I was talking this week to John Mustafa from Pettyâ€™s Orchard in Templestowe about their season. With only the Lady Williams and persimmons to come John and his father, Sam, are coming to the end of picking now. John says itâ€™s been a bit of a light year for apples but there have been plenty of beurre bosc pears, which youâ€™ll see in many of our set boxes this week as well as in the web store. Iâ€™m eating one as I write this, sliced up with cheese, quince paste or an Easter egg theyâ€™re my favourite pear.
Before John took over the farm I always loved spending time with his father Sam at his wholesale market stand. Sam's semi-retired but he still helps out on the farm every week. With his smiling moon face, I feel like hugging him every time I see him. Sam came to Australia as a young man from Albania. His tales of growing up poor in rural Albania (he didnâ€™t have proper shoes or pants until he was nine) and his early days in Victoria digging fields of potatoes by hand remind you of the life so many migrants experienced in the 50â€™s and 60â€™s. Sam eventually saved enough to buy his own stone fruit orchard in Kyabram. After raising his family he sold up and came to Melbourne to manage Pettyâ€™s in the early 2000â€™s and has been there ever since.
You can find Petty's at 1 Homestead Rd Templestowe Melways ref 22 A12 Open Thursday to Sunday 9-5.30pm
Help Name our FODMAP Friendly Box
We have a problem at Fair Food â€“ itâ€™s The Intolerant Box â€“ basically itâ€™s so broad in its focus that it doesnâ€™t really address anybodyâ€™s intolerances and itâ€™s also too big. So weâ€™ve decided to go back to the drawing board and develop a new more focussed box, a FODMAP friendly box thatâ€™s more the size of our popular Small Mixed Fruit and Veg box.
What is FODMAP friendly, you say? FODMAPs are Fermentable Oligosaccharides, Disaccharides, Monosaccharides and Polyols (rolls off the tongue doesnâ€™t it). For many people (about 1 in 10) these fructose molecules are poorly absorbed by their small intestines and the unabsorbed fructose ending up in the large intestine where itâ€™s fermented by bacteria causing abdominal bloating, distension, excessive flatulence, abdominal pain, nausea, diarrhoea, constipation, or a combination of both and other gastro-intestinal symptoms.
In the 1990â€™s Melbourne scientist, Dr Sue Shepherd, found that limiting high FODMAP foods was an effective treatment for people suffering from fructose malabsorbtion or irritable bowel syndrome as itâ€™s commonly known. The diet which is based on lists of FODMAP friendly foods can sometimes seem counter intuitive; for instance you can eat cabbage all the time, broccoli sometimes but cauliflower not at all but it has been embraced worldwide as one of the few effective treatments for IBS.
The upshot of all this is we are following Dr Shepherdâ€™s produce guidelines for our new FODMAP friendly box, the only thing is we donâ€™t have a name to go with it. So far the best weâ€™ve come up with is the Bowel Buddy Box, yeah, yeah itâ€™s terrible we know but we think you can do better. Last year in our time of need you helped us name the Mini Box. This year weâ€™re asking for your help again to name our new FODMAP friendly box and for the most popular name we'll give a $100 Fair Food Voucher.
Iâ€™ve just finished reading all your individual comments, which is my favourite part of our annual survey. Thanks to the 397 of you for all the product & service suggestions, all the ways we can do things better, the produce feedback, the lovely encouragement and yes more than anything I hear you are all really looking forward to our new swap in/out of the box system.
And another big thanks to Cocoa Rhapsody, our favourite local chocolatier, for making the delicious survey incentives.
Over the next two weeks weâ€™ll be compiling our to-do list of jobs, products to get, things to do over the next year and share them with you.
Have a great week
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