs and restaurateurs this week!
(Don’t be fooled by the number 3, there are many more where they came from! Register as a buyer at foodorbit.com to see more)
Field to Feast
Farm fresh, organic (not certified) veg! Situated in Catherine Field, only one hour south west of Sydney, Field to Feast Farm is 8 acres of vegetable goodness. Over 40 items listed in the marketplace! Check out Field to Feast’s profile here
Farmer George Lamb
Farmer George is a family owned and operated boutique meat company that supplies premium quality free range lamb from our family farm “Meroo Hills” just outside of Mudgee, NSW. See Farmer George’s profile here
Randall Organic Rice
Produce fresh tasty rice that is organic, chemical free and locally grown. The rice is milled and delivered in less than 2 weeks and as a result more nutritious Check out Randall Organic Rice here
Remember, there are a lot more local farmers and producers where they came from! Stay tuned for next weeks hottest
Fair Food Week - The Fed Square Locavored Series Event
We were honoured to be a part of the Locavored Edition Series event at Fed Square for Fair Food Week, it’s not every day you get the opportunity to be in a room full of such inspiring people!
We talked food waste, farming and food and what we can all do to make a difference. As Costa put it, the night was all about looking at ways we could “focus our ideas to make a change”.
We talked about our real heroes, the farmers, and what we can do to encourage the average consumer (who thinks the only way to buy corn is wrapped in plastic on a black polystyrene tray) to better support their local farmers. So at the end or the night the message was to “pass it on”, pass on the knowledge and understanding of everyone in the room to friends family and loved ones, and encourage them to pass it on too.
All in all, the night was an empowering collaboration of inspiring people and I’m sure we weren’t the only ones who left feeling like we could change the world!
Award Winning Chef puts local potato farmer high on the Bucket List
Food Orbit is Australia’s first online platform enabling local farmers and producers to connect and trade directly with chefs and restaurateurs. By shortening the supply chain Food Orbit is providing fairer prices for farmers and greater transparency of produce quality for chefs.
Local Sydney farmers Norm & Robyn from Highland Gourmet Potatoes are reaping the benefits of selling directly to award winning Chef, Tom Walton of The Bucket List Bondi, using the new online service Food Orbit.
For Norm and Robyn it’s always a juggling act between tending to their the farm, trading at their stores at Eveleigh and Pyrmont Farmers Markets on the weekends, and checking in on their honesty stall close to their farm in the Southern Highlands. Their story, which many other Australian farmers can relate to, has made growing their business quite challenging. Being able to connect and trade with wholesale customers directly through Food Orbit has helped them grow their business and created more opportunities to work with top chefs in their area.
Highland Gourmet Potatoes have 37 different varieties of potatoes, which Walton features in a number of his dishes. There’s the delicious potato gnocchi served with braised beef short rib, and the Sunday Roast using the baby ‘mixed roast’ varieties with whole split heads of garlic, thyme and olive oil.
“Dealing directly with the chefs without the usual hassle of invoicing and payments is great. It means we can receive more large orders of 20kg, 40kg or 60kg of potatoes per order which is much better for our business” Norm, Highland Gourmet Potatoes
For Chef Walton, he’s always had a strong passion for knowing and supporting farmers and using quality produce he can source locally. He has been running a series of Local Produce Dinners where he showcases Highland Gourmet’s Potatoes and a number of other local farmers and producers.
“I’ve already been trying to source local produce at the Bucket List Bondi however this has made it a lot easier - having one centralized platform where I can search by product and location has saved me a lot of time” Tom Walton, Head Chef at The Bucket List Bondi
Food Orbit www.foodorbit.com is getting ready to launch its trading platform in Sydney in the coming weeks. They already have local farmers and producers such as Pepe Saya, Field to Feast, and Melanda Park on board, and some of Sydney’s top chefs like Tom Walton from The Bucket List Bondi, Shannon, Darren and Mark from The Three Blue Ducks, and James Viles from Biota Dining.
Food Orbit’s online marketplace is available 24 hours a day for buyers and sellers to join and start trading with each other
Farmer George lets us in on his story as fun loving farmer, plus his take on food sustainability in Sydney restaurants.
How and when did Farmer George begin?
I was sending lamb and beef down to Sydney for family and mates starting about 2010, but just over a year ago, we got the logo drawn up, after all my mates started calling me Farmer George! It sounded a lot better than the other nicknames I have had in the past!
Tell us about your farming/production techniques that make your produce so unique?
