16 December 2012

17th December, 2012

17 December - last day of co-op operation for 2012.

We're back on Monday, 7th January, 2013.

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Thank you very much to our FIG members, FIG farmers and suppliers, for another good year.

It's been a big one, with Incorporation earlier on, moving premises, rabbiting on to farmers about growing organically and encouraging our members to grow their own food as well. FIG would not happen at all without the support of local farmers but, most importantly, without the amazing support and dedication of a lot of volunteers. 

We thank you all, very much. 

2013 will see us talking to more farmers about the importance of chemical free food, and to develop the FIG Friend plan, as well as other things! So, if you are out there reading this and wishing you lived closer to FIG or had a closer pick up point, you may like to consider becoming a FIG Friend yourself or advising us that you'd use this service in your region.

We wish everyone a safe and happy Christmas and holiday season. Catch up in the new year...

03 December 2012

Peacock Grove Biodynamic oils and olives

Just in time for Christmas and for summer entertaining: Peacock Grove Biodynamic Oils and Olives, from here.

We recently had a question by one of our members as to whether the olives were raw or had been cooked. This member was embarking on a raw food regime and was happy to hear the response that they were not cooked or heated at all.

This is what the Peacocks had to say: "Our olives have been processed in 20% brine, for several months: some describe this process as "fermenting", others as "debittering", but I think of it more as a "pickling" process.  Basically, after they have been picked, we sort them out (discarding the tiny, bird-pecked, blemished, soft ones), we wash them and then put them in brine.  They are then stored at a uniform temperature, and we check the salinity and Ph of the solution at regular intervals. 

At no stage of the process do we cook the fruit.  ... reminded me of an elderly Spanish gentleman who bought some of our raw table olives a couple of years ago.  He said that he boiled his fruit prior to putting them in brine, and was able to eat them a lot sooner than using our method!  So, it is evidently done in other parts of the world."

So the olives we keep in stock at FIG are not only extremely scrumptious but entirely suitable for a raw food diet. That's important information for many of our members.

In stock now, along with some beautiful honey, which is also raw and cold extracted... 

27 November 2012

Christmas/New Year operating hours

As usual, FIG is having a break over the Christmas and New Year period.

Our last day of operation shall be Monday 17th December and we shall resume Monday 7th January.

This means FIG will be closed on 24th and 31st December.

Thank you to all our wonderful members and volunteers - and of course, a HUGE thank you to our local farmers and growers as without you, we wouldn't exist! 

10 November 2012

Christmas gift ideas

We came across this on the internet during the week...

... and thought what a good idea it was to share with you all!

FIG is all about community, sharing, supporting the locals, and the co-op will have available some fresh, raw honey and luscious Biodynamic olives and oils which make good Christmas presents to family and friends, and to serve guests over summer when you're entertaining.

They will be available on the extras tables and when they're gone, they're gone, so...

... get in quick!

26 October 2012

Food MythBusters video-- Do we really need industrial agriculture to feed the world?

We've just seen this new video on the issues of industrial agriculture. It's about seven minutes long and we encourage you all to watch it.

Here at FIG we're all about supporting the small, mixed farms and the families who farm the land, and believe they CAN feed the world...


Enjoy, and please share...

21 October 2012

Recipes and local produce

For anyone who hasn't visited the FIG Facebook page, here are a couple of recipes and links to recipes our Facebook team have used to cook some of the yummy produce found in the FIG boxes.

As members walk along the tables and pack their weekly produce, there is often talk amongst them about how to prepare and cook the various vegetables. Even a stint in the desk queue can provide some great tips and hints!

Here's one:

"While I was nosing around the extras table, I heard two lovely ladies talk about how they were going to make a vegetable lasagne with pumpkin and spinach. They inspired me, so yesterday I made my own ricotta (using this method http://typicallyred.blogspot.com.au/2012/03/say-cheese.html
) and made a tomato sauce with onion, garlic and lots of carrot. Softened some chopped zucchini and mushroom and mixed in the ricotta, some creme fraiche and parmesan. Then layered it all up with lasagne sheets. Everyone loved it!"

