Monday, December 2, 2013

Fresh produce option

Where have you been?
Summer is here, the daisies are up, and we are rested. We just want to let you know that while we are no longer providing fresh produce boxes across Tasmania the baton has been passed to Bron and John Ballantyne at Paleo Providore in Launceston. Bron has a similar passion and drive to find the freshest produce and deliver it to you in the shortest time possible. Please feel free to contact her and find out how you can order your next box:

E: | M: 0448 989 440

Sunday, October 27, 2013

The Last Pack


If you'd like to reserve a copy of our limited edition collection of 12 seasonal hilbarn recipes - beautifully illustrated by Masako - please email 
Price $15 plus p&p.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

"Tasmania's Favourite Potato"

At last! Freshly dug pink eye potatoes from Penguin feature in this week's hilbarn boxes - just the weekend when The Mercury newspaper proclaimed pink eyes as "Tasmania's favourite potato". Discuss... or just wash them, boil them,  slather them with real butter and dine on them tonight instead.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Seasonal News

Five years ago, when we first started packing fresh produce into recycled wine boxes, we remember lamenting the lack of local asparagus growers. While England holds asparagus festivals, it's been one of the hardest crops to find here in Tassie. Well, oddly enough, two Sundays ago, in the month when we decided to close, we received an early morning text from JAM's Kate Smith. She'd spotted a lady selling fresh asparagus at Evandale market. We rang, we met Pam (below), a farmer from Longford, and for the past two weeks have been collecting her stupendous bunches to put into hilbarn boxes, and of course onto our own plates, too. They don't even need cooking: so succulent and tender just as they are. We'll have them for the next two weeks before we farewell our weekly boxes at the end of the month. We are very grateful for your tremendous and quite overwhelming support of our healthy small business here in Tasmania. And we thank you for your understanding that we need a rest. hilbarn started with a simple passion: to share our love of fresh Tassie produce.  And we promise to continue sharing that here every now and then.

We also loved being introduced to these newborn lambs at the Pinners farm in Karoola this week when we collected fresh eggs for hilbarn boxes from Lyndy. Meet Molly and Dolly: survivors of wind, wet paddocks, bad mothers and lamb life in general. It's tough out there. But thanks to Lyndy and Dave's skilful hand-rearing these adorable Dorpers will be grazing on spring grass in no time. 

Monday, September 23, 2013

Gifts of Spring

We love the notes we receive from hilbarners. Here's one: three words that came at exactly the right time when Time's see-saw says daytime and night-time are equal now. We welcome Spring and the gifts it brings: strawberries, asparagus, snow peas, broad beans.... not quite there yet, but tantalisingly close.

And this one from a hilbarn grower who stuck it on a label on the outside of a black plastic bag filled with freshly picked silverbeet. Thank you Alan - we love your art.

Thank you to Peter from Wilmot who sent us a pack of exciting seeds in the post - lamb's lettuce (also known as corn salad). Such a treat for us to sow.

And this is what bud burst looks like on a chardonnay vine in the Jansz Tasmania vineyard. Coming relatively soon, we hope, to a flute near you.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

NEW! September hilbarn store produce box - Southern Selection

We invited food curator Jo Cook (one of the market managers at MoMa, MONA's super cool summer market) to choose a few of her favourite items from the south for this month's hilbarn store produce box. 
Price: $90. Packaging & Postage: $25 (flat rate Australia-wide).
Delivery free to hilbarn pick up points in Tasmania. To order, email Orders close at the end of September for delivery in the first week of October.

Photos from left to right: 
Diemen Pepper Native Pepper from Woodbridge 
Aromatic, piquant & unique. Use sparingly in the kitchen or on the table 
Olli-Bella Bloody Hot Sauce 
From former Californian now Hobartian Gabriel Laborico who grew up making Mexican food with his dad
Coaldale Pickled Walnuts from the Denings in the Coal River Valley
Serve on crackers with hard or soft cheese or as part of a ploughman's lunch. Gold Medal Winner at the 2012 Hobart Fine Food Awards

Ashbolt Farm Elderflower & Olive Oil Salad Dressing
All natural, made from Tasmanian extra virgin olive oil and elderflower concentrate from Plenty
Willie Smiths Organic Apple Cider (500ml bottle) from the Huon Valley 
Made from apples hand-picked & organically-grown in an orchard first planted in 1888 by William Smith
Wellington Apiary 'Hobart Wildflower' Honey
Raw, unheated, coarse filtered honey made from nectar collected from the diverse gardens of Hobart  

