Monday, August 20, 2012


Today's show is just so good you will want to keep a copy so you can listen to it again and again. You can download your copy, or whip over to iTunes where you can subscribe and never miss a show!

This week Passionfruiit and Chilli joins local baker Dave as he talks about making organic bread, revisit Mayfield Farm and Pete Bufo shares a recipe for garlic fried wontons as well as a bonus recipe for nettle beer.

Mayfield Farm

For the first time ever we are repeating a chat but the trip to the Open Day at Mayfield Farm was well worth a second visit. If you would like to visit Mayfield Farm for yourself, the Spring Open day is scheduled for Saturday 13 October 2012. You can email Ian and Sandra for more information.

The can download a copy of the program here.

Woodfire Bread

Tucked into the laneway next to the Federal Hotel is one of Bellingen's real treats - Woodfire Bread. Made organically using traditional methods the bread from here is a real joy - and the way bread should be. It is a bonus that Woodfire Bread preference local food when sourcing ingredients.

You can also stop in at the cafe for a coffee, a snack or light meal or grab one of the delicious chef-baked pies as a takeaway.

Stay tuned as their website is being launched at the end of the month. Drop in to the bakery if you are in town or catch them at Toast Urunga on Sunday 2 September 2012.

You can also catch what will hopefully be the first chat of many with owner and baker Dave through the download.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Passionfruit Podcast

Passionfruit and Chilli dishes up some real treats today with a taste of Toast Urunga, a drop of Bago Vineyards and Pete Bufo continues his world tour of food with a visit to Greece.

You can download the show here or head over to iTunes, subscribe and never miss an episode!

Transition Bellingen

Transition Bellingen is hosting a number of food related workshops in the coming weeks - check out the website for details on beekeeping, wild fermentation, jams and preserves, identifying and using edible plants and weeds and cheese making.

Bookmark the page, or subscribe to their weekly newsletter to be kept up to date with all the the interesting Transition Bellingen projects, as well as those of other like-minded community groups.

Toast Urunga

In an area where we are spoilt for choice in ways to celebrate food Toast Urunga still remains a highlight as a real celebration of food, music and wine.

Held on Father's Day each year, Toast Urunga has something for the whole family from a vintage car display, bungee trampolines, arts and crafts, music of all genres and of course food, food and more food, Check out the website for a complete list.

With flavors from around the world, highlights from local producers, guest chefs and tastings galore there is something for every palate.

Toast Urunga
Where: Morgo Street Reserve
When: Sunday 2 September 2012 from 10 am - 4 pm
How Much: $2 per adult, children are free

Tune in to Steve Allen introducing us to Toast Urunga 2012 and join us in the kitchen over the next few weeks as we meet some of the people who will be at Toast Urunga this year,

Bago Vineyards

A visit to Bago Vineyards is a real treat with a vista worthy of postcards, jazz on the second Sunday of each month, a cafe and of course the wines!

Coming later this year is the opening of the lillypilly maze with over 2 km of pathways.

And if that isn't enough, their environmental policy is enough to make many of their competitors sit up and take note. The bottle return policy (take back a Bago Vineyards bottle when you buy the next one and receive a $1 discount) is particularly innovative but there is also the use of solar power, the recycling of waste and the rainforest regeneration are all worthy of note.

Visit Bago Vinery in Wauchope, find them at this year's Toast Urunga or buy online.

Hear Jim chat with Pearl on today's Passionfruit and Chilli.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

New Business Promotes Local Produce

New Orleans used to have one of the largest public market systems in the U.S., with farmers routinely selling their produce directly to the consuming public. But public markets across the country have drastically declined in the past 50 years, giving way to supermarkets packed with mass-produced foods. Now a new metro area company called Jack and Jake's aims to revive a focus on fresh, local products by marketing and distributing local foods to stores and restaurants throughout the city.

Jack and Jakes picks up fresh produce from farms and delivers it to local buyers, making it easier for local growers to get their products into area markets, hospitals and schools. Everything that is picked is delivered on the same day.

The business is the brainchild of John Burns, who grew up on the Northshore surrounded by local growers and producers.

"Local growers have a better product that comes at a better price," Burns said. "It's about giving growers a commitment and giving them access to markets. They can produce."

New Orleans has always been a place of food, and Louisiana is a great state for local farmers because of the diversity of food that can be grown here, Burns said. Support for local foods is also growing, Burns said.

C.C. Gaiennie has owned his own farm for almost a decade, which was certified as organic in 2004. He grows blueberries, apples, figs and much more on the Northshore. Being a certified organic farm means he doesn't use chemicals on the produce he grows.

