On Friday I went to Festival 21. It was so great!
I didn’t take many photos, it was more about the information. They had some awesome people speaking. A lot of people passionate about the same things I am.
My idol was there, Joost Bakker (according to The New York Times “the poster boy for zero waste living”). He spoke about supporting the farmers, paying a fair price for good quality food. He gave some examples, in cheap white supermarket bread the farmer got paid 8 cents for the wheat that went into that loaf. 8 cents is crazy when most of a loaf of bread should be wheat.
He spoke about the nutrients in food grown in good soil, one of his catch phrases is “It’s all about the soil”. He spoke of the whole oat groats that he purchases (he rolls his own oats everyday). He knows of a man that grows oats for Uncle Tobies, he gets paid (I may be stuffing the numbers up slightly but the gist is right) $300 per tonne of oat groats. Joost’s neighbour (who he buys his oat groats from) gets around $2000 per tonne. “He deserves to earn that” by paying the farmers properly it allows them to grow less, look after their soil, grow more nutrients rich food, add livestock into the picture for better soil health. Actually make a living.
The unspoken but general message of the day seemed to be We need to make farming a viable career option. In the 1990’s there were 400 farms supplying tomatoes to 7 canneries in Victoria. Now there are 9 farms supplying 2 canneries and most of our canned tomatoes come from Italy. If this trend continues we will not have anyone willing to work the land. This seems inevitable with the current trends, I am remaining hopeful that things will change. I only shop at farmers markets for fresh produce, I am going to make even more effort to purchase Australian dry goods. I am usually quite aware of where my food comes from but my aim is to make it 100% Australian. I think it is possible.
They hope to run this event every 2 years. I look forward to the next one 🙂
This was a really long table, I was standing about half way down. Through out the day at different points along the table people were giving talks about their field of expertise.
There were free grapes! They had quite a few wooden box set ups with plants in them.