Eventide Oyster Co

With the summer people nowhere to be found, Eventide Oyster Co is back on my weekly rotation. A dozen of oysters is mandatory for each visit, allowing one to share in the amazingness of the Maine coast, and for a taste of New England and Washington State gems.

From there, the comfortable luxuriousness can go as far as you, and your wallet, are willing to go. Crudo, stew, octopus, buns and rolls, sparkling, sake, sherry or cocktails. Eventide has all of your new favorites.

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Sur Lie

Welcome to the newest hot spot in Portland! Sur Lie has entered the foodie landscape with quiet ease. Great service, actually creative cocktails, tapas style menu and robust wine list full of future favorites quickly made Sur Lie my new favorite go to.

Pea hummus was a table favorite. A bit sweet, and wonderful paired with a minerally white.

The cheese plate and house charcuterie were full of unexpected flavor combinations and accoutrements. They worked so well, we ordered a second cheese plate.

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The house cured lox had a very fresh and clean flavor, surpassing all notions of what great lox can be.

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Fried oysters with kale and bacon. Order it. Share it. Love it.

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Chocolate torte with Arabica Coffee espresso ice cream. Nothing earth shattering, but delicious and perfect for sharing…and a little sherry!

Gather up your girlfriends and head out for a night of great fun, food, whiskey and wine!

Shop Local & Give Big This Holiday Season

It’s getting down to crunch time! But there’s no need to rush into bad choice this holiday season! Shop local, give bliss and spread the love this season. Here are some of Local Sprouts’ favorite shops, studios and organizations!

SHOP LOCAL!

Australia:

Bas and Lokes: Looking for something special for the special guys on your list? Looking for something special for anyone with style on your list? This American-Aussie duo design and maker really well crafted, and gorgeous, handmade leather goods.

Martian Embassy: Launch your holiday gift giving season into another galaxy! Quirky gifts for all the space cases on your list. The payload: all purchases support Sydney Story Factory!

Salt and Rock: Specialises in quality, technical clothing and equipment with an environmental twist for those with a real sense of adventure. And they carryPatagonia gear!

USA:

Bobo’s Coffee: Have a coffee lover, either naughty or nice? Beans from cooperatives in Uganda and Malawi, Bobo’s Coffee benefits the kids at Malayaka House, a home for children in Uganda.

Dobra Tea: Perhaps tea is more your cuppa. Dobra is serious about tea so you can sit back, relax and enjoy. Share the gift of relaxation and time with something special from Dobra. Better yet, visit one of their 5 teahouses and share some tea and time with someone special on your holiday list.

Creativity Explored: Creativity Explored advances the value and diversity of artistic expression. They provide artists with developmental disabilities the means to create, exhibit, and sell their art in our studios and gallery, and around the world, and have an AWESOME online gift shop!

Ferdinand: Owned by my friend Diane, Ferdinand is home to the drumming squirrel t-shirt (a staple in my closet) and all things letterpress, googley-eyed and crafty or vintage.

2 Note Perfumery: Carolyn and Darcy are creators at heart, and are both musicians with a long-standing love affair with the art of bottling nature. I love all of their perfumes, bath and body care products, especially the Clementine range only available in the holidays!

Planet Botanicals: A unique collection of natural and luxurious skincare products that are made with rare and indigenous plant oils and aromatic flower extracts from the far corners of the world.

Spain:

GreenLifeStyle: With a mix of European designers, GLS represents ethical fashion and sustainable organic living. No hippie business here, all style, on trend clothing and accessories.

Ifil: Knit one, purl one. Cast on some beautiful yarns for the knitter on your list!

Susie Sweet Dress: Treat your sweetie to an original design with vintage flare. Fab dresses which will make the season bright!

Two Thirds: Two thirds of our planet is covered by water. Share something special with the little fish or surfer on your holiday list. Rockin’ tees, bags, jackets and gear.

YOGA!

Lila East End Yoga in Portland, Maine

Yoga Vermont in Burlington, Vermont

Yoga con Gracia in Barcelona, Spain

GIVING!

  1. Vermont Cares works for and with Vermonters affected by HIV/AIDS to promote wellbeing through a continuum of prevention, support, and advocacy services.

  2. Malayaka House is a home for children in Uganda, with a focus on cultivating active citizens through education, community engagement, health and agriculture.
    Malayaka House en español.
    Malayaka House auf Deutsch.

