Skip to main content

Five tips on how to eat local



Eating local means eating food that's grown close to where you live.  If that's Antartica you've got a problem, but if it's Brisbane you have definitely hit the jackpot.

Brisbane's subtropical climate and the micro climates in surrounding areas, mean that many of the items on your weekly shopping list can be grown locally.  Perhaps a great deal of them actually are and you don't even know it as produce from South East Queensland feeds the nation during winter.

Here's five tips on how to eat local -

  1. Start reading labels to see where fruit and veg are grown.  
  2. If there's no label, ask the question. Even if the shop keeper does not know the answer, they'll learn that it's important to find out!
  3. Buy from butchers and green grocers who specialise in local produce.
  4. Go foraging on weekends and purchase from roadside stalls.
  5. Visit farmers markets making sure you buy from genuine farmers, not resellers pretending to be farmers.
Eat Local Week from June 27 to July 5 is all about the food and wine of the Scenic Rim. That's the area that encompasses Aratula, Boonah, Beaudesert, Lamington and Rathdowney.


Chef Glen Barratt at Wild Canary in the leafy Brisbane outskirt suburb of Brookfield showed that eating local is a fabulously flavoursome option at a Scenic Rim Producers lunch to launch Eat Local Week.


The lunch started with tartlets filled with Aratula freshwater red claw crayfish topped with fennel.


Aratula Freshwater crayfish tartlets.

Fassifern Valley Heritage tomatoes were the key ingredient in the panzanella with beans, olives and pickled rhubarb.  Who would have thought that tomatoes and rhubarb would go together?  But they did! Glen picked the basil for the salad from the Wild Canary garden just before serving the dish. Now that's local!

We heard about growing tomatoes from Mark Moon of Fassifern Valley Produce who grows heirloom tomatoes with names like Green Zebra, Tigerella and Mortgage Lifter.




Freshwater red claw crayfish from Aratula featured in the next dish, this time combined with pickled daikon, beans, carrots and pecans with a native finger lime vinaigrette.  Rob Hutchings from Freshwater Australian Crayfish Traders says you can have the crayfish delivered to your door or you can bring some home from the Eat Local Week Winter Harvest Festival on July 4 at Aratula.  Sadly for Rob, after years of working with crayfish he is allergic to them and can't eat his own produce!




Slow roasted Lillydale Black Angus beef sirloin sprinkled with Misty Mountain blue cheese from Witches Chase at Mt Tamborine and a swipe of char grilled carrots, which tasted much better than it sounds, was the next dish.

Jon Heslop from Witches Falls Winery supplied the wine matches for the lunch which included their Wild Ferment Verhdehlo, Chardonnay, Viognier and Prophecy Syrah.  The winery has been operating for 11 years using fruit from granite belt.

Jon says when you visit you can see the winery in action and the wine making process through large windows. By allowing the wild yeasts from the vineyard to ferment the wine Witches Falls have developed some unique flavours in their wines earning them five stars from James Halliday.  I'm particularly fond of the Wild Ferment Chardonnay which luckily for me is stocked at my local wine shop.

You can meet Jon at an Eat Local Week wine and cheese event at Tamborine on Tuesday.

Showing the versatility of carrots, the final dish and dessert was a carrot cake with a thick cream cheese icing and rhubarb coulis.  Rob Hinrichsen from Kalfresh Vegetables told us that the soil in the Scenic Rim is very special and grows spectacular vegetables.    You can pick up some carrots and sit on a tractor at the Kalfresh Carrot Field Day on July 4.




Eat Local Week includes a large range of events including plenty of free and low cost activities plus lunches and dinners.

Disclaimer: Ed+bK was a guest of Wild Canary for the launch of Eat Local Week

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Brisbane's top 10 'chew with a view' restaurants and cafes

It's a beautiful day! Where can you go and dine in the warm sun with a view that you'll never want to leave?

Here are ten top places in and around Brisbane to while away a lunch hour or a whole afternoon when the weather is warm and the skies are blue .

