What is the difference between Organic and Bio Dynamic?
Crops that are certified Organic are grown without the use of artificial fertilisers or synthetic chemicals (pesticides/herbicides). Organic standards do not allow any Genetic Modification (GMOs/GE) or food irradiation. Organic Farming methods are dependent on a scientific understanding of ecology and soil science, and use methods such as crop rotation to ensure fertility and help with weed control. Organic Farmers cultivate a healthy, balanced, living soil from which their crops grow, and they place a strong emphasis on sustainability, nutrition and animal welfare.
In addition to these practices, Bio-dynamic Farmers practise a specialised holistic form of Organic farming which has been developed over the past century. Bio-dynamic practises employ energising herbal compost preparations and utilise the lunar calender to determine when to sow seeds and harvest. Bio-dynamic farms aim to be self-sustaining, maintaining and developing the vitality of soil, plant, and animal health, recognising the essential links between them.
How do I know it is really Organic?
The stringent standards required for produce to be “Certified Organic” regulate growing and handling methods at all levels, from the farm to the customer. Organic Certification in Australia is to internationally reognised standards, and quality is assured through annual audits and random checks. Every box of produce that we get from our organic and biodynamic suppliers has a certification number on it to ensure this standard.
Certification bodies include NAASA, BFA, OHG, and DEMETER (bio-dynamic). All of the produce at Ripe is certified Organic or Bio-dynamic. With packaged foods, such as tofu, milk or dry grocery items, look for the certification. At Ripe we only stock Certified Organic Products, to guarantee this standard.
Where is your produce grown?
All of our fresh fruit and vegetables are grown in Australia. (with the exception of Kiwifruits, which are sometimes sourced from NZ). As much as possible, we source our produce from local (Victorian) growers, but many staples are not grown locally (eg, bananas, tropical fruits etc.) With the vastly different climates around the country, we are lucky to be able to source a large range of produce from growers around the country throughout the year.
What is in season?
The best produce at Ripe is always that which is in season. We endeavour to keep our produce report up to date, so you can check that to see what is in season on a weekly basis. Prices are often a great indication of seasonal produce, with high prices seen at the beginning of a growing season when supply is just beginning, then will become much cheaper as the harvest continues.
Which are the best apples?
Invariably, this depends on the day. We are always happy to let you taste the apples, and offer suggestions, so just keep asking! Knowing what you’re going to do with them also plays a part here, as different varieties are better suited to different things. (eating, cooking, children, etc) Read more about apple varieties.
Which are the best potatoes for Roasting, Boiling, Mash…?
Each potato variety has its unique qualities which make it more suitable for particular cooking methods. Dutch Creams are great for roasting or mashing, while a more waxy potato like a kipfler will be great for potato salads. We’ve listed some of the most common varieties available in this potato guide.
What is Spelt? What is Kamut?
Spelt is an ancient grain that was first cultivated thousands of years ago. It is a similar grain to modern wheat, but it has a much lower gluten content, making it easier to digest for many people. It is used in many organic breads, pastas, cakes and biscuits, and has a slightly nutty, sweet taste, when compared to wheat.
Kamut is another similar grain, which (because of International patenting) is sometimes refered to as “ancient grain”. Kamut grains are almost twice as large as wheat grains, and have a high nutritional rating. As with Spelt, the grain Does contain gluten, so in unsuitable for celiacs, but may be suitable for those with a wheat allergy.
What is Quinoa, (and how do I say it)?
Quinoa (pronounce Keen-wah), is a gluten free grain that is highly nutritious, and can be cooked and used much like white rice. Read more about quinoa here. It is sold as a bulk food, and is also available puffed, in flakes, as pasta or as a flour.
Do you have gift vouchers?
Yes! available to the value of $25 or $50, they are valid for 6 months. The perfect, useful gift!
How do I cook…?
Check out our recipe section for lots of recipes that use the produce and ingredients we sell at Ripe. We are also always adding to our Wholefoods Glossary, with helpful tips for choosing, storing, and preparing Organic produce and ingredients. If there is something in particular that you’d like to know, and can’t find the answer there, email us: info (at) ripeorganics.com.au, and we’ll do our best to help.