The Great Local Lunch is on again for its 5th year on Sunday 11 February from 12.30 - 2.30 pm by the Yarra River at Birrarung Marr, Melbourne.
This is a free four-course lunch which features at the Sustainable Living Festival's, Big Weekend, which is 3 days of sustainable living exhibition, presentations, entertainment and more. In support of Melbourne's 'War on Waste', this year, The Great Local Lunch is inviting guests to exchange their ways of defining food usage, by growing food, or foraging and salvaging food waste. The ingredients for this lunch will come from a 'crowd farming' model, with produce that is grown or gleaned from home gardens, local farms or neighbourhoods across Melbourne.
The first way you can get tickets is by contributing your harvest. The Great Local Lunch really begins with urban growers and gleaners offering their harvest. It could be anything in excess from your food garden, a bunch of wild rocket, to lemons from your aunt's overly abundant tree or vegetables saved from their imperfect fate. Whether you've grown or gleaned it, it is about sourcing excess or foraged fresh food that could be much more.
The second way, is if you don't have any harvest or forage to share, then you can submit an inspiring story about how you are redefining local food and waste, to try your luck for a ticket.
This four-course meal will be crafted by the chefs from Kinfolk Café, which is a social enterprise with a focus on local, ethical and organic produce. They are located just down the road from the festival, at 673 Bourke St, Melbourne. In 2017, they designed and delivered the meal for the Great Local Lunch and they are ready for the challenge again this year.
The challenge of it is, they won't know the exact type and quantities of produce they will receive until it arrives, in the lead up to the event. Then chefs will create and prepare, with their volunteers, an innovative menu, for 250 guests.
Hosting the event again this year, is Costa Georgiadis, Australia's favourite garden gnome from ABC's Gardening Australia. He not only has an interest in gardening, permaculture and sustainability, but also community, openness and sharing. Costa talks about the 2017 Great Local Lunch saying "The energy of the event is driven by a hunger for the food system, they (the guests) were eating good food but the hunger was to learn and share that information".
The Great Local Lunch organisers say that this highlights the important work being done by local farmers and backyard and balcony growers to reduce our impact on the environment. They suggest that people could even consider attending edible weed foraging events to gather produce, otherwise they are looking forwards to reading the entries with stories of how people are redefining food waste, at home or in the greater community. So while this may be a free lunch, you do need to participate, if you want to attend. It really is a highlight event for novice or serious backyard growers, urban farmers, foragers and foodies alike.
Whether you have a bunch of herbs, boxes of veggies, or a story to tell, all you need to do is register or you can follow updates with the Facebook event listing.