I was lucky enough to attend parts of the Municipal Association of Victoria's Future of Local Food Conference over the last two days. Whilst it was a tad Melbourne-centric, there were plenty of ideas and initiatives we should look at implementing in Strathbogie Shire [and across Murray].
One is a move by the Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden Foundation to work with Councils, in addition schools. Whilst this latest initiative is still being refined, it'd be great to see it rolled out across our shire. Especially as the benefits cover health, food security & community engagement whilst providing educational opportunities in science, agriculture, food and cooking.
Another presentation was from the Barellan Beer mob who have been making craft beer using barley sourced from farmers around the town and have seen people driving from all around, just to try their beer.
One bloke emailed to say he'd driven from Penrith to try the beer, wasn't a fan, but loved the food from the local Chinese restaurant.
They're also involved in the Barellan Working Clydesdales "The Good Old Days" Weekend and have inspired one group who used to do a sausage sizzle at the event to instead offer locally sourced beef, lamb. kangaroo and tabbouleh made with locally grown wheat!
Given we're much closer to major population centres and have an array of primary and secondary producers in our region, I'm confident that a Euroa or Strathbogie Food Festival would grow to be a significant event for our shire!