  3. Spark Microgrants helps poverty-stricken communities find and implement solutions to their most urgent problems and currently works in Rwanda, Uganda and Burundi.

  4. Africa ELI builds gender equity, improved economic conditions, peaceful development, and strengthened leadership capacity in South Sudan by advancing women’s education through academic sponsorships, partnerships, enrollment-retention programs, and life-skills development.

  5. Girls on the Run (Maine) inspires girls to be joyful, healthy and confident using a fun, experience-based curriculum which creatively integrates running.

  6. AGE Africa provides life-changing opportunities to young women in Malawi through targeted initiatives in education, mentoring, and leadership development.

  7. Medecins Sans Frontieres/Doctors without Borders is an international, independent, medical humanitarian organisation that delivers emergency aid to people affected by armed conflict, epidemics, natural disasters and exclusion from healthcare.

  8. Educate! develops young leaders and entrepreneurs in Africa.

  9. Saint Michael’s College is a Catholic college founded by the Society of Saint Edmund in 1904. Their guiding principles of education, justice, and service to the poor are at the heart of the Saint Michael’s experience.

  10. Preble Street Resource Center, in Portland, Maine, provides accessible barrier-free services to empower people experiencing problems with homelessness, housing, hunger, and poverty and to advocate for solutions to those problems.

  11. Compass Project uses boat building and rowing to provide positive direction to youth by encouraging the development of personal responsibility and community and environmental engagement.

  12. OzHarvest Food Rescue is a non-denominational charity that rescues excess food which would otherwise be discarded. This excess food is distributed to charities supporting the vulnerable in Sydney, Newcastle, Adelaide and Brisbane.

  13. Sabera Foundation provides meaningful equal opportunities through shelter, education and healthcare for the social and economic development of the poorest of the poor so that they gain dignity and respect in life, focusing on differentially vulnerable people in Calcutta, India.

  14. Fundaction Vistare makes a direct and efficient action against poverty based on education as a tool for more effective social sectors that, by their economic and social status, or geographic location, never reach the opportunity to access formal education, with a focus on girls education in Nepal.
  15. Water for South Sudan‘s mission is simple: drill borehole wells which bring safe drinking water to the people in South Sudan’s remote villages, transforming lives in the process.

  16. MOFGA helps farmers and gardeners in Maine to: grow organic food, fiber and other crops; protect the environment; recycle natural resources; increase local food production; support rural communities; and illuminate for consumers the connection between healthful food and environmentally sound farming practices.

  17. Education Outside is transforming public education by bringing learning to life in outdoor classrooms. Education Outside is committed to advancing science in San Francisco public schools, outdoors.

  18. Refuge Point provides lasting solutions to the world’s most vulnerable refugees.

  19. Telling Room is a nonprofit writing center in Portland, Maine, dedicated to the idea that children and young adults are natural storytellers. Focused on young writers ages 6 to 18, we seek to build confidence, strengthen literacy skills, and provide real audiences for our students. We believe that the power of creative expression can change our communities and prepare our youth for future success.

    826 Valencia is a nonprofit organization in San Francisco dedicated to supporting students ages six to eighteen with their creative and expository writing skills and to helping teachers inspire their students to write. Our services are structured around the understanding that great leaps in learning can happen when trained tutors work one-on-one with students and that strong writing skills are fundamental to future success.

    Sydney Story Factory is a not-for-profit creative writing centre for young people in Redfern, Sydney. Our trained volunteer tutors offer free help to write stories of all kinds. Programs target marginalised young people, and those from Indigenous and non-English speaking backgrounds, but are open to everyone.

  20. Seeds of Peace inspires and equips new generations of leaders from regions of conflict with the relationships, understanding, and skills needed to advance lasting peace.

  21. Africa Yoga Project has empowered people across East Africa by supporting physical, mental and emotional health, facilitating authentic personal expression, building supportive communities, and inspiring positive action to contribute to others. We are dedicated to delivering all that yoga has to offer to the diverse communities of East Africa, while at the same time providing opportunities for members of the global yoga community to participate and contribute.

    Off the Mat and Into the World uses the power of yoga to inspire conscious, sustainable activism and ignite grassroots social change. We do this by facilitating personal empowerment through leadership trainings, fostering community collaboration, and initiating local and global service projects.

