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The Fair Food Almanac: November 2011
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Welcome back bananas and onions, farewell Doron and a new survey!
Yes, Bananas are back but humid weather is making stone fruit growers nervous. After 9 months recovering from Cyclone Yasi Banans return to our boxes just in time for the apple and pear season to wind down – phew we made it folks!
Now November, believe it or not, is the wettest month of the year for Melbourne with an average rainfall of around 50mm – remember last year we had 112mm!  So who would be a Victorian stone fruit grower praying for a fine November to get the crop in?  Too many wet and humid days like we’re having this week can mean a heartbreaking end to the whole season.  We’re keeping our fingers crossed for all our stone fruit growers for low humidity.  

Loui winds down or does he?

Aloyouis Cornelius Van den Broek aka Loui is one of the most talented veggie growers we know – you would have eaten his spectacular leeks, corn, fennel and bok choi over the past year.  Loui works his 10 acre Pearcedale market garden by himself, why, because nobody can keep up with him!  Loui plants 5000 leeks in less than a day, something that takes a normal person about 3 days!   Unbelievably Loui turns 75 this week and the question that’s been on everybody’s lips this year has been - will Loui retire before Christmas like he’s been threatening to or will he plant one more crop this summer?  After weeks of fending off our questions and standing by his retirement plans Loui sheepishly admitted that he planted a corn crop meaning we’ll have the pleasure of his produce and company for one more summer – let’s hope he puts in a crop of leeks in February.

Big month down on the CERES Organic Farm
It’s been a big month in our Harding St market garden on the banks of the Merri Creek in Coburg; CERES farmer, Sileshi Gerusu, after waiting 5 years finally got the go ahead to bring his wife and 6 year old son out to Australia.   Before they arrived two weeks ago Sileshi hadn’t seen them since 2006 when he was forced to leave Ethiopia after speaking out against the government.  Sileshi’s story is not unlike former Harding St market garden owner, Joe Garita’s, story.  Joe’s dad came alone to Australia from Italy in 1926, it took another eleven years until he saved enough to bring Joe and his mother over 1937.  Joe said his dad was a total stranger when he arrived.  These stories and more have been coming out because ABC’s Gardening Australia are coming to Harding St to film a story on Joe and CERES for an episode that will screen next year.  We’ll keep you posted.

Meanwhile at the Fair Food warehouse…… 
Jesse Hull, Fair Food’s floor manager returned after a month off looking after their new daughter, Winona, congratulations to Jesse and Melissa.  After two years Doron Francis is leaving us to work for Loving Earth. Doron is a founding member of Fair Food who has been responsible for Fair Food’s website, marketing, communications and for so much more – good luck Doron and thanks for all the work and inspiration you brought to Fair Food.  

There’s milk and tofu in the fridge
From this week In the Fridge section of the Fair Food webstore you can now find 2lt Biodynamic unhomogenised milk, Earthsource tofu and tempeh, True Organic butter and Marook Yoghurt.   They are delivered in ice packed eskys which we guarantee to be cold as long as you pick them up from your food host on the day of delivery.    

New Food Hosts in Ormond, Prahran, Surrey Hills & Albion 
Please spread the news about four new food hosts who have just opened.  A big welcome to:
Virginia at Ormond, Florence Street Tuesdays 5-8pm
Kim at Prahran, Greville Street Tuesdays 4:30-6:30pm
Catherine at Surrey Hills, Broughton Road Thursdays 4-6pm
Amanda at Albion, Westgate Ave Thursdays 5-8pm
Jane at Carlton North, Canning Street Tuesdays 5-8pm
Stephen and Leah at Eltham North, Jessica's Lane Tuesdays 6-8

The Fair Food Survey – looking at Fair Food through your eyes
Now we know each other a bit better we want do a “Being John Malkovich” with you and see Fair Food from your point of view.  To help us we have teamed up with Ben Wills from the University of Tasmania to create an online survey.  The survey will help make Fair Food easier to use; from putting in an order to picking your box up to finding out what extras you want.  It’ll also help Ben with his PhD looking at how the internet may be making local, organic and socially responsible food available to a wider range of people.   
The link for the survey is below: 

That’s all for now – remember there’s a full moon on Thursday November 10th – so if you’re quick you could still get a couple of tomatoes or chillies plants in the garden.  
All the best
Chris Ennis

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