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The question is wai
Published in Cuisine Magazine (issue 183) in July, 2017. We were lucky to be featured in Aaron McLean’s strong piece intensified farming, vs exploring alternatives in New Zealand. It’s a great read and part of a much larger debate that’s starting to bubble up to the surface. We’re thankful to Cuisine for backing these more thought-provoking takes on our local food system. If you don’t have razor-sharp eyesight, press the zoom on your browser window to read. Or, grab yourself
The Good Farmer: in defence of (non-industrial) dairying
Published in The Spinoff on April 24, 2017. Earlier this month, the current affairs show Sunday aired a segment called The Price of Milk. It outraged a lot of people, especially in the farming community, and for days after the show’s Facebook page was swarming. If you didn’t catch it, a lot of the shock was around the treatment of animals and the environment – building on the last few years of negative sentiment. It felt like a jolt. My family
There’s always the pushback from the conventional model – organic can’t feed the world. And after thirty-four years (not three, or four) thirty-four years later, our data shows* yields are the same. Conventional right next to organic. When the soil is healthy, we have shown that yields are improved in the organic trials when there’s issues of drought. Up to 31% higher yields. So, there’s the beauty of growing with life.
*Started in 1981, The Farming Systems Trial (FST)® at Rodale Institute is America’s longest running, side-by-side comparison of organic and chemical agriculture.
Rebuilding on the edge
The Maungatautari Ecological District has less than 10 per cent of its native vegetation remaining. Before our farm was cleared, it would have consisted of rimu–tawa forest on the flat and gently sloping areas, tōtara forest on gully slopes, and kahikatea forest throughout its gully basins. There’s no denying that, for about a century, marginal land has been marginalised in New Zealand. Back in July 2015, we started to rebuild the wetlands on our farm. With the help of an
Alex Atala: He who lives, shall see. Quem viver, verá
Milad Alexandre Mack Atala was born in Brazil in 1968 and during his late teens and twenties lived the life of a punk – a redheaded, fair-skinned kid, patched in tattoos, deeply immersed in music, with an appetite for drugs. That was his truth back then – the way of the anarchist – but he now describes that point of view as being too reductive: “I have no doubt that the way punks look at the world is quite singular. I’m
Ben Shewry on family, foraging and a new take on an old idea
I heard the voice of a GPS navigation woman before Ben’s. It was 9 a.m. on the dot Australian Eastern Standard Time and Ben Shewry was en route somewhere in the city of Melbourne. In a world of ‘top tens’, Michelin stars, chef hats and reviews from anyone who eats, Ben’s Attica is number 32 in the world, right now, by the only list that counts – The World’s 50 Best Restaurants. Every chef on the list does something that