GRANNY Smith will be open throughout the Christmas 2012 and New Year 2013 summer holiday season except for Christmas Day, Boxing Day, New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day. Please note shorter trading hours for the week after Christmas and from Wednesday 02 to Saturday 19 January 2013:
Christmas to New Year’s Eve 2012 Sat 22 Dec: 8:00am – 4:00pm
Sun 23 Dec: 9:00am – 12:00pm
Mon 24 Dec: 8:00am – 4:00pm
Tue 25 and Wed 26 Dec: closed
Thu 27 and Fri 28 Dec: 10:00am – 4:00pm
Sat 29 Dec: 9:00am – 1:00pm
Mon 31 Dec: closed
Wed 02 to Sat 19 Jan 2013 Weekdays: 10:00am – 4:00pm
Saturday: 9:00am – 1:00pm
ORGANIC food certification organisation Biological Farmers Australia – which certifies Granny Smith Natural Food Market – has reported a 15 per cent surge in the size of the organic food market in Australia. Organic food has ‘gone mainstream’ and, according to an ABC TV report of BFA’s recently released Australian Organic Market Report, become a billion dollar-a-year growth business.
Biological Farmers’ Australia’s Andrew Monk says more people are asking retailers about the source of food. Farm-gate sales are said to have increased 34% in the past two years, with Australia now having the largest area of certified organic food-producing farmland in the world. But Australia continues to lag behind Europe. The Australian organic food market accounts for about 1% of national food consumption, compared with 3% in Europe. Dr Monk predicts that growth will continue at a rate of 15% per year. Listen to the ABC’s report broadcast on 29 Oct 2012.
LAST week, in Austin, the capital of Texas, I had an opportunity to meet Whole Foods’ marketing manager Richard Gabaree at the company’s foundation and flagship store. Whole Foods is the world’s largest natural and organic food retailer. My companion couldn’t resist asking Richard for a photograph of the pair of us with some organic Granny Smith apples from the central Austin store’s amazing fruit and vegetable display.
The provenance of food – who grows it, how it’s grown and where it comes from – is as important to Whole Foods as it is to us at Granny Smith. In every department at Whole Foods the staff could tell us the origin of food, from fish to coffee. In the butchery and at the cheese counter, staff proudly told us who produced the lamb or goat chevre that they were offering. The visit reinforced our philosophy that we should spare no effort to ensure that the food we market keeps its identity. If we can achieve that then we’re always reminded of the link between farm and table when we shop for food. It’s the reason we’re always stocking and supporting the promotion of foods like heirloom apples from Orange.
SYDNEY Morning Herald reporter Ben Butler, with Leonie Wood, reports on the cost of keeping cheap chicken on Australian tables in Behind the closed doors of poultry processing. Butler and Wood report on injuries, allegations of maltreatment and bad work practices and the dominance of the processing business by two major companies.
You may remember that we had a delightful surprise at the end of Granny Smith Natural Food Market’s first summer of trading when we received a generous haul of heirloom apples from Orange. In 2003 our store was reviewed in The Sydney Morning Herald’s ‘Good Living’ guide. The review was seen by Borry and Gaye Gartrell, heirloom fruit orchardists and winemakers, who farm some magnificent country on the slopes of Mount Canobolas near Orange in central western NSW. My experience of community-supported agriculture, mentioned in the article, encouraged them to bring me some of their fabulous apple varieties. Everyone raved about the beautiful, developed flavours of the fruit. Like most fruits and vegetables, true heirloom varieties rarely make it to market. With more than 170 varieties of apples growing at an altitude of 1000 metres, Borry knows them all. Some are perfect for apple sauce, some for drying, some for eating fresh, some for cider. Some are super-early, ripening in January, and some – like Granny Smiths – can still be on the trees when the first snow falls on Mount Canobolas in May.
I’ve been intending to go up there each year to get some more of this amazing fruit but, being busy, it never happened. That is, until late March 2011, when I drove to Orange. Though the apple season was mostly behind us, the next-to-last of late season fruit was still on the trees, having grown slowly through the warmer months to become fully-flavoured. I helped Borry pick three late season varieties: Democrats, Roman Beauties and King Davids.
A few weeks later I returned for the last of the Cox’s Orange Pippins – the world’s finest dessert apple, Lord Lambourne, Lady of the Snows, the superb Carrington, and Buncombe. By this time – late in March – some of the Borrodell apples had developed a honey core: golden and juicy through the centre, like honey comb, the hallmark of intense flavour development in fruit still on the tree.
Lord Lambourne is described on authoritative website orangepippin.com as one of the earliest of the season’s English-style dessert apples. Carrington ‘Early’ is described by a Tasmanian orchardist as a ‘Christmas apple’, small, red and with bland white flesh. This is not how I would rate the Carrington picked from Borry’s orchard this autumn past. Beautifully crisp much after Christmas, it was superb. Buncombe – also known in North America as Red Winter Permain or Red Fall Pippin – is thought to have been raised in North Carolina in the 1800s. It is described as a high quality dessert apple.
We’ve been very pleased at Granny Smith’s to enjoy a wonderful response from customers to our stocking – albeit for a short season – these heritage apples from Orange. One customer ordered a case of Bramley’s Seedling. She was overjoyed to find that someone not too far from Sydney was growing this quintessential English cooking apple. The intense acidity of Bramley’s guarantees, when cooked, ‘the lightest and fluffiest of purees’, according to orangepippin.com. England remains the only place in the world where a distinction is made between ‘eaters’ and ‘cookers’ among varieties of apple. Bramley’s is undoubtedly the perfect ‘cooker’.