Wednesday, 12 December 2007


There are a couple of magazines that I subscribe to these days and I so look forward to them coming. The first is called SUMPTUOUS but this is not a good name as it is a magazine entirely about South Australian food and wine - the growers, cooks, shops and activities, like crabbing. There are a few recipes but I love it because I get to know all about who the local producers are and where I can get their stuff, what shops or market stalls are opening and who the people are who are going to run them, and inside looks at things like the Adelaide Produce Market, at Pooraka, where all the trading is done between the growers, wholesalers, retailers, processors, transporters, exporters, restaurateurs etc. In the latest edition, Deb's berries at Nirvana are mentioned in the page on 'The Best of the Berries'. It is a pretty glitzy magazine now - it wasn't at first - but at least it is 100% local content .

The second subscription is for the ABC's ORGANIC GARDENER . The editor, Steve Payne, pulls no punches and it is great that the ABC allows people to express their views so freely as the articles are often very critical of the government's ineptitude at tackling things like salinity, the drought, climate change, large-scale agriculture etc. It is a wonderful thing about Australia that we can and do voice our opinions loudly, even in a magazine subsidized by the federal government itself. This is a generalisation, I know there are exceptions.

I feel an allegiance with Steve Payne and his passion for the care of our earth and its people as well as his insistance that plants are the solution, not the problem, and gardeners are being unfairly targeted by ignorant politicians, during this drought. I have been thinking of adopting this little quote that I heard someone (not Steve) say on the radio recently, as it says it all, in one neat package. (I feel another blog item coming on, when I have the articulateness (?) to do it justice which is obviously not now!)It is obvious by the title that the magazine focuses on organics - at home, on the farm, and elsewhere in the world. Although I don't believe in buying many products, organic or not, at least all the advertising is relevant to the readers and means we get the magazine at all.

The Jan / Feb edition mentions a book that I would like for Christmas, called COMMUNITY GARDENS. The book tells the stories of community gardeners drawn to Australia from more than 20 countries and the reasons they came here. It describes the plants they grow and the uses and recipes for them. It brought the judges (of the Australian Horticultural Media Association Award 2007) to tears - oh no, I probably won't get past the introduction without a hanky! This edition also mentions the fact that France's new president, Nicolas Sarkozy, is introducing radical plans to cut pesticide use by half, suspend GM crops, freeze the building of new motorways and airports. The aim is to tax pollution more and income less. Thank heavens someone is taking a lead.

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