Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Snowdonia For Foodies: Ten Ways To Discover Snowdonia’s Local Produce

"In Snowdonia, we take food and drink seriously. Some of our local produce – like Conwy mussels, Welsh black beef and Harlech salt marsh lamb – is famous throughout Britain and beyond. Other, more unusual delicacies are also gaining popularity – like the excellent range of beers made by the Purple Moose Brewery in Porthmadog.

Wherever you go in Snowdonia, there’s an abundance of fantastic local produce. From corner shops stocking locally-baked cakes and locally-laid eggs, to award-winning delicatessens and convenience stores selling a huge range of local produce, you’re never far from something delicious when you visit Snowdonia.

Food festivals and farmers’ markets are also a great way to discover Snowdonia’s gastronomic delights, and these – along with specialist shops – are included in our list of ten ways to discover Snowdonia’s local produce."

For the list and the rest of the article you can click here.

Wouldn't it be great if every community could come up with such a list for residents and tourists alike!

Image from Wikipedia

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Farmers Squashed Farmers as Import of Processed Fruit and Veg Rocket

"One in four Australian vegetable growers are facing financial ruin as they fight a losing battle against cheap processed imports, mounting labour costs and greater competition for our export markets.

The importation of processed fruit and vegetables is now worth $1.5 billion a year, a rise of almost 60 per cent over seven years, an analysis of federal government data shows.

Imports are now so prevalent, and exports of processed fruits and vegetables under such threat, that a quarter of growers are going broke, according to the latest analysis by the industry body AusVeg. In the past two years, the local food processing industry has shed 1127 jobs and closed five plants.

A fundamental shift in Australia's ability to process its own food has been revealed, raising concerns about dependence on foreign supply chains, pressure on regional communities and the flooding of fresh food markets as processors, many owned by multinational outfits, move their operations offshore to use cheap labour in low-cost factories.

Australians overwhelmingly eat locally grown fresh fruit and vegetables and the country's large meat, dairy, oilseeds, wine and sugar exports make it, overall, a net exporter. But Australia recently became a net importer of processed food."

Read the rest of the article in yesterday's Sydney Morning Herald here.

Image: "Farmer's Market" by imager2112

Cheap Food Comes at a Price

"SUPERMARKET giants Coles and Woolworths are relying on cheap labour in countries such as South Africa and Thailand to deliver their burgeoning house-brand lines at the lowest prices.

An Age investigation has found Coles and Woolworths issue global tenders to produce their house-brand products such as frozen berries, pasta sauces, canned spaghetti and tinned tuna, fruit and vegetables. One in every four grocery items now sold in Australia is a supermarket-brand product.

The contracts are often filled by large overseas processors specialising in providing private-label goods for supermarkets across Europe and North America. This means the same can of diced peaches can be found on supermarket shelves in New York, London and Melbourne, just with a different label."

Read the rest of the article in yesterday's Illawarra Mercury here.

Image: "Lost In The Supermarket" by SomeInspiring Title

Monday, May 28, 2012

What's Fresh In Bello This Week

Support your local growers and buy what is in season this week. Wherever you shop keep an eye out for local:

Apples - Golden delicious, Royal Gala, Pink Lady
Banana - cavendish
Beans - green
Bok choi
Cabbage - drumhead
Capsicum - long green
Garlic - small Russian, large Russian, purple/white
Grapefruit - Ruby Red, Yellow
Kale - Red Russian
Oranges - navel, valencia
Pak choi
Pears - green (Pearl, what are those brown ones called??)
Potato - sebago, sebago chats, Nicola, Red Bison
Pumpkin - jap, butternut, grey
Sugar snap peas

Need a recipe for any of these ingredients?  Leave a comment.
Know of something we have missed? Please let us know.

List compiled with the help of bellofoodbox

Images: "avocado" by stepanvilleneuve, "mandarin" by dv-art, "Turnip" by Brutalion

Bush Tucker Shack

Photo of some of the foods mentioned in today's show (clockwise from top left): crayfish, pipis, riberry, lemon myrtle, lily pily, macadamias, damper. For more info check out the Bush Tucker Shack Facebook page.