"We're not a conventional farm," he said. "You have to love this business otherwise you wouldn't be in it."

Gaiennie said the only places people can get local products are the farmers' markets. He used to take his product to the farmers' market but stopped because he felt he was wasting food. Anything that he picked and didn't sell that day had to be thrown out because he refuses to ship day-old produce.

"We want it to hit the store fresh, with our name on it," he said. "We're proud of what we do, we have a unique operation."

Large chain grocery stores buy items in bulk, pounds at a time.

"Everything is in such volume," Gaiennie said. "That's not where the quality is."

As a result, he doesn't see local food in grocery stores.

"It's a win-win for the producers to have more distribution points," he said. "It opens up marketplaces and brings in income."

You can read the full article by DiAngelea Millar published at You can also go to the Jack and Jake website.

Image from Jack and Jakes website

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

More Great News From Canada

Canadians willing to pay more for local food: Study

Ontarians and British Columbians are willing to pay more for local wine, fruits, vegetables and meat products than any other province, a survey released on the weekend says.

It also found that Albertans are the most likely to buy local when they shop for beef and that Quebecers are the most likely to buy their local food from fruit and vegetable stands.

"BMO research suggests that Canadians are becoming increasingly loyal to the notion of buying local food, particularly fruits and vegetables, cheese, beef and poultry. Consumers appreciate the quality of food produced by local farm families and recognize the importance of supporting an agricultural sector that accounts for one in eight jobs in Canada," David Rinneard, a spokesman for BMO Bank of Montreal, said in a statement.

The study also revealed that Canadians are most likely to buy Canadian food products when grocery shopping for vegetables (91%), fruit (86%), poultry (84%), cheese (81%), and beef (78%).

Those surveyed cited the number one benefit for buying Canadian food is supporting Canadian producers. Freshness, the environment and safety were also recognized as top benefits.

Check out the original article in the Toronto Sun.

Image: "Farmers Market Produce" by Lady Au Pair

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Food Day Canada

The push to eat healthy and opt for locally sourced home-cooked meals received national attention on Saturday as chefs and restaurants across the country marked the ninth annual Food Day Canada.

The brainchild of food writer Anita Stewart, Food Day Canada promotes Canadian ingredients, celebrates Canadian farmers and food producers and praises the many restaurateurs and home cooks who make use of the bounty growing in their backyard.

Robinson is among the dozens of local food producers who display their homegrown offerings every Saturday at the farmers’ market on Icomm Drive in Brantford. On Food Canada Day, shoppers filled the bustling market looking for fresh fruit and vegetables, homemade bread, local cheese and other delicacies for their dinner tables.

“It’s our generation’s responsibility to grow local, organic produce for the generations to come so it’ll be sustainable,” Robinson said.

One of Food Day Canada’s advocacy goals is for retailers to carry more Canadian products.

Check out the complete story written by J.P. Antonacci at Brant News or the Food Day Canada website for more information (and inspiration) or like the Facebook page.

Image from the Food Day Canada Facebook page

Monday, August 6, 2012

National Food Plan Green Paper

*General disclaimer - this is a very summarized version of the eight page Executive Summary. Unless indicated otherwise, I have only cut and pasted (as opposed to changing content) to give a broad impression of what the green paper is all about. I would encourage you to read the eight page Executive Summary (and the other 200+ other pages as well if you are so inclined) via the links below. It is my intention to accurately represent the content of the document but acknowledge that this very brief summary may not emphasis all of the areas that various parties think might be more important than others. And I apologize upfront for the clunkiness of nothing which bits are my words.*

On 17 July 2012, Minister Ludwig released the National Food Plan green paper – the next step in developing the National Food Plan.

The Australian Government is developing Australia’s first National Food Plan to better integrate all aspects of food policy to ensure a sustainable, globally competitive and resilient food supply that supports access to nutritious and affordable food.

The green paper seeks to inform discussion on the development of the National Food Plan white paper. It discusses a number of options and potential directions that could be adopted by the Australian Government. The Australian Government is seeking feedback on these and other ideas as part of its continuing dialogue before making final decisions about any changes or new initiatives. The government will consider feedback before making decisions about the National Food Plan.

Public consultation on the green paper will continue until 30 September 2012.

The Summary of the Summary

Australia‘s food system is being shaped by global and local forces such as world population growth, changes in consumption preferences, different economic growth rates among countries, climate change, limits to natural resources, and rising health issues due to poor dietary intake.

