Ms JENNY AITCHISON (Maitland)— The COVID-19 pandemic has brought with it a contagion of enthusiasm for self-sufficiency that is manifesting in everything from backyard chickens to sourdough starters and do-it-yourself gardens. The ethos behind this mindset has long been core to the philosophy of the global Slow Food movement, with its mission to ensure good, clean and fair food for all and reconnect people with the paddock to plate process.

A new development this year is a collaboration between Maitland council, the East Maitland Library and Slow Food Hunter Valley to launch a library of free, local, seasonal seeds. People who wish to borrow and use them need only to register online, order their seeds and nominate a library collection point. The original stock of seeds has been donated by stallholders at the Maitland Earth Market but, at the end of growing season, participants will be encouraged to donate some of their seeds back to the library to ensure replenishment for the next season.

Congratulations to Slow Food Hunter Valley for another great initiative that promotes our local food coverage, celebrates seasonal produce and maintains biodiversity in the Lower Hunter Region.