That sounds sooooo scrumptious! Tuckerflora Organically certified mushrooms are going to be in the boxes tomorrow with the usual multitude-of-green choices, zucchini has been ordered for the extras tables, with carrots, garlic and new season brown onions as well.

Here's a link to another recipe Figgies have made:

"How about a lovely recipe for provencal vegetables?

This week we have ordered the normal red beetroot as well as "candy striped beetroot"(Chioggia) from Ed, our 80-something, newly certified organic local farmer! Some weeks Ed will have red, chioggia and gold beetroot. What a great selection. If FIG members would like to see more beetroot on the extras table, all they need to do is email in about five days in advance and request it. If it's available, Ed will supply it. Great for pickling recipes, juicing in quantities (both the beetROOT and the beet greens), roasting and dips, and grated raw in salads. Here's a beetroot recipe Figgies have used: http://www.midwestliving.com/recipe/salads/goat-cheese-and-roasted-beet-salad-with-lemon-vinaigrette

This week local (Cooranbong to Mangrove Mountain) broccolini from Bill, broccoli, cauliflowers and sugarloaf cabbages from Peter will be in the boxes, on their own or in choices, as well as Ed's french leeks, Jean and Allen's (Tuckerflora) avocados, various greens from Ed, Bill and Michael, citrus from The Mountain and John Priestly's Biodynamic farm, and much more.

Order forms for this fortnight's bulk order will be sent out to members this morning.

See you at the co-op!

Edited to say that Blogger has gone a little astray this morning and keeps putting extra spaces in between some paragraphs whilst removing them in others, and all manner of little annoying features! We hope the end product is readable...

11 October 2012

National Organic Week

It's National Organic Week! 

= = = = = = = = = =

We realised this very late in the piece and didn't have time in between moving and setting up the at the new venue to organise a big and bright event so we conducted a box draw. 

We put the names of all our members in a hat (well, a box!) and drew out JACQUI's name. 

   Congratulations to Jacqui!!    

Your next FIG food box is FREE...!

08 October 2012

New hours at the co-op

From today, Monday 8th October, we shall be trialling longer hours at the co-op.

Today, the doors will officially open at 2.00pm (instead of 2.30)...

... and will close again at 6.00pm (instead of 5).

See you there... at the Ourimbah Scout Hall.

30 September 2012

Tuesday at the new venue

Hello to all the Figgies out there around the Central Coast on this beautiful, sunny, long weekend day!

This is just a quick reminder that the co-op will be opening on Tuesday 2nd October - NOT tomorrow - due to the public holiday Monday.

Times will be as normal - 2.30 opening and 5.00 pm close - but the venue has changed. From this week we shall be calling the Ourimbah Scout Hall home after over three-and-a-half-years down the road.

The address, a map and directions, for those of you who don't know the Scout Hall, can be found here on the blog or here on the FIG website.

Set up volunteers may arrive at the normal time of 1.15pm, with the pack up team coming in around 4.45pm.

We hope you are enjoying your long weekend and look forward to seeing those not away on holidays on Tuesday.

22 September 2012

FIG is moving!

FIG is moving!

Finally the search and waiting is over and we have found a new home for FIG.

Monday 24th September will be the last day at Sohier Park.

On Tuesday, 2nd October (Monday being a public holiday) we shall begin operations at the following:

Ourimbah Scout Hall, 
Ourimbah Creek Road, Ourimbah 
(just behind the Metro Service Station on the corner of the Pacific Highway and Ourimbah Creek Road).

Tuesday hours of operations shall be 2.30pm until 5.00pm.

On Mondays we shall soon be trialling longer opening times and will advise when that commences.

=  =  =  =  =  =  =  =  =  =  =  =  =  = 

Here's a map, and you will note that it's not far from where we are located now...