We have been planned grazing since 2003 and since then we have been learning more and more how the life cycles of the animals work, and how everything relies on everything else. We now farm good soils and our by-products are good livestock. We feel that we farm sustainably and we include profit in this, so that we can afford to farm and live, and do the right thing by the planet and its inhabitants. Our operation is run on Holistic Management guide lines, using native grasses where possible, and very little supplementary feeding.
What’s your take on food sustainability and the use of local produce in Sydney/NSW restaurants?
Presently I think it is growing in a healthy way. I have been to one popular restaurant in Sydney where they brought the whole body of beef and cut it up to cook, which to me means they are not only using the primal cuts, but inventing ways to use the less known cuts to their customers. I get a lot of new customers saying “what do I do with this cut?” or “can I just have the racks and loins please”. We assure them that all cuts are great, and it doesn’t take long before they know how to use all the cuts and enjoy the whole body and even enjoy some lesser known cuts more.
If you weren’t doing what you’re currently doing, what would you be?
Probably travelling around Australia and seeing this great country and staying at homesteads and B&B’s, and enjoying country hospitality!
What are you famous for amongst your friends?
I am Farmer George, that’s quirky enough!
How can we find you?
You can find me and my lamb on my website
www.farmergeorge.com.au, www.facebook.com/FGMudgee and twitter.com/FGMudgee @FGMudgee
Farmer George is also one of the local producers set up to trade directly with chefs and restaurateurs online at foodorbit.com
Farmer George shares his favourite Honey & Rosemary Glazed Lamb Rack recipe with us
I don’t follow recipes much, I’m more of an experimental, use-what’s-left-in-the-fridge kind of guy when it comes to cooking. This lamb dish probably is one of my favourites though!
I roast off some of my lamb racks, with a honey and rosemary glaze, a side of fresh asparagus, and balsamic red onion with toasted almonds - beautiful!
Farmer George Lamb Rack
Red Onion, chopped into rings
Sea Salt for seasoning
1. Heat oven to around 180 degrees Celsius.
2. Prepare the Farmer George Lamb Racks in a baking tray. Drizzle olive oil over the rack, and rub in. Then drizzle roughly just over a tablespoon of honey over the rack. Sprinkle the rosemary sprigs over the rack.
3. Place the baking tray in the oven and bake for around 30mins for medium rare (we recommend eating our farm fresh lamb medium rare for the best flavour).
4. While the rack is baking, prepare the balsamic onion by throwing in the onion and balsamic vinegar in a saucepan and simmer for a little while until the onion is soft. Be careful not to overcook/burn the vinegar. Add the roasted almonds at the end.
5. Blanch the asparagus.
6. Serve all the elements together and season with sea salt.
Et voila, there you have it, a Farmer George Lamb meal!
The Farmer’s Wife gives us the low down on their chemical free produce and staying healthy with green smoothies!
How and when did Field to Feast begin?
About 7 years ago when Hapi was running a security company, Sydney nightlife became more violent. After one too many nights where guards were being shot, we decided there had to be a less violent way to make money. By chance we found some land for lease at a reasonable rent and Hapi decided to go back to his farming ways. We had no grand plan, except to grow good produce for us and our family. It could be said that the business found us!
What do you enjoy the most about market days?
Chatting with our customers. We love especially when our customers have a ‘wow’ experience eating our produce and make a point of coming back to share their excitement.
Tell us about your farming techniques that make your produce so unique?
Hapi spent the early years of his life farming alongside his father in Tonga where there is no irrigation, no chemicals, lots of hard work and no machinery. He’s brought all of this experience to our farm in Catherine Field which is one of the driest areas of Sydney and successfully grows organically without the use of any manufactured inputs or chemicals – and without irrigation!
What’s Field to Feast specialty?
Our greens and herbs. Without irrigation plants take a little longer to grow, and our belief is that this allows the plants to grow stronger and sweeter.
If you weren’t a farmer (or farmer’s wife), what would you be?
Ahh…well there’s the thing…it’s in our blood to grow and eat good produce. There will never be a time when we aren’t farmers!
What’s your favourite season and why?
The seasons bring variety to the year, so there isn’t really a clear favourite. Summer is the hardest, and most tiring for us which works out well as most other farmers love to farm in the warmer months and not the cold.
What are you famous for doing amongst your friends?
