Christmas has come early for 3 local small scale Shoalhaven producers with today’s announcement of the winners of the 2015 Slow Food “Shoalhaven Grows” grant.
The decision was not easy due to the quality of the applications received; however after careful consideration by an independent panel, the Slow Food committee selected three applicants - from a total of 12 applications received - to be awarded, with a total prize pool of $5000. The three successful applicants are:
“We are so pleased to be able to award these hard working young producers with some funding to achieve their dreams of becoming an even better local grower or producer”, said Slow Food Shoalhaven leader Rosie Cupitt. “We have always supported local community activities that are in line with the Slow Food philosophy of Good, Clean and Fair and this new grant that we have introduced will definitely contribute to the creation of a better food system in our region”.
“This opportunity is such a game changer for me”, says Erin Clare. “I am a hard worker, and am desperate to find out the potential of my small business. Setting up a business is costly, and I have spent my time and money on what I can afford. To receive part of this grant enables me to start producing larger numbers of eggs and meat much sooner than I anticipated”.
“Everyone deserves direct access to nutritious, fresh produce, and with this grant I can broaden my product range and become more skilled in food preservation and reduce food waste at the same time”, Marita Smith added. “Ideally, I’d love to see each community operate around the hub of a weekly farmer’s market that encourages primary production as a viable career path”.
Caleb Graham: “This is so generous of Slow Food Shoalhaven. Receiving this grant will allow me to complement our region’s current food culture by providing fresh, local, premium goats milk that was not available before and it’s great that I can add that diversity to our food system”.
The total prize pool of $5000 will be allocated according to specific capital acquisitions stated by the applicants. Selection criteria mirrored the efforts of becoming a better local grower or producer and working in line with Slow Food’s Good, Clean and Fair philosophy. Preference was given to applications that added volume or diversity of market to existing small businesses. An evaluation report and post grant inspection will ensure the funds have been used as per the request.
Left Slow Food 2015 grant winners Marita Smith (left), Erin Clare (middle), Caleb Graham (right) Right Grant winners with Slow Food Shoalhaven Committee Members. Photos © Ollie Cool
Attention to all small scale growers, fishermen, and producers in the Shoalhaven – Slow Food Shoalhaven is offering a ‘Shoalhaven Grows’ grant to help small scale producers achieve their dreams of becoming a (better) local grower or producer.
Slow Food believes we need a better food system in our local communities and across Australia. That’s why we promote good, clean and fair food for everyone.
Good: quality, flavoursome, and healthy food
Clean: produced without harming the environment
Fair: good conditions and pay for (small scale) producers and at affordable prices.
The introduction of this grant is one of many activities that Slow Food undertakes to support responsible local food supply and production, and the protection of biodiversity.
“After hosting a successful National Slow Food Conference in Ulladulla in August of this year, many more people have joined Slow Food Shoalhaven. With these additional membership contributions and other fundraising activities, we are now able to give a substantial part of that money back to our community”, says Rosie Cupitt, Leader for Slow Food Shoalhaven. ‘What better way to do that than to help some of our small scale growers, fishermen or producers in the region that are working so hard to contribute to the creation of a better Food System for all of us”.
How it works
The Grant is up to the value of $5,000. Applications may apply for any amount up to this limit, and the money can be used anyway the applicant feels is most beneficial to achieve their goals (for example the purchase of machinery or materials, or attending a training to improve their skills), as long as their efforts are in line with the Slow Food philosophy of good, clean and fair, and beneficial to creating a better food system in our region. There is no age limit, and the application is open to all small-scale producers in the Shoalhaven. There is no set number of successful applicants; the Slow Food Shoalhaven committee will select as few or as many fitting applications are they see necessary.
Applicants are required to submit an application on or before the due date using the application form and any necessary support material as well as a CV or brief note about their producer’s experiences. One other requirement is that at the end of the year, successful applicants must submit an evaluation report on how “Shoalhaven Grows” has worked for them so that Slow Food can ensure any future grants address the exact needs of those applying. To stimulate education and learning, they are also required to share their obtained experiences with the Slow Food Shoalhaven community.
‘We have always supported local community activities and events that contribute to a better food system’, says Rosie. The committee is very excited about this new initiative, and we can’t wait to receive the first application forms’.
The ever-popular ABC Weekends presenter (and renowned food lover), Simon Marnie, will broadcast his Sunday Weekends program to ABC NSW listeners across the State, ‘live’ from the Slow Food Australia Conference, on Sunday 23 August.
Working remotely from the Ulladulla Civic Centre between 10am-midday, Simon will chat with a range of food producers, Slow Food presenters and chefs about the local food network, the Slow Food phenomenon and produce, old and new.
Oyster judge, short-order cook, television host, restaurant reviewer and weekend magician (from age 12-19) – Simon Marnie is a man of many hats but is best known for the one he’s worn for the past 15 years as Weekends host on ABC Radio.
As a gourmet and Fine Food Judge, it was the Slow Food concept and local producers that enticed Simon to the Shoalhaven for the broadcast. “A long time visitor to the South Coast, I am thrilled to be coming to Ulladulla to see an area so progressive in food production discussing a way forward for the next millennium.”