  22. Handel and Haydn Society Education and Outreach Program provides a comprehensive, active vocal music education to 10,000 children annually in Greater Boston and beyond.

  23. Best Buddies is dedicated to establishing a global volunteer movement that creates opportunities for one-to-one friendships, integrated employment and leadership development for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD).

  24. Surfaid International is a non-profit humanitarian organization whose aim is to improve the health, wellbeing and self-reliance of people living in isolated regions in Indonesia connected to us through surfing.
BRomley the Snow Dog! photo credit: my favorite sister

Bromley the Snow Dog! photo credit: my favorite sister

 

Inspiration & Action for the Future of Food

Local Sprouts is really excited to share an interview with Alexandra Iljadica & Joanna Baker from the Youth Food MovementWe had a chance to be inspired at Reel Foods night, an awesome event the YFM organised full of local food, film and engaging conversation. So, without any further ado, let’s get on to the show!

YFM Sign

LS: Who are you? What makes you tick? Any special details Local Sprouts readers should know about you?

YFM: Jo and I run the Youth Food Movement, which is about ensuring young Australians have the capacity and motivation to make choices that demand and support a healthy, secure and fair food system.

Alexandra & Jo inspiring the audience into action!

Alexandra & Jo inspiring the audience into action!

Doing stuff, as opposed to talking about stuff is what makes both Jo and I tick! We know that soon it will be our responsibility to feed our family and friends, so we want to be sure we have as many skills and as much knowledge that is possibly needed to be able to make good of what is handed to us.

That being said, we don’t preach to have the answers to the issues we identify, and we’re not very big fans of finger-pointing either. We want to learn more about the food system, create solutions with our peers (young and old) and move forward. We will say we are a brave bunch though, we will try new things, challenge held values and beliefs for the greater good. This is also why we are such a great (untapped) resource when it comes to changing the food system to one that has the well being of the community, the environment and producers at its core.

Taking the message to the streets! Delicious payoff for all the hard work.

Taking the message to the streets! Delicious payoff for all the hard work.

LS: Where is your local community/neighbourhood and what do you love about it/how could you describe it?

YFM: We define our community not by who we are physically near to, but we define our community as those who share our values, beliefs and vision. The beauty of this being, that you can be any age, ethnicity or reside is any city or country across the globe and be a part of the YFM family!

We also see our community as kind of like an onion – there are layers of them, some close to the everyday activities of the movement, and other a little more further away, but just as important to making us who we are, and helping us to do what we do.

Our core team of volunteers are like our siblings, we love that they give of themselves above and beyond what they may have done in the past. We love sharing with them the fruits of our work, and the opportunities that come forward.

The other layers of our community include local food champions and other do-ers. This includes our members, and a few other social enterprises that have been very supportive of us over the last year or so. They are willing to put a hand up for the cause, as are we for theirs. Then we have the slightly further away outer layer, who are a little older and wiser than we are. These guys have been around long enough to see if something is a new idea or something old repackaged. They really help us not to repeat the work of others or reinvent the wheel. We love that although they are super important and busy, they can still spare some time and some of their brain space for us.

Crowd getting settled in for Reel Food night powered by pedals!

Crowd getting settled in for Reel Food night powered by pedals!

LS: If you were showing someone from out of town around your local area, where would you take them?

YFM: We would invite them to one of our monthly meetings of course! Although they’re not widely publicised, you only have to look at our twitter photos to see that we have the biggest feast before each monthly catch up. It’s a nice mix of home-made, locally sourced, and international flavours (most of us have a soft spot for khao nieaw geaw). It’s also pretty nourishing for your brain too, because as we eat we share what new places we’ve been, things we’ve learnt or people we’ve met.

For the past 3 years, each October we have hosted a Ride On Lunch where we take people to visit, learn from and be fed by local food champions. In the past we’ve visited Michael Mobbs’ sustainable house while picking mint from the verge gardens outside his place to add to our smoothies; we’ve planted seedlings at James St Reserve Community Garden; savoured the thoughtful treats at Kitchen By Mike and Youeni Provides; and witnessed the magic that is Eveleigh Farmers Markets. So, I guess I would take someone on a personalised version of the 3 rides!

Ride on Lunch

Ride on Lunch

LS: What does ‘local’ mean to you/your work/your family?

