Monday, December 19, 2011

Herb Bouquet

The veranda was made aromatic with baskets of our garden bay leaves, rosemary and sage this weekend as we tied little bundles of bouquet garni for hilbarn boxes. Toss it into soups or meat dishes this Christmas for added flavour.

Strawberries & Sunsets

Thank you to neighbouring organic farmers Dave and Lyndy for providing punnets of pert and tasty strawberries (variety: Cambridge Rival) for today's hilbarn boxes. They picked yesterday - just in time before the rain blew in. The Pinners new B&B at their certified organic farm in Karoola is just about open for business. Keep it in mind if you fancy a slice of real farm life, or if you have friends visiting who might love a taste of the rolling Tasmanian countryside, and a local sauvignon blanc on the veranda at sunset.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

We're Wrapped!

As regular hilbarners would know, we are suckers for old fashioned packaging: as little plastic as possible, rustic string or silky, re-usable ribbon, and paper that's taped or tied by loving hands. Which is why we loved collecting our package of beautifully fired clay labels from the naturally gifted Ness at Marley & Lockyer in Beaconsfield this morning. It was a joy to untie the ribbon and sweetly wrapped brown paper and doily to pull out 100 tags ready for us to stamp and label. This year, we'll be labelling all of our Christmas berry boxes with these special, hand-made keepsakes. There are only 5 boxes remaining (priced at $50). If you'd like one, packed with local fresh berries and delivered the day before Christmas Eve, drop us a note at as soon as you can.

Monday, December 12, 2011

hilbarn In Pictures

When Women in Agriculture (Tasmania branch) asked us to introduce hilbarn to their Statewide meeting held in Launceston not so long ago, we had some fun putting together a not-quite video on You Tube. Thanks to everyone who works with us, to all our growers who keep our Mondays and Tuesdays fresh with produce, and all our customers who seem to find our hilbarn boxes in invisible and precious ways. We couldn't do it without you.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Blue Sky, White Paddock

Some days are just pearlers... we took this photo on the weekend, when a rusty barn, a paddock of pyrethrum daisies, and a typical Tasmanian sky captured our lens and reminded us of a Patrick Grieve painting (his exhibition "Smeared With Toil" opens at the Bett Gallery in Hobart this Saturday, December 10th).

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Capsicum Kings

Thanks to Rob, Ann, and their son William from Kindred who grew the capsicum and chillis in this week's hilbarn boxes. The season has just started for Rob and his family who have been farming hydroponically for 15 years. Have you noticed how long capsicum last when you buy them around the time of picking? That's why we love what we do - to find the shortest time from farmer to you so your produce stays as fresh as possible. When we collected freshly picked yellow and red caps, and green and red chillis from Rob last Saturday, he told us he could guarantee their freshness for two weeks. Now that's service for you.

Monday, December 5, 2011

On the Road Again

Barn and Hil are about to set off to deliver this week's hilbarn boxes, so look out for our red van, Versace, who rather fancies himself as an extra in Top Gear. Polished up well, thanks Joe! This weekend Versace travelled country roads from Kindred to Scottsdale, collecting fresh local produce for this week's boxes: basil and snow peas from Graeme, capsicum and chillis from Rob and Ann, potatoes from Chris, bok choy and kale from Song, roses from Stephen and Maryann, wild roquette from Bruce and Claire, and strawberries from Craig and Wendy. Thanks guys! PS. This snap might look magazine-snazzy, but Hil actually took it accidentally on her Iphone when she was hopping back into Versace. "I couldn't have lined it up better if I'd tried!" she says. Just a perfect angle taken by the moment...

Thursday, December 1, 2011

The Gift of Christmas

This time last year we received an email from Randall, one of our hilbarn box customers. Did we know anyone locally who made Christmas wreaths? We decided to put him in touch with Lee and Chris at Killiecrankie Farm in Glengarry who we knew as passionate growers of Christmas trees. It was a bit too late for orders last year, but, this year, Lee was ready to supply with her gorgeous apple tree wood wreaths. Hopefully Randall's front door now looks as welcoming as Hil's (photographed top left), who, of course, had to have one of Lee's wreaths too. By the way, Killiekrankie's Christmas trees star as the cover story in the latest issue of Australian Country Style magazine. And - if you look closely at the feature inside - you'll spot a wreath.

Happy December 1st

We went to re-stack the woodshed this morning. And while the sound of firewood knocking together echoed through the shed, we turned to see the gentlest of sights: three pairs of beady eyes bigger than their beaks, poking out from the brim of a teacup nest spun from cobwebs and dust, and hanging perilously from a branch above our heads. Summer is here.