This week we’re pleased to be able to include baby broccoli bunches from Dendra Market Gardens in boxes again – as a new product there were unfortunately a few unforseen teething issues that needed to be ironed out, but we’re looking forward to being able to include these a bit more from now. Taking a gamble on growing something you haven’t before is a leap of faith that gets bigger the more of it you plant, but we’ve always done our best to support large and small growers who want to try new things, as this in the end benefits both the grower and you, the end customer.
The yellow cherry tomatoes from Dendra are another example – I remember a couple of years ago finding a sample punnet of these buried in our order for me to “see what I thought”; needless to say I said yes please! When Paul & Maria started picking the first avocados from their North Motton farm, we were one of their first customers, and when we dropped in to see York Town Organics during our summer break and saw their zucchini patch, we immediately asked them to grow twice as much so we could have some.
Only buying produce from Tasmanian growers has the risk of reducing the range of what we can put in our boxes, so it’s essential to work proactively in supporting these innovations, as if there’s no-one growing it here we can’t get it. Sometimes it’s not being grown here because there’s a mainland supplier who does it cheaper (which was the case with celery until we suggested it to Dendra Gardens), and sometimes it’s because there isn’t an obvious market for it (although we like to think that we helped in proving that there is a market for celeriac, a classic European winter veg!) Sometimes it already is being grown here but working with smaller growers means we can get greater variation in what’s available – thanks to Grown for Taste and York Town Organics we’re able to include a much wider variety of salad greens in boxes than the three or four products major supermarkets deem marketable. And sometimes, like the baby beetroot from Moore’s Farm Fresh in this week’s boxes, it’s being grown here but no-one is buying it – which is a real shame if you ask me!
By making the decision to buy Tasmanian – which you do every time you order one of our boxes – you’re helping our farmers take the leaps of faith that make for a healthy, vibrant food community.