Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Freshbox Diary #2

Kim Seagram of Stillwater River Cafe & Restaurant, shares her moments with a hilbarn fresh produce box:

Made the BEST duck soup last night with home made won tons (Harrison is a wizard at these now). Just a clear duck broth simmered briefly with some ginger, lemongrass, soy sauce, garlic and garnished with spring onions and coriander....YUMMY! Broth was from a roasted duck that I shredded to go on top of slow braised red cabbage with Granny Smiths (Stephanie Alexander recipe....VERY good!) that I drizzled with a cumquat reduction that I made with the cumquats, just 2-3 cups of leftover Sauvignon Blanc simmered with the cumquats until reduced to about 200ml then sweetened to taste with sugar, reduced to 150ml and drizzled over duck and cabbage....yum! Served with a roasted pear, parsnip and rocket salad with goat's fetta and balsamic dressing.

Please feel free to share your recipes too. Send us an email, or post your comment here.

Monday, October 26, 2009

The Maths of Flowers

How does it know how to bloom so perfectly?

Extremely Lemon-y

Thank you to Bec, (a loyal hilbarn customer) who donated a wonderful surplus of lemons for this week's hilbarn box - from her mother-in-law Robyn's prolific fruiting tree!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Episode 1: Lyndy's Chook Gossip

"It's always a happy time when one of the hens decides to go broody. Last week I discovered one of the older hens (Lacey Locks as she has lace feathers) had made a nest outside in the same place she had produced 12 gorgeous chicks about 9 months ago. She'd been studiously laying an egg a day and when she got to 10 she started sitting. We decided to leave her there and "go natural" in her chosen spot. Unfortunately the next morning I discovered one egg in her water bowl and another, broken, a small distance away. We decided to move her with her eggs to a special enclosure (an old dog kennel). But when we lifted her up she only had one egg left. Something - we don't know what - had taken her eggs in the night. We set up a lovely straw nest, donated another 11 eggs, and she is now studiously sitting on 12 mixed eggs from other hens on the farm.

It takes 21 days for them to hatch and the day she started sitting there was a thunder storm. According to folklore, eggs affected by a thunder storm may not hatch... What's more, will they be fertile? We'll have to wait and see - 6th November is Lacey's due date. Stay tuned for the next episode in
Chook Gossip."

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Clever Re-use #1

We love re-thinking uses for things - it's another way of recycling. Spotted in one of our customer's front yards during a home delivery: a laundry basket doubles as a garden waste bin. It's light, easy to carry, and has excellent air flow. Got any other neat ideas?

A Poem of Flowers

Billy (who's 10) was inspired by this rainbow of spring blooms in Barn's garden. Thanks for the brilliant snap Bill! x

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Success: It's Hard to Find

A view of Jetsonville, which, after Karoola, must be the most perfect valley you could possibly imagine. The rhubarb in this week's hilbarn fresh box was grown in this valley by Gerard and his family. The type is called "Success", and as Gerard will confess, it hasn't come easy. He says it's taken two years to develop the crop to a reliable point. Now, his fine rhubarb travels to markets in Queensland, NSW and Victoria. In Tassie's cool climate, it's able to be produced all year round. We picked ours up from Gerard in Scottsdale Main Street on Sunday morning.

Welcome to Scottsdale

The land is the colour of the Red Centre, but this is the heart of the vegetable growing northeast. It's also where this week's heritage King Edward potatoes were dug. You'll find them in the latest hilbarn fresh box, with a label made for us by growers Michael and Gail (complete with cooking tips).
Red volcanic basalt soil makes the area fertile for crop growing. When James Scott first surveyed Scottsdale in 1855, he deemed the soil and mild climate ideal for farming. How right he was. The town (named after Scott) is now one of Tassie's premier market garden areas.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Yesterday... tomorrow?

We like to think this truck carried fresh produce in its day... it caught our wistful eye holed up in a local sawmill yard. And got us thinking: were the good old days really the best days, before long distance transportation left local communities behind. We think they were the best days - from the point of view of fruit & veg. Which is why hilbarn is re-visiting fresh, local and quality produce that supports our local community. Cute truck too.

Mint Barrow

Here's a way of growing mint so it doesn't over-run your garden.

Buy Local Because...

1. So we can support people around us.
2. We will save fuel emissions.
3. It will be better quality.
4. You will save more money.
Written by a student from Wesley Vale Primary School.
The Spud Man was closed on Sunday morning, but we loved this poster spotted in the shop window. We agree with everything.

Monday, October 5, 2009

The New Water Cooler Moment

This week's hilbarn fresh produce box fronting up at a Launceston office reception. "Wow!", went the conversation on the way in... You heard it here first: hilbarn, the new water cooler conversation!