Our friends are always inspired by the way we create new ideas and businesses. We’ve just taken on a property in Tonga which we are now leasing out as a guest house, and have grand plans of developing a farm/garden there as well so that tourists can experience the traditional Tongan way of life.
Favourite recipe that uses your produce
We always start our days with green smoothies for good health.
Our favourite green smoothie blends use 1/3 greens, 1/3 fruit and 1/3 water - the perfect start to the day!
What markets do you frequent and how can we find you?
At the moment we are focusing on Bondi Farmers Market, and our wholesale deliveries only.
Field to Feast are also one of the local producers set up to trade directly with chefs and restaurateurs online at foodorbit.com
We caught up with Sydney’s favourite butter producer, Pepe Saya to find out more about Pepe himself and how his passion for butter grew.
How and when did Pepe Saya begin?
I started Pepe Saya in 2010, it came about as I was trying to save 200 litres of cream from expiring by turning it into butter… So the story goes. I managed to make some butter and took it home to my wife and Mrs. Pepe hated the stuff… The challenge was on to make A great tasting butter.
What do you enjoy the most about market days?
At the markets you get to talk and chat with the end consumer, I spend my whole week talking to industry people.
Tell us about your production techniques that make your produce so unique?
The cream arrives from the farm direct (Pasteurised at farm), is ripened for 1.5 - 2 weeks in cool-room, the cream is turned into Creme Fraiche by inoculating with a lactic culture and fermented for 20hours, an additional 1-2 weeks of ageing is allowed before Churning the creme fraiche into butter, the butter is then washed and hand kneaded until the desired consistency is achieved - packaged and sent to market immediately - we are in the business of selling fresh butter - the butter is never stored or frozen.
What’s Pepe Saya specialty?
Go to be the butter.
If you weren’t doing what you’re currently doing, what would you be?
Steel Smith, like my Dad!
What’s your favourite season (winter, summer, autumn, spring) and why?
Spring the flavour of spring cream is just mind blowing.
What are you famous for saying/doing amongst your friends?
Working very long hours! I’m sure I’m know for something, but not sure what.
Favourite recipe that uses your produce
Has to be Fried Chicken, made by marinating the chicken wings in Pepe Saya buttermilk for 25 hours, straining and dusting in flour then deep frying and toss/ coat in chilli and butter.
What markets do you frequent/how can we find you?
Eveleigh, Pyrmont, North Sydney, Castlehill, Marrickville, Bondi, Canberra, Camden
Pepe Saya is also one of the local producers set up to trade directly with chefs and restaurateurs online at foodorbit.com
Check out Pepe’s Butter Milk video featuring Alex Herbert (Bird, Cow, Fish) & Michael McEnearney (Kitchen by Mike)
Buttermilk: Made From Real Butter. from FOOD WINE DINE on Vimeo.
Friday night’s Local Produce Dinner at the Bucket List Bondi beautifully showcased some of the best produce the area has to offer. It was one of a series dinners that aims to put the spotlight back on where our food is sourced and the quality of our local farmers and producers with Head Chef Tom Walton creating a wholesome three course share-style meal.
The star of the evening was the spit roast Melanda Park free range pork served with organic winter vegetables, cauliflower puree and crushed apple sauce. Diners also enjoyed Pepe Saya cultured butter with beetroot and Willowbrae goats curd and home-made bread. And dessert was a scrumptious Koshi Hikari rice pudding using Randell Organic Rice with honeycomb, rhubarb and orange.
The homely, casual dinner welcomed diners who appreciated the freshness of locally sourced produce. “When produce is not from Coles or Woothworths it just tastes better. It tends to have a notably richer flavour” Marni, student at Sydney University. Many others loved the simplicity of the food and trying unusual vegetables varieties, like the Jerusalem artichokes for the first time.
The local produce dinners are a series of events that demonstrate the need for local farmers and producers to be better connected with chefs and restaurateurs. By chefs sourcing their produce direct from the local farmers and producers they’re able to have greater transparency over quality, and farmers and producers are able to receive fairer prices for their goods. This will happen online in the coming weeks with the launch of Food Orbit, an online market place for chefs and farmers and producers to buy and sell quality local produce. For more information, go to foodorbit.com
We’re making it simple to buy and sell locally sourced farm fresh produce online - register at foodorbit.com
Our new website just went live, and its looking bigger and better than ever! Visit foodorbit.com to get an inside look into how the platform can work for you.
