The northern rivers region is a terrific place to grow food, and its progressive restaurants, many of which are looking to showcase sustainable and locally grown produce, are a ready-made market.
Anyone wanting to get into the food-growing market for economic reasons will have a terrific opportunity on 24–25 August to hear about the developments in, and possibilities of, the burgeoning native food and botanicals sector. The two-day workshop is part of a national roadshow by Australian Native Food and Botanicals (ANFAB).
ANFAB chair Amanda Garner said, ‘There is unprecedented demand for items produced from Australian native species and the industry needs to expand to fulfil this demand. The roadshow aims to develop farmer interest and participation and support existing producers.
‘We will be offering the latest industry information: business models, value chain collaboration, quality assurance and logistical optimisation elements. And we will be integrating Indigenous cultural knowledge.’
The first day, at the Jingi Wahla Rooms, Ballina Surf Club, will comprise presentations by experts in the industry as well as a networking native food lunch by Harvest Café in Newrybar. The second day features workshops and a farm tour of Boon Luck Farm in Tyagarah.
The Ballina speaker lineup includes:
• Amanda Garner, chair of ANFAB discussing export markets and opportunities
• Rusell Glover, local riberry grower
• Dr Yasmina Sultanbawa, researcher at University of Queensland
• Josh Gilbert, manager Indigenous consulting, Price Waterhouse Coopers
• Sheryl Rennie, local finger-lime grower
• Clayton Donovan, chef and presenter Wild Kitchen
• Rebecca Barnes, founder of Playing with Fire
• Peter Hardwick, forager for Harvest Café and native food expert
Over the last 10 years ANFAB, in partnership with CSIRO, RIRDC and other research institutions, has worked to boost production, consumption and use of 14 priority native species, such as kakadu plum, lemon and anise myrtle, mountain pepper, riberries, quandong, bush tomato, finger-limes and native citrus, Davidson plum, wattleseed and muntries.
The work has included nutritional analysis indicating health benefits, registering as traditional foods, flavour profiles and species fact sheets.
More info: $45 for the two days to cover food/refreshments. Register by 21 August via Eventbrite by searching ‘growing the growers farm co operatives ANFAB’.
www.anfab.org.au. Facebook ANFABau. Instagram ANFABAUS
Finger limes. Photo by Rebecca Sullivan