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Newsletter, Autumn 2012
Tuesday, 20 March 2012 00:00

Autumn, 2012

Hello again,

So that was Christmas! And New Year (Happy 2012, everyone!) and now it’s March.

So it’s looking like this year will again zip past so fast we might as well just wind up saying ‘Happy New Yea………rry Christmas’ and be done with it.

For now, though there is lots to read and enjoy in this newsletter. We’ve given you some things to do (try for a prize, cook the recipe), things to think about (interesting news from other places) and look forward to (a prize), and a call to action – but more of that one later, under What is ARFG up to?

100mileAs a hint, Gordon cannot resist a challenge, especially if it is photographic, so he has mastered making videos. We are now in a position to cover various events as well as  produce short, promotional movies for businesses which are operating on a tight budget but would like capitalise on the effectiveness of a quality video clip. Click here to view samples [1] [2]

For now, just take a break, sit back and enjoy what we have found for you.


Until next time,



'This is your world. Shape it or someone else will.' - Gary Lew


 The BAD NEWS is that ARFG’s contract with NSW DTIRIS for subsidised listings has now finished. Some producers, already approved, need to finalise their Premier Listings. Please This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it with your details so that we can include you in the monthly newsletter which goes out to a large number of chefs and buyers* throughout the state.

* Chefs and other food buyers please note: If you don’t receive that newsletter and would like to – PLEASE This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it and you will be added to this mailing list which represents the state’s elite producers.

The GOOD NEWS is that from the March newsletter all NSW producers with Premier Listings will be added to the subsidised producers with the same opportunity to post their news and information there.

The EVEN BETTER NEWS is that if you are a producer in NSW reading this and you do NOT have a Premier Listing yet, you can still Become Listed. The BEST NEWS OF ALL is that the cost is tiny and the one-off fee is perpetual – no renewals.

AND OF COURSE – although we are not yet sending marketing newsletters out on behalf of Premier Listed producers in other states**, anyone can take out a paid listing with all the advantages of links to your website, images, a map and full information. Check it out . . .

** please This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it about that if you can see a way it could be funded.


You may have seen it on the Home page news but this bears repeating:
Achacha Fruit Group reports that the Achacha is the Third place winner of the FRUIT LOGISTICA Innovation Award 2012. The prize winners were announced on Friday at the conclusion of Fruit Logistica Berlin 2012. The innovation awards form part of the three-day trade fair and are for "outstanding innovation in the fresh produce sector and its service industries".


Fruit Logistica is the world's leading trade fair for the fresh fruit and vegetable business. More than 60,000 fruit professionals, representing 2,400 companies from across the entire fresh produce value chain, were present at the fair. 

Last December Achacha was selected by an expert panel from over 60 applicants as one of ten nominated finalists for the award. Each finalist was allocated one square metre in a special display area to show its product; in addition most of the finalists had major display and hospitality facilities in pavilions at the fair. The three winners were selected by the votes of visitors to the fair. 

For more information: www.achacha.com.au

Can anyone top this? Emeu Inn Restaurant and Bed & Breakfast (www.emeuinn.com.au) in Heathcote, Victoria, is celebrating 150 years in business. Are there any other places with a big anniversary this year??



We’ve told you about Gordon's video skills – and yes, we’re keen to extend this offer to wineries as well. 

This is part of our new expansion into offering Marketing Resources – a range of things to help you expand and promote your business. There are far too many to mention here but This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it to discuss what you might need. Here’s a hint: the resources are drawing on the in-depth experience and expertise  Gordon and Sally have developed in photography, writing, restaurant reviewing – and much more.

We’re also looking for partners – but don’t be shocked. Sally and Gordon plan to stay together, but they’re looking for partners to join with Australian Regional Food Guide to promote what has become a HUGE undertaking. This country is going gangbusters with regional food and it is almost impossible to keep up  with it all, and more importantly to find the resources to keep it going and growing. If you share our vision and want to become involved, please This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

facebooktwitterSocial media – yes, we’re still working on getting the Facebook site up and active.  Follow ARFG on Twitter

Please follow us there. And Sally also has a healthy following on LinkedIn.

Finally, this is how everyone can become involved with assisting us. We are urgently in need of ARF Guides in all parts of the country. Even if all you can do is check your local region and let us know if details have changed (especially closures) and alert us to places which may have sprung up without us knowing, that will be a great help.


ARFG loves this newsletter: View from a Bush Verandah

ALSO ask to be on the mailing list of Near River Produce at Near River Produce This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

PLEASE TELL US your favourite regional food newsletters and we’ll begin a list of favourites on the Home page.



Please feel free to send us links to articles you want to share with others. Here are some things from our reading over New Year:

Food and Nutrition trends:
The Slow Food University:


Australian Regional Food Guide has always felt very strongly about supporting regional producers – many of whom are, of course, farmers.

The following popped into our Inbox recently:

"This year has been designated the Australian Year of the Farmer and we want  to support this and ask everyone to get behind it too.

