We welcome all members and friends to Slow Food Brisbane and 2020. Shortly we will email you some of our upcoming events starting in April through to December so you can add them to your calendars.

Food for thought … as we enter the traditional harvest season of Autumn.     

Regenerative farming helps primary producers bounce back from fire and drought https://www.abc.net.au/news/rural/2020-03-04/bushfire-bounce-back-regenerative-drought/12017434

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Will our children and grandchildren know the taste of fruit, or just see it in history books?

If our right to good, clean and fair food is inextricable from our right to pleasure, as Slow Food has argued for over 30 years, then abandoning agriculture is an unacceptable proposal for saving the world. What world would we have saved, if it contained no gardens? Thankfully, there are solutions at hand that include agroecology and regenerative agriculture.  It is what farmers had been practicing for thousands of years prior to industrialization, and in many places, they still do. www.slowfood.com 

The Slow Food movement argues that ideas  such as  “lab-grown food will soon destroy farming and save the planet”  and  “nature as merely a resource to be exploited for our benefit” are extreme and that these ideas fail to acknowledge that there are still around 3.5 billion people living in rural areas across the globe whose primary activity is farming. There are hundreds of millions of small-scale farmers around the world. The FAO estimates that small farms account for 83% of all farms, occupy only 12% of the world’s agricultural land, and supply at least a third of all the world’s food.

Another interesting read is the flagship report, Who Will Feed Us? whowillfeedus@etcgroup.org.

 Some highlights of the Who Will Feed Us report

  • Peasants (not food corporations) feed the world: 70% of the world’s population is fed by the Peasant Food Web, using only 25% of resources.
  • Industrial food production fails to feed: Only 24% of the food produced by the Industrial Food Chain actually reaches people – the rest is wasted in meat production inefficiencies; lost in transport, storage and at the household; and diverted to non-food products.
  • Industrial food costs us more: For every dollar spent on industrial food, it costs another 2 dollars to clean up the mess

Gardening and small-scale agriculture has been a basic activity to produce food for thousands of years. In our current food systems, we are far from this reality and far from the understanding of what it takes to grow food while respecting nature, the environment, and communities. The slow food objective is to highlight the use of organic manures and polyculture, instead of chemical fertilizers and monoculture, which is killing our soils.

This newsletter features urban gardening and education activities of three of Slow Food Brisbane’s Snails of Approval, Cannon Hill SS School Kitchen Garden, Arran the Farmer (Millen Farm, Samford), and Millen Farm Community Garden, (Samford).  For more information go to https://slowfoodbrisbane.com.au/snail-of-approval/

Slow Food Brisbane invites you to join us on a journey of learning how to become co producers and spread the word about Good, Clean and Fair Food and protecting food biodiversity. Underlying these principles are respect for the environment, protection of ecosystems and biodiversity, social justice within the food production chain, and consideration of cultural diversity and traditions.

Slow Food Brisbane www.slowfoodbrisbane.com.au is part of Slow Food International, www.slowfood.com a not-for-profit, global, grassroots organization, founded in 1989 to prevent the disappearance of local food cultures and traditions, and to encourage people’s interest in the food they eat, where it comes from, and how their food choices affect the world.

Looking at 2020 

2020 will be another year where Slow Food Brisbane focusses on a wide range of food and agricultural issues, as well as taste education, local and urban farming, community gardens and emerging climate issues. We aim to do this through engaging with members and friends at Slow Food events and convivial conversations, by offering visits to local producers and farms and enjoying the delicious taste experiences where we learn about our Snail of Approval producers, artisans and chefs (see below for full list).

Thank you to all members and friends who attended our AGM event on 24th February. We are delighted to welcome the Slow Food Brisbane Committee for 2020.

Position Name
Leader Wendy Downes
Secretary (correspondence) Jamie Brailek
Secretary (Minutes) Louise Thomas
Treasurer Ross Claxton
Committee Deb Lockyear
Dale Chapman
  Tay Olsen
  Jayne Agaiur (shared)
  Dani Phelan (shared)
  Christine Ling
  Ian McBride
  Noelene McBride



Our AGM Event: What a wonderful night listening to Dale Chapman and Wendy Downes share their experiences from the International Slow Food world events. Dale’s presentation following Indigenous Terra Madre in Japan was paired beautifully with amazing food celebrating Indigenous ingredients courtesy of Chris Jordan, Three Little Birds. Thank you to Chris for sharing with us his uniquely Australian food . This was followed by Wendy guiding us through her time in a village full of cheese in Bra, Italy while we enjoyed Australian artisan cheese platters.

A special thank you to members Ross and Barbara West for raiding their garden and providing table decorations of finger limes, lemon myrtle and dragon fruit.

