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Byron Shire
July 16, 2024

Forrest Organics

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Dave, Sue and Dougal

Victoria Cosford

At the Forrest’s stall while Dave serves and chats to customers, wife Sue is showing me the magazine she’s been editor of for five years. Going Organic is the mouthpiece of TROPO, the Tweed Richmond Organic Producers Organisation, established, as it says on its front page, ‘in 1989 as a grassroots local action group dedicated to fostering organic agriculture and gardening on the NSW North Coast.’

Dave was one of the people who started it up in Lismore all those years ago and it comes out biannually, chockful of fascinating articles by both members and contributors. The latest edition includes a useful guide to building raised wicking beds and fascinating stuff about dingoes, which ‘still play a crucial role as apex predators in maintaining ecosystem function and diversity.’

So much to learn, so much inspiration from a single visit to the farmers’ market! Dave and Sue have always been there, available to talk about the best crops to plant, when, what’s currently flourishing, and how to be a better gardener.

Aside from the magazine, Sue’s showing me bottles of the two drinks they sell, the Firecider and the Jamu, both at this particular time of year perfect ways to ward off colds and flu. An antiviral, the former is apple cider vinegar combined with horseradish, garlic, ginger, lemon and honey – ‘it’s also a terrific salad dressing’, Sue says, ‘or in a marinade for meat.’ As for the vibrant orange Jamu, it’s an anti-inflammatory, supercharged with turmeric, galangal and lemon, and Sue makes 60 litres of it a week, all of it going to the farmers’ markets, made fresh the night before.

Other nutritional delights include the new season ginger (‘its very soft skin makes it great for juicing’), citrus, brassicas, kale, turmeric – and son Dougal’s beautiful little Dutch creams. All of it certified organic, naturally!

Forrest Organics are at New Brighton Farmers Market every Tuesday from 8am to 11am and Mullumbimby Farmers Market every Friday from 7am to 11am.

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