The Australian Year of the Farmer 2012 is a year-long celebration of the vital role farmers play in feeding, clothing and providing building materials to house us all. From small farms handed down over generations, to our largest agribusinesses, farming is inherent to the Australian way of life.


Australian Year of the Farmer will remind everyone, from those in our most remote areas to those in our biggest cities, of the role of farming in Australia. Agriculture has always made a significant contribution to Australia's economy and prosperity. Activities and events across the country will make sure every Australian will know 2012 is the Year of the Farmer.

The organisers have developed a program in cooperation with many partners to ensure the Year has a long term benefit for both regional and metropolitan communities.

They want you to take time out of your busy day to think about how farming affects your life. There's more to this agribusiness than meets the eye.

What are you going to do in 2012 to celebrate?"

 . . Read more 


gourmetfarmerThese are the winners of the Matthew Evans Gourmet Farmer 2 DVD from  the last ARFG newsletter:

Anouska Jones from Stroud, NSW; Megan Seiler from Murgon, QLD; and Max Dingle from Sussex Inlet, NSW.


Liz Posmyk was the very happy winner of the wonderful Chef’n Freshforce gift box.



Kerrie McMahon (owner of World Par-Tea) has offered a very special prize. As it’s the year of the dragon, World Par-Tea is presenting their dramatic red and gold dragon teapot with two matching doubled-walled cups to sip from, PLUS five samplers of teas.

parteaWorld Par-Tea is proud to ethically source the finest loose leaf teas from the world’s most exotic and recognised producers. Kerrie McMahon founded the company in the Blue Mountains in 2004, and now retails and wholesales from her warehouse and retail shop in Port Macquarie, NSW, distributing nationally and selling online.

To win……. Simply go to the listing on the ARFG site and be the first Australian resident to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it with the names of two of the tea blends made by World Par-Tea, and also how many countries the teas are sourced from.


DIARY DATE: the trade-only Speciality Food and Wine Fair, is planned for Aug 27-28, at the Sydney Convention and Exhibition Centre. It is planned as the definitive trade event for showcasing gourmet food and drink to buyers such as distributors, importers, wholesalers, restaurants, hotels, independent retailers, delicatessens, cafes and airlines who are constantly searching for quality products and new ideas to keep them one step ahead of the game.


ATTENTION QUEENSLAND PRODUCERS: Enrich Brisbane will be staged in March 2012 at the Brisbane Convention Centre. The organisers are
very interested in promoting the event to small  regional producers to provide them an opportunity to showcase directly to consumers examples of the enrichquality and diversity of produce available in Queensland.

Quality food is a key part of the Enrich experience and they have been working with DEEDI to contact regional producers with the attached special offer.  We can extend this discounted offer to any regional food producer who offers a genuine QLD grown or prepared product. Get in touch with David Kelly at www.enrichbrisbane.com.au


As we write, hundreds of producers and country people around NSW are battling floodwaters, evacuating their homes or counting the cost of their losses.

Margi Kirkby from Gwydir Olives at Moree is a familiar face at farmers’ markets and trade shows. Read her first-hand account of what the recent northern NSW floods were like for her. Don ‘t ever underestimate this country’s producers:

‘1 house, 1 dog, 2 people, 4 ducks, 12 Guinea Fowl, 12 hens, 1 rooster, countless mozzies, spiders and  critters all sharing a small 1.5 m space of lawn surrounding the house on the banks of the flooding Gwydir River near Moree. That is how we awoke to the biggest flood in the Gwydir/Mehi system for 50 years. With all those feet etc,  the smell and deposits are not so pleasant – but better than being totally underwater.

gwy1Will and I arrived home at 9pm the evening before, after making a decision to cut our Lord Howe Island holiday short. Luckily we could make connecting flights and arrived at the Moree airport, to be told we could not drive to our place. After some smooth talking we passed the first road block and  then walked through knee high water to borrow a neighbour’s tractor and  drove to The Grove. Then we worked for several hours to lift as many cartons of oil and  paraphernalia, rusty car wheels and  axels, welders, gas cylinders and  grinders and  a lot of my mothers “stuff” that had been dumped into “The Shed” to be dealt with at a later date. By midnight we were exhausted and  waded back through the water to the house to have a very sleepless night.
The 11 half grown Guinea Fowl chicks and  4 ducklings needed to be located in the flowing water!! We only found 1 chick and  brought it into the laundry for the night. In the daylight hours we located all the other animals and herded them onto our dry mound. Even the ducks could not swim against the rushing water. We lost 1 chicken.    

gwy2During the day we watched the rivers rise very quickly, swamping our marker sticks every few hours. The water entered “The Shed”, demolished the veggie garden, swept the rubbish and  compost heaps away, swept debris onto the chook house fence over 1 m high, broke a levee bank in the garden and generally tore the place to pieces. There was no dry land on our farm. At about midday the waters calmed and started to drop ever so slowly. The birds started to swoop into the water to bathe and catch insects and the roar subsided slightly. The whir of the helicopters still continued.