About the evening and the food:

Teresa wrote: I was fortunate to attend the Slow Food Supper of Indigenous Tastes at Christ Church, Milton on 24 February 2020. The supper was provided by Chris Jordon of Three Little Birds. The menu was a celebration of some foraged foods and some not. Apparently, you can forage in the city if you know what you are looking for. We were served a platter of wild spiced kangaroo loin and smoked chicken. The meat platter was accompanied by a venison jus which on its own was delicious. The meats were perfectly cooked. Both tender and juicy. This was accompanied by two salads. A grain salad and a green bean salad. Both were fresh and delicious but for me the standout was the green bean with the accompanying grilled peach and macadamias. Chris Jordon will clearly be a talent to follow..

Dawn wrote: Members who attended the AGM on 24 February were amply rewarded with an Indigenous inspired supper supplied by Chris Jordon of Three Little Birds. The evocative heritage listed Christ Church at Milton with its deep wood hues was a great venue for this imaginative and tasty fare served on wooden and bamboo platters. The meat platter consisted of Wild Spiced Kangaroo loin, and smoked chicken. This was complemented with an innovative salad of ancient grains, including faro and quinoa, with orange myrtle carrots and coconut yogurt, plus a charred peach, green bean and macadamia salad. The food was interesting and delicious and was washed down with the usual selection of enjoyable wines. The mini feast was completed with a wonderful platter of artisan cheeses supplied by Wendy Downes of the Cheeseboard at Stafford.  

Food was provided by Chris Jordan, head chef Three Little Birds who has a passion to share meals featuring native ingredients which arose while he was tracing his ancestry. “Our family grew up not knowing our Indigenous ancestry and it wasn’t really something my mother or her family identified, so we kind of missed out on all the knowledge. So, I wanted to end that with me.” He has connected with his Indigenous culture to give food lovers a taste of native ingredients at his pop-up restaurant in South Brisbane. Three Little Birds owner Chris Jordan can be found at Wandering Cooks – a space on the corner of Fish Lane and Cordelia Street where food and drink businesses showcase their menus.

Chris served us foods that included many aromatic and flavoursome native ingredients:

  • Wild Spiced Kangaroo loin, and Smoked chicken
  • Ancient Grains salad with orange myrtle carrots coconut yogurt
  • Charred peach, green bean and macadamia salad

Dessert by Wendy Downes, The Cheeseboard:

Artisan Cheeseboard platters

Wines selected by Dawn and Gerry Brady were:

  • Brut NV Colinas De Lisboa Red Blend.
  • Yalumba Y Series Unwooded Chardonnay:

Guest speakers were Wendy Downs and Dale Chapman who represented Slow Food Brisbane at Slow Cheese, Bra, Italy (September, 2019) and Indigenous Terra Madre in Japan (October, 2019) respectively.

To be eligible for attendance at these events applicants are required to submit an application and address criteria to demonstrate how they envisage the event will grow their knowledge, seed new projects, lead to global networks and how they propose to share their newfound knowledge locally and nationally. All applications are submitted to both the local Convivium and Slow Food International for final approval.

Slow Cheese, Bra, Italy; 2019 (Wendy Downs, Affineur, The Cheese Board)

Even after spending 4 days immersed in Cheese 2019 it is hard to describe. It is a festival, a market and a conference. For me, it was also an occasion to meet others who are passionate about cheese, taste cheese from around the world and to let my inner cheese geek run free. 

The first impression of Slow Cheese is the market, filling every square and park of Bra. Some streets are dedicated to cheese stalls representing different countries, in other streets the stalls represent the presidia, natural wine, and regions of Italy or salami. It is an opportunity to learn and taste, but best of all it provides a forum to talk and connect with cheesemakers and affineurs from all over the world. 

Talking to stall holders opened the door to a world of cheese. I met members of the Irish Raw Milk Presidia, discussed the challenges of raw milk cheesemaking in Ireland and tasted a Bellingham Blue, the most recent addition to the Presidia. I learnt the challenges of spontaneous fermentation (using the microbes existing in the milk as culture) in the production of Sillas, a Spanish raw goat’s milk cheese. I met a young cheesemaker who has developed a raw milk dispensing machine in the UK. Best of all, I talked with other affineurs from around the world.

The theme of Slow Cheese 2019 was ‘As Natural as Possible’, showcasing cheese, wine and salami that are produced using as minimal intervention as possible. For cheese, that means raw milk, natural culture and taming the spontaneous fermentation process. Raw milk cheese from around the world was the focus of most events and taste workshops. 

It was exciting to be part of a panel of 3 Australians showcasing some of our raw milk cheeses in a taste workshop. It turned out be an eclectic and wide-ranging workshop with 7 cheeses, 3 from Australia, 3 from Ireland and a surprise special guest from Russia. 

