There was something symbolic and deeply satisfying about a lunch enjoyed by a small group of competition winners at my farm just recently. Here’s the background:
My Brother, Russell and I are on a quest to firstly, develop my small farm to produce exactly the perfect ingredients for our small range of artisan products (have a look at our Store to see what they are). There’s one particular tomato, a small range of chillies, garlic, ginger, herbs and a few other crops that create the flavours which are unique to my cooking; much like how ‘terroir’ describes the conditions that impart a uniqueness to a particular wine. So, we are not at the mercy of what is available only at the marketplace in order to prepare our foods.
Secondly, and importantly, the traditional way of getting products to market are being challenged. We are not employing designers, agencies ordistributors, organising a launch, paying for an ad campaign and so forth… All of which adds cost to the final product. Instead, we are taking a “slow burn”approach of trying to directly reach people who get it, love it and want to share it.
Kim Alford and her friends celebrate food regularly. They appreciate Russell’s and my efforts and are fans of our products. Kim won a competition we did online for the best, most creative use of our products in a recipe. The prize… lunch with us.
We had a ball. Now, we have seven more advocates for our food and philosophies who in turn want to share their stories and experiences with their other friends. We believe this is a better way for food to be prepared and provided; it’s genuine, open and somewhat community building.
I’d love to see lots of small Australian growers and artisan producers developing real relationships with their customers and cutting out all the middle men and extra cost that is driving the quality of Australian food down and the prices up.
Photos from the day courtesy of Kim Alford and Peggy Anezis.