YFM: Local to us means: something that can be obtained with much less effort than normal. This could be because it is physically closer than alternatives, for example the farmers market is closer than the farm itself.  It could be personally close through friends or family, like learning a cooking skill that only your Grandma knows. Or it could be cultural – shared traditions or a shared ethos on life, these kind of things are such a great magnets for getting people together, which is really what makes something local – people!

LS: Hidden local gem?

YFM: I think any edible plant or tree you find when walking the streets of Sydney is a local hidden gem! When we were riding the streets of Redfern looking for a spot to film our crowdfunding campaign video, we found this small yet golden banana tree (so bananas!!). On my street in Annandale, I found this grapevine and was waiting for the grapes to ripen hoping the owners of the property the vine was draped over didn’t want the fruit. Unfortunately I’m not the only grape lover in town because every day I walked past on my way home, there were none there!

Backyard Gardening

Backyard Gardening

We also think local gems, be it a food shop or not, is one that is run by someone who also lives in that suburb or area. Because they are creating something for a place that is already personal to them, what they make and sell seems truly genuine.

Backyard tomoatoes

Backyard tomatoes

 

 

Beautiful backyard bounty

Beautiful backyard bounty

 

 

 

 

 

LS: Local person, cultural or food experience Local Sprouts should seek out?

YSM: Diego Bonetto runs some mean foraging tours through various parts of Sydney! This is a good place to begin to challenge yourself on what you think is edible or not.

We’d also recommend you hop in a car and drive 45 minutes to an hour away from the CBD in any direction to take a look at some of the farms and meet some of the farmers that feed sydney. Down south you can pick your own mushrooms (we produce enough mushrooms in Sydney to feed ourselves. Along with lettuce, this is one of the few foods we are self sufficient at supplying the hungry people of Sydney). If you head west, before you get to the mountains you can go fruit picking in Bilpin, apples will be coming in shortly, and then later in the year you can pick a range of stone fruits. If you want to meet a farmer yourself, there are plenty of city groups who run tours frequently, or you can DIY and get a map from Hawkesbury Harvest and make a day of it with your mates!

Get out of the city! Head out and harvest some goodness yourself!

Get out of the city! Head out and harvest some goodness yourself!

We are also great fans of making stuff from scratch! Think bread, jam, pasta or any other staple that you eat daily but most likely don’t know how to make yourself. We can tell you, that making these things is incredibly easy (each of the above are made from only 3 ingredients!), and nothing can compare to that proud smile you have on your face when presenting your achievement to your family or friends to be eaten together.

Passata making fun!

Passata making fun!

Eat your way across Seattle!

Welcome to Sarah’s trail for eating and marketing across Seattle! Sarah writes an engaging and delicious blog cook.can.read, and is dedicated to all things local. Here’s her rundown of where she’d take you if you came to visit!

Fruit from Remlinger Farms with Sarah-picked berries

Fruit from Remlinger Farms with Sarah-picked berries

LS: If you were showing someone from out of town around your local area, where would you take them?

Sarah: I am lucky to have frequent out of town visitors, and usually take them to some or all of these spots.

Macrina Bakery: homemade baked goods with an emphasis on using local fruits and grains. Such a treat!

Theo Chocolate Factory: the only chocolate-maker in the US (at last check) to make chocolate starting with raw cocoa beans. Their emphasis is on fair-trade, fair-wage, organic, responsibly-sourced ingredients from start to finish. Theo chocolate is worth seeking out for so many reasons!

Espresso Vivace—well, we are in Seattle, so coffee has to come into play. Vivace is my favorite because they roast in-house. My husband and I sometimes buy green beans from them and roast at home, but labor-wise, I much prefer sinking into a comfy chair with a Vivace latte and the Sunday paper. It’s also conveniently located across from REI, a terrific outdoor gear outfitter.

Golden Beetle—Maria Hines is the chef/owner of this Ballard restaurant serving seasonal, organic Mediterranean food made from primarily locally-sourced ingredients. From brunch to dinner and including happy hour, GB has some of my favorite food in the city. Don’t miss the muhammara!

Lola—Tom Douglas is Seattle’s resident celebrity chef, with more than a dozen restaurants around the city. My favorite is Lola, another Mediterranean restaurant with a heavy lean toward Greek food. The atmosphere is wonderful, the buzz is exciting, the location is convenient, in the middle of downtown, and the food is my favorite in the city. I learned to love roast lamb and squid kebabs with chermoula at Lola.

