Over the last 5 weeks of our Rewiring the food system campaign I've written about our farmers, grocery makers, asylum seekers who work at Fair Food, about Food Hosts and customers and all the pieces that make up Fair Food except for the last piece, CERES Environment Park, our mother-organisation.
But first I like to talk platypuses and why we need them in our lives.
The Merri Creek runs by CERES Environment Park and in the last few years platypuses have slowly started to appear again. Logically platypuses sort of shouldn't exist; they're a mammal that lays eggs, seemingly part duck, part beaver, part otter, they walk like a reptile and locate their prey by electroreception (which other animal has even heard of that?)
Platypuses shake up all our perceptions of how animals should be and yet there they are, happily going about their lives electrolocating yabbies in the Merri Creek, gently showing us our way isn't always the only way.
CERES Environment Park is sort of a platypus. Emerging 32 years ago from a tipsite, CERES shouldn't really exist either and it's just as hard a thing to describe; part open-air classroom, part farm school, part-community garden, part playground, part bike workshop, part social enterprise incubator, part green technology demonstration, part city refuge. The list goes on.
CERES existence also gently shows us that the way we do things now isn't the only way; that we can live different lives, caring lives. That we can learn to exist in our environment with respect and love.
Since it grew out of a council tip 1.3 million children have come with their schools to CERES, learning hands-on how they can live caring lives. Thousands more children in over 500 Victorian Schools learn the same thing from CERES teachers going out into the community, as well as yet thousands more across Australia and the world.who learn through CERES inspired programs.
All the profits generated from Fair Food supports this community platypusing work that CERES does. It's the belief that it's possible to live differently, to lead caring lives that underpins Fair Food's existence and guides the way we work with farmers, our workers, our food hosts and our community.
And it's obvious that many of you believe the same thing, the last time I looked 331 people had given $28,170 to pass our campaign tipping point. The commitment you have shown to living caring way of life is inspiring and for those who still want to join in we have until lunchtime Tuesday to see how far can we get towards our ultimate goal of $50,000.
With the money we raise Fair Food can install new software that will give more people access to Fair Food and by doing so we will give more farmers fair prices, give more asylum seekers jobs and fund more education programs at CERES.
Over the past year Rob Anderson from Four Nonnas Pasta has been regularly dropping by the Fair Food warehouse. First he came for a chat about making organic pasta, then later Rob popped in to get feedback on some menu ideas. It was quiet for a while but then Rob turned up with some prototype samples and then finally the other day all Rob's persistence paid off and this week we are helping Rob launch Four Nonnas Organic Pasta at Fair Food with a 15% discount off the whole range.
Rob and The Four Nonna's Story
Three years ago Rob and Annette Anderson were looking for a change from their over-busy lives in retail and an all-consuming, before-its-time, social enterprise start-up. They sold their house, threw in their small business and jobs, pulled their 3 daughters out of school and travelled around Europe for around 5 months in a tiny car
They ended up living in a small medieval village in northwest Italy for a month, where they fell completely and hopelessly in love with the people, the food, and the intensely local way of life. Shopping at their local market they got friendly with the artisan pasta makers at the market's fresh pasta shop.
Back in Melbourne deciding what they'd do next Rob and Annette came across Giovanni, the owner of a fresh pasta business in Oakleigh. After years of hand making traditional fresh pastas Giovanni was retiring and selling his shop. What do you do when opportunity and destiny opens a new door. They took a breath and bought the business and with the help and skills of their employees, Dora, Lucy, Margherita and Maria, aka The Four Nonnas (they're actually for real, not some kind of marketing agency construct) they began learning the business of fresh pasta making.
Today at the Oakleigh kitchen Dora, Lucy, Margherita and Maria make lasagnes and cannellonis much like they would in their own kitchens. They also run the machines (that's Dora in the pic above) that make the fresh pasta.
We've started putting up the Four Nonna's Organic range on the website in the ready meals section and we should have everything up by the end of this week. The ingredients are sourced as locally as possible including meat from Cherry Tree Organics in South Gippsland. And like I said before there's a 15% discount to tempt you into giving the Nonnas a go.
Have a great week
CERES Fair Food's weekly update with stories from our farmers and producers, Food Hosts, the Fair Food warehouse and theworld at large.