Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Valley Growers

While the AFL Grand Final was spinning to a draw, we picked up freshly harvested radishes, spring onions and baby carrots for this week's hilbarn boxes from Tea Tree in the stunning Coal River Valley. Market gardener Hue and his wife Song work hard to grow exceptional produce throughout the year.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Eats Shoots, Leaves 'n All

Featuring in hilbarn boxes for the first time this week, the greeniest garden pea shoots. Salads are here! We'll feature a profile on the Kingston grower later, but for the moment Michael tells us that gram for gram, garden pea shoots contain seven times more vitamin C than oranges.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

What's a kabocha?

Kabocha squash in this week's box came from Glen and Dinah in Jetsonville who export their crop to Japan where the pumpkin-like vegetable is prized. If you click on the hilbarn Recipe link you'll find some of Dinah's favourite recipes.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Potato History

Our produce-hunting trip to Wilmot last weekend took us past the original G. J. Coles family general store on Cradle Mountain Road. It's the birthplace of Coles! The same building (circa 1900) still operates as a general store, post office and library (that's Barn posing in the rain outside). It's also a cheerful food stop on the way to Cradle Mountain (we strongly recommend their spaghetti bolognese pies!). Here we learned about the region's rich potato-growing past - originally Wilmot provided all the seed potatoes for southern Australia. A century on, while we've advanced from the horse drawn cart, we hear that some farmers are lucky to get 30 cents a kilo for their potatoes from today's multinational companies.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Rhubarb Chutney

Thank you to hilbarn customers Michael & Jane who sent us their Rhubarb Chutney recipe (left)  and are happy to share it. 
1 lb rhubarb
6 tsps Keens curry
3/4 cup white vinegar
2 medium onions
2 cups sugar
1 tsp salt
Cook 30 to 40 mins. Place in a warm jar. Makes 250g jar and one small.
Hilbarn sources rhubarb for its boxes from growers in Jetsonville and Bangor.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Roadside Sunshine

On Saturday, a day when it just did not stop raining, this roadside stall near Wilmot caught our eye. Wonderful blooms selling for $5 a bunch (including bucket!). That's joy.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Au Revoir Brussels

We're sorry to say this is the last weekend this season for Brussels sprouts. We first met Nathalie (pictured) and Johan Wolfert at Burnie Farmers' market back in the autumn. Until this year the Wolferts from Kindred were harvesting 270 tonnes of sprouts a year, including 200 tonnes for McCains. One day, the man from McCains arrived - without notice - and said, "That's it." They now produce 70 tonnes of sprouts for the local fresh market. Oh McCains, you've done it again... Nathalie, we look forward to seeing you again next year, thank you!

The Wolfert's produce is Freshcare accredited.  

Rivers Run Red

After picking up produce on the Central Coast, we headed to Wilmot's Saturday morning market. En route we saw how constant rains have turned the Forth River red with top soils which seem to be heading for the coast for the holidays...

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

First Day Of September

A pot of bulbs photographed, top left, on the first day of Spring. The same pot, just 14 days later, photographed on Wednesday, Sept 15th. And again on Thursday, Oct 14th: six weeks of life. Finally, in full bloom, on Monday, Oct 25th. A packet of bluebell bulbs found for $1 in the Discount bin at Chickenfeed provided simple pleasures...