Bruny Island Food Mustard from Ross O'Meara In Lunawanna
Made with the flavour of a Dijon and the heat of a hot English mustard 
Richmond Walnut Farm Walnut Oil 
Only a limited number of 100ml bottles of this premium walnut oil available


Sunday, September 15, 2013

Packing tonight with yams & parsley

We love it when a box starts coming together.  When we both commented at the same time how the organic roquette from York Town smelt so fragrant and peppery we were reminded why we do what we do. Who remembers ever smelling roquette in a supermarket? And when it turned out that they're weren't enough Jerusalem artichokes for everyone we were quite relieved when we found Lisa and her yams from Burnie. Tim and Anne's bouquets of parsley were also begging to be photographed, reminding us of an old growth forest. So we hope you enjoy playing with this week's box as much as we have enjoyed pulling it together. It's especially hard at this time of the year as the seasons change from one to another, tentatively. But it won't be long before we see peas, strawberries and new season potatoes appearing in hilbarn boxes. Looking forward to that!

Thursday, September 12, 2013

August hilbarn store produce - North West

We collected provisions for hilbarn's August store produce box on a beautiful spring day in the state's northwest. Now we're busy putting together September's selection - this time from the South - chosen by Hobart-based 'food curator' Jo Cook. We'll introduce you to Jo and her personal selection next week. In the meantime, we thought we'd share a few phone snaps from our most recent road trip to Mole Creek, Kindred, Spreyton, Latrobe, Christmas Hills, Deloraine, and Bridgenorth. 

Organic Leatherwood Honey from  R. Stephens Apiary in Mole Creek (spot the snow remnants on the Great Western Tiers in the background). The Stephens family has been making honey here since the 1920s. We found them busily painting bee hives ready for their journey to the West Coast rainforest for the summer.

 Here's Ziggy from 40 Degrees South Salmon & Ginseng Wetlands Farm near Deloraine. We love their salmon products.  And now we love their ginseng spice too.

Raspberry jam from Christmas Hills Raspberry Farm - where, really, every day must be Christmas. 

Mural artistry in the playground at the Cherry Shed, Latrobe where we found the delicious cherry liqueur for this month's hilbarn store produce box.

It's always a test travelling west to try and tell what's growing in the paddocks. Here, in Kindred, are fields of oats, turned into rolled oats by Lauren, Henriette and family at Kindred Organics.

 Damien from Spreyton Cider serving freshly pressed ciders on tap at the tasting room in Spreyton. 

 Last stop, Rocky Gardens, where we were chuffed to see country ways still working. "We'll leave it on the fence post for you!" said Patricia. And there it was at the end of a long day just as the sun was going down behind the gum trees.

Taken on the side of the road in Moriarty. Last time we stopped here the paddock was full of poppies (and a little red tractor). Wondering what it will be this summer?

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

August hilbarn Store Produce Box

This month's hilbarn store produce box features local provisions from North West Tasmania. Our selection of premium non-perishable items, personally chosen by Hil & Barn, is valued at $85. We will carefully pack it and arrange postage to wherever you are in Australia. 

* Regular postage and packaging Australia wide $25
* Postage/delivery is free to hilbarn Pick Up Points across Tasmania. 

If you'd like to place an order please email by 9 pm next Wednesday, August 28th.

Next month we'll feature hilbarn store produce sourced from southern Tasmania by a guest selector.

hilbarn store produce AUGUST menu (photographed above):

Spreyton Cider Co 1 x Vintage & 1 x Perry Cider 330ml
A bottle each of sweet perry cider (made from 100% Tasmanian pears) and Vintage 2012 cider (a seasonal blend made from Gravenstein, Cox's Orange Pippen and Sturmer apples), sourced from century old family orchards in Spreyton.

Kindred Organics Rolled Oats 1kg
Organically grown oats are rolled fresh on demand on this family farm in the fertile north west of Tasmania. Oats should be consumed within a 3 month period, and kept cool and dry in dark storage.

The Cherry Shed Cherry Liqueur 200ml
Cherry Liqueur made from large black cherries from Latrobe, best enjoyed straight or added to sparkling wine, lemonade, or poured onto ice cream for a decadent dessert.