And he knows what he’s talking about – Simon has been a Royal Agricultural Society of NSW President’s Medal judge since its inception, a judge for delicious magazine’s produce awards, and he has also been a judge in the Sydney Royal Fine Food Show. Plus, he also doubles as an oyster judge at the Royal Easter Show.
“I loved oysters and started doing stories on growers a long time ago,” says Marnie. “Along the line I accumulated this knowledge, so now I can, with reasonable accuracy, spot which river an oyster comes from.” The local Shoalhaven Angasi Oyster holds a particular interest for him.
Simon’s career in radio began in the 1980s, when, as station mascot for 2UW, he was given the task of racing around in a huge blue kangaroo suit! This ‘taste’ of radio led him into the inaugural Radio Course at the Australian Film TV and Radio School. Stints at Triple J followed, as well as in community and commercial broadcasting and other mediums. He conceived and produced SBS TV’s music show, nomad, produced on WOW TV and reported on ABC TV’s TVTV. These roles, along with home duties, child rearing, chefing and voice work, eventually led Simon back to a career in fulltime radio on the ABC.
And the rest, as they say, is history.
The Simon Marnie Weekends program is all about leisure and pleasure. His reach through ABC NSW is enormous as the show broadcast through every ABC station in the State.
Simon Marnie, ABC NSW. Direct from the Slow Food Australia National Conference, Ulladulla Civic Centre, Sunday 23 August, 10am till midday.
Press Release: Slow Food Australia National Conference, 20 – 23 August 2015 Ulladulla, South Coast NSW
This will be a hot topic at next weekend’s Slow Food Australia National Conference in Ulladulla.
Think of our ancestors. How they tilled the land. What they ate. How they produced what went on their plate. Our indigenous heritage. Much of these are now forgotten foods and long-lost traditions.
But all is not lost.
Attendees at the Slow Food Australia Conference, August 20-23, will be introduced to a range of products which could well have disappeared completely had it not been for some small-scale producers with enough insight to recognize that such produce was worth a fight to reinstate. These products make it on to an international register of The Ark of Taste.
Managed globally by the Slow Food Foundation for Biodiversity, the Ark of Taste is an international project comprising almost 2,000 products worldwide. Products accepted to the Ark of Taste represent small-scale quality productions strongly linked to a local culture threatened by industrial agriculture, the standardization and large-scale distribution of global food markets and environmental degradation.
Local products currently identified include the Angasi Oyster, Bull Boar sausage, Bunya Nuts, Central Australian Wild Plum, Dairy Shorthorn cattle breed, Davidson’s Plum, Desert Quandong (Native Peach), Finger Lime, Galloway cattle, Gin Perry Pear, Green Horse Perry Pear, Kangaroo Island Ligurian bee honey, Leatherwood Honey, Moorcroft Perry Pear, Murray Cod, Pindan Walnut, Red Longdon Perry Pear, Rosella jam, Smooth Davidson Plum, Swan Valley Sun-Dried Muscat Grapes, Wessex Saddleback Pig and the Yellow Huffcap Perry Pear.
Slow Food Conference attendees will get to experience tastings of some Australian Ark of Taste products such as the Tasmanian Leatherwood and Kangaroo Island Ligurian Honey, Bull Boar Sausage, Angasi Oyster (local to the Shoalhaven), Finger Limes, Bunya Nuts and Coorong Wild Seafood.
“In Australia, the Ark of Taste reflects our country’s vast landscape of diverse climates, cultures and foods – from Queensland’s native Bunya nut to the Ligurian Bee honey found on Flinders Island and Victoria’s heritage pear varieties,” said Jenny Crosby, Slow Food Australia Conference Co-ordinator for Ark of Taste.
“Of particular importance are foods from the traditional diets of indigenous Australians and cultures, such as the Pindan walnut from Western Australia and Finger Limes from Australia’s East Coast. These wild foods reflect not only exciting nutritional and flavour profiles, but also the great importance of cultural knowledge and landscapes and the passing on of that knowledge.”
“Fast life, intensive production methods and excessive legislation are the main reasons that we are losing so many of our traditional foods and drinks,” according to the UK Ark of Taste. “With their demise we also lose centuries of expert knowledge and cultural traditions. We lose choice, flavour and the varied landscapes and wildlife associated with traditional farming. As it is often easier to find food from half way across the world than produced on our doorstep, we have lost the link between our food, the land, and the people who produce it.”
It is hoped that many more products can be added to the Australian Ark of Taste. Anyone can make a nomination, and can find more at:
Press Release: 11 August 2015
Fish: It’s a slippery issue. And where better to confront it than in the NSW South Coast harbour hamlet of Ulladulla, host to the 2015 Slow Food Australia National Conference, August 20-23.
Ulladulla has a long fishing history. Aboriginals were featured fishing at Ulladulla Harbour in a sketch drawn in 1828. Many early pioneers of the area listed their occupation as fishermen in the late 1880s. And trawler operators including members of the Greco, Puglisi, Salafia, Canon, Costa, Lavalle and Dunn families formed the Ulladulla Fisherman Co-operative in March 1956, staging the first Blessing of the Fleet when a crowd of 2,500 people watched the blessing and joined in the Italian community’s Family Picnic Day. The Blessing of the Fleet Festival continues today.
