Douglas has been a professional food writer since 1986. He is also an award-winning actor and director in Community Theatre and has been for many years. His blog may be found at: www.urbaneguerilla.wordpress.com
Published March 14th 2016
Free-range vegetables and organic eggs for the locavore
One of the problems we face as responsible cooks and buyers of goods would be almost unknown by our parents and grandparents.
Where does our food come from? Quite recently Supermarkets have been compelled to show exactly where their produce comes from and it has been, I am sure, a revelation - asparagus from Mexico, oranges from Eqypt, strawberries from the Argentine and so on.
Consumers - you and I, that is - are becoming ever more conscious about the miles and miles of travel these foodstuff have to cover before they end up on our tables.
Two years ago in Guildford a small bunch of like minded people were wanting to start a food hub where nothing was imported and the buyers were supporting Aussie farmers and producers
Initially the enthusiasm ran very high, but the mums had to return to work, another member left to pursue global warming so that just left Amanda Carey.
Guildford Pantry are registered as a not-for-profit group. Most goods supplied are from Western Australia. At worst the rest of Australia. Juice, dairy, flour, nuts and amazing bio dynamic organic vegetables all derive from this wonderful state. Organic sultanas, white, brown and raw sugar and tea come from Queensland and NSW and so on.
The big picture is a sense of community and support for all those farmers and producers out there trying desperately to compete with often inferior imported foods from many countries including China.
The conditions Aussie farmers work in and battle against are quite frightening and the margins on which they operate so slim that they need all the support we can give them. And at the same time we can get low-priced ingredients that we know are local, fresh and delicious.
These are the principles Guildford Pantry was founded on:
Buying as local as we can and buying direct from the grower/producer to cut down middle man prices.
Wherever possible we buy organic or using as few sprays and chemical nasties as possible.
Buying in bulk so we get wholesale prices and save time and money in the long run
Minimal packaging is important and re-using what is already in your kitchen helps reduce waste
Supporting our local growers, producers and businesses. By supporting them we are giving them a fair deal so they can enjoy quality of life, and we are building a more resilient community.
The way Guildford Pantry works is this - you go on the website and order what you need from the price list. Every item has a specific Source Area so you know exactly where it hails from.
For example: A Seasonal Vege Box costs $55 and comes from the Morangup, WA area
1.1litres of Michael Brothers Raw Cloudy Apple Juice costs $5.50 and comes from the Chittering Valley, WA
Chickpeas cost $5.25 a kilo and come from the Ord River area, WA
Capel Butter is $5.30 and comes from the South West of WA
The full list runs some thirty-five items, mostly organic and once you've order what you need, you pay by EFT into the Guildford Pantry account on receipt of invoice.
Orders must be in before 9:00am of the Tuesday of the pick up Saturday week - every second Saturday - the dates are on the website.
Pick up is at the pop-up in Swan Street between 9am-10am. Bring your own containers, boxes, recycled bags or bottles.
Guildford Pantry has a loyal, dedicated following - don't you think you should join them, grab a bargain, help the Aussie farmer and give your family the best possible produce?