Sean Goedecke is a freelance writer trying to visit every cafe in Australia. If you enjoy his articles, it can't hurt to click the 'like' link at the bottom or subscribe.
The Organic Expo and Green Show is an exhibition aimed at celebrating real food and healthy lifestyles in the city. Held on two days – the 15th and 16th of October – at the Royal Exhibition Building annually, this year it’s premiering an all new look and feel, so even if you’ve been previous years, it’ll be a new experience. Come to sample organic foods, try out cooking methods, and learn gardening tips.
One of last year's exhibits.
One of the primary features of the Organic Expo and Green Show will be the Demonstration Stage, where celebrity chefs come to give cooking demonstrations. Reading the official website is like wading through a sea of exclamation marks, but despite their rabid enthusiasm it seems like the celebrity chefs on offer are second tier. The organic food that the chefs will be cooking is described as “beautiful” – so if you’re the kind of person who finds knobbly potatoes attractive, the Demonstration Stage might be for you.
There’s also what looks like an open-forum arena, called The Box, where experts will come and discuss the best way to eat and live healthily. If you feel you’re an expert on the subject – and even if you’re not – you’ll be able to contribute to the discussion. Got a foolproof way of growing carrots or a herbal remedy you think is the best? Visit The Box and share your wisdom.
In the Kitchen Garden and Get Your Hands Dirty workshops, you can learn how to turn your backyard into a mini-farm (or a ‘gourmet garden’, as the website promises.) Presumably you won’t be digging up nearby Carlton Gardens and planting crops, though. For those who’ve already plowed up their backyard lawns, there’s a Grow Your Basket competition where you can submit a hanging basket full of crops for judgement by the crowd – helped by a ‘celebrity gardener’, whatever that is.
As always, the kids can play with the baby animals on display. The exhibition might be worth it for this exhibit alone – people of all ages can appreciate the weapons-grade cuteness of baby animals. Every pet shop in Melbourne has kittens and puppies, but where else can you go to get your fix of baby foals or pigs?
Finally, there’s a cake competition – inventively called Bake Your Cake – where anyone can submit an entry. The celebrity chef will pick the winning entrant, who will henceforth be known as the 2011 Organic Cake Master Cook. You might want to shorten that a little when you’re bragging to your friends, though.
Unfortunately, the Organic Expo and Green Show isn’t free. General tickets are $18 - $15 for concession and free for under-12s – and a two-day pass is $30. If you’re bringing your family there’s another discount for that, so check the website for more details.
You probably want to book online.
Is the price worth it, considering Melbourne's other free exhibitions? It depends on how interested you are in growing food. If your idea of getting food is driving to the nearest fast food joint, maybe give it a miss – but if you grow your own hanging baskets and bake the best cake in Melbourne, the Organic Expo and Green Show is definitely worth a visit.