Directory takes shape

A small committee consisting of members Linda Hatch, Evelyn May, and committee members Liz Gee and Marianne Cool has been working relentlessly to compile the first ever Slow Food Shoalhaven Producers Directory.

“Through members, community involvement and our own network we’ve accumulated a list of 75+ small scale farmers, producers and growers in the Shoalhaven, including a few on the in-and-out routes of our district (Braidwood, Kiama/Gerringong and Batemans Bay/Moruya)” says Liz Gee. “We have contacted nearly all of them by email, phone and in person and most have responded positively especially as participation will be free of charge to them. We are now in the process of compiling all their data to be included in the directory. It’s a lot of work but we’re having a lot of fun doing it”. 

Once all data has been gathered, the design and printing of the directory will be done locally. At the same time an online version of the directory will be made available. “We have approached our local council and Shoalhaven Tourism and hope they’ll be able to help us with some funding for this project which will help create awareness of our local growers and producers with residents as well as visitors and tourists” adds Marianne Cool. “Producers play such a critical role in our local food community and we need to do everything we can to help them get recognised and celebrated for their efforts”.

The project is estimated to be completed before the end of this year. Once printed, it will be launched and distributed to producers, local chefs/cafe’s and providores, tourist bureaus and our members.  Directories will also be available at Slow Food Shoalhaven events and activities.

Producers Grant continues

Slow Food is pleased to announce the continuation of its 'Shoalhaven Grows' Producers grant.

The idea behind the $5000 annual Grant is to help small scale producers achieve their goals of growing their business, and is one of many activities that Slow Food Shoalhaven undertakes to support accessible and responsible local food supply and production, and the protection of biodiversity.

The Grant prize is allocated annually responding to specific capital acquisition requests made by applications. A select panel of Slow Food Shoalhaven members reviews applications, with selection criteria reflecting Slow Food's primary philosophy of Good, Clean and Fair Food production. Last year's lucky recipients included Wade Everingham and Josh Hayward of Spotted Gum Farm in Wandandian who used the funds to purchase a poly tunnel to extend their growing season and protect from pests; Tim Cooper from Wandandian who used the money to purchase a more efficient, less water-intensive irrigation system; and Martin Lee, the owner of Milton Farm Shop which has become a vital outlet for local growers and a popular place for all of Milton-Ulladulla to get their spray-free local veggies. Martin used his Grant money towards improving capacity and display in his store.

"Since its start 4 years ago, we have been able to give $15,000 back to our community, and there will be another $5000 Grant Pool available this year" says Rosie Cupitt, Leader of Slow Food Shoalhaven. "All that money comes from our membership donations and fundraising activities and is used to the benefit of our small scale producers that are working so hard to feed our local food community. It makes me very proud"

For more information or to apply, go to the "What we do - Producer's' page and click on the links.

 

 

Slow Food rewards local producers

Slow Food Shoalhaven has awarded its 2017/2018 Shoalhaven Grows Grants to the value of $5000 to three small scale producers from across the Shoalhaven region.

Lucky recipients include Wade Everingham and Josh Hayward of Spotted Gum Farm in Wandandian who are using the funds to purchase a poly tunnel to extend their growing season and protect from pests; Tim Cooper from Wandandian who will put the money towards the purchase of a more efficient, less water-intensive irrigation system; and Martin Lee, owner of Milton Farm Shop (which has become a vital outlet for local growers and a popular place for all of Milton-Ulladulla to get their spray-free local veggies). Martin has used his Grant money towards improving capacity and display in his store.

'We're very happy to be able to reward the hard work of these local sustainable producers with some funding", Rosie Cupitt, leader of Slow Food Shoalhaven said. "Our local small scale growers and producers are of crucial importance to the creation of a better local food community and I'm proud that our fundraising activities at events like the Milton Show and Gaia Farmers Market can feed directly back to our local community through these grants".

The annual grants (awarded every year for the past 3 years), reflect Slow Food's core philosophy of good, clean and fair food.

On the hunt for Ark of Taste

Slow Food Shoalhaven committee has had several meetings with local Aboriginal Elder Noel Butler and his wife Trish Roberts to nominate potentially endangered native Australian Foods from the Shoalhaven region to the Ark of Taste. So far, 6 food products have been nominated, of which 4 have been accepted to board the Ark - meaning these unique Shoalhaven/Australian native foods will be protected and promoted through the Slow Food network to ensure people get to know them and we do not lose them for future generations. A great achievement for our Convivium after the International call to action to list more Australian products to the Ark of Taste!

Another 10-15 foods will be documented for nomination in the next few months. Noel is writing extensive descriptions for all products, and Ollie Cool has kindly offered her photographic skills to make sure we have great photographs of all of them as well. For some of the nominated products, Noel and Trish will begin trials to propagate and - if successful - look into distribution of seeds/seedlings.

Native Food that isn't endangered but not well known as a food will be introduced to members as part of local indigenous food education activities that we will organise going forward.

You can be an explorer too! If you know of any local products - indigenous or not - that need to board the Ark of Taste, please contact your local committee or nominate directly online.