Maggie Beer

Food Memories

November 24 2014

I grew up in a household where food was always important and I'm not sure if I was three or four years old but the memory is so vivid; we lived at the time at Rose Bay, Sydney, just up the road from the flying boat squadron. There had been a huge storm buffeting the shore, then a black out. Mum had candles burning within minutes as we huddled around the small kitchen table and she served us golden syrup dumplings. Was it the smell, the taste, the feeling of safety? I'm not sure but not only is it my first food memory but it was the only time Mum ever cooked them and yet even just talking about them my whole body smiles. Read the rest...

Season In A Jar

November 12 2014

Put the season in a jar; the time-honoured craft of preserving in times of plenty is one of the most effective guards against waste. Knowing how to make jams, chutneys, sauces and pickles means you will never throw away excess fruit or vegetables again. These things may seem minimal but their effect is absolutely tangible. Read the rest...

Plated Provenance

November 10 2014

I truly believe the seemingly little things can end up making the biggest impact, so my ideas of change start with the things we feel we can maintain on a daily basis; introducing vegetable gardening into our daily lives, keeping a couple of chooks, and relying on Farmer’s Markets to help re establish our connection to the provenance of what sits on our plates. Plant a fruit tree; the notion of greening our planet by planting more trees is one I whole-heartedly agree with but even better perhaps would be to make that tree of a fruit bearing kind. Our entire garden was created with the conviction that we would only plant what could be eaten and it has returned our efforts tenfold. Imagine if all the trees used in town planning were fruit trees? How wonderful to have fresh fruit within everyone’s reach. Read the rest...

Liquid Gold

November 07 2014

We have always been aware of just how precious water is to all aspects of our business, having a hand in every stage of production from growing the fruit, to processing it, to distributing it and retailing it. 30 odd years ago we knew then how important water would be to our livelihood and so we put the infrastructure in dams; metered bores and huge rainwater thanks in place to not only preserve water as much as we could for our orchards, vineyards and olive groves, but of course I’m always looking for more ways to conserve this most fundamental of life’s building blocks. Even the smallest things count. We have a bucket in our shower that collects the run of water while the right temperature of the shower is being reached, and you’d be amazed at just how much water this saves each day, that can then be put onto the garden or potplants. Read the rest...

Growing Change

November 05 2014

Having a vegetable garden within 20 metres of my kitchen door certainly leaves a very soft footprint in an environmental sense. It also allows the opportunity to recycle food scraps to our chooks and worm farm in order to use their manure in our compost. A mini eco system without any need for a car being driven or plastic bags being filled. I love wandering out into the orchard in the early morning to choose fruit for breakfast or into the kitchen garden to pick asparagus or artichokes that will go in to the pot within minutes, such a luxury in these busy times but one the most satisfying ways to add more fresh produce to your diet. Growing your own produce would have to be my best health tip ever, even if that means a tomato plant in a pot, or some herbs in a planter box on an inner city balcony, it will make all the difference to your cooking. And that’s without mentioning the delight of tending to living plants as you grow your harvest. Read the rest...

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