Jan. 31, 2013

Cherries and a chat

CHERRIES are a treat of the seasonal kind, and as this is cherry season a couple boxes of the round red delicacies arrived with our Sydney Food Connect weekly box of organic food, most of which comes from the Sydney region — what is known as Sydney's food bowl.

Modeled on successful and long-running Brisbane Food Connect, Sydney Food Connect was started by social entrepreneur, permaculture design graduate and one-time market gardener, Julian Lee. It's a type of subscription farming — you go online and place your order for a month to a year, then each week you collect your box of tasty and fresh (the vegetables are picked only a couple days prior to delivery) veges and fruit from your local City Cousin. 

In the Randwick area, the City Cousin is found Wednesday evenings at Randwick Community Centre in Munda Street. It's good to be there when people come by to collect their weekly fresh food box as there's always the chance for a chat. Yesterday, for instance, I was  sitting on the step waiting for people to collect their food box and reading a Stephen Baxter novel on my iPad when a woman who has been a long-term Sydney Food Connect subscriber arrived. We started off talking about her end-of-year holiday and ended up talking about the adoption of digital technologies in society, thus displaying more than adequately how membership of Food Connect can feed the intellect as well as the body.

Because the food that Sydney Food Connect obtains is grown mainly in the Sydney region (coffee from Nimbin, grains and some cool climate fruits come from a little further), your subscription supports Sydney's regional food economy and the region's farmers. It's a way of aligning your cash with your mouth when it comes to environmental and social sustainability, to Sydney's regional food economy and to resilient cities. 

Food Connect recently broadened its offerings. Now, eggs, bread, fruit cordial concentrate and other products are available for ordering.

Those two boxes of cherries we received — they're destined for bottling but had I to guess from the rate they are being nibbled away it might only be one box that goes into the preserving machine.



Story and photos by Russ Grayson

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