Country WA plated up for city dwellers
Farmers and city folk mingled and chatted over locally produced gourmet delights at Farmer On Your Plate Day 2018, held at Perth’s Yagan Square on Friday.
Organisers say the annual event is bringing the country to the city, connecting consumers to the farmers who produce the high-quality WA food for your plates and fostering connections between the city and the bush.
The event celebrates the importance of agriculture to Australia and encourages people to champion farming and support the continued production of high-quality food.
This year patrons wandered the stalls sampling the best of WA farm produce, with locally produced meats, dairy, vegetables, honey and even roasted grasshoppers prepared by food entrepreneurs.
Visitors took the opportunity to meet farming families and their animals, take part in cooking demonstrations and hear about the agri-tourism experiences to be had across Western Australia.
Event organiser and Kukerin yabbie farmer Mary Nenke said many people had no connection to farming.
“They buy their food from the supermarket each week and have nobody they are related to or know working in primary agriculture,” she said.
Ms Nenke said farmers were an increasingly small portion of the population, delivering more value to the State than ever.
“It’s important that people not only find out about food and where it comes from but also that they find out about the needs of the bush,” she said.
Ms Nenke said one of the significant challenges for rural communities is children leaving.
“Kids are being sent away to boarding school at 11-years-old, and that is an enormous cost to families, and that imposes on the business,” she said.
“It also causes social devastation, and I believe it is part of the course of our depression in the regions.
“The crazy thing was that I was raised a city girl and I was never planning to marry a farmer and have six children.
“Having a bunch of kids meant we came to the stage of having to start sending them away in the early 1990s, at the same time Australia was suffering a recession.
“We couldn’t find enough money at the time to pay for our children’s education.”
Event organiser and Kukerin farmer Mary Nenke of Cambinata Yabbies.
Homemade Kitchen owner Kylie Ward gives out butter made from Bannister Downs milk to Farming Champions committee member Beth McDonnell.
WA Governor Kerry Sanderson opened the Farming Champions Annual Farmer on Your Plate Day at Yagan Square.