In addition to these spots, everyone gets a trip to the farmers’ market!

Haul from Ballard Market

Haul from Ballard Market

LS: Hidden local gem?

Sarah: The Walrus & the Carpenter, a tiny, hard-to-find, expect-a-wait, bright and beautiful space in the old fishing district area of Ballard with a menu centered on local seafood, particularly oysters. The food is stunning, like you have never had, fresh and surprising and exciting. The staff is friendly and engaging, knowledgeable and just cool. The best meal I ever had was at W&C with my husband and my mother-in-law. We ate and ate and ate: 6 varieties of raw oysters with fresh horseradish; fried oysters; the best tomato soup you can imagine; cured salmon with pickled tomatoes; grilled fresh white sardines, house-cured bresaola; cold and strong Moscow mules; pudding with espresso butter sauce for dessert. I smile and groan remembering that meal, every time.

LS: Local person, cultural or food experience Local Sprouts should seek out?

Sarah: Go to one of the neighborhood markets—Pike Place is fun, but going to the Ballard Market, or West Seattle, or University District, or Columbia City will allow you to see the heart(s) of my beloved city. The range of available products makes me giddy with excitement, sometimes to the point where I am overwhelmed. You will see local chefs choosing fish and greens for tonight’s dinner service, moms buying fresh, just-picked apples for their kids, crazy ladies like me buying *another* case of apricots to make jam, folks out to see and be seen, friends meeting to grab a crepe and a bike-powered smoothie for a strolling breakfast… It’s the truest snapshot of the city I know.

Beautiful bunches piled high at Magnolia Market

Beautiful bunches piled high at Magnolia Market

cooking.reading.living in Seattle

We really live in a global village, with friend and family scattering across the globe and placing down roots in different communities.  Social networks allow us to stay connected and reconnect with friends from all phases of our lives. Today, Local Sprouts is very excited to share an interview with a friend from my hometown in Maine, now living, and cooking, reading and blogging, in Seattle.

LS: Tell us a little bit about yourself!

Sarah: I am Sarah! I started blogging about 16 months ago after gentle persuasion by friends and family—“I need that recipe! Can you teach me to make pickles? Can you explain GMOs to me (again)? I need a book recommendation.”—and so on. I LOVE blogging. I never thought of myself as a writer, but I enjoy having the outlet, and what’s better than writing about what I know, about what I love? I worked in bookstores for a dozen years and have been cooking since I was a tot, at my mother’s side or grandmother’s side or with my beloved Aunt Elaine. So, now, I read emotional novels and blood pressure-raising non-fiction and inspiring cookbooks and share them. I invent new twists on recipes or try Dorie Greenspan’s muffin recipe and share my experiments. I put beautiful fresh fruit with various herbs, spices or other fruits and share my jam recipes with others who may just want to make them. Most importantly, I connect with like-minded folks and learn, learn, learn. I love to learn.

LS: Where is your local community/neighbourhood and what do you love about it/how could you describe it?

Sarah: I live in Seattle, WA, a big city with many distinct neighborhoods; we live in the Magnolia neighborhood but spend a great deal of time in neighboring Ballard & Fremont. Seattle is generally labeled as a “green” city—we have so many parks and walking/hiking trails, like Magnolia’s grand Discovery Park; bike lanes everywhere to encourage alternate forms of commute & travel; an impressive recycling and yard waste program; a clean and safe Metro; incredible biodiversity; and farmers’ markets everywhere to share and promote that diversity.

Beach Trail at Discovery Park in Seattle

Beach Trail at Discovery Park in Seattle

Besides the famous Pike Place Market downtown, recent years have brought Melrose Market, a “foodie paradise” that houses my butcher (Rain Shadow Meats), a cheese shop, a wine shop, flower market and more, and outdoor markets in almost every neighborhood. Some of the latter are open only from June-October, but the nearby Ballard market runs year-round; every Sunday morning, I can go there for eggs, meat, flowers, fruit & veggies, home-brewed kombucha, artisan bread & jam, candy, baked goods and so much more. I am a passionate advocate of locavorism and the support of local farmers and growers; in the summer time, we go to the Ballard market Sunday morning, the Wallingford market on Wednesdays, sometimes Phinney Ridge on Friday, and Magnolia on Saturday. We eat locally grown, locally sourced milk from Fresh Breeze farms, grains from Bluebird Grain Farm, eggs and meat from Skagit River Ranch, berries from Jessie, honey from Tom and veggies from a variety of sources every day of the week. I am lucky, and take advantage of every possible occasion to know my farmers by name, thank the growers and keep my money in the western WA community.

