"Jonas is one of those Kiwis who moved to Australia to study and work, and never left. Living with his family in Northern NSW, Jonas brought his love of hunting, the great outdoors, and fixing broken things with him when he moved to Australia. But if only one thing defines him, it’s his passionate dislike of waste. He will go to great lengths to avoid buying new things, and much to his wife’s chagrin, finds second, third and fourth lives in almost everything that passes through his hands – he’s the original tinkerer.
His passion for food waste turned itself into Fair Game when, after discovering he was unable to donate excess meat after a hunting trip, he realized he could do something that would make a difference. He learnt about the convoluted legal process wild game harvesters go through to get meat on plates, and it spurred a passion that led to the formation of Fair Game Wild Venison.
As many small businesses do, Fair Game started as an idea at the kitchen table and quickly grew. As restaurants, deli’s and foodies learnt about the quality of the meat, combined with the ethics and environmental benefits of wild venison, the business expanded and now services the Northern Rivers, the Gold Coast, Brisbane, Sydney, Canberra, Melbourne and Perth.
In recognition of the quality, ethos and sustainability of the product, Jonas was recently awarded a Gold Medal at the Delicious. Produce Awards 2020. Receiving this recognition in his first year of trading is surely a sign of things to come."
Why is Fair Game Wild Venison a better meat option?
Wild deer are free to roam and graze with no chemical inputs and no restrictions on diet or movement.
Our harvesters are trained in the ethical shot, meaning the animals we harvest experience no stress in dispatch. Wild venison requires no live-transport, no mustering into yards, and no abattoir.
Wild deer are pest animals in Australia, and are routinely culled and left in the field to go to waste. Every animal we harvest reduces this waste, and we work to use as much of the animal as we’re legally allowed to acquire.
Our field harvesters work with landholders to control deer numbers on their properties, reducing grazing competition with livestock and crop damage in horticultural enterprises.
By eating wild venison you’re protecting our vulnerable and unique natural assets. Deer have a massive impact on the bush, and removing this introduced species from the natural environment leaves room for our native species to thrive.
Where do we start – wild venison has almost no saturated fat, is high in protein, B vitamins thiamine, riboflavin, niacin and vitamin B-12 which aid brain and nervous system function, help turn food into energy and keep your skin and hair healthy. It is high in zinc (for your immune system), iron (for forming red blood cells) and phosphorus (for kidney function and creating strong bones). Not to mention, it tastes bloody good too.
One of my favourite adventures is visiting our producers... Five Sixty Farms this week was another highlight. These guys have been supplying us with micro greens and sunflower sprouts, high quality high nutrient product. Pepe,
the owner operator is a super lovely chap and father who loves what he does, this is evident when you visit his family farm (did I mention 8 kids). The grow house is beautiful, rustic and vibrant with life. I was impressed with his growing practices, diversity of product but most of all the care and pride he takes in his product. We are lucky to have him in our region and pleased to be sharing his love with you all.
Here is a little about Five Sixty Farms, for more please check them out here... https://fivesixtyfarms.com.au
Hi I'm Pepe Fassos, the Owner/Grower of Five Sixty Farms, and I've had a lifetime surrounded by food. Being raised in the kitchen with my parents owning a legendary Greek Restaurant in Byron Bay. As a Chef and manager of a busy Greek Catering business in the Clarence Valley, provided me with crucial experience and understanding of the need for high quality and freshness when it comes to growing food for the table.
Our goal is for you to receive a food product that exceeds expectations in flavour, appearance and nutritional value.
A product that is a food staple ... not just a trend ! In experiencing that you come to the realisation that microgreens are not just a garnish.
At Five Sixty Farms we pride ourselves in the application of biological growing systems to ensure the most nutritious, flavoursome and visually appealing microgreens possible. All our plants are grown in soil, exposed to sunlight, with nutrition provided by our own compost with enhanced microbial activity.
Harvest Marketplace has brought us closer to our community. Meeting our wonderful customers each week during our deliveries or pick up schedule is a rewarding and insightful experience. As our relationships build with our customers we are keen to support the endeavours and passion of the people that support us... so we welcome our community profiles.
Dustin and Camille Clare have been ordering a vege and fruit box every week for months. During our conversations I have learned that they have just released an amazing new digital platform focused on architecture, design, lifestyle and outdoor living... Shelter https://www.shelter.stream. I must admit I have been up late watching, some amazing content! Be sure to check out their docu-series Inspired Architecture directed by Jim Lounsbury: https://vimeo.com/
They have been kind enough to offer a 50% discount to all marketplace supporters so look out for a flyer in this weeks vege or fruit boxes.
