So Long…

So long and thanks for all the fish…

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There are times when the prospect of a Vogon super highway blasting the earth into mini matter, seems like a plan.

 

I adored Hitch Hikers Guide to the gallaxy. I also adored Douglas Adam’s work and then the bloody man up and died. If it is not abundantly clear to you by this, we need Adams more than ever. The world is very short of Adams like folk. The past had produced them in volumes, even in this far flung bit of the empire. We had some genius creative artisans of pen, brush and batton.

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The world is being Trumped, ironed flat, homogenised, financially flattened, religiously terrorised, food diversifed, motorised, in general it’s a little tough keeping up.

 

Bring on the Vogons… it can only help!

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Nostalgia is a dreadful thing, painful, dangerous. Thinking about a batch of scones, a passionfruit sponge, a roast dinner or for that matter, steamed fruit pudding with lashings of creamy custard. Fear is the enemy of nostalgia, the antidote. Fear makes you shrink away from fat, sugar and carbohydrates. Fear and television make you run around like a headless chook not knowing what to eat. Not until some food guru has added his or her imprimatur. Or a celebrity chef or would be CChef has wept, gnashed their teeth and spent hours using a list of ingredients that are beyond comprehension, cooked it and made you feel deeply inadequate.

 

Of course no imprimatur is worth the paper/time it is written on, or the computer it is uploaded to. Fact is that it is fleeting, butter is good/bad, eggs are good/bad. Think what has been done to tomatoes to enable world markets to sell them, who gives a fig about taste. Think what is done to the fruit and vegetable growers by major supermarkets imposing imposing size, shape, colour but no mention at all of taste, in order to present perfectly tasteless fodder to a non discerning public, who have been seduced into believing that if the shape is good, taste follows.

 

God knows I have tried, fought the good fight, been up and down every new food fad, even started a few before I decided that celebrity sucked. I now seem to have reached a time in my life that makes me long for the things of the past. The simplicity, the (thought of) good flavour. Think blackberry jam, apricot jam. I now have to travel to Tasmania to find fruit that makes pies, jams and preserves taste like they did in my salad days. But why? Why should I have to endure a Tasman crossing on a boat that is not completely charming (think bogons and unruly young folk and not a lot of style). My father’s garden in Port Fairy produced abundant fruit of exceptional flavour, we hunted for wild blackberries, stalked paddocks for mushrooms and looked for wild fennel at the State School.

 

My rural idyll is in Gippsland’s rolling hills, in the past I am assured they grew wonderful stone fruits, they don’t now, it all went cow shaped and the bum fell out of that corporatised mess and many farmers are now scratching their heads and ordering lambs. I asked a few, what about making cheese, what about value added farm grown fruit products, what about fishing. Looks of bewilderment soon cross faces. The ‘new’ way is farmers markets, sadly not working in my region. After wading through the litres of home made (badly) jams, hand stitched this and that’s, there is little on offer. I am reminded of how wonderful the rural markets of France, Italy, Greece and Spain are, how wonderful are home made cheeses, preserved meats, freshly caught fish and such a great variety of fruit and vegetable which all fill the stands. How in some regions of the Med, you can buy edible weeds, so much deliciousness my mouth is salivating. Sadly, perhaps it is the name, perhaps the local health authorities. We are a narrow minded, narrow focussed bunch these days.

 

This is a sample of the requirements for selling food in a road side operation… wee bit daunting.

https://streatrader.health.vic.gov.au/media/41816/running-a-market-stall-in-victoria_2016.pdf

 

My way would be different…

 

Markets in the country would be called Rural not Farmers.

Adequate food/health regulations, but not overbearing.

Local growers both in town and country should be encouraged to participate.

Meat should be included in the market.

Fish should be included in the market.

Preserved meats MUST be included.

Preserved food of all kinds to be encouraged.

Local cake makers and biscuit makers.

 

Timing, every week, doesn’t have to be a weekend, just must be weekly. The local retailers of market product need to be invited to participate. Don’t invite the involvment of local authorities, council etc, they are bound by regulation that is ever growing since something, anything must be done to keep our civil servants gainfully employed, what better than build huge fences of ever more complex regulation, shows how clever they are and how much the public need you!

 

Perhaps what I would not encourage…

 

Sewing bits and clothing (not appropriate)

Hand made furniture and bits (not appropriate)

Old bits and pieces (not appropriate)

Plants and seedlings (not quite appropriate)

 

Lets see what we can do, in con

~ by peterwatsonfood on June 16, 2017.

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