The SES in its wisdom, ordered our power to be disconnected “as running water under houses causes fires” They failed to realise that we are on a concrete mound. After many phone calls, several hours and  a request to have a generator dropped from the sky, we were reconnected. The power is vital for many reasons - our land line is very crackly due to water damage and we are relying on mobile phones for river readings and  communications, plus there is very little food in the house and what there is, is in the freezer. Earlier in the day we had filled water containers as the bore had been immobilised.

The flood water makes quite a loud noise as it rushes and swirls across the garden and  around the house, the cacophony of frogs and crickets is deafening and the usual serene, quite evening on the banks of the Gwydir River has been turned into a night filled with distressed sounds and  loud unusual noises.

Tomorrow is another day and hopefully the water level will have dropped enough to allow us to wade across to the oil shed and start the enormous task of cleaning up. The animals will have a bit more space to spread themselves and the Gwydir Grove oil will flow again!!! Even if the cartons are muddy.

The following day the water dropped slightly and we started the mammoth task of hosing and sweeping. There was ½ m water through the sheds. No damage to the cars, but mud caked everywhere. 3 rescued horses were added to the animal count so we had a very full compliment on the mound. We are exhausted and have never swept and cleaned so much! We drove out late Sunday afternoon and helped a few others. The next job is to clean the debris from the garden. Every tree and  shrub has rubbish – straw and  twigs - on it.’


With the exciting development of the recently formed Orange Events Support Group, Taste Orange is calling out to businesses and brands to join with them to forge the ongoing success of this growing region.

There are multiple opportunities for business investment in the form of partnerships with the new Events Support Group.

“We are actively seeking expressions of interest from businesses, groups and brands to share in the future promotion of the Orange Region,” explained Taste Orange Executive Officer, Rhonda Sear.

FOODWeek“The potential promotion for our new and existing partners is enormous.  Our region, with its 60,000 residents, has a proven and successful track record. Events such as F.O.O.D. Week has been attracting vast numbers of visitors for 20 years.  There has also been huge investment in the region that continues to attract corporate interest.”

This investment in the region includes the new medical hub for the Central West, the $250 million Orange Health Service facility.  Orange can also claim one of Australia’s largest gold and copper mines, Newcrest’s Cadia Hill Mine, as well as a range of Government agencies, educational campuses, major retail centres and over 130 community groups focusing on, amongst other interests, arts, music and sport.

“With the development of the Events Support Group, Orange can offer much in the way of interaction and exposure with our visitors and businesses.”

Orange_02“Orange is a unique, major provincial centre in NSW, with an enviable reputation for not only its food and wine, but its agricultural, mining, health, arts, music, theatre, education and tourism industries.”

“There are many businesses that would find a great fit within the region and the new Events Support Group is the vehicle that can ensure these partnerships offer an enduring return on investment.”

The Events Support Group comprises members of Taste Orange, F.O.O.D, Wine Week, Slow Summer, Frost Fest, Farmers Markets, Stay Orange, Local Councils, Towac Fruit Export Co-Operative and Village Committees.

“We urge any interested parties to contact us. We look forward to sharing our future plans regarding these exciting events and promotions.”

Further information on the Orange region and its events can be found at www.tasteorange.com.au.


328-1We have a couple of lovely friends who hosted us in their bed and breakfast in Mudgee recently. Sybil and Bechora Deeb are quintessential hosts and I would cross the country (or in this case drive several hours) for Bechora’s food.

As we were leaving, with his boundless generosity he loaded us up with all sorts of goodies – produce from his garden, things he had made himself – so what else could I do but make something with it? It seems Bechora’s culinary magic somehow rubbed off, too as this is now a family favourite!


spinach_slice1 bunch spinach, well washed, ribs removed
2 sheets puff pastry (I use 25 percent fat-reduced)
6 button mushrooms sliced and sautéed in butter
2 tablespoons wild thyme, pickled in oil and lemon juice ( or lemon thyme)
2 tablespoons tarator (garlic dip)*
125g grated haloumi cheese (or sheep’s cheese)
3 eggs
salt and pepper to taste

Place the whole spinach leaves in boiling salted water and bring to the boil then turn off heat and leave for at least 10 minutes. Drain (reserving the water for another use if you like) then chop finely. Place spinach in a bowl and add all the other ingredients, mixing well.

Line a 20cm pie plate or similar with one sheet of thawed puff pastry,  stretching and cutting to cover the base and sides and pressing in well at the sides. Prick and place in a preheated 200C oven and bake for 15 minutes until becoming golden. If it has puffed up, just prick a few times to let out the air.

Remove from the oven and pile in the filling, then top with remaining pastry sheet, trimming it to cover the filling. At the edges and press well with a fork or your fingers. Prick the top with a fork and return to the oven, baking for a further 30 minutes or until the pie looks well browned. Cool on a rack and serve cut into pieces.
Serves 4-6.

* alternatively use 2 cloves crushed garlic and 2 tablespoons yoghurt or bought garlic dip.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 14 August 2012 20:21