Last week I visited Fabian a new supplier at his beautiful property Woodland Valley. Upon Arrival I was greeted by some of the healthiest, happiest and friendliest chooks I have ever encountered. It is great to see people moving from an urban lifestyle to doing great work on a rural setting and creating healthy produce for the community. We are pleased to be offering Woodland Valley pasta in the deli, be sure to say hi to them at the local markets.
Woodland Valley Farm, set in the idyllic Northern Rivers, offers owners Fabian and Jodie the very real pleasure of making a living off the land, in a wonderful shared space with their beloved animals.
Woodland Valley Farm, as a business, was established in March 2019, when we purchased our first chicken caravan and with it about 150 hens. What seemed like a full farm load of hens, quickly turned into not enough, as we began to learn more and more about what we could achieve for the land, with the help of these beautiful girls. Our hens are provided with ample space to spread their wings and live a life of exploration and fun. Their days are jampacked pecking, scratching and creating wonderful dirt day spas, in shady hide-aways. The smorgasbord of bugs, insects and pastures get them up and at it every morning, with their always inquisitive and a bit cheeky sense of humour, keeping us entertained along the way. Their gift to us it to provide the most nutritious Pasture Raised Eggs, whilst enriching our soil and the lives of those who enjoy their eggs.
Recent research suggests that eggs truly are a superfood and even better than that Pasture Raised Eggs up the ante when it comes to all things good. The majority of our eggs go straight to the homes of our egg loving customers, who visit us each week at the local farmers markets. It is an absolute privilege and pleasure to present our eggs and have them loved by so many. The health and joy that we bring to the families who support us is truly one of the greatest parts of our journey.
Not every egg is created equal, so with Fabians Italian background and passion for all things food, Woodland Valley Farm began producing delicious small batch fresh Artisan Pasta, with our Pasture Raised Eggs, magnificent local produce and a few select ingredients from Italy. At the request of our customers, Fabian introduced his Nonna’s own Sugo alla Basilico, a rich and delicious tomato and basil pasta sauce that is truly a gift of heartfelt passion.
Woodland Valley Farm now offers a variety of pasta sauces, duck egg and chocolate custard and dried pasta to compliment our fresh pasta and Pasture Raised Hen and Duck Eggs.
We have taken an old dairy farm with depleted and compacted soils and we plan to bring it back to its natural glory through regenerative farming practices, including multi-species rotational grazing. With the help of our cattle and hens, we plan to immensely improve the soil quality on our farm. And a win for our hens is that a healthy, vegetation-covered, biologically active soil ensures plenty of good bugs. Our cattle are responsible for aerating topsoil with their hooves while infusing fertilizer into the land. Our goats act as weed eaters, making them vital to sustaining healthy pastures and reclaiming areas that have been overtaken by invasive vegetation. Then comes the hens, who play a crucial role in the process by eating insects and scavenging through the droppings of other animals. This helps debug the pastures and spreads manure around so that it can work its magic, while killing off dangerous parasites. Further, the hens are a valuable source of high quality natural fertilizer. Collectively our team of animals form a pasture improvement crew that no machine or chemical can match. Getting back to nature with Regenerative Farming for a Healthier Future.
Recently we received some pumpkins from a farm some very cool gents have been working on. We look forward to continuing and growing our relationship with this inspiring project. Here is little information about their work...
The Bundjalung Successional Agroforestry Project was initiated by Tracey and Phil from the Bundjalung Tribal Society and initially driven onsite by Phil, Paul Williamson, Evan Anderson and Bunya Halasz. The Vision is to transform an overgrown orchard of Lychee – now 30 years established – into a mixed, multi strata orchard of well-shaped, productive lychee trees inter-planted with a huge range of food and timber crops with a strong emphasis on the local bush tukka plants of the Bundjalung region. There is more than 40 acres of overgrown orchard – so there is much scope for continued development.
The Project began with some long hot days of chainsawing and chipping in December 2017 – such a joy to work with 30 years of biomass onsite! Over 20-30 days of planting and maintenance in the coming 2.5yrs with the Bundjalung Community - including the young Indigenous Rangers from Nimbin Rocks - a successional forest is slowly developing without irrigation or any ongoing intensive inputs other than the continued management of onsite biomass.
