One of the things I’m going miss a great deal about Brisbane, is being part of the totally awesome Food Connect family.
Seven years ago we became City Cousins for what was, at the time, a small but enthusiastic social enterprise starting out in Brisbane. Modeled on the popular CSA (community supported agriculture) food box schemes, the aim of Food Connect was, and still is to bridge the gap between city folks and the farmers who grow their food. Food Connect works to encourage a fair, healthy and flourishing food culture where food and the work of those who grow, produce, process, transport, pack and distribute (that’s the value chain) are recognised and rewarded fairly.
One of the things that first appealed to us in supporting Food Connect is the average distance our fresh produce and pantry items travel each week is a mere 140 km. Not only does this minimise packaging, waste and food miles, it also means our weekly shop is truly supporting local farmers.
Over the years there has been a growing list of things we love about being part of the FC family! As City Cousins boxes are dropped off to our house for other subscribers to collect – I literally walk to the front door and there are my groceries for the week (minus a delivery fee!). Miss Peach meets the delivery driver each Tuesday and together they arrange the boxes and solve the life troubles of a three year old! On Tuesday evenings we get a steady stream of people coming to pick up their fruit and veggies (and other goodies), most of the time we don’t need to be involved but I love nothing more than hearing a friendly “thanks, see you next week” through the front door. Our girls get so much enjoyment from opening the boxes and discovering what is in them each week. And I enjoy it because it’s their job to unpack AND put everything away! For a while we were doing a photo diary of crazy shaped vegetables or disproportionally large or small fruits (the giant strawberry next to the teeeeeeeny tiny potato was my personal favorite!). I’ve loved the challenge of cooking with what is plentiful and in season and having to try things I normally wouldn’t eat. Admittedly that bit took some getting used to but once I got my head around making a flexible menu plan I started to find it very easy. I even look forward to the weeks of lots of pumpkin or getting creative with cabbage. Though I’m not sure I could ever fully embrace the 8 continuous weeks of custard apples (blergh!)!
Now we’re well and truly entrenched in planning and preparing our own farming enterprise I feel even more connected to the dirt that comes on the potatoes and to the farmers that have grown and picked our beautiful fresh produce every week. I feel so blessed that we have had the opportunity to get to know Emma-Kate and Robert and their fantastic team and in some small way be part of the movement towards a fairer food system.
This week the folks at Food Connect rewarded us for being City Cousins by giving us one of their Gourmet Boxes. In the essence of spreading the farming and fair food love I would like to give it away to a family who needs it more than us.
If you know someone who could do with a helping hand this week let us know. Maybe you have a friend or family member who could do with the gift of a box of fresh fruit and veggies in their fridge. Or perhaps someone you know loves to cook but their budget just doesn’t allow for luxuries. Pop your name in the comments and we’ll select someone on Thursday night.
Only condition is you need to be able to pick up the box from Nest Nappies in Paddington on FRIDAY (veggies don’t stay fresh forever!).