A busy jamming weekend!

A busy jamming weekend!

LS: What does ‘local’ mean to you/your work/your family?

Sarah: Local to me means Seattle first, WA state whenever possible and responsibly-sourced from the US after that. That’s not to say that I’ve never eaten or bought anything imported, but my goal is to support the local economy—keep the WA farmers farming! Keep the WA growers growing! I am perhaps overly-conscious of issues like organic farming vs. conventional, GMO labeling, whole or “real” foods and food preservation. When I support my local farmers, I believe that I can have an impact, however small, on the health of my family, the land and local communities. I buy from, and advertise when possible for, growers who use sustainable farming practices and avoid pesticides and meat/milk/egg producers who use organic feed and no antibiotics. I advocate for the health of the system as a whole: the animals, the land, the workers who harvest crops, and consumers.  Personally, I eat seasonally, avoid most processed foods and cook from scratch almost every day. For the past few years, I have been making jam, pickles and similar canned goods (water bath processing only, so not as many veggies as I would like) for our own use and to use at swaps with my bartering group, Backyard Barter. I am now on the steering committee of BB, helping to expand our monthly events into new Seattle neighborhoods (we started with a focus on NW Seattle, esp. Ballard) and to reach out to new members who believe in sustainability and creating a local food community.

Home-cured (by Sarah!) corned beef, from Jones Family Farm via Rain Shadow Meats

Home-cured (by Sarah!) corned beef, from Jones Family Farm via Rain Shadow Meats

Be sure to check out Sarah’s blog cook.can.read for more local Seattle goodness! And check back here for Sarah’s guide to marketing and eating across Seattle!

Botanica Garden Cafe in pictures

Local Sprouts recently enjoyed a sunny lunch in the garden of Botanica Garden Cafe in Waverton. Splendid setting, fresh & local food & refreshing drinks perfect for a hot summer day in Sydney!

Maui Wowie!

Maui Wowie!

Organic menu at Botanica

Organic menu at Botanica

Chicken pot pie with flaky crust & green salad.

Chicken pot pie with flaky crust & green salad.

Incredible steak sandwich and crunchy coleslaw

Incredible steak sandwich and crunchy coleslaw

Back chicken garden

Back chicken garden

Wheelbarrow garden adds a dose of sunshine!

Wheelbarrow garden adds a dose of sunshine!

Tea and Talk in Newtown

As a newer arrival to Australia, foodie and local devote, I am interested in what foods we can forage for in our local bush, reserves and backyards. The Green Living Centre  hosted a Bush Food Talk n Tea with guest speakers Marina and Jasmin from i Sustainable, a local organisation focused on growing sustainable futures.

The knowledge and expertise of native plants and bush foods was evident as Marina made her way through the presentation. Passing around books and info sheets on each plant, participants were encouraged to engage with questions and exchange recipes, tips on best uses and where to find the foods locally in Sydney, reinforcing the Centre’s role as a hub for the local community.

Handouts

Guiding the participants through a host of native bush foods, Marina and Jasmin showcased the plants in an edible form. From lemon myrtle tea and wattle seed coffee to homemade bunya nut cake served with jellies, marmelades and honey made by Sustainable Food Farm, a division of i Sustain, our knowledge was brought to another level through our senses. The Davidson Plum Rainforest fruit jelly was a tart, zingy standout, as was the bright Rozella Flower tea.

Sustainable Food Farm jams

Sustainable Food Farm jams

Native plants, bush food, building community–this is what the Tea n Talk were all about. The conversation continues with The Green Living Centre hosting many more food talks. Local Sprouts encourages you to start talking and learning from experts about what you can eat from your backyard, hedgerow and local reserve. Join a local conversation, take a class or enjoy a meal created from locally sourced, native foods. The incredible flavours are waiting!

Get to know Local Sprouts!

Today, Local Sprouts (LS) interviews Katie Hatch (KH), the face behind the blog.

Katie Lobster Secret Garden

LS: Who are you? What makes you tick? Any special details Local Sprouts readers should know about you?  