We have now ridden through the coldest winter and most damaging frosts in 30 years and the driest summer on record with very few casualties and steady growth in the trees. In our first summer, pumpkins were the big yield! Followed by Garlic in the winter months and then summer of 2018/19, planted into deep woodchip, watered in by 2 small storms then only 3mm of rain in the ensuing 2 months of blazing summer heat, we were astounded to taste some of the plumpest juiciest water melons and sweet corn I have ever grown, along with beautiful sweet potatoes and native warrigal green spinach. The young trees protected by these vigorous annuals remained safely sheltered through the hot dry periods whilst those exposed on woodchip without their early successional companions were mostly fried.
With continued plantings every 3-4 months, we have now developed an acre of land into an emerging Bush tukka food forest with food, medicine and cultural plants of Bundjalung country. Our methods are influenced by bush regeneration and agroforestry techniques with plantings guided by the availability of food, habitat and timber trees raised by the Nimbin Rocks Young Rangers in their nursery and training facility, enriched with a few bush tukka industry classics such as north Queensland Davidson plum and several grafted cultivars of finger lime. This summer has seen the first harvests from our bananas – an important plant in the protection of young rainforest trees in their early years of development. We have incorporated into our initial plantings organic soil ammendments including chicken manure, seaweed, lime, ash and volcanic crusher dust, but our primary input is fresh woodchip made from onsite biomass. As the planting evolves, we continue to feed the soil with a mulch of plant biomass from prunings of bananas, wattles and other pioneer trees that feed the soil ecology to drive the evolution of the bush tukka forest.
We relish every opportunity we have to reconnect with Phil, Tracey and the Bundjalung Tribal Society, learning more from the land and from Phil’s ongoing connection to its development – learning tips from his farming back in the day of sweet potatoes, water melons, bananas, lychees and more. The forum of learning together with the community about the local bush foods is one of the great experiences of my life - to be of service to country and local culture and be prepared to relearn everything I thought I knew.
We are looking forward to sharing more opportunities in the future for willing contributers to our days working onsite with the community and would love to welcome more innovations from the Northern Rivers Community as to how we can further support the Bundjalung Tribal Society and Namabundah Farm. Much gratitude to the ongoing work of the Nimbin Rocks Indigenous Rangers for their onsite yakka and especially to Flavia Assuncao for continued support onsite, behind the scenes and photographic documentation of the projects evolution.
I had the pleasure of sitting with the matriarch of localisation and long time Byron wisdom keeper Helena Norbert Hodge. She has been at the forefront of a global movement toward bringing our lives back to a healthier, connected and sustainable local ecosystem. Her work has taken her on a global trek to understand and experience what can be learnt and implemented to support this global shift. The project that is the vehicle for this vision is Local Futures (www.localfutures.org). This inspiring organisation has brought us publications and films such as The Economics of Happiness, Ancient Futures and most recently Local is our Future and countless projects and events.
We would like to introduce you to an event looming fast that will be a hub of knowledge, ideas and inspiration with an amazing array of presenters including Russell Brand, Noah Chomsky, Vedana Shiva, Charles Eisenstein and our own Damn Gameau and many many more. To learn more or book your virtual seat go to: https://worldlocalizationday.org
Each week we communicate with local farmers in our region to work out what is used for our veg boxes, our chef Ally is always involved and through this process we create recipes and ingredients that are seasonal, nutritious and interesting. Our hope is to introduce you to food that is grown in our region and new flavours you may not have tried while always including a few staple varieties.
Small and seasonal producers have ever changing crops so we count on some of the larger operations for consistent capacity and quality. We enjoy working with the team at Jumping Red Ant because they are small enough to care and large enough to fulfill our needs every week with root vegetables and cucurbits.
Here is a little of their story, if you live in the Byron Region I am sure you know them from the local farmers markets...
Jumping Red Ant farms have built a reputation for fresh, seasonal fruits, chemical-free vegetables, and beautiful, locally grown flowers.
Farming over 70 acres across three farms, what sets Jumping Red Ant apart is a genuine desire to collaborate and support other local farmers in the Northern Rivers community. Consisting of an amazing team of local workers, Jumping Red Ant continues to connect people with the finest produce grown sustainably, ethically and with the primary ingredient of love.
In 1995, John and Kathleen Atkin went looking for their own kind of tree change for their four young children. After owning a successful fitness centre in Brisbane, John and Kathleen decided to set up their new home on a beautiful farm in the hinterland of NSW’s Northern Rivers.
