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Each week we communicate with local farmers in our region to work out what is used for our veg boxes, our chef Ally is always involved and through this process we create recipes and ingredients that are seasonal, nutritious and interesting. Our hope is to introduce you to food that is grown in our region and new flavours you may not have tried while always including a few staple varieties.
Small and seasonal producers have ever changing crops so we count on some of the larger operations for consistent capacity and quality. We enjoy working with the team at Jumping Red Ant because they are small enough to care and large enough to fulfill our needs every week with root vegetables and cucurbits.
Here is a little of their story, if you live in the Byron Region I am sure you know them from the local farmers markets...
Jumping Red Ant farms have built a reputation for fresh, seasonal fruits, chemical-free vegetables, and beautiful, locally grown flowers.
Farming over 70 acres across three farms, what sets Jumping Red Ant apart is a genuine desire to collaborate and support other local farmers in the Northern Rivers community. Consisting of an amazing team of local workers, Jumping Red Ant continues to connect people with the finest produce grown sustainably, ethically and with the primary ingredient of love.
In 1995, John and Kathleen Atkin went looking for their own kind of tree change for their four young children. After owning a successful fitness centre in Brisbane, John and Kathleen decided to set up their new home on a beautiful farm in the hinterland of NSW’s Northern Rivers.
Despite limited farm knowledge in the early years, Jumping Red Ant was created through determination and a whole ‘lotta love from everyone in the family. 25 years later, John and Kath are still running the farm with their daughter Briana who brings a youthful energy and passion to the farm. It’s Briana who is pushing the family to take the farm online and make farm-fresh produce more accessible to a wider community.
Being a small family farm, we have learned many valuable lessons throughout the years. We see the positive effects of collaborating and supporting other local businesses, sharing their knowledge, skills and produce.
Think about what you are eating and where it came from. Many larger grocery and supermarkets import food from overseas, covered with chemicals and pesticides to sustain freshness, nothing can substitute the quality from fresh local grown food.
Offering seasonal produce is better for the environment with minimal transport from trucking in produce from interstate or overseas. Also it gets you excited when things come back into season. Seasonally you eat differently.
In addition to nurturing the soil using fertilisers such as compost and the use of cover crops, we also use crop rotation throughout the farms, hand weeding, chipping, weed matting and mulch. To pollinate our farm we are working with a local beekeeper who keeps his hives in and around the farm.
There is no better time with family and friends than over a good meal. We make a point of finding time to enjoy the fruits of our labor.
Now more than ever, the local economy needs local support. Local farmers are conscious of quality and fair trade, supporting local ensures a healthy and affordable future for local families.
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