The week that was (14 May 2015)

It’s not easy being a farmer:
- A bacteria is killing the olive trees in Italy’s heel. The bacterium, Xylella fastidiosa, has already wreaked havoc across olive groves in Costa Rica, also attacking citrus trees in Brazil and vineyards in California and is now attacking the olive groves of Racale. The Italian government have been criticized for not acting quickly enough, but their choices are few and far between. They are currently trying for an exclusion zone, with growers in the region facing the reality that this is a bacteria they may have to work with.

Buena Vista Farm, in Gerringong, lost 102 one-month-old Sommerlad chickens this week. You may remember this chook as the very expensive, but very delicious, variety John Lethlean wrote about a few months back. A fox and failed electric fence are said to be responsible. 

- In happier news consumption of margarine has taken a tumble (down 9%), while butter is on the rise (up 6%). Butter is now sitting above marge for the first time in years (the study looks at the past five) ... oh how the tables have churned (I stole that from some card at Roy Morgan).

-  Chef’s Table has launched on Netflix. The six part series looks at the philosophies that drive some of the world’s most intriguing chefs (Bottura, Barber, Mallman, Nakayama, Shewry, Nilsson). It’s beautiful, thoughtful and well worth downloading the free month of Netflix to take a peek. Watch the trailer here.
I watched Dan Barber's ep last night: “What I have come to understand, and I have yet to find any example that flies in the face of this, is when you are chasing after the best flavour, you are chasing the best ingredients, and when you are chasing the best ingredients you are in search of great farming.” Amen to that.