Friday, August 28, 2009

Farmers Markets World-wide pledge

Monday, 24 August 2009 11:43

Farmers' market leaders from Australia, New Zealand, the USA and Great Britain meeting at the 3rdNational Australian Farmers' Market Conference in Victoria this week, pledged today to establish and uphold standards for farmers' markets and to create a platform for the exchange of information and best practice that will support the global, sustainable development of the farmers' market movement.



From left: Rita Exner, Chris Fortune, Miranda Sharp, Gareth Jones, Darlene Wolnick, Sophie McNeill, Richard McCarthy

The group will initiate an open forum and invites local food producers, market organisers and supporters to participate in positive exchanges that will help to improve local economies and communities through farmers' markets, and provide greater access to locally produced food for all.

 

FARMA's Gareth Jones was among the speakers at the conference. Others included Richard McCarthy from Crescent City farmers' market in New Orleans, USA, whose experiences with Hurricane Katrina four years ago mirrored those of the population around Melbourne during 'Black Saturday's' forest fires last summer.

The organisers and speakers at the event took the opportunity to formalise future relations with a communique highlighting the urgent need for a rebalancing and relocalising of food around the globe in the interests of reducing carbon emissions and improving diet, livelihoods and the environment.




Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Cabbage - why we love to hate it

The enduring memories of our childhoods often  come back to haunt us, that of cabbage being boiled for hours and the kitchen smelling of sulphur and a grey soggy mess appearing on the plate.  We would be served this unpleasant texture one night, stir fried the next night  and then even in the school lunch box the next day if it was not consumed (and mums and dads wonder why it is not consumed!).  We were told as children it would  keep our hair shiny (and?) and if we did not eat all of our vege we would not get any pud (we did not have pudding very often then)

It is a common fact known to the Greeks,  that grape vines, source of wine, do not flourish when grown near cabbage. The Greeks converted this agricultural knowledge to myth, the myth told of the god of wine, Dionysus, who wandered to Thrace accompanied by his loyal followers . Threatened by Dionysus arrival, Lycurgus captured both Dionysus and all the Bacchae.  To revenge this action, Dionysus had Lycurgus driven mad.  Not in his right mine, Lycurgus mistook his son for a vine and cut his son to pieces. Learning what he had done, Lycurgus wept, and from the tears that fell to the ground sprang cabbage.

It is interesting that the Egyptian Pharaoh used to consume immense quantities of cabbage before setting out for a night of merriment and drinking. They believed that consuming the cabbage gives them freedom to drink more alcoholic beverages without fear of its adverse side effects. This ideology still stands today, with people still practicing the use of cabbage cooked with a bit of vinegar as a cure for hangovers. 

This may explain why Alister sells so many cabbages at the market, it could explain why my hair is not shiny and it could be the reason why there are not many cabbage growers in the Marlborough region.   It could just explain that while you cant force little kids to eat their cabbage the  first night the fear of getting it as left over three days in a row is far greater than any smack as part of good parental correction

BRAISED RED CABBAGE                                                                

                                               

200                         G             ONIONS (THINLY SLICED)                                                                             

1                              TBSP      CRUSHED GARLIC                                                                            

800                         G             RED CABBAGE                                                                  

200                         G             BROWN SUGAR                                                                               

200                         MLS       WHITE WINE VINEGAR                                                                 

200                         MLS       RED WINE                                                                           

1                              TBSP      SALT                                                                     

1                              TSP         BLACK PEPPER                                            

                                                                                                                      

                                                                                                                               

                                                                                                                               

                                                                                                                               

METHOD:                                                                                                                           

THINLY SLICE RED CABBAGE REMOVING ANY THICK STALKS - PUT ALL INGREDIENTS INTO STAINLESS STEEL POT AND BRING TO THE BOIL - REDUCE TO A SIMMER FOR 45 MINUTES UNTIL THE LIQUID HAS REDUCED