David took some piccies, and here is the new turn off, coming from the SOUTH:

Intersection of Pacific Highway and Ourimbah Creek Road
And here's photograph of the new driveway entrance...

And the Scout hall itself, ta-da!

If you like a satellite perspective, here it is, nice and close to the F3 which will suit our produce driver no end!

Here is some more information, taken from our website here - http://fig.org.au/find_us.htm

From the North: 
Down Wyong Road from the Tuggerah roundabout, turn right into Enterprise Drive/Chittaway Road at the 4th (Chittaway) roundabout, after about 6Kms just after you cross over the railway lines, turn right at the roundabout onto the Pacific Highway, past the speed cameras near the school and the RSL club then left at the second set of lights into Ourimbah Creek Road. We are in the first of the three buildings on your left.


Down the F3, take the Ourimbah exit, left into the Pacific Highway, then right at the first set of lights into Ourimbah Creek Road. We are in the first of the three buildings on your left.


Down the old Pacific Highway from Wyong, through Kangy Angy, past the Palmdale turn off then left at the Ourimbah roundabout then right at the first set of lights into Ourimbah Creek Road. We are in the first of the three buildings on your left.

From the South: 
Up the Pacific Highway through Ourimbah, past the speed cameras near the school and the RSL club then left at the second set of lights into Ourimbah Creek Road. We are in the first of the three buildings on your left.


Up the F3 then left onto the Ourimbah exit, right into the Pacific Highway, then right at the first set of lights into Ourimbah Creek Road. We are in the first of the three buildings on your left.

We are very excited and hope you will be too!

19 September 2012

Using that cauliflower!

Here's another recipe pinched from the FIG Facebook page, of another way of using that beautiful cauliflower appearing in our boxes at present:

Cauliflower in the box each week is always a welcome sight. It's snack food for my two children while they wait for dinner! 

I roast the florets with olive oil, bit of sea salt and pepper along with cumin/coriander for about 25 mins on 180C (or thereabouts). Roasted is the only way we eat cauliflower. Crisp in places and sweetly soft in others. Try it!

That sounds soooo yummy!Thank you to our team over at Facebook for sharing some gems with us about food they serve for their families, snippets of information on food, growing and health.

02 September 2012

Sharing recipes...

During the week, the following was posted on the FIG Facebook page (go here to see it).

"One of the best things about wandering around FIG on a Monday or Tuesday afternoon is listening to the recipes and tips being shared amongst Figgies as they pick up their fruit and veggies. 

Yesterday I was drooling over a friends 'Baked FIG veggies' creation - FIG potatoes, sweet potatoes, turnips, parsnips and beetroot with FIG garlic, fresh rosemary from the garden and marinated feta - yummo!

Sounds totally scrumptious!

So... what's your favourite FIG inspired recipe??

11 August 2012

The next Board Meeting

The next Board meeting of the Food Integrity Group Co-operative Limited shall be held on Wednesday evening, 12th September. Venue to be confirmed.

Whilst it is officially a Director's meeting, all FIG members are very welcome to attend. Should members have anything they wish to have tabled at the meeting, please advise in writing (as per the following) no later than Tuesday 29th August. Here is some information we sent out prior to our last meeting for the benefit of newer members:
  • The Act states that board co-ops are required to hold board meetings at least every 3 months which must be advertised to its members.
  • Members are entitled to attend or have issues tabled at the meeting if they choose. If members choose to have an item tabled at the board meeting, a written request must be given to one of the Directors of the Board* no less than 14 days prior to the meeting. (* Current Directors are Shahrin, Peta, Mjanchen, Maree and David.)
  • It must be noted that while any member is entitled to be present at the meetings only board members have the right to vote on a tabled issue.
At any other time, should members have queries, requests or suggestions in relation to the day to day running of the co-op, please see one of the Co-op Directors, desk folk, or send off an email to us.

Of course, if any people new to FIG would like any information, please contact us in the same manner!

See you at the co-op...!