But where to with sustainable fishing? Our marine resources are not easy to understand. What state are our waters in? What fish species are on the verge of extinction? Can we influence the market? Should we stop eating fish? Should we stop fishing?
The Slow Food Australia National Conference, hosted by Slow Food Shoalhaven, will take a look at a lot of such fishy issues during the upcoming event in Ulladulla.
Slow Food’s international Slow Fish campaign promotes small-scale fishing and responsible fish consumption, working to inform people about the richness and fragility of the marine world so that consumers can make more informed choices and widen their choices beyond the most popular - and often overfished - species. The campaign invites consumers, chefs, academics and fishers to find local solutions that support better management of the sea's resources.
Slow Food believes that small-scale fishers form an essential part of fragile aquatic ecosystems that must be protected along with the biodiversity of marine species. Slow Food promotes artisanal fishing and neglected fish species and works to inspire reflection on the state and management of the sea's resources.
Participating in the Slow Fish discussions will be some of Australia’s leading industry professionals highlighting various aspects of sustainable fishing.
Academic and marine systems ecologist, Dr. Pia Winberg, Founder and Chief Scientist of Venus Shell Systems, will begin the discussions with her topic, Bio Food for the Shoalhaven. Pia has been working across both industry development and academia for the past 15 years and has a background in marine systems ecology. Her main research interest is in marine food production systems that are sustainably integrated with the coastal and marine environment and her published research efforts span aquaculture and sustainable estuarine systems. Pia has developed a focus on the development of seaweed cultivation systems for Australia. Australia is placed to contribute to the value adding of seaweed metabolites, species diversity and quality control systems from production to processing.
Joining Pia will be farmer, cook and television presenter, Matthew Evans, on sustainable fishing and Food labelling for Fish. For nearly two decades, Matthew has been writing about food and more recently presenting a television show called Gourmet Farmer.
A celebratory Slow Fish Dinner will be held at Rick Stein at Bannisters where Matthew Evans will talk on ‘Sustainable fish choices for Australia’ and oyster farmer, David Maidment, will discuss the Angasi Oyster. David has a post graduate diploma of Aquaculture, is a Churchill Fellow and has been heavily involved in the oyster industry over the years, reintroducing the Ostrea angasi flat oysters to NSW.
The increasing profile of Australian artisan cheese will be one topic taking centre stage at the Slow Food Australia National Conference in Ulladulla next month.
One of Australia’s foremost Artisan Cheesemakers, Kris Lloyd, will join fellow guest speakers in discussing the Slow Food philosophy of good, clean and fair food. Cheese will be celebrated as a moment to bring together the pleasure of good food with an awareness and responsibility towards related issues such as raw milk, animal welfare and sustainable management of landscapes.
Currently the Director of CheeseFest, Australia’s largest celebration of cheese (held annually in South Australia), Kris is also a Committee Member of the Australian Specialist Cheesemakers’ Association and Chair of the Artisan Cheese Making Academy Australia.
“It never ceases to amaze me how one food – cheese – can be so many things to so many people,” commented Kris.
As Woodside Cheese Wrights’ Head cheesemaker, Kris has pioneered a range of cheeses to take advantage of seasonal variations in milk supply. This award-winning specialist goat, cow and buffalo cheese producer travels the world to help benchmark her products and learn new techniques.
As part of Friday’s “Slow Cheese” Session, chaired by Rosie Cupitt, Leader Slow Food Shoalhaven, Kris will share her expertise on ‘Discovering, Experiencing and Growing the pleasures of raw milk cheeses for Australia’.
“It is an honour to have been given the opportunity to discuss cheese, and in particular raw milk cheese making, at the Slow Food Conference in Ulladulla,” said Kris.
Kris will be joined by Alison Lansley, a non-executive director of various not-for-profit and government companies who now devotes much of her time working to support and promote Australia’s artisan cheesemakers. Alison brings to her work a broad range of business, governance and legal skills. Her many diverse roles currently include Secretary of the Australian Specialist Cheesemakers’ Association and a director of the National Broadband Network Corporation. Passionate about the quality end of the food industry, in particular cheese, and the agriculture and business activities that support it, Alison believes that far greater educational, financial, expertise and promotional support is needed for Australia's artisan cheese industry to thrive. Her discussion will also cover developments in the raw milk cheese debate in Australia, with which she has been closely involved for the last few years.
The already sold-out Conference commences on Thursday 20th August with Food Tours of Northern and Southern Shoalhaven producers, including a Bush Tucker Forage and dairy, smoked fish, winery, piggery, cheeses and boutique beer tours. The Conference will then continue over Friday 21st August to Sunday 23rd August.
Activities also include a Welcome function at St Isidore’s, a Slow Fish Dinner at Bannisters Mollymook on Friday 21st and a Nose to Tail – Slow Meat – Long Table Dinner at Cupitts Winery on Saturday 22nd August.