BEARDED gardening guru Costa Georgiadis paid a visit to the Rainbow Region Organic Market yesterday and he had just one message for the people of the Northern Rivers: think about what you're eating and where it comes from.
Mr Georgiadis, host of ABC's Gardening Australia, planted himself in Lismore yesterday and said whenever he was in the area, the Rainbow Region Organic Market was on his must-see list.
In an effort to help the environment, the man who has described himself as "half-man/half-hedge" encouraged locals to buy organic food and support local farmers rather than going to the big supermarket chains.
"Trying to make a positive change in the environment can seem so overwhelming and sometimes you can think 'Where do I start'?" Mr Georgiadis said.
"I just bring it back to every mouthful and the net result of that is that the environmental warrior stuff comes as part of it."
He also said some of the best growers in the country come from the Northern Rivers but there were outside pressures such as mining or non-sustainable farming practices that put the industry at risk.
"When it comes to this area, we have to protect this landscape as there are a lot of pressures and a lot of interests wanting to use it, some with short-term vision, and I see food as a long-term sustainable area we need to protect."
The interest in organic gardening was because of a desire to be informed about where food comes from.
"People are seeing what the status quo is doing to the industry and they are getting concerned about health because there are a lot of people getting sick."
One of the market organisers, David Forrest, said 12 years on the market relies on a special kind of customer to keep it going.
"We're really reliant on the most powerful people in the world to support us and they are women; because they make the most food choices for their families," Mr Forrest said.
According to Costa the time is ripe for:
- Red-veined chicory
- Red sorrel
- Russian kale
- Sprouting greens
- Asian greens