05 August 2012

Hungry For Change film, 6th August

Jenny from Think More Raw is showing a fabulous film on Monday 6th August:


Ring either of those numbers to enquire if there are seats available, and get yourself added to Jenny's list so that you may receive her updates regularly.

29 July 2012

FIG on Facebook

FIG is on Facebook, and up and running!

You can find us at the following, for news, updates, produce information, scrumptious recipes!

If that link won't work for you, log in to your Facebook account and search for the FIG Co-op.

See you there...

04 July 2012

Temporary changes at FIG

Please note that some temporary changes to the FIG ordering and operating procedures have been put in place whilst some key volunteers are away and others have stepped into their places. 

couple of volunteers have been injured and are in hospital, others have found themselves suddenly without a car, yet more others are overseas working or touring and the main co-ordinating farmer is on a much-deserved holiday as well! All at the same time! 

It has been a good test of the FIG systems and indicative of the high calibre of people who volunteer at FIG that most of the day-to-day operations are continuing without too much of a hitch. It has meant a fair amount of extra work for some but, nonetheless, things are travelling quite smoothly!

It may mean that perhaps the choices list doesn't get posted here of a Sunday evening until late - or not at all - however please understand we're working to keep things running along as smoothly and as normal as we can! 

If sending an email to the FIG account, please note we shall get back to you as soon as humanly possible. If anything is urgent, please ring the FIG phone on 04166 47715. 

Thank you for understandïng and patience at this time and a HUGE THANK YOU to all the volunteers who have "stepped up a few notches".

04 June 2012

Long weekend alternate co-op date

Due to the public holiday next week, FIG shall hold a combined co-op at Ourimbah on Tuesday 12th June instead. 

That means:

All boxes are to be collected at Ourimbah on 12.6.12

Hours at Ourimbah are 2.30 until 5.00pm.

See you at the co-op!

13 May 2012

Food Revolution Day

This year, famous chef and driving force behind healthy eating in schools programs, Jamie Oliver, is launching 'Food Revolution Day' on Saturday, 19th May, 2012.


Food Revolution Day is a day of action to inspire, educate and empower people everywhere to stand up for real food.

One of our FIG members is taking a stand with Jamie in joining the movement for real, whole food and hosting a “plant food potluck” at his home next Saturday the 19th of May from 1:00pm.

This event is open for the public to attend and bookings are essential. You can book at http://www.foodrevolutionday.com. Type in your postcode and the event will show up. You need to register to be able to RSVP and obtain details of the event.

30 April 2012

A brief update...

Mandarins (or mandarines) are back! The first local mandos will be in the boxes this week. Still a little sharp but still very good, and full of crucial vitamins and nutrients.

The weather seems to have been stable - oh, for about a week! - and our farmers are busily planting their seedlings and new crops. It was too wet to pick the local potatoes and we're not sure if we'll get any more local spuds this season. Oranges are soft but sweet and juicy, and are nearly finished, so grab some whilst you can. It will be a few weeks until the navels are coming through. Sadly, Jean's local avocados are finished for the year. We shall miss them!

We're seeing Tamarillos, or Tree Tomatoes, in from the backyards of members, and some good ol' chokoes too, plus some hot red chillies and some mild green ones. Yum! One of our members recently brought in some perilla leaves, another had white mulberries, and yet another shared some Australian Native Finger Limes with us: absolutely delicious, with an explosion of citrus in the mouth! It's great to see the range of produce coming through the FIG doors between the efforts of the farmers and our members.

For the bulk orders, organic Granny Smith apples are back, although these are not local, of course. Bananas are now cheaper in price, thank goodness, and we continue to order them in from NSW and Queensland for the bulk orders and the extras table.

Royal Gala apples have been arriving from Kirkconnell and we're informed Pink Ladies will be on the list soon - woohoo! These had the most amount of positive feedback of any produce in all the history of FIG with members of all ages telling us that they were The Best Apple Ever! Bosc pears are back, too, and in the boxes this week.

