The week that was (30 June 2016)

- The Fin Rev released their Food and Wine Issue last week. I was fascinated to read the story behind Nathan Myhrvold, the former chief tech officer for Microsoft, who has subsequently written all the Modernist Cuisine books - his food lab, and his dedication to exploring the science of food and cooking, is phenomenal. There was a glance at four of the wonderful chefs and restaurants that have opened in the Australian countryside - IgniFleetBrae and Biota. And Crapology, a photographic blog dedicated to the beauty of left-overs.

- Last week a farmer from Inverell rode his horse over the Harbour Bridge. It was a plea for awareness regarding land clearing. Australia ranks third among the developed world for land clearing, you don't need a bleeding heart leftie to tell you that is not ok.
The NSW Government are proposing changes to the Native Vegetation Act. Essentially these changes will remove the modest checks and balances they currently have in place, in particular the requirement that farmers, developers and agribusinesses ‘maintain or improve’ the land they are working in regards to native vegetation and land clearing.
Similar legislation was passed in 2012 in Queensland. It was an unmitigated disaster and resulted in 300,000 hectares of vegetation ripped from the earth. This was not the act of farmers, whose land is the legacy and their future, but rather big business taking advantage of a very foolish decision. Please let's learn the lesson, not repeat the mistake.
Watch the intro to the doco Restoring Earth here, read Neil’s open letter to Premier Baird here, sign the petition here.
The panel discussion following the screening of the doco floated some interesting ideas:

The importance of humus (decaying organic matter) in soil structure, water retention and thus land conservation and carbon consumption; the importance of roots in the soil; healthy soil's impact on human health, our water cycle and the health of the climate; the need to combine ecology and agriculture; the need to combine health and agriculture; a potential role (and rewards) for farmers and land-owners in environmental goods and services; closing the gap between traditional and innovative methods - putting the info back in the hands of those who can do something about it, the farmers; getting farmers talking to farmers, with education carried out in the paddock (the sustainable forestry system in Victoria was cited as an example of this working); finally, the question was raised, why is it we all know our doctor, but don't all know a farmer?

The solutions are all around us - just more talking, thinking and looking. Do you think the oyster knows it lives in its very own spoon?