River Quay, South Bank

South Bank’s River Quay precinct has plenty of opportunities to relax in the sunshine and just about any restaurant at River Quay will offer a great spot for a winter lunch with a large, grassed lawn rolling down to the river bank.  You can even lie in the sun if you so desire.

Stop for champagne, oysters and more at Cove Bar and Dining, enjoy French provincial food at Aquitaine Brasserie, take in the river view from a Balinese daybed while you tuck into the contemporary menu at The Jetty, feast on Italian cuisine at Popolo or sip a long drink on the riverside deck of Stokehouse Q where the menu draws on local produce combined with bold flavours from the Mediterranean.

River Quay is the spot for Sunday …

Thar she blows - how to hunt whales the friendly way

A grunt and a spurt of seawater rising into the air show the position of a mother humpback whale and her three-week-old calf.

I'm on purpose-designed whale watching boat and we have motored for an hour over the calm seas of the great sandy straits up the coastline of Fraser Island





Captain Phil tells the 50 or so people aboard that the tip of the island is where we will see the whales and he is right.

Our first mother and calf are a little shy at first, keeping the boat at a good distance but I can clearly see the much smaller calf swimming strongly beside its mother.




I'm fascinated by the large circles of calm water that float past us and Phil tells us these are whale footprints

"They break the water tension when they flick their tails to swim down resulting in the clear circles on the water,” Phil says.

Sailors used whale footprints to track whales back in the bad old days when whales were valued more for their blubber than their beauty.

Our next mother and calf are a l…

Lunch amongst the lavender in the Scenic Rim

It was time to brush the cobwebs off the motor bike over Easter and head out of Brisbane into the beautiful Scenic Rim.

We started down the highway towards Beenleigh in beautiful autumn sunshine and stopped for a coffee at The Outpost Cafe at Canungra.  This is a well known bikies hangout but don't expect too much in the way of chains and dreadlocks - it's more favoured by the middle aged bikie enjoying the freedom of the road second time round.

The road less travelled is always our favoured route for this type of outing and we back tracked through Rathdowney before reaching our destination for the day, Kooroomba Lavender Farm about 65 minutes from Brisbane in the Scenic Rim at Mt Alford near Boonah.

Autumn is not the premium time for viewing either the vineyard or the lavender but the view across the valley to the mountains was still outstanding.  The building has a New Zealand lodge feel to it with plenty of stone walls both inside and outside, complimented by timber and ex…

Ten top things to do in Noosa Heads

It doesn't matter how many times I head down the hill on Noosa Drive towards the ocean, I still get a little shiver of excitement every time. This very special part of the world has achieved international recognition for its unique environment and I am privileged to be able to dip my toes into it on a regular basis.

Here are ten of my favourite Noosa pastimes.





1. Although it’s always tempting to sleep in, I don't like to waste a moment of the day when I wake up in Noosa. The best way to start is in the coffee queue at Sails on Hastings Street and then a stroll along the winding boardwalk to the National Park, koala spotting along the way.





Depending on my mood and energy level, I continue the walk through the park to enjoy the beachside views. Some like to run it. You can pick up a coffee at the information hut in the national park as well.





2. After a bit of exercise there's nothing like a big breakie at Aromas and a spot of people watching. With t…

Lots to explore at Brisbane's South Bank

Four markets in one day - what a way to spend a Sunday!

We started at the organic markets at Downy Park, Windsor which was not such a good idea. Why? Well we took the dog and the place was full of puddles - he's a corgi with very low legs - it all ended up being very messy.

Also, these markets definitely finish up on their advertised closing time of 10.30am.  Call me slow or just plain lazy but I find it hard to get out and about early on a Sunday morning. We arrived primed for breakfast at 10am just as everyone was shutting up - they had even run out of bread for French toast!

However, this market was just the first on our list. Next, we drove to South Bank Parklands to explore the Young Designers Market and the Granite Belt Flavours Market - both on the same day.

Several designer/clothes/jewellery purchases later, K2 subdued his inner male and agreed to look for the Granite Belt Flavours market which was not in its usual spot.  On the way, we walked through the regular South Ba…