KH: I am am American loving life in Sydney. I love amazing adventures in my own back yard and thrilling tales of far off lands. I love getting people around a table to share a meal, their lives and to discover common bonds. I love to talk, talk, talk and have meet some of the most incredible people just by striking up a conversation in all sorts of situations. The next time a stranger chats you up, it might be me!

I am also the person behind Local Sprouts. I want LS to profile real people, family & friends, and share what local means to them. I really want it to be a space where people can learn about all the awesome definitions of local, and see what is happening in other communities from all corners of the globe. Hopefully, LS will inspire people to get involved, connect with each other & share a real in-person conversation or a lingering meal made with produce from their backyards or local farmers market.

LS: Where is your local community/neighbourhood and what do you love about it/how could you describe it?  

KH: In Sydney, I would say my local community is wherever the food is! I love exploring new Sydney neighbourhoods and am often drawn to my destination by a farmers market, restaurant or community event.

I would describe Sydney as vibrant, friendly and happening. There is alway so much going on, from concerts and theatrical productions to classes and workshops, restaurant events and wine tastings and bike rides and fun runs. There really is something for everyone, every day!

LS: If you were showing someone from out of town around your local area, where would you take them? 

KH: Sydney has such a great coffee & food culture, which I would really want to showcase.

Eveleigh Market

Eveleigh Market

On a Saturday at Eveleigh Market to stock up for the week, chat with local farmers and purveyors and enjoy the hustle and bustle of the neighbourhood. We would then head over to The Rag Land Cafe for breakfast and a chat with Dave about the latest and greatest in coffee.

If it were the first Saturday of the month, we would venture to Sample Coffee Bar for Black Saturday. I really love their dedication to ethically sourced coffee and the chance to experience a flight of coffee from a particular region or farm is such a great way to become more connected to the coffee you’re enjoying.

I would also want to have a BBQ or picnic so they could enjoy a great meal with some of the lovely people I’ve met over the past year, and enjoy some of the local produce we picked up at Eveleigh!

Sydney Harbour Bridge

Sydney Harbour Bridge

See: inside of the State Theatre

Opera House performance

Harbour Bridge from underneath on a boat

Do: Korean BBQ & Karaoke

Get on a surf board!

Walks in the Blue Mountains

LS: What does ‘local’ mean to you/your work/your family? 

KH: Local to me means eating in season & purchasing from local farmers as often as possible to know where your food comes from, partaking in events happening in your community and venturing out for a walk to explore your neighbourhood. Get outside! You just never know what you’ll discover or who you’ll meet!

LS: Hidden local gem? 

Vista on Mosman to Manly Walk

Vista on Mosman to Manly Walk

KH: One of my absolute favourite walks is from Mosman to Manly on a coastal path. Breathtaking views, sandy beaches, natural beauty and aboriginal art dot the path. It offers a fresh perspective of the city and allows you to feel miles away from the CBD. Garage Pizza and 4 Pines Brewery to give us enough energy to get home!

LS: Local person, cultural or food experience Local Sprouts should seek out?

KH: Pig on a spit at Restaurant Atelier, Mi Casa Su Casa supper club, Pork in the Park by Smokey O’s BBQ and Sydney’s Food Trucks!

What does ‘Local’ mean to you?

Local can mean so many different things. It can be local, like right down the street. It can be your local, as in your local pub where they know what you drink and, hopefully, even your name. It can be a locavore lifestyle, such as eating foods grown within a certain radius of your home. It can be supporting a community business, artist or sports team. Local Sprouts is going to explore local on all sorts of levels, with a focus on people, culture and food–and all the iterations these themes come in.

Local Sprouts wants to know what local means to you. How would you define local? What local place, space, event, community or individual springs to mind when you hear the word local? This is your chance to share your local story, the best of your community/neighbourhood/life. Send along your thoughts & LS will see what’s up and share it with readers. It can be anything which connects to people, culture and food–your favourite coffee shop, the best library, an inspirational community leader or special event you want to share. Big or small, well known or undiscovered gem, local is the name of the game.

Post your ideas below and I’ll add them to the list of people, places and experiences to explore. Local Sprouts is based in Sydney, Australia, but is happy to entertain near or far. I’ve lived all over and am from away, so you never know what might pop up on Local Sprouts! Happy Reading!