I came home from Slow Cheese 2019 with a greater knowledge of cheese, feeling part of a worldwide network but also with the knowledge that although our artisan cheese industry is still a fledgling, Australian handmade cheese is good and, in terms of quality, it can hold its own against European cheeses. To me that is affirming and exciting. It gives me the courage to keep supporting, promoting and encouraging the growth and development of handmade cheeses in Australia.

Bush Foods Australia ” across the divide”.


Indigenous communities are the last to hold traditions:  

Dale Chapman (Bush tucker chef) spoke about her involvement with the Indigenous communities from around the world on her recent trip to Hokkaido, Japan for the Indigenous Terra Madre and how the Ainu people and Aboriginal Australians share a similar journey i.e. to bring about connection to country, the love for their foods and traditions. Dale’s topic was:  Indigenous Peoples’ Food Systems and Climate Change. Following on from this international event, Dale has been invited to attend and present at the World Indigenous Tourism Summit in Perth in April, 2020, together with long time member of SlowFood Swan Valley, WA, Dale Tillbrook. At this event they will highlight the unique flavours of Aboriginal Australia and promote Indigenous Slow Food communities. Dale Tilbrook and her brother Lyall Tilbrook own Maali Mia Pty Ltd which operates the Maalinup Aboriginal Gallery. Dale also has wonderful knowledge about local foods and the bush tucker ingredients and is a proud descendant of the Wardandi Bibbulmun people from the Busselton, Margaret River, Augusta.

Dale Chapman is a Kooma, Yuwaalaraay woman from Dirranbandi Western Queensland. Regarded as a leader in her field, Dale is the founder of My Dilly Bag, a celebrated and award-winning chef, cookbook author, public speaker, television personality, YouTuber and lecturer. Both ladies are wild about Australian foods and the benefits and pridethat it brings to their people, fellow Australians and the world.

Recipe from Cooee Cuisine by Dale Chapman

Bunya Nut Soup
60ml (¼ cup) olive oil
1 brown onion, halved, chopped
1 garlic clove, crushed
2 medium (about 350g) peeled desiree, pink eye or pontiac potatoes cut into 2cm cubes
400g Bunya nuts raw 
2 leeks, pale section only, washed, dried, thinly sliced
1.25L (5 cups) vegetable stock
125ml (½ cup) thickened cream (optional)
pinch of salt
2 tbsp finely chopped fresh chives
• Heat 1 tbsp of the oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the onion and garlic
and cook, stirring, for 3 minutes or until the onion softens. Add the potato and leek and cook,
• Add Bunya nuts for 5 minutes or until leek softens.
• Add the stock and bring to the boil. Reduce heat to medium and gently boil, uncovered, for
20 minutes or until potato and nuts are soft.
• Remove from heat and set aside for 10 minutes to cool.
• Transfer one-third of the potato mixture to the jug of a blender and blend until smooth.
Transfer to a clean saucepan. Repeat in 2 more batches with the remaining potato mixture.
• Place the soup over medium heat. Add the cream and stir to combine. Cook, stirring, for 5
minutes or until hot. Taste and season with salt to finish.
Pastry lid:
• Using a store-bought pastry, place onto floured board, cut out shape to suit top of serving
dish. Prick with a fork.
• Either cook separately on baking tray in a 220°C oven for 15 minutes or place on the soup
and bake.

Feature articles: Gardening, the Slow Food Movement  www.slowfood.com  and Slow Food Brisbane’s Snail of Approval recipients.

Gardening can mean many things. It can mean to educate new generations on food and its complex relationship with the environment; it can mean to promote biodiversity and food sovereignty or to fight against food deserts and support the access to fresh, whole food in large cities. Good, clean and fair gardens can extend their “roots” across the continents by spreading the knowledge of gardening through workshops and social gatherings that provide the local producers with tools and techniques to produce food in more sustainable ways.

One goal of gardening (agroecological) is to transfer education to the community and to rescue traditional rural knowledge through promoting activities like educational workshops for the local community and schools, and promoting the value of community gardens. Brisbane Slow Food’s Snail of Approval Award Program actions these ideas through recognising, among other things, community gardens, taste and agriculture educators, genuine small farmers, and sustainable food producers, that demonstrate a philosophy of adopting earth friendly practices. The following stories share the enactment of these practices:

Snail of Approval recipient Cannon Hill SS School Kitchen garden is teaching its students about good, clean and fair food and protecting food biodiversity.

Biodiversity, seasonality and sustainable agriculture are the core values of any good edible garden. The Cannon Hill State School edible gardens provide children opportunities for active learning about how to grow their food, opportunities to monitor and experiment with a wide variety of plants, and opportunities to take an interest in what they consume and how to do this sustainably. Through these experiences the students can take on the role of “food/green heroes”, who understand and advocate for good, clean and fair food and who are serious about food waste.

