Monday, June 27, 2011

Packing in the Winter Sun

This winter, our box packing times have slipped earlier and earlier on Sundays; now, you'll find the team lifting, weighing, bagging and packing as early as 3.30. Lately we've been accompanied by gale force winds and drifts of rain which means the barn doors are shut firmly against the elements. Yesterday, we were blessed with afternoon light although the temperatures were still crisp enough for layers and - as you can see from the shadows - the sun was almost low enough in the sky to slice everything in its path. We opened the doors and stopped for a few minutes to appreciate the colour it brought into the packing shed.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Parsley with a View

You can understand why this curly parsley grows like it does, with thick bushy heads enjoying views of the Central Plateau and roots firmly entrenched in the rich red soils of the Central Coast. Tim says he took these photos at the height of the growing period before the weeds set in. Generous bunches of his fresh cut parsley feature in hilbarn boxes this week, along with Lower Barrington cauliflowers, Northdown watercress, Nicola potatoes, Brussel sprouts and red onions from Kindred, North East shallots, Hillwood apples, Forth carrots and broccoli, and bean sprouts from Shearwater.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Going Native

Coming next week in hilbarn boxes: pretty pots of native parsley (or sea celery) from Biz (pictured left) and Lindsay of Taz Wild in the beautiful Fingal Valley. The Nicolson family has specialised in Tasmanian natives for thirty years on their 2300 ha property situated at the foot of Ben Lomond, still snow-covered after recent heavy snowfalls. Biz says it's very similar to Italian (or continental parsley). So why aren't we all growing our own version, we thought. We picked up the pots this morning and checked out their range of other edible native plants including sea asparagus, salt bush and lemon boronia. We'll be experimenting with our cooking over the next few weeks so we can decide what we choose next from Biz for future hilbarn boxes. Let us know how you get on with your native parsley - or Apium Prostratum to be exact.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Cackleberry Ladies

Egg supplies are especially hard at this time of the year when many hens are on vacation, moulting, broody and quite frankly ready for a rest and refusing to lay... Would you lay an egg in this weather? So we thought the free range hens from Colleen and Pat's Polcat Farm in Pipers River deserved serious recognition. Their special warm breakfast cereal (infused with chilli) seems to be working wonders... and they're actually laying!