Pepe Fassos grew up in Athena Taverna – a once-iconic Greek restaurant that thrived within the coronary heart of Byron Bay, in Lawson Road, for 21 years. He was making coffees on the age of 5 and was a professional chef at 18. Nevertheless, years later a accident led him to farming.
‘I had been working as a chef for years and determined to go travelling,’ says Pepe. ‘It actually opened my eyes – I beloved the best way completely different cultures grew and loved their meals. So once I got here again to Australia I used to be impressed to depart the cooking business and get into meals manufacturing.’
Pepe’s first foray into farming was on a poultry farm at On line casino. It concerned pretty large-scale farming, the place he was chargeable for half 1,000,000 birds on rotation. After working there for a variety of years, two issues occurred that might change his destiny once more.
Firstly, he was made redundant after which he found he additionally wanted spinal surgical procedure.
‘My vertebrae have been crushed because of a variety of issues – not bending correctly at work and never main a really wholesome way of life. This was on high of the redundancy. All of it occurred on the similar time and it was a little bit of a wake-up name. I realised I needed to change my way of life.’
And he definitely did – changing a few previous sheds on his property in South Gundurimba so he might develop microgreens and sprouts.
‘I needed to develop wholesome meals and selected microgreens and sprouts, that are extremely nutrient-dense superfoods. I knew intensive farming after the rooster farm, and sprouts are additionally intensive farming. And I used to be decided they might be soil grown (moderately than hydroponic) and I needed to do it as naturally as attainable. In order that was initially an enormous problem.’
However the problem paid off. Pepe’s wide selection of microgreens and sprouts can be found on the 5 Sixty Farms stall at Byron and Bangalow Farmers Markets in addition to being equipped to native cooks and eating places.
‘They was fairly a distinct segment product and widespread primarily with cooks, however increasingly folks are actually conscious of them and their well being advantages,’ says Pepe. ‘For instance, we have now a bag of broccoli sprouts, which I think about makes about two serves. Every serve is equal to 4 heads of broccoli.
‘And other people now perceive that sprouts and microgreens may be greater than only a garnish. You’ll be able to pile them on sandwiches or wraps or add them to smoothies. You may as well add them to a stir-fry on the finish of cooking.’
Pepe has not too long ago added edible flowers to the 5 Sixty Farms vary, which have confirmed massively widespread with prospects.
Byron Farmers Market is held Thursdays 7–11am on the Cavanbah Centre and Bangalow Farmers Market is held Saturdays 7–11am behind the Bangalow Pub.