GO WEST, BUT GO SLOWLY

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By Niel Vaughan

What is slow food? For those who thought that the Slow Food movement means long-cooked casseroles or overnight smouldering barbeque pits, you are not wrong, but there is so much more to the story. We love and support slow made food that takes a lovingly long time to grow, cook and eat, but Slow Food also has a spirit.

“Good, clean and fair food for all”: these are the principles on which the Slow Food movement was founded in 1986 on the Spanish Steps in Rome, Italy, by Carlo Petrini as a protest to the opening of a McDonald’s. In the simplest sense Slow Food is the opposite of Fast Food. Slow Food Melbourne exists today in the same spirit.

Who are we?

We are a mixed bag of cross-generational, multicultural Victorians who care about where our food comes from and the hard-working folk who produce it. We support a slower, richer pace of living connected to culture and history through the living lens of food. We care and work for the preservation of all culinary traditions and cultures, whilst fostering the creation of new ones. In a nutshell, we steward the values of pleasure and responsibility for good food.

Why do we run a farmers’ market?

At the heart of Slow Food Melbourne (SFM) lies the farmers’ market (FM). The space where lovers of food and culture meet to exchange, celebrate and protect, the magic of heritage and food traditions, whilst encouraging innovation.

Every fourth (4th) Saturday of every month (8am to 1pm) come rain, hail or shine, our community meets at the Spotswood-Kingsville RSL to celebrate the bond between producers and consumers with neighbours and friends. Growing this bond from kitchen tops to restaurant tables to cafe benches to school cafeterias and hospital menus— this is what Slow Food Melbourne does all
day everyday.

The SFMFM started its life at the Abbotsford Convent more than a decade ago, at a time when the Convent’s tragic history and imminent destruction haunted the public’s mind. The market was a direct response to the need for revitalising community interest in one of Melbourne’s iconic sites— and we got it right. The farmer’s market enjoyed unprecedented success.

In its current incarnation, the SFMFM brings its rich history, food and global reach to Melbourne’s inner west, where the food culture blooms with exciting culinary combinations forged on the fires of new connections.

RSLs are closing around Australia. Few things make as much sense as the natural fit of the SFMFM at the Spotswood-Kingsville RSL. A partnership making strides in community revival and interest. That is the power of food at work.

For the best. Go west! When the president of Slow Food Melbourne and founder of the SFMFM, Alison Peake, was asked about finding a new home for the market, she said, “I grew up in the west. I live in the west. It feels good to finally bring the market home.”

Watch this space. We have plenty of fun and flavour wrapped in the pages of the Westsider coming your way. We also have oodles of delicious freshly cooked content for you to feast on via FB and Insta @SlowFoodMelbourne.

Take care and see you there.

 

Slow Food Melbourne operates a genuine Farmers’ Market at the
Spotswood-Kingsville RSL on the 4th Saturday of the month from
8am - 1pm. The RSL bar opens at 11am on market day and Dog
Day starts at 2pm where canine friends meet on the bowling green
for a frolic on the grass.

 

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