Young and old, it doesn’t matter, everyone’s faces tell the same story.
They’re having fun, old-fashioned, simple, out in the sun, fun.
No gadgets, no new world technology, no high-speed, gut-churning rides … this fun is all down to carrots.
Last weekend, in a carrot paddock 100km southwest of Brisbane, 800 people imbibed the bucolic buzz that comes when you become one with nature and pick your own carrots.
It’s the sixth year we’ve opened the Kalfresh Vegetables farm gates to visitors and we all continue to be surprised by the ‘hunger’ from city consumers to know more about how their food is grown.
It’s the concept behind Scenic Rim Eat Local Week, an event that seeks to give consumers a ‘backstage pass’ to the farms and producers on their doorstep.
We first mooted the idea of hosting a carrot day as a way of being involved in the Eat Local festival, unsure whether it would be popular.
We’re all mad for carrots, but what about the rest of greater Brisbane and the Gold Coast?
The premise was simple – open the doors and give kids and their parents and grandparents a real food experience.
Anyone with kids knows that you can tell them vegetables are good for them but it’s unlikely to have traction.
But wrap a muddy farm experience around the message and throw in some ginormous tractors and the kids pay attention.
The first year 50 people came to have a look. The next year the crowd grew to 100. This year we capped it at 800 people and had a waiting list of another 150 people.
Veteran farmers are stunned – are people really interested in seeing what they do every day?
Yes, they are!
I’m a city girl and, like many of you, used to know nothing about how my fresh food was farmed. It comes from a supermarket right?
That changed when I met a vegetable farmer at a Gold Coast New Year’s Eve party and so began my farming education.
You’re in a relationship with the weather and when it’s good it’s great, but when it’s bad it’s soul destroying.
Over the years I learned they’re not big sprinklers, they are called irrigators. That carrots are planted and picked by machines and that it takes up to 130 days for a carrot to grow.
That farmers are many things – scientists, business people, meteorologists, and gamblers.
During Scenic Rim Eat Local Week there are more than 90 opportunities to meet farmers and visit farms – dairy, sheep, garlic, vegetables, beef and pig farms.
On Saturday at Aratula we hold a celebration of Scenic Rim farmers – a Winter Harvest Festival.
Come along and meet the people who grow your food. Buy direct from the farmers and have a real food experience.
Scenic Rim Winter Harvest Festival – Saturday July 1 at the Aratula Community Sports Complex from 10am to 4pm