Guest Speaker James Creagh is a passionate grower of food. He and his partner Philippe have planted hundreds of fruit and nut trees some common and many unusual varieties including yellow sapotes, mamey sapote, rollina, soursop, jackfruit and yellow mangosteen. He has recently returned from spending the summer near Perpignan in the south of France staying in one of the largest stone fruit growing areas of Europe after Italy and Spain. He discovered some interested varieties of stone fruits and other fruits that he’s keen to share.
James has around 20 bee hives and is always keen to share information about the importance of these amazing insects. Three years ago James started up the Nimbin Natural Beekeepers Association supporting natural ways of keeping bees. They have a top bar hive in operation and plan to set up a Waree hive soon. These alternative type of hives have proven to be successful in the USA and Europe in managing the varroa mite that we don’t have in Australia but may be worth preparing for should that day come.
James is a firm believer in making strong connections between plate, planet, people and culture and has been growing food for his local Blue Knob Farmers market since it began. He is very taken by the slow food movement with its philosophy of envisioning a world in which all people can access and enjoy food that is good for them, good for those who grow it and good for the planet. His involvement with his local market had lived out the ideals of growing food in sustainable and satisfying ways. “….preparing the soil, seeding the earth and watching it mature to be harvested, filling tables with produce at the local market and hearing the appreciation, wanting to know about how it was grown and sharing ways of preparing the produce in the kitchen has to be the most satisfying thing I have ever done”