What’s your café?

In all communities, large and small, we choose ways to define ourselves – where do we “belong”, who are “our type of people”? There are many ways to do this. In the many small towns of my youthful wandering around the country, people were usually a “top pub” or a “bottom pub” person. And like all ways we define ourselves in the sub groups of our communities, these decisions become self-reinforcing as your type of person would be found there and so friendships networks are formed and familiarity grows, making us feel like we belong.

As towns change and new people arrive, preferences adapt. When I lived in Kuranda in Far North Queensland in the 1970’s, the bottom pub was where the hippies and blackfellas drank and the top pub was referred to as the place where “the locals” drank. The irony of this given the blackfellas had been “local” for quite a few thousand years wasn’t lost on us in the bottom pub!

I noticed moving into the Cygnet area some years ago how strongly people can connect to “their” café. Given in small communities this is often a place you drop into during the day and meet people spontaneously, picking the place where “your people” hang is quite important and again becomes self reinforcing. And of course, all this is on top of the rather significant issue of the food and coffee that you like!

Continue Reading

Necessity, the mother of creative invention

Necessity as the mother of invention is on display every day with Tasmanian food producers. Over the coming months we’ll tell many stories about their creativity not just in their food but in making a living! The necessity is clear – living on an island at the edge of the world – with long distances and high transport costs – really eliminates commodity agriculture as viable way to earn an income. So even if you wanted to be that kind of farmer, and there’s plenty of other reasons not to, you can’t really do it anyway because to overcome the challenge of distance you have to have a niche that stands you out from the crowd and preferably a way to add extra value to your crop.

Continue Reading

Local beef ribs at The Apple Shed

Meat comes from animals

One of the iconic moments in our first year in Tasmania was driving along and seeing a small group of people in a paddock with some equipment. We took a double take when we realized that hanging from a small crane on the back of their ute was a freshly killed cow, being butchered. We thought it was a great scene and stopped to take a look and have a chat.

Continue Reading

No more posts.