Flavours of Chittering achieves ‘truly local’ – having only those local producers, or makers using local products, participating in the market at ‘the hub’ at the lower Chittering village hall. It is one of those things which often might be difficult to ‘sell’ to backers and committees of a festival like this but which is critical to the event’s integrity. This is what sets Flavours of Chittering apart from all other food ‘events’. It’s held on for a single day, but packs in a diverse range of produce, people and activities.
There was farmer Dominic Augustin and his ‘square meaters’ – a reversion to the beef animal of a size more like the murray grey as it was originally bred on the upper Murray river in New South Wales in the 1920s – together with his Australian game bird hen and her surrogate chicks. Biblical Fruits was offering tastings and sales of its fig jam. Maggie Edmonds was promoting her Swan Valley marketplace, Sid and Edith de Burgh were offering tastings of their biodynamic Baramba beef cuts, and Alix Frew from Heirloom Farm seedlings at Gingin did a roaring trade in heritage salad and vegetable seedlings.
In the lower Chittering hall, Emmanuel Mollois from Choux demonstrated his pastry-making skills before a packed audience, and the local progress association members manned a bookstall featuring, among others on sale, editions of American author Michael Pollan’s Food Rules. Outside, kids and their parents participated in Slow Food Perth food-finders’ food-gardening tool quiz. Ten-year-old Georgina Versteeg from Beckenham won a Twigz long-handled tool set. Bindoon Bakehaus did a very brisk trade in coffee.
But back to the orange. The Zampognas – their surname means ‘bagpipes’ in the Italian Calabrese dialect – own Golden Grove orchard in lower Chittering. Rocco shed electrical contracting for farming in 1978.
The lower Chittering valley is renowned for its citrus, and Rocco and Connie took over a neglected orchard which today has been transformed into a thriving farm that, as Rocco says, has ‘gone beyond organic’. ‘(We) decided to change orchard practices and move away from chemicals wherever possible, going beyond organic and replacing lost nutrients that have been depleted from the soil after many years of production.’
Taste its sweet, near-red, juicy flesh and you’ll wonder why the cara cara is not more widely available in the fruit market. The next time you shop, ask your fruiterer or grocer to see if they can get it in.
Watch our ‘slow short’
Flavours of Chittering: 12 Sep 2010