Australia has a strong, safe and stable food system and Australians enjoy high levels of food security. Australia currently produces far more food than it consumes. We also have the capacity to increase food production in response to market signals and take advantage of growing markets in Asia. Australia is well placed to take advantage of these opportunities because of our key strengths that include our proximity to emerging markets in Asia; our abundance of productive land; a largely pest-and-disease-free biosecurity status; a record of rural innovation; and a skilled and capable workforce.

Australia’s food system is complex and diverse. A National Food Plan will establish an integrated approach to food-related policies and programs for the benefit of food businesses and consumers and underpin the vision of Australia being a reliable, sustainable, productive and resilient supplier of nutritious and affordable food.

The National Food Plan’s key outcome is to ensure Australia has:
a sustainable, globally competitive, resilient food supply, supporting access to nutritious and affordable food. 

To achieve this outcome the Australian Government intends to focus its efforts on seven objectives:
1. Support the global competitiveness and productivity growth of the food supply chain, including through research, science and innovation.
2. Reduce barriers food businesses face in accessing international and domestic markets.
3. Contribute to economic prosperity, employment and community wellbeing in regional Australia.
4. Identify and mitigate potential risks to Australia’s food security.
5. Maintain and improve the natural resource base underpinning food production in Australia.
6. Reduce barriers to a safe and nutritious food supply that responds to the evolving preferences and needs of all Australians and supports population health.
7. Contribute to global food security.

(My words) Other factors for consideration are: (back to the summary of the document) the role of regional Australia in food production, food security, producing food more sustainably, addressing land use conflicts, continuing foreign investment in food production, robust food supply chain relationships, tackling health and nutrition issues, ensuring food safety and contributing to global food security.

You can check out the website here, where you can also download the document, download the cover page for any submission you might want to make, register to attend a public forum, participate in the blog or link to  twitter.

Download the Podcast

Another bumper harvest for the show this week - find out about the CWA's campaign to Buy Australian, meet another of the Regional Providores, this time on Bellingen's back door step Me-Healthy Farm from Karangi and settle back and discover Pete Bufo's recipe for Sicilian Style Broccolini Pasta.

You can download the program here, or subscribe through iTunes so you never miss out on what is happening in the world of Passionfruit and Chilli.

Sicilian Style Broccolini Pasta

3/4 C currants
1/3 C verjuice
1/2 C flaked almonds
2 bunches broccolini, trimmed
250 g penne
1 T + olive oil
150 g ricotta
Handful + of chopped parsley
Shaved Parmigiana Reggiano
Salt and black pepper, to taste

Soak currants in verjuice for a couple of hours.

Dry fry or bake almonds. Cool and set aside.

Blanch broccolini in boiling salted. water for 1 minute. Refresh in cold water.

Cook pasta according to packet directions in broccolini water.

In a frypan add almonds, currants and some pasta liquid. Cook for 2 minutes on medium high, tossing. Add broccolini. Add in pasta and heat for 1 minute. Spoon in ricotta and parsley. Mix to distribute evenly.

Divide into bowls. Add shaved cheese, drizzle with olive oil and a generous dash of pepper.

You can listen to Pete Bufo talking us through the recipe here.

Image: "oh, the penne" by hash-slinger

Me-Healthy Farm

Another example of the Regional Providore's that provides both a service and an inspiration, Me-Healthy Farm is located at 147 Upper Orara Road in Karangi.Open each Friday and Sunday from 10 am - 2 pm Me-Healthy Farm is a great place to get your fruit and vegetables, herbs and nuts as well as seeds and seedlings. You can also stop by the cafe, check out the gift shop, meet the farm animals and tour the vegetable garden.

Like Me-Healthy Farm's Facebook page to find out what is in season, check out the photos, keep up with the news of the Farm and, in the next few months, discover information on the up-coming workshops.

Got extra produce for sale, Me-Healthy are also looking for more farmers and growers to join in the fun.

Sam joined Pearl in the Passionfruit and Chilli kitchen for a yarn about Me-Healthy Farm. You can listen in here.

Image from Me-Healthy Farm's Facebook page

Buy Australian

The CWA of NSW has created a great way to help people buy Australian - the feature a different product each week, and provide recipes to inspire :-)  So far pecans, eggs, pears, coffee, dates, garlic, lamb, pumpkin and barley have all been featured. You can check it out for yourself here.

And don't forget that the CWA is the home of the best cookbook ever - conveniently name "The Country Women's Association Cook Book". As well as some fancier recipes, you will find all the basic of cooking and preserving and ... well just about everything. You can contact your local branch or order one from the website.

You can listen to Joy Beames from the CWA's NSW Agricultural and Environmental Committee tell us all about the importance of buying Australian in this week's podcast.