MARKETS: Byron Spice Palace owners Duska Jefed and Rob Cullinan in their garden at The Pocket with new baby daughter, Ginger.
MARKETS: Byron Spice Palace owners Duska Jefed and Rob Cullinan in their garden at The Pocket with new baby daughter, Ginger. Kate O'Neill

Self-sufficient delicious

DUSKA Jefed and Rob Cullinan have always been keen to keep their food miles low.

Since they started their farmers' market stall Byron Spice Palace nine years ago, the ingredients for their fresh seasonal dips and sauces have always been sourced direct from local farmers at the markets they attend.

"I've always liked the idea that we could meet the farmers at the market and there was no food miles. They were going to the market and we were going to the market, and we could just pick and choose straight from them,” Rob said.

"Rather than it coming from Brisbane or wherever, we could see what was good at the market, what's fresh, and we could buy that to make our dips accordingly.”

Eighteen months ago, Rob and Duska decided to take the low food miles concept a step further by moving from their hilly Ocean Shores block to a flat half-acre at The Pocket, where they have set up their own organic gardens to supply their business.

There they grow basil and coriander for their pestos, chillies for their harissa pastes, beetroot for their beetroot, mint and almond dip, ginger for their satay sauce, and pumpkin for their roast pumpkin dip.

They've also planted lemon trees to supply fresh juice for their dips and to make preserved lemons.

"Now it's 30m from our vegie patch to our kitchen, so it's fresh, it's low food miles, we know we're growing a beautiful organic product and we feel good about that,” said Duska.

They still supplement with produce from the markets, and ingredients like macadamias for their dukkah blends and home-made baklava will continue to come from other local farmers, but they're working towards being self-sufficient.

Meanwhile, they've recently expanded their family, welcoming baby Ginger - a sister for their older children, Polly, 8, and Sunny, 10, - and they are celebrating where their family and business are right now.

  • Find Byron Spice Palace at the Mullumbimby and New Brighton farmers' markets.

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