Caption: Bronwyn (right) and Helen at a Braidwood market.
Braidwood couple gain international kudos.
Sometimes passion, commitment and hard work are rewarded, as Bronwyn Richards and Helen Lynch of Wynlen House Slow Food Farm have discovered. Helen and Bronwyn were recently notified that their nomination to attend Terra Madre Salone del Gusto Slow Food Conference in Turin, Italy this year as supported delegates has been accepted.
Helen and Bronwyn will join 34 other small producers from across Australia, as well as many more from all over the world, at Slow Food’s international flagship event. Terra Madre Salone del Gusto (which roughly translates as ‘Mother Earth Food Fair’) brings together producers, chefs, researchers, activists and consumers dedicated to ethical, sustainably-produced food that is great for you and helps build local communities and cultures. Terra Madre is held every two years, taking place this year from September 22 to 26.
Bronwyn and Helen’s Wynlen House micro-farm is a great example of Slow Food principles of ‘good, clean and fair’ food put into practice.
“Ours is the first farm in recent times in the Braidwood area established for local food production only. It was also the first market garden in recent times to produce food all year, through the long harsh frost season (April to November)” says Bronwyn.
To achieve this, Bronwyn researched and trialled protected cultivation practices (fabrics and cloche systems) and introduced these resources to the region. Wynlen House was also the first producer of pasture-raised table poultry in the area. Bronwyn willingly shares her knowledge, and is an enabler and community leader of the local food movement in the region, fostering and mentoring new growers.
Together, Helen and Bronwyn encourage people to grow high quality, nutrient dense food for their families. They run workshops on cool climate vegetable growing and animal husbandry, host Slow Food events and have an active gardening consultancy. They demonstrate how to raise and care for poultry, pigs and sheep so these animals supply delicious, healthy, humanely and respectfully raised meat for the table.
Wynlen House also offers work-learn exchanges for anyone interested in learning to grow food and to care for the land, practising farming techniques that enrich the soil and the landscape.
Slow Food events such as lunches and a recent “pop-up” café, where “we cook and serve our produce and that of other local organic producers” says Bronwyn, show consumers how wonderful food can be when sourced locally, grown sustainably, picked fresh, cooked well and shared with friends and community.
“You have probably heard of ‘paddock to plate’ dining”, says Ian Ryall from Slow Food Canberra. “Well, at Wynlen House, Helen and Bronwyn pretty much take the plate to the paddock! At Bronwyn and Helen’s seasonal lunches, you can enjoy one of Helen’s beautifully cooked meals and literally see where most of your food has come from.”
“Going to Terra Madre will give us the chance to learn from producers all over the world and to share with the world the Braidwood and the Capital Region story of resurgence in local food production” says Helen. “We will tell our story through photos and short posts on the Wynlen House Facebook page direct from Terra Madre.”
Helen and Bronwyn’s application was enthusiastically supported by the Slow Food’s Canberra Capital and Country Convivium who helped to craft the application and provided support and encouragement along the way.
Slow Food Canberra will also be doing some fundraising to help Bronwyn and Helen get to Italy and experience the wonderful events that Terra Madre entails including guided tastings, cooking classes and food lectures.
More about Wynlen House – contact Bronwyn or Helen on (02) 4842 1127 during business hours or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org
For enquiries about Terra Madre and Slow Food, please contact Ian Ryall, Convivium Leader, on (02) 6254 9228 or via email at email@example.com
What is Slow Food ?
Slow Food is a global, grassroots organization, founded in 1989 to prevent the disappearance of local food cultures and traditions, counteract the rise of fast life and combat people’s dwindling interest in the food they eat, where it comes from and how our food choices affect the world around us.
GOOD: a fresh and delicious seasonal diet that is good for you, and is part of the local culture;
CLEAN: food production and consumption that does not harm the environment, animal welfare or human health;
FAIR: accessible prices for consumers and fair conditions and pay for producers.
Slow Food believes food is tied to many other aspects of life, including culture, politics, agriculture and the environment. Through our food choices we can collectively influence how food is cultivated, produced and distributed, and as a result bring about great change.
Locally, Slow Food Canberra looks to connect local producers and consumers. We build closer relationships between ourselves, our food and the people of our region who produce it. We support national activities to promote a fair food system for all Australians. We also fund-raise for local, regional and international projects that support the Slow Food ethos.
What is Terra Madre Salone del Gusto ?
The Terra Madre Salone del Gusto is the global meeting of the Slow Food and Terra Madre networks held on even years in Turin, Italy.
Terra Madre is composed of diverse elements: the Market, with exhibitors from five continents, Taste Workshops, numerous meetings dedicated to the wealth and diversity of global cuisine, street food, conferences examining issues around agriculture from different points of view, the Forums of Terra Madre’s food communities and more, all with the aim of loving the earth and consciously choosing the future of our food.
For 2016, Slow Food has chosen the theme of “Loving the Earth”: taking care of our planet and its environment is an imperative for us all, and we want to put it into practice by rediscovering the pleasure of working together, be it with food producers, educators, chefs, researchers, farmers, food communities or families. During the event, we’ll be engaging the public on what it means to “be a farmer”, “be a co-producer” and “make your own vegetable garden”, even in the city!
Terra Madre Salone del Gusto runs September 22-26, 2016, across the most beautiful and iconic locations of Turin, Italy: such as Valentino Park, Piazza Castello, the Royal Palace, Piazza San Carlo, Piazza Vittorio Veneto and the Murazzi del Po.
Admission to Terra Madre Salone del Gusto is free to all.