A chance for city slickers to meet the farmers, taste the food and feast, Eat Local showcases the Scenic Rim’s smorgasbord of fresh produce.

Ida slice and chunk

Try the fresh produce at Eat Local Week

Eat Local Week, which runs until July 6, has kicked off with a wide selection of activities and there’s much more to come including farm tours, producer dinners, cooking classes and the not-to-be-missed signature event, the Winter Harvest Festival, on Saturday July 5.

Who doesn’t love a tractor pulling competition?

It’s a week of events celebrating the produce and producers of the Scenic Rim, one of Brisbane’s closest food bowls.

The Aratula Community Sports Complex will become an authentic food and wine festival on July 5 for the Winter Harvest Festival with food stalls, hot and cold food, live music, children’s activities, cooking demonstrations by Alastair McLeod and the Kalbar Community Bank Tractor Pulling Competition.

For local tomato farmers Matt and Sarah Muller who have been farming in the area for four years, Eat Local Week is another way to promote fresh, local, seasonal produce.

“We believe eating from your area has many benefits,” Matt says. “It is fresher and therefore tastier, more nutritious, less processed, and has a lower environmental impact as transport and cold storage is reduced or eliminated.”
As a ‘tomato’ expert, Matt wishes more people knew that tomatoes are better left out of the fridge.

“Obviously not everybody has the opportunity to eat unrefrigerated tomatoes because most of what is sold in the shops has been kept in cold store, but we believe there is no better tomato than one which has been vine ripened and never stored below 10 degrees C. These keep better too, even if they are full colour, our red gourmet tomatoes can last for weeks.”

What’s the best way to eat tomatoes?  Matt says it’s very simple.

“Take a thick slab of crusty bread such as Ciabatta or Turkish bread, add some slices of as many different heirloom tomatoes as you can fit on, then drizzle it with olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and finish with a decent sprinkle of salt.”

Head to Aratula for Eat Local Week’s Winter Harvest Festival on July 5 and make sure you try some of Matt’s tomatoes.  You’ll be glad you did!

Go to www.eatlocalweek.com.au to download the full schedule of events.