Monday, January 31, 2011

Bean There

Here, Alan's newly sewn beans have thankfully defied the recent floods in the north west. He wasn't sure they would survive the deluge (unlike his neighbours' poppy crops), but these beans, he assures us, are well on their way now. We'll be helping Alan to pick them for hilbarn boxes in the next few weeks, ready for your first early autumn boxes.

Plum In The Middle

Last week Hilbarner Katrina from Launceston contacted us to have a look at her backyard plum tree. Bring a ladder, she said, and help yourselves! Well, it's quite the tallest plum tree we've ever seen and Barn decided climbing it was easier. Thanks Katrina, for letting us pick your juicy cherry plums - enough for all of our double boxes this week. Your next hilbarn box is on us.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Get Outta Here!

The work of a scarecrow is never done, but Lebrina growers Michael and Liz have the fittest we've seen, sporting a silver rapper belt and striped slim-leg strides. We like a bit of cool-dude dapper in the paddock...

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Blueberry Hills Forever

Near neighbours John and Lesley from Cherry Top Farmstay, Lilydale picked their organic blueberries on Sunday for yesterday's hilbarn boxes. Escorted by Tab Tab the very handsome cat, John gave us a mini tour of the south facing orchard; its cooler climes, he says, are essential for blueberry fruit formation. Their hazelnuts will be ready in a year or two. "No point hurrying anything," says John. "What's the point of eating healthily if you're not living healthily too!" Well, there's a lot to be said for that!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

I Dream Of Zucchini

On our way back from Hobart on Thursday, we picked up freshly harvested zucchini and zucchini flowers from Anita (left) and Russell who farm in Campania. The light was lowering (is that a word?), the twilight temperature still hot, and it felt that summer was right there in that box.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Lovely Lettuces

Lettuce in this week's boxes was grown organically by David and Tanya of Honeywood Farm, Lilydale. The variety was exceptional, and you couldn't get fresher than just picked and hand delivered to the hilbarn packing shed by the grower himself! David is a Launceston pediatrician with a passion for growing safe food. We hope to share Tanya's rhubarb and blueberries in hilbarn boxes soon.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Pip's Cherries

We snapped Pip early this morning at her stall in Evandale Market. It was a beautiful morning to rise early and collect cherries for this week's boxes. Although Pip says they've lost half their crop due to the rains, these Lapins are some of the best-tasting we've had! Pip and her husband Jim travelled up from their farm in Ouse, a town which also happens to record the hottest temperatures in Tasmania.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Foodie Hiking

This week we had a call from Fair Dinkum Food campaigner Richard Bovill. 'I know you like produce but do you also like walking and could you come on a hike on Northdown on Saturday, followed by lunch in the Ghost Rock Vineyard?' Could you say no to that? We made sure we ordered some coastal produce, too, so we could pick up for hilbarn boxes at the same time (strawberries from the Berry Patch in Turners Beach and freshly dug carrots and red onions from Nathalie and Johan in Kindred).
9am. Along with Richard and his party, we set off from Moorland Beach, Northdown led by Mick and Jackie from Hedonistic Hiking (they're in Tasmania to suss out spots for possible food and wine hikes). If you're keen they come here, check them out and make sure you let them know!

From Moorland Beach, we headed inland through the stunning coastal property of Northdown which has belonged to the Thomas family since the early 1820s. And for the next 12 kilometres, in 30 degree heat, we shared a relaxing and informative hike through grazing pasture, bushland, farmyards, a cherry orchard, onion and poppy fields, and finally, neighbouring Ghost Rock Vineyard for an alfresco lunch prepared by Mick and Jackie (pictured below) using luscious local produce and Ghost Rock wines. Thanks to our host Richard, local guide Mac Russell, and to Mick and Jackie for making the day sing. We really hope you include Tasmania along with north east Victoria and Tuscany in your Food, Wine and Walking holidays.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Plaiting Garlic

When our master potter friend Les came to visit for Christmas he brought with him a magnificent plait of fresh garlic. We spent some of the time trying to work out how to plait our own... we're still trying to work it out! You'd be surprised but it's so much harder than hair! Leave us a comment if you know how...

Monday, January 3, 2011

Raspberries & Peas

We started the year on New Year's Day with an early morning call from Matt in Thirlstane (left): yes, he'd have fresh peas and would be picking them for us that day. No such thing as a day off for growers when it's the height of the summer harvest! Yesterday, we collected freshly picked and spray-free raspberries from Trevor and Rose in Pipers Brook (right). A tasty start to our first hilbarn box of the year.