We already have a number of incredible local farmers and producers onboard…
As well as some of Sydney’s leading chefs and restaurateurs…
Our trading platform is just about to launch, starting in our home town of Sydney, Food Orbit will focus on some of the area’s top cafes and restaurants, along with neighbouring farmers and producers. Next we’ll expand throughout NSW, then Melbourne, and then we’ll be launching nationally!
If you’re a buyer or a seller, make sure you jump online and register at foodorbit.com
How fun are the farmers markets?! Whether your stocking up on the just-picked-produce straight from the farmers, or tucking into a tasty breakfast/brunch from of some of Sydney’s iconic chefs and restaurateurs, farmers markets really are a crowd pleaser!
But the fun doesn’t stop there. In fact, I think I have even more fun post farmers markets, when I go home and get creative with all the beautiful produce I’ve just bought.
This week, when I got home I decided to make a hearty no fuss pumpkin soup. Now I’m no chef but I reckon this was one fo the best pumpkin soups I’ve ever had (my boyfriend even said it was the best he’d ever had and that’s not the sort of thing he just says willy nilly!).
So what made it so delicious I hear you ask? Well there were a few things: the pumpkin for starters - fresh from the markets picked a day or two before by Champion’s Mountain Organics; slow roasting the pumpkin and whole cloves of garlic with olive oil, salt and peper; toasted pine nuts; and fresh good quality cottage cheese.
And the method is super easy! In a nutshell:
1 x whole pumpkin
1 x onion (chopped into quarters)
4 x cloves of garlic
Olive oil (enough for baking the pumpkin)
Pine nuts (a small hand full)
1 tbsp Tahini (optional)
2-3tbsp heaped fresh good quality cottage cheese
350-600mL vegetable stock
Preheat your oven to around 170C
Chop up one whole pumpkin (you can leave the skin on and remove later) and spread out on a lightly oiled tray
Add whole cloves of garlic and onion
Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper
Bake until the pumpkin looks golden and is tender (approx. 30 mins)
Once the pumpkin has cooled (remove the skin if you left it on) add it to a large mixing bowl along with the cottage cheese, the garlic (just squeeze them out of their skin), some vegetable stock (home-made is perfect, otherwise use a good quality organic stock cube and some boiling water), and some pine nuts that have been lightly toasted (do this in a fry pan on a low heat for just a few minutes beforehand)
Start blending all these ingredients with a hand mixer/blender (or you could alternatively put into a food processor/blender) and mix until all the ingredients are combined
Add more water as you go to get your desired consistency
Add salt and pepper to taste
If you want to serve immediately then you may need to heat slightly on the stove top (or microwave), otherwise pop it in a container and you’ve got pumpkin soup for the week ready to go!
The thing I love the most about making a big patch of soup like this is using it as the base for a curry later in the week. Yes a curry! Tonight I made a pumpkin curry by adding some ginger, curry powder, tamari and vegetables such as eggplant, mushrooms and broccoli. It was gorgeous!
Make sure you take a photo of your pumpkin soup and send it in! Or if you think you have a better pumpkin soup recipe then please do share it with us all.
Coles and Woolies launch initiatives to source locallyfoodmag.com.au
The national supermarket giants, Coles and Woolworths have both recently launched initiatives to source produce from local producers in Far North Queensland.
There is no denying that the demand for locally produced food is on the rise with consumers pushing back and asking for more. Its why Coles and Woolworths are both rolling out initiatives to fill their shelves with more local food which is great news for both consumers and australian food producers. Well hopefully.
In a recent article in the Food Magazine Coles said “…we believe our Meet the Buyer events in Cairns and Brisbane will provide food producers with a great opportunity to show us why their products should be on our shelves”.
The troubling part about this comment is Coles are still asking local producers “why should we stock your produce on our shelves?”. Consumers are already indicating that they want better access to locally sourced produce so shouldn’t the majors be looking at the “how” and the “when” for stocking their shelves with local produce? Tell us know what you think…
Small dairy co-op doing big things - Agriculture - Cattle - Dairy - The Landtheland.com.au
Australian Farmers Getting Creative
In the wake of the $1 milk campaigns by Coles and Woolies, Australian Dairy Farmers have struggled to come out on top. Millions of Australian consumers were led to believe that it was normal to buy a litre of milk for a fraction of the price it cost to produce it due to well funded and misleading campaigns by the majors. Whilst this has resulted in tough times for some Australian Dairy Farmers, some have taken the opportunity to get creative and explore new ways of selling their produce at a fairer price - here’s one of them….http://ow.ly/ldVP5