Cannon Hill State School Kitchen Garden Update

By Cian, year 6

What’s growing? 

Cannon Hill State School staff and students returned from holidays to find the garden had done lots of growing… sadly, the weeds won! Our ugly friend NUT GRASS has returned. The good news is that we have lots of basil and mint. Over the next few weeks we will do plenty of weeding and we will plant seeds for autumn.

What’s cooking? 

We have made pesto using the basil from our garden along with parmesan, olive oil, garlic (a bit too much!), salt and pepper. We sampled the pesto with crackers – this batch was a bit too garlicky for our tastes!

In our breakfast club, Alison is going to use the excess milk and basil to experiment with a new recipe – baked ricotta gnocchi with pesto sauce. We’re not sure how it will taste yet, but if it’s a good one we will send the recipe!

Clearly students have begun to understand their food better and are increasingly becoming aware of the importance of growing their own food and responsible ways of consuming it.

This is a way of creating awareness about biodiversity through the products that can be found in their school gardens. Another important part of gardening is educating students about food waste, teaching them ways of conserving and/or preserving surplus and growing a variety of products that mature at different times and of being water conscious.

Snail of Approval recipients Arran, The Farmer (Millen Farm) and Millen Farm Community Garden, Samford

Arran, the Farmer is integral to the planting and production at Millen Farm. The vision of Millen Farm with Arran as the main farmer has been:

  • providing organic fresh produce for the community on their doorstep,
  • demonstrating how to grow fresh food, and
  • providing a place for community to come together to enjoy learning and eating.

Arran has been central to this concept as he has an ability to share his knowledge and to teach children and adults alike about farming, gardening, and how to save precious time, water and money.

Millen Farm Community Garden Samford Nurtures new beginnings

Millen Farm’s vision of a community garden is unique to this location. Through its connections with the working farm and the Community Hub Building, this community garden will provide a number of functions to bring the community together in a safe, natural space for fun, education and companionship.

The Millen Farm Community Garden is in planning and designing phase. A natural extension to the working Farm and complementing the soon-to-be-built Community Hub, the Community Garden proposes to offer formal education opportunities for home schoolers and school groups; a place for children, families and senior citizens to connect; a fix-it shed; and a calming, relaxing place for all to simply enjoy.

The planning for this community garden includes:

  • Gently winding paths designed to harvest water and deliver it to garden beds.
  • Arbours over the paths to provide support for productive vines and shade over the paths.
  • Seats placed to provide a view over the gardens and the farm.
  • A bush tucker and native tree forest to provide a windbreak, food for people and food and habitat for birds, insects, mammals and reptiles.
  • Ponds throughout the gardens to provide water and habitat. (Child safe covered of course)
  • A food forest providing food for the Millen Farm markets and to the Samford Support Network.
  • Garden beds full of flowers and herbs and other sensory plants.
  • A dedicated education space with raised beds at various heights to cater for young children, people in wheelchairs and people with bad backs and knees.
  • Chickens for children to interact with during workshops.
  • Nature play activities for children interwoven throughout the gardens. 

To stay up to date, visit www.millenfarm.org

The year that was: 2019 at a glance. Go to https://slowfoodbrisbane.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/SFB-Annual-Report-2019.pdf

Visions for Slow Food Communities

Slow Food Communities are increasingly a part of a Slow Food International discussion and may emerge as a future direction for Slow Food with convivia and communities being part of an evolving slow food movement.  Currently Slow Food Brisbane Snail of Approval Communities could look like this:

Small Farmers, primary producers and community gardens. Agriculture and Food Education:

Arran Heideman (Farmer, primeary producer Millen Community Farm

Arran Heideman (Farmer, primary producer Millen Community Farm);

Paul Wood (Brisbane Backyard Bees, bees and honey);

Peter Schwenke (Frolicking Goat);

Jamie and Gabe Brailak (Yjambee Farm and Beef producers)

Cannon Hill School (Dani Phelan and Jayne Agiuar);

Jenni Guse (Millen Farm)

Artisans, chefs and Indigenous chefs and foods:

Wendy Downs (thecheeseboard);

Lee- Mary and Lachie (Q Roast Coffee Roasting and Fair trade, Stafford);

Nikki Ria (Chokola)

Rino Avellini (Pause Restaurant, Samford);

Dale Chapman (Indigenous food and chef);

Tay Olsen (Newstead Brewing Co);

Andrew McCrae (Executive chef, Parliament House)

The Milton Anglican Office who manage the historic Christchurch, where we held our AGM have asked us to let our members know that the church is available for rent for meetings, concerts, celebrations, weddings or dinners.