As a much younger journalist, I was fortunate enough to have my passion for storytelling reaffirmed.
In my final semester of uni I spent a week in Mackay, North Queensland shadowing a radio journalist, and was downright thrilled when my first ever story went to air. It was about how recent wet weather had affected growing conditions for chickpeas…
Unlike some of my peers who got to the end of their degree and realised that life as a hack wasn’t for them after all (one even embarked on a career as a silversmith) I couldn’t wait to roll my sleeves up. That week in Mackay unequivocally opened my eyes to the world outside cities, and I’ve never forgotten it.
In just a few days I went from having never set foot on a farm, to interviewing the head of the Cane Growers Association, meeting a turf farmer with a pet crocodile named Charlene, and touring a mango plantation in Bowen. Suddenly it seemed as though my world had been so narrow.
After uni the big smoke called, and I moved to Sydney. Living just about as inner-city as it gets, I love writing about business and the spoils of this fantastic city.
To some degree, I think TV shows like ‘The Farmer Wants a Wife’ negatively reinforce this notion that city and rural life are mutually exclusive. The city folk are seen as total aliens to those in the country, and vice versa. But I suspect change is afoot, and it’s happening the only way we city-folk understand: it’s becoming cool.
I wrote a piece on DB last week – Farming got oh-so-fashionable – and no sooner had I filed that story than I stumbled across an article on St David Dairy. It’s a Melbourne inner-city micro dairy, started by a lone entrepreneur wanting to do milk the old-fashioned way. Namely, bottling it on-site in his Fitzroy dairy, and selling it to locals complete with the cream on top. With hundreds of cafes on his doorstop, Ben Evans believes his venture is popular because of consumer-demand, and cafe owners being more knowledgeable about milk than ever before.
The gradual scaling back of battery hens, the rise of urban beekeeping and the meteoric growth in the organic markets are all just a few more examples of what I perceive to be a growing awareness of ‘farm-to-table’.
But I want to hear your thoughts. Is the farm-to-table connection becoming stronger, or am I making a sweeping generalisation? Let me know at email@example.com