Eh Moo’s Story

Behind each veg box you receive, there is a dedicated team of staff working hard in all-weather to bring it to you. Eh Moo is one of our senior farm-hands, and is an essential part to our week-to-week operations.
Eh Moo was born in the forest that hugs the Thai-Myanmar border amongst a family who had been displaced by violence in their home village in Kareni state, Myanmar. He spent his early childhood with his family moving from place to place along the border, constantly running from the violence that surrounded them before the establishment of the UNHCR Kareni refugee camp in Thailand. This camp became his home for 17 years.

In 2007 Eh Moo and his family were granted Australian residency. They ended up in Wollongong, and Eh Moo began studying at Warrawong High School, followed by tertiary studies in Community Services at Wollongong TAFE. This was how he came to Green Connect, as a work placement student helping our staff become work-ready.

All of Green Connects staff are responsible, respectful, and hard-working, and Eh Moo is no exception. But what makes Eh Moo such a valuable part of our team is his insightful observation skills linked with his passion for people and for the planet.

“Working at GC makes me feel good about myself, I am very grateful that I work at GC. I used to feel very stressed and lonely not able to find a job, but since working at GC it has helped my emotional wellbeing by giving me a hope and future and I now feel part of the community.” – Eh Moo

Eh moo’s specific responsibility on the farm is to monitor and care for our crops in the first four weeks of their lives when they are at their most vulnerable. He has become a master at identifying when a plant is at risk of falling prey to a pest or disease, when a plant is having hydration issues, or when it is having a reaction to the structure or nutritional composition of the soil. With all his experience growing up cultivating food in the refugee camp, he is able to remedy these problems early in the plant’s life-giving the veggies a fighting chance to make it into your box!eh moo in the bushes at the green connect farm

The farm playing host to such a diverse group of staff and volunteers has meant that Eh Moo’s interpersonal skills are also hugely valuable. As the farm team grows, Eh Moo is beginning to play a role of leading and mentoring newer farm staff.

Eh Moo is a proud father and a very proud Australian: “I spent 17 years in a refugee camp. People who were born in the camp were neither recognized as Thai or Burmese citizens. So until I got my Australian citizenship I was country-less. I am so proud to be an Australian citizen”

He is also proudly Karenni, and dreams of one day travelling back to his homeland to help teach sustainable farming practices among the refugee camps that still populate the Thai – Myanmar border.
“In the future, my goal is to go over to Myanmar to work with my Karenni people and teach them how to grow food in a sustainable way that is good for the environment, to compost and take care of the earth, while not wasting anything. I want to employ young Karenni people to give them hope and a future.”

What’s that in my box?
Banana stem:
This week we have sent you a little special treat, just to broaden your horizons. The banana stem is used frequently all over Asia and can be used in curries, soups, stir-fries and mixed into juices. Its meant to be good for constipation and kidney stone. Since you’r getting a pretty small taster, I would recommend perhaps adding it to a smoothie or into your next stir fry or curry. Peel of the tom though layer, and slice in cylinders. If you are not cooking it, then soak the stem in water for 1 h before mixing it.
Try making a smoothie with coconut yogurt, banana stem, mango or pineapple and a tsp of honey. Just make sure to blitz well.

The month of May is Supermarket Free Month, and what better time to skip the supermarket and support local businesses?! We are so lucky in the Illawarra to have great alternatives like Taylor’s Healthy Grocers, The Source in Wollongong and Flame Tree Coop in Thirroul. All doing their best to supply us with all you might need.
I have also like making more stuff at home, so this week I will try making some tasty sandwich pickles with our Lebanese cucumber in this weeks box.

Pickled Cucumbers:pickled cucumber

Use as many cucumbers you have and double as needed,
I used 4 cucumbers.
1 cup apple cider vinegar
½ cup of water
½ cup of sugar
1tbsp mustard seeds
1 tbsp celery seeds
1 tsp salt.
Clean and slice the cucumber and set aside. Bring everything else to the boil in a medium-size saucepan. Add in the cucumbers and cook on medium heat for 5 min, then transfer into a glass jar. You want it to be snug and full. Leave to cool, before you close the lid. This should store in your fridge for 3 weeks if you don’t eat it all at once.  (if you want you can add, chilli, fennel seeds or dill)


Kristin Watson
Fair Food Coordinator.