Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Alpacas & Apples

We had a few new season but not-so-perfect Akane apples left over from last weekend's hilbarn box packing. So, this morning, Hil's alpaca Jack (right) was more than pleased to run up and gobble a few slices. But all Kerouac (left) could summon up from the relatively slender range of alpaca expressions was a total look of disdain. What's your problem, mate? Too early in the season for you is it? We'll save you some sweeter Royal Galas when they're ready... Fuss-pot.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Triumph & Disaster

Anyone who follows the seasons knows well the vicissitudes of that. Hard to imagine the state of mind of Rick, the north west parsnip farmer, looking out over a million dollar crop lost to flooding last month. What can you say or do? It's hard enough coping with your own small matters, of not-yet-ripe apple trees devastated by a flock of hungry wanton cockatoos, or freshly picked golden plums that don't seem to be able to last the distance this season (perfect on the tree, but browning just hours after being picked - why is that?). Lessons to be learned in every day... What was that line from Kipling? Something about treating triumph and disaster just the same...

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

hilbarn in Hobart

NEW SERVICE: hilbarn fresh produce boxes are now available in Hobart, delivered to central Pick Up Points each Tuesday morning. Current Pick Up Points include Karen Wagner Garden & Design in Warwick Street (left), the Domain Tennis Centre, or Southern Cross Media, Liverpool Street. We'll let you know when additional locations come on board. Home delivery is also available. If you'd like more information or a subscription form email us at

Monday, February 7, 2011

With The Harvest

Yesterday was the country version of downtown peak hour as harvesting continued apace across the north west. Poppy, onion and potato growers were in full swing as we dropped in on Matt, Trisha, Holly and Bonnie in Thirlstane to pick up their freshly harvested onions and potatoes. Matt took us to the paddock where harvesting of Ranger Russet potatoes was in progress. Hil climbed on board, inside the harvester, while Barn picked out 100 kilos from the bins for today's hibarn boxes. Can't get fresher than that! Matt says this variety is especially good for chipping and roasting.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Bean Picking

This morning we headed to Alan's in Northdown to pick nearly 30 kilos of dwarf whole beans for tomorrow's hilbarn boxes. We hardly made an impact on the ocean of a paddock which will be harvested by machine on Tuesday for processing as frozen vegetables. They are so sweet raw, they hardly need cooking at all!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Flavours of Summer

A bunch of vine-ripened tomatoes from the hilbarn greenhouse: the skin is a little tough, and the north riper than the south, but as a bunch together, doesn't it look like Tasmania? Plus, a precious bucketful of apricots (sigh, just one this season...) from the old tree out the back was turned into sauce, inspired by a recipe shared by owlet.