Rocky Gardens Home Made Whisky Marmalade 280g
Award winning home made preserve from Bridgenorth made in the traditional method (cooking original recipes in small batches).  Contains oranges, lemons & 4% whisky; no artificial colours, flavours or preservatives. Gold Medal recipient from the Hobart Fine Food Awards.

Christmas Hills Raspberry Jam 300g
Luscious raspberry jam made from raspberries grown in the cool climate Great Western Tiers region. Christmas Hills Raspberry Farm, first established thirty years ago, grows 8 different varieties of raspberries for their jams. 

R. Stephens Organic Leatherwood Honey 500g
Uniquely flavoured honey produced only in Tasmania from leatherwood trees grown in the wilderness areas of the island state. The R Stephens Apiary was first established in Mole Creek in 1920 as a pre-World War One hobby and has since survived three generations of quality honey production.  

Heidi Farm Gruyere Cheese
An authentic farmhouse cheese based in Burnie, north west Tasmania, hand crafted following traditional cheese making techniques; a consistent winner in the Australian Grand Dairy Awards. 

40 Degrees South Ginseng Spice 100g
Contains a mix of spices including ginseng and Tasmanian mountain pepper both grown at 41 Degrees South Salmon & Ginseng Farm located near Westbury and first established in 1995. Use in seasoning for meat, fish, salads or sprinkle on sour cream. 

Remember to place your order with us at before next Wednesday, August 28th. With thanks from Hil & Barn.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Gushing Rivers, Blocked Roads, Unlimited Downpours

Floods were widespread in our neighbours' paddocks at the weekend as Pipers River broke its banks. The normally lush green grassy valley became criss-crossed with rivulets and tributaries and roads turned into rivers as we drove around the region collecting fresh produce. At one stage not even the windscreen wipers could keep up with the torrential downpour. We managed to get everything home in time to pack and after such a grey day everything edible seemed neon by comparison, including Bron's still-warm muffins (a recipe from this month's Country Style) and Masako's beautifully drawn recipe for Roast Swedes & Parmesan Chips, which you'll find slipped inside this week's hilbarn boxes.

Red & green organic mizuna from York Town

A rainbow of radishes (French, red & purple plum) from Zong & Chua

Bron's lemon muffins: packing night snacks

Roasted Swede & Parmesan Chips Recipe drawn by Masako

Thursday, August 15, 2013

The Unbearable Heaviness of Spuds

Some things haven't changed. Tasmania has long been renowned for growing the best and most diverse varieties of potatoes in the land. Old timers in Stanley still recall steamers leaving Little Wharf in the 1920s, headed for the Melbourne markets loaded with potatoes grown and harvested in the luscious red soils of the northwest. These days good old Tassie spuds don't come in 40 kilo hessian sacks but it wasn't that long ago when they did. As a teenager Barn can well recall accompanying his dad, George, to deliver sacks of fresh potatoes to fish and chip shops on the way home from the markets. They were carried in on broad shoulders, one by one. "That was in the days when fish and chip owners made their own chips," recalls Barn, "instead of buying in the ready-made frozen ones." So, last weekend, when we went to collect Russet Burbanks from Alan, we both had tears in our eyes. Hil because she pictured Alan threading the orange twine to stitch up the sack. And Barn, because he knew how much they weighed... Equal rights are hard to argue when it comes to carrying 40 kilo bags of spuds. Barn lifts, Hil drags... But tonight, we had a light kilo mashed with double cream and butter: best mash ever.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Lyndy's Chook Gossip: Rooster News

Good news: with James' arrival at the Pinners' farm (he's the magnificent oil painting of a bird on the left) Lyndy's limited edition organic eggs are back in business again after a long winter break...just so long as  there aren't too many guests at their farmstay B&B.  

Friday, August 2, 2013

The Fashionable Camellia

2012 Photo by Barn
2013 Photo by Barn

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Joys of Packing

Since last week the hilbarn shed has received a grand new design. Well, a few new shelves and a little more space at least. "Happy shed warming," said Bron tonight, and we toasted the changes with hot tea, Nuns' House shortbread, Bangor chevre and Bron's fresh-from-the-oven German Apple Cake. Is it a crumble, a sponge or a pie? Didn't matter. It was grand.