In Farm’s Way – A gift to our community
As the late spring sun bunkers down for the night, its final rays deliver a beacon of light radiating across fresh pastures of hope. Enthusiastically I join an authentic tribe of Byron Bay producers, locals, influencers and doers for a once in a lifetime opportunity to visit The Farm for a delightful pre opening tour, drinks and dinner. As locals gather we kiss, shake hands, cheer and clink glasses, knowing we are so very lucky to be the first to beat this joyous path into the world of Australia’s newest and most easterly gastronomic tourism destination. We beam about the prospect of having such a world-class venue on our doorstep.
I declare it is “a gift to the community”. Others repeat this – and we all rejoice.
The vision for the farm is vast, mesmerising and inspiring, It is the story of paddock to plate, from picnic to playground to pinot. Yet the paddock is right there, and the pig we just ate grazed over yonder less than seven hours ago. Some cried at this thought and others cheered. For me, this is a celebration, not for the loss of an animal’s life, but for the joy that the greater community will soon experience the utmost authenticity and enjoy a mouth-on experience as to where real food comes from. No plastic, no polystyrene. My friend Pam Brook and I marvelled at the garlic ‘fermenter’ – a humid ‘oven’ that will transform the tonnes of homegrown garlic into the revered black garlic, famous for its rich antioxidant compounds and unique flavour profile. Just one of the offerings to launch from the new leader on the wholefoods front.
So much will be written about the farm, the awesome hard-working staff, the visionaries, those top blokes from the Three Blue Ducks, The Bread Social, The Byron Bay Cheese Company and what drives our #LowCarbHighFat #Paleo regime – Byron Bay Butter – also known as ‘the butter that changed my life’ – more on that soon! More importantly, it will provide the new canvas for the real conversation about food sovereignty and food security – two topics I have had the utmost pleasure delivering to two independent conferences – just this week in Byron Bay.
As the farm gains momentum and becomes a gourmet tourist attraction, let’s promise to adhere to the initial vision with integrity – which is that it remains a place of community where we can thrown down a picnic rug, chew the saturated fat and pick up on meaningful conversations about real food, sustainability, awareness of food miles, the pursuit of Whole Happiness – and ultimately, our collective role in the future of Australian food.