We're currently taking organic seedling orders from Delightfully Fresh Organics, so prepare those garden beds and ready yourself for planting!

See you at the co-op...

27 March 2012

A short video on buying local

Local Harvest is a new website listing local and more sustainable food suppliers. Type in your postcode and up comes a list of whatever is in your area, be it a co-op such as FIG, a farmers market or farmers themselves.

The Local Harvest crew has produced this little, 2-minutes, clip on buying local and how it benefits the farmers and what it means for you in terms of freshness and nutritional value.

And, here is the story behind the video. 

Take the Local Food Challenge (easy for we Figgies) - here: 1st-7th April 2012

One of the local farms FIG buys from every week...

And two of our local farmers, having a chin-wag!

See you at the co-op...

22 March 2012

FIG updates 22nd March

Just a quick update today, to keep you informed of what's a-happening...

The biggest and latest news is that FIG has really, finally, become officially Incorporated, and is now known as Food Integrity Group Co-operative Limited. We have now received our Certificate of Incorporation and are currently in the process of changing the bank account and notifying suppliers of our new ABN and so forth.

Five Directors were elected and members will be kept informed of meeting schedules, including when the AGM shall be held, shortly, via emails and notices here on the blog.

Due to the bank account change, those members on automatic direct debits for the payment of their FIG boxes, or who pay online for their produce and/or bulk orders, will be sent an email shortly outlining the new details with a request to update their records.

Last week, the FIG box contents were 100% local, which was fantastic, and something we are aiming for, eventually for every week.

We see 2012 as a period of growth for FIG. As more people hear of us; as we find suitable venues with storage facilities and increased refrigeration, and as the farmers grow more to supply us, we can supply YOU, the residents of the Central Coast, with safe, healthy food for your families.

Something we really want to develop this year in earnest is the FIG Friend, or Box Buddy, system, where members take away a few food boxes so that other members can collect from the FIG Friend homes instead of everyone driving singularly to FIG each week. If you are keen to be a pick up point - a FIG Friend - or would like to join FIG and cannot get there during operating hours, then please email us on info@fig.org.au and we'll see what we can do to help set up something in your area.

Come visit us any time during operating hours, to see what we do and order a FIG box to try the following week, or email your enquiries to info@fig.org.au.

See you at the co-op!

26 February 2012

FIG turns THREE!!!

This week the Food Integrity Group is THREE YEARS OLD and will celebrate on Monday 27th Feb with a free FIG box draw. All members ordering a box for that day will go in the draw for their next FIG box free!

We began with a few members, some of whom are still with us, meeting at the hall in Little Jilliby, however we soon found a more central venue and moved to our current premises at Ourimbah in time for the second week of operation.

It's been a wonderful three years. We thank all our members for being supportive of the co-op and for all the volunteering they do. Without their help here and there in running FIG, it simply could not operate. We wonder at times why we have so many volunteers turn up when so many groups struggle to get any and are a bit perplexed about this. We think very kindly of our volunteers - a great bunch of people they are, too - and appreciate them very much. But don't all groups think this way?? If not, why not? Volunteers are at the core of any organisation such as this and we certainly value ours....

Plus, of course, the farmers!
N O   F A R M S,   N O  F O O D!

Farmers can be rather hesitant to supply a new co-op. One can understand when it is realised that a number of co-ops have opened and then closed up in a very short time, over the years. Farming is a busy occupation and who wants to spend time separating orders, deliveries, and writing up extra invoices for little groups when you can sell to to one market or shop? Well, that is until they realise that a food co-op such as FIG orders regularly (and pays on time) and offers a guaranteed order instead of the uncertainty of a market stall. FIG is now the biggest single customer for some of our local farmers and we appreciate their support and all their hard work in growing a diverse range of produce. We particularly thank Michael Champion who not only runs his own organic farming business but co-ordinates a number of local organic farmers to grow for us and sell to us as well, resulting in a huge delivery, just in time to be sorted before FIG members walk through the door to collect. A BIG BIG BIG THANK YOU!

