Sunday, July 15, 2012

A typical hilbarn weekend

People often ask us how we manage to source fresh, local produce in the dead of winter when the days are cold and short and the paddocks are often sodden. To be honest, we wonder this ourselves... But - after four winters of hunting down growers across the state - we always manage to find some surprises that give us a spring in our step and to fill the boxes, often so abundantly it's a job just to fit everything in! This weekend Barn travelled north west and, while en route, found the sky so awesome that he had to stop to take a photograph. It was as if someone had rolled a cigarette using the clouds...
After the sky, Barn met Nathalie and Johan in Kindred who provided the wonderful, freshly-harvested Brussels sprouts for this week's box, and a surprise for Hil: a whole Brussels sprout stalk. If you've never seen them growing, the neatly-knitted tree of sprouts will amaze you.
Next stop, the Young family in Sassafras. We were on the hunt for celeriac, having read that it was in season, and asked several of our growers if they knew anyone in Tassie who grew the turnip-rooted celery. Thank you to Sandra who introduced us to her neighbours the Youngs (photographed on their farm below). We're happy to have met them and to learn that they are the only growers of celeriac in the State. We hope you enjoy the first hilbarn fresh produce celeriac in your boxes over the coming weeks. Ian (left) told us celeriac is as versatile as the potato. You can chop it up in soups, stews and casseroles, or use it in mashed potato. Tastes a bit like smoked celery and parsley.
Next stop Hillwood, where Barn collected six varieties of apples from Morgan (photographed below) at Millers Orchards in Hillwood. Morgan is the great grand-daughter of Geoffrey Charles Miller who first established the orchard way back in the early 1900s. It's great to see the family business still going strong. Thanks, Morgan, for selecting the best apples for this week's hilbarn boxes. 
Finally, Hil had a call from Lyndy up the road to say her hens were finally back from vacation. They've been away sunning it up on distant sands for so long that their eggs even have freckles and a tan! Thanks Lyndy, it was good to see Goldilocks fossicking again in the garden when we came to collect on our way home.
It's nearly 5 o'clock! Bron and Rhonda will be here to pack any minute - must fly!

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