The Food Forest

2013 Barossa Regional Food Award

annemarie and grahamThe Food Forest took the honours for the Barossa Regional Food Award last week in a glittering ceremony at Chateau Tanunda. The pint-sized permaculture property near Gawler was up against national icons such as Maggie Beer Products but the unique on-site processing of pistachios, the complete recycling of of green by-products as compost to go back into the pistachio growing cycle and the fully audited organic status of the business attracted the judges.

Annemarie and Graham Brookman had put huge effort into finding and building medium-scale pistachio processing equipment such that processing can be established in growing regions around Australia, with the aim that by-products remain on farms and jobs are created locally. They journeyed to Sicily to find the jewel in the crown of pistachio processing, a small machine that opens nuts that have no natural split and frees the bright green kernel, much to the delight of chefs and bakers who frequent the Adelaide Showground Farmers Market, where The Food Forest sells its produce.

Graham said that small scale food systems embedded in communities were important for sustainability and food security. ‘Such self resilience builds local capacity, a vital strategy in permaculture design’ he said.

A short film about the Brookmans’ quest to build Australia’s complete processing system can be seen on YouTube.