Maitland’s largest, and tastiest, food rescue operation is about to hit the city.
Nine hundred north Queensland mangoes will descend on the Slow Food Earth Markets in The Levee on Thursday in a huge effort to stop them turning into food waste.
The Kensington Pride crop are too small for farmers Bruce and Helen Hill to sell through their usual chains and with a mango glut in the area the organic and biodynamic mangoes were doomed.
Then Slow Food Hunter Valley heard about the plight, through its links with a branch in that area, and got to work instigating the rescue.
It’s a treat for us down south to be able to rescue these and give these farmers some money back,leader and chef Amorelle Dempster said.
“These mangoes haven’t been put in cold storage, they are a true warm fruit and that is the way to enjoy them at their best.”
Ms Dempster said mango growers earned about 10 cents for each piece of fruit they sold to major supermarkets.
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“We want to pay the farmers a fair price for their mangoes so we will sell them for $2 each, 3 for $5, or $35 for a box of about 20 mangoes,” she said. “It’s going to take the whole community to be able to save these.”
The mangoes, also known as Bowen mangoes, or KP mangoes, were grown on Park Creek Plantation in Giru which is 45 minutes south of Townsville.
They were picked when they had matured, so they will be ripe and ready to eat in a few days.
Maitland shoppers have a strong history of rescuing farming crops.
First it was the mighty 40 tonne pumpkin crop. Then it was the cauliflower and broccoli, and earlier this month the spinach and kale.
Click on the picture below to read more about Maitland’s fresh food revolution
Helen Hughes, who volunteers at the market, urged shoppers to back the cause.
“This is a fabulous opportunity for us to grab some beautiful organic mangoes,” the Slow Food Hunter Valley vice president said.
“It’s a perfect fit for this time of year.
The mango madness has inspired Ms Dempster to feature the fruit in the Market Kitchen from 2pm.
This kind of thing helps to teach people that you don’t always have to eat perfect food, and if you are a little more creative you can help save food and limit the amount of waste going into landfill.
She will show shoppers how to use the mouth-watering fruit to make delicious mango smoothies.