Despite limited farm knowledge in the early years, Jumping Red Ant was created through determination and a whole ‘lotta love from everyone in the family. 25 years later, John and Kath are still running the farm with their daughter Briana who brings a youthful energy and passion to the farm. It’s Briana who is pushing the family to take the farm online and make farm-fresh produce more accessible to a wider community.
Being a small family farm, we have learned many valuable lessons throughout the years. We see the positive effects of collaborating and supporting other local businesses, sharing their knowledge, skills and produce.
Think about what you are eating and where it came from. Many larger grocery and supermarkets import food from overseas, covered with chemicals and pesticides to sustain freshness, nothing can substitute the quality from fresh local grown food.
Offering seasonal produce is better for the environment with minimal transport from trucking in produce from interstate or overseas. Also it gets you excited when things come back into season. Seasonally you eat differently.
In addition to nurturing the soil using fertilisers such as compost and the use of cover crops, we also use crop rotation throughout the farms, hand weeding, chipping, weed matting and mulch. To pollinate our farm we are working with a local beekeeper who keeps his hives in and around the farm.
There is no better time with family and friends than over a good meal. We make a point of finding time to enjoy the fruits of our labor.
Now more than ever, the local economy needs local support. Local farmers are conscious of quality and fair trade, supporting local ensures a healthy and affordable future for local families.
We are very pleased to be working with local company, Byron Bay Skin Care who are generously providing a sample of their latest product in this weeks veg boxes. Great to collaborating with more local producers! Here is a little about their company, values and products...
Byron Bay Skincare's hand sanitiser is the latest creation in their natural skincare range. Manufactured and formulated from their premises in Billinudgel, this Hand Sanitiser is a community-minded product, at a time of need.
The decision to develop a Hand Sanitiser was quick, but the process was not as straightforward as you might think. As a natural and organic skincare manufacturer, they don’t readily produce products with alcohol. So had to overcome two main obstacles - firstly they had to reconfigure one of their factories to safely produce a product high in ethanol, and, in parallel, of course, had to source the ethanol itself.
Even still, the opportunity to support our community at this time was their driving force and they are proud to be able to share their Byron Bay Skincare Hand Sanitiser with the region.
You may have even seen their Hand Sanitiser around The Shire in the last few weeks, as they’ve been working hard to ensure everyone has had access to clean hands in public places.
The Byron Bay Skin Care brand is a botanical skincare range designed to nourish your skin and unlock your natural beauty. Their products are not only formulated and manufactured in the Byron Shire but are inspired by the pristine coastline, lush rainforest and rolling countryside of this majestic place we are so grateful to call home.
Their products are purely luxurious, bursting with nutrition and blended using the finest quality natural ingredients without the inclusion of any nasties.
Byron Bay Skincare products are also:
Good hand hygiene shouldn't be at the expense of supple hands, and truly safe hands can only come with convenience (we are not always near clean water and soap or have time to recite Happy Birthday in our heads regularly throughout the day!)
Byron Bay Skincare’s Hand Sanitiser is a gentle gel formula in a convenient 100ml bottle, formulated using Australian, Organic Ethanol derived from sugarcane, and blended with Tea Tree Oil and Witch Hazel Leaf Extract for their antibacterial properties.
This little bottle of goodness will protect your hands, without drying and makes it easy to support your hygiene endeavours between washes. It feels luxurious on the skin too.
What else we love is they are focused on more than creating luxurious skincare products. Byron Bay Skincare are committed to making a difference, not only with the ingredients they choose, the role they play in the community but also through their One-for-One Tree Planting Program. Acknowledging that deforestation is a significant contributor to climate change, they are committed to doing their bit to rebuild and restore the environment by planting a tree for every product sold online. We love that.
Visit us at www.byronbayskincare.com.au
We have been working with Byron Bay Tea Co. for some time already and this week you will find a tea sample in your vege boxes. This is a truely iconic Byron Brand, starting from a market stall to now being a premium multi faceted business. One thing has remained a constant : quality and a deep understanding of preparations and formulations.
Thanks to Sarita and the team for their generosity and support... enjoy your tea and here's a little about their story. (Be sure to watch the video below).
Byron Bay is simply a really special place with healing magic emanating from the land. We’ve combined our love of teas with the best and freshest ingredients we can find, whilst honouring the rich history of tea across cultures. Our teas combine both the medicinal benefits of plants with the flavours that mother nature provides. Our ethos and philosophy is centred around improving the wellbeing of the individual as well as the planet. It’s a product we’re really proud of. We’re humbled to be able to bring a little slice of our paradise to the world in our healing range of teas.