Picture this … shiny, heavy eggplant hanging on trellised vines. In the next row of this organic Market Garden, leafy green herbs spritzed with a soft morning dew. This farm grown produce awaits the weathered harvesters’ hands to gently pull them from the volcanic earth before the heat of the day arrives. In a few hours’ time, these eggplant and fresh herbs growing at The Farm at Byron Bay will be served to diners at the onsite restaurant Three Blue Ducks as part of a dish like this delicious Quinoa, Smoked Eggplant and Yoghurt Salad Recipe by Ducks’ Chef Darren Robertson. Talk about zero food miles!
This local farm to plate exchange between The Farm’s Growers and Chefs from Three Blue Ducks is a collaboration that aims to connect consumers with their food. While farmers like the growers at The Farm are returning to smaller scale organic farming models, consumers are making conscious decisions about food provenance and getting to know their farmers. In the middle, Chefs like Darren Robertson are bringing farmers and consumers together to enjoy a genuine farm to plate exchange.
To highlight this movement, Regionality has organised the upcoming Farm 2 Plate Exchange here in Northern New South Wales from 13 – 17 May.
Regionality is a regional consultancy based in northern New South Wales with a mission to help farmers, regional businesses and communities unlock their regionality to revitalise or even reinvent themselves. The Farm 2 Plate Exchange is designed to gather those involved in the farm to plate value chain. It’s an event for farmers, food and drink producers, chefs, tourism and hospitality businesses, destination managers, food groups, practitioners and policy makers to gather and exchange knowledge, ideas and learn from experience.
Regionality Managing Director Rose Wright says the five-day event is for everyone who wants to share their interest and passion for a healthier and sustainable farm-to-plate approach to food.
“Australia has some of the best food production in the world and I think farmers are trying to re-connect directly with consumers to educate them about how food is produced,” says Rose,
“People are producing profits on micro-farms and in urban agriculture, an acre in size upwards, using the latest in technology, tapping into farm tourism and selling directly to health-conscious consumers.”
“Meanwhile Chefs are playing a pivotal role in educating people about seasonal foods being tastier and higher in nutritional value, creating menus around produce sourced locally.”
The Farm 2 Plate Exchange event programme includes study tours, masterclasses, keynote speeches and workshops with Chefs, leading farmers including Joel Salatin and tourism and hospitality experts. Take a look at the programme here.
In the meantime, when the eggplants and pomegranate return to your local farmers’ market, make sure you try this delicious Quinoa, Smoked Eggplant and Yoghurt Salad Recipe by Chef Darren Robertson of Three Blue Ducks.