And don't forget the FIG CORE GROUP!

What an amazing group of people they are - there every week, either at the co-op or working behind the scenes to bring you your weekly food boxes. Thank you to those often-unseen-by-many people, for your friendship and support of each other - a situation to be cherished indeed.

Happy Birthday FIG, 
See you at the co-op....!

07 February 2012

Formation meeting

The FIG Co-op is required to hold a Formation meeting as one of the final steps to becoming Incorporated, and this will be held on 18th February.

Time: 2pm
Date: Saturday, 18th February
Place: FIG Wyong co-op venue.

Full details and notifications of this meeting and a copy of the proposed model rules have been emailed and sent to members; if you are a current member and have not received your copy, then please let us know.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ 

21 January 2012

And the winner is.......!

Congratulations to Jane of Wyong who won a FREE FIG BOX this week in the Wyong Co-op's First Birthday Draw!

Each year, on FIG's birthday, we hold a draw, and it's almost hard to believe we have been at our Wyong venue for a whole year but there you go, we have.

If you would like to come and chat to us about organising a FIG box, have a look at the extensive extras table and hear about the fortnightly bulk fruit orders we place (for families who eat a lot of fruit or want extra potatoes, or for those who juice regularly or drink smoothies), then the Wyong hours are 3.00pm until 4.30 pm on Tuesdays in Room 5 at the Wyong Neighbourhood Centre in Wyong (map here).

We're also at Ourimbah on Mondays (except for public holidays) from 2.30pm until 5pm at the Bill Sohier Community Centre, Ken Cook Way, Ourimbah (map here).

It's FIG's third birthday at Ourimbah in February so we shall be holding another draw then. Although we have seen a lot of new members walk through the doors in that time, we still have many of the originals who continue to support the co-op and the local organic farmers, ordering their weekly or fortnightly FIG box containing organic or guaranteed chemical free produce grown locally*.

Plans for 2012 include a farm tour and workshops for members in Cheese Making, Preserving, and Sourdough Bread Making.

See you soon at the co-op...

* At times, depending on the season and what the local farmers are growing, we may need to top up from the Sydney markets to fill your box. Carrots are simply not grown locally and many of our members want fruit included, of which very little is grown locally - except for an abundant supply of beautiful citrus of course!

09 January 2012

Welcome to the New Year

FIG is back on deck today after a short break and will be found at the usual venues today and tomorrow at Ourimbah and Wyong.

With this weather, plants are practically jumping out of the ground and the local farmers have a good supply, particularly as their Sydney markets don't resume until later this month.

We are very happy to hear that Ed, a farmer in his 80's from Mangrove Mountain, has just been certified organic for the very first time - woohoo! It's quite a process, although becoming slightly easier we're told, and shows it's never too late and you're never too old for new ventures in your life. We're very excited at this news.

Incorporation has just come through as well so FIG will soon be known as the Food Integrity Group Co-operative Limited. We have received a swag of documentation about it to plough through and shall be required to hold a special meeting within the next couple of months and then, hopefully, it will be official!! FIG members will be kept informed via email and notices at the co-op.

This week we're taking orders for the beautiful certified organic Russian garlic - it's the one with the big, milder, cloves which also goes under the name of Elephant Garlic. Grown up on the north coast of NSW, we place orders this week for delivery soon. Members see us today or tomorrow for ordering, or email the form back you were sent over the weekend by Tuesday night at the latest - thanks.

2012 - "twenty-twelve" - and Year of the Farmer in Australia, is going to be a year of moving for FIG; we've yet to find suitable new venues for each of our co-ops however will be concentrating our efforts on this as if FIG is to become more efficient and to grow, larger venues must be found, with room for storage and refrigerators at our Monday venue.

We look forward to seeing you all again as you drift back from Summer holidays and remind you that FIG operates with volunteers to keep the wheels turning, so please write your names up on the roster in the red folder at the main desk.

See you at the co-op!