Mark and Vanessa Bennett took their story on the road along with recipe tips and fresh produce when they presented at the Duncan Dovico “Great Australian Story” series in Melbourne on July 11th.
Mark shared his passion for fresh seasonal produce, his love of Tuscan tomatoes, and lamented the demise of local market gardens and the ability of Australian communities to feed themselves. He believes the industrialisation of our food and resulting dominance of large supermarket chains now puts a higher value on looks than taste.
Food usually travels a long way before it makes it to our plate – the tomatoes might be getting redder but nothing beats a farmers’ market tomato – ripened naturally from the warmth of the sun. For all of its perceived benefits, the development of an industrialized food system is working against nature and comes at a cost. Out of all human activities, agriculture has arguably been the source of greatest human impact on the environment. On top of habitat loss due to clearing, unsustainable agricultural practices cause more than 12 million hectares of land to be lost each year.
But if we are to feed our planet’s future generations we will have to evolve and find more ways to work with nature rather than against her. It’s this philosophy and more that started us on the Hidden Garden journey and our first project on Christmas Island. In many ways, Christmas Island is a good example of how vulnerable we as a society have become to a disruption to our food supply. It is a microcosm of the larger problem of our food system and in that sense it makes a good a site as any to begin…