Rosoli and Rosolio

David Scott from the Red Dirt Distillery introduces us to the delectable drops of Pistachio Rosoli and Quince Rosolio.

For more information or to order your own check out the website

Podcast Time

Passionfruit and Chilli begins its celebration of Reconciliation Week, or for us Reconciliation Month, with a fascinating chat with Sue from the Bush Tucker Shack and rounds off the show with another delectable drop from the Red Dirt Distillery.

Download today's show, or any of the previous shows featuring food from the Bush Tucker Shack or the Red Dirt Distillery here.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Eating Local Made Easy

I appreciate that this can be a challenging concept for some people due the necessity to change shopping happens and, to eat what is in season, sometimes even menus. And obviously not all areas of the planet are the food bowl that the Bellinger valley is so availability also becomes an issue.

However, a number of communities in the good ol' US of A is suggesting that folks just take a small step in the direction of supporting their local farmers and food producers - spending either 10% or $10 a week (depending on the campaign) on local food. You can find some examples here, here, here and here. I am sure there are many more out there.

You will also note that as well as putting out the challenge, these communities are making it easier with databases and other information that lets residents know what is available where and when.

Imagine the benefits - fresher food, supporting our neighbors, increasing local employment, expanded local economies - the list can go on.

So if you aren't a localvore and find the whole concept too hard, too impractical or just not something on your list of things to do this week, why not considering taking a little step instead and make a choice to spend just $10 of your weekly budget on local food.

Image: "Farmer's Market" by CarolynBoBarolyn

Monday, May 21, 2012


We are so good you can download podcasts twice .... or at least in two different places. You can click on the link here or find us on iTunes.

If you are still buzzing with the excitement of last week's show and want to listen to the first interview with Ian and Sandra from Mayfield Farms, it will be available here for another two weeks.

Today's podcast is now available - learn how to plant and graft basil for the home garden with Rob Hoschke and get the recipes for an easy vegetarian banquet with Pete Bufo.

All associated links and recipes will be available later today.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Buy Local! Buy Fresh!

I have been reading this article about how the community of Chatham-Kent has produced a map listing all of their local growers and producers. What a great idea!

For Bellingen we could go from one area of the shire to another - from the ocean past the river all the way to the mountains and the plateau and food ranging from wine, fruit and vegetables, beef, pork, cheese, grains and the rest. it would be a great resource for locals and tourists alike.

And if there was one done for every are around Australia, or around the world! Oh it would be a time for doing the happy dance :-)

Image: italy in pasta by fotoest

Monday, May 14, 2012

Podcast Passionfruit and Chilli

Yes we are now a podcaster so if you missed out on either of the first three programs, or you would just like to listen to them again,  you can download them here - this especially applies if you missed on on our first chat with Ian and Sandra from Mayfield Farm.

This week's podcast - and all podcasts from week 4 onwards are available here or check us out on iTunes - yes we are on iTunes!

Today's show is time to catch up with old friends of the program and meet new ones. Rosa teaches us to make sauerkraut, we take a tour of Mayfield Farm with Ian and Sue and we chat with David from Red Dirt Distillery about centrebe (pronounced "chent-ar bray" or something like that lol).

Making Sauerkraut

We have all experienced a glut of pumpkins, tomatoes or zucchini and it becomes a made rush of cooking, freezing, pickling or finding a neighbor to take some off your hands before any got to waste. So what to do with a glut of cabbage ... have you thought of sauerkraut? It is a simple process to make, with a few techniques to master in the fermentation.

If you would also like to learn to make sauerkraut or have any questions about your batch, you can contact Rose on 65695048

Mayfield Farm in May

What a joy to visit Mayfield Farm and see pigs living as pigs should and doing as pigs do - without the smell and high-pitched squeal of factory farms. Pigs tasking like pigs was also a bonus.

If you are interested in ordering a pork pack, some bacon, sausages or just want to find out more, check out the Mayfield Farm Produce website or call Ian on 6657 6050 or Sandra on 6657 6051.