Streamlined approach will help set up slow food groups

Changes: Slow Food movement is adopting a new model to make slow communities easier.
Changes: Slow Food movement is adopting a new model to make slow communities easier.

Slow Food Blue Mountains members, members and supporters met recently to dissolve the group in order to make way for a new structure currently being rolled out by Slow Food International.

Slow Food is a not-for-profit, grassroots, global eco-gastronomy movement operating for 30 years in 160 countries.

For 13 of these years, Slow Food Blue Mountains has been in existence, conducting a variety of projects, events and campaigns, and always tapping into the local community via local food related businesses, cafes and restaurants, community organisations and local government.

The committee was keen to thank each and every one for their support.

Long-serving committee members also to be thanked include Christine Killinger, Mark Jarvis, Marnie O'Mara, Louise Sweeney, Mandy Rowe and more recently, Susanne Rix, creator of the Edible Garden Trail.

Some of Slow Food's major projects have been the Summer Harvest Kitchen Workshops and a myriad of topics from sourdough bread making to chooks tours and backyard farming, aquafaba, food walks and talks, as well as 10 years of A Kitchen Garden in Every Blue Mountains Home, a combined Cittaslow and Slow Food initiative in partnership with Oasis Horticulture.

There have also been seasonal wine-themed dinners, chestnut weekends, truffle tours /truffle-themed lunch, winery wanders, historic kitchen tours - all co-ordinated by volunteers .

More recently, the Slow Fashion Guide was created and, very much in its infancy, the Small Producer Grant program.

The group has particularly enjoyed partnering with Blue Mountains Food Rescue and small producers, and always appreciated the ongoing support given by Blue Mountains Food Co-op. The Carrington Hotel right from the very beginning has always been so supportive and this will continue to be carried forward with itsr Wines of the West, showcasing the region's small winemakers over the Australia Day long weekend.

Outgoing convivium leader, Anne Elliott, said: "I like to think we have made some impact on developing good clean and fair principles in our community and more importantly, developed self-reliance and resilience by encouraging the growing of vegies 'out the back' from a simple container - right through to a farm.

The new model will give small producers an opportunity to easily create a slow food community on a particular food/interest area simply by completing the online form at www.slowfood.com.

Already a cluster/discussion is forming in the Mountains around small winemakers, brewers and cidermakers Other possibilities include our artisanal bread makers and chocolatiers.

Any small producers interested in creating a Slow Food Community may contact the international councillor for Australia and Oceania, Amorelle Dempster, at amorelledempster@iinet.net.au or by phoning 4933 8555.