Low Food Miles, No Food Waste – the Sunshine Coast Farmers doing things ‘Old School’

Paddock to Plate is no mere marketing ploy – it’s a philosophy that’s being embraced more and more in the foodie universe.

The line between restaurateurs and farmers continues to blur… with producers moonlighting as food artisans, and vice versa.

In the northern Sunshine Coast hinterland, you’ll find Cooloola Berries – a pretty farm and café owned by Jason and Kim Lewis.

The pair run a small-scale strawberry, blueberry and lavender growing operation – but one with a big-hearted mission.

Champions of the slow food ethic, they adhere to the notion of ‘no waste’.  Premium strawberries go to the market and local restaurants – but secondary fruit gets used to create ciders, soft drinks, jams and even toiletries, in partnership with other local artisans.  Much of the farm product – and that of fellow regional producers – stars on the café menu.

Visitors can come to the farm, in season, to hand-pick their own strawberries… stay on for lunch at the café… and take home local and house-made products from Cooloola Berries’ store.

Cooloola Berries is open 7 days a week.

A little further south, in the town of Cooran, Dion Spadaro and Aimee Avery own and run Hinterland Restaurant.

Doing double-duty, this pair of restaurateurs also own a free-range pig farm about a kilometre from town.

Around 20 prime porkers get the run of the place – before being farmed to become cured meat products, created by Dion at the restaurant.

Bacon, prosciutto and salami are all produced on the premises and showcased on the restaurant’s popular charcuterie board.