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.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Beginnings & Endings

Today started with sad news but news we were expecting. Barn's dear elderly Ma, Margaret, passed away in the night. Barn had seen her to say his goodbyes but there is always the gap between the thought and the reality of losing someone dearly loved. The day called us into it despite ourselves. Today was hilbarn ordering day. And also the day we'd set aside to collect produce for our new hilbarn store boxes. We called Alan first to see what he had growing. Well, it's no good saying you're fine when you're not. "Oh dear," said Alan, when I told him the news. "Give Barn my best wishes. I've been through what he's been through. Even when you know they have to go it's just so final." We kept ordering as if everything was still the same because in many ways it was although for Barn there was the biggest gap to grasp. He decided to take the bike to Pyengana and Scottsdale to collect store produce. And I would go to town.  A lush green valley was his reward after the man fern bends of rainforested Weldborough Pass. And real cheddar from Pyengana Dairy the treasure.

Meanwhile, I went to see Tim and Stuart at Ritual Coffee in Launceston to pick up their freshly roasted El Salvador coffee pouches. Here they are, standing next to Diedrich, the grand Germanic roaster from America who Tim prefers to call "Died Rich".

The walls were adorned with names from other countries, and a peak inside big hessian sacks with exotic typefaces from Colombia, Burundi and Thailand surprised: the naked coffee bean/fruit is actually a pale, pistachio green. 

No time for coffee with the master baristas. Next stop, Crown Cellars where Simon had kindly left his Day Time Food handmade granola bars for us to collect. Then, on to Hillwood Berry Farm to pick up a box of their deep purple Blackcurrant Liqueur, and finally Yondover where Mike interrupted his lunch to load us up with jars of our favourite marinated Bangor Chevre (thanks Gina!) and the goats just love to meet and greet you.

Home, finally, to pack and send the first store boxes to faraway places. We made it to our local Lilydale Post Office with time to spare. Thanks, Tom, we'll be back again tomorrow with all the rest!

The long day ended with Barn's version of his mother Margaret's "Sunday Special". It's not Sunday but it was Special, prepared by Barn and his son James with all the love in the world. Goodnight Margaret. Rest peacefully. You know the jonquils are on their way.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

hilbarn goes to Deloraine

Last Friday we headed west in search of store produce for next month's hilbarn store produce box. On the way we stopped at this welcoming shop on Emu Bay Road in Deloraine (the vintage bicycle was bit of a calling card). We got chatting to Julie, the owner, and she has since kindly offered to be a hilbarn Pick Up Point for Deloraine and surrounding areas. So, if you're interested in receiving fresh, local produce and live in the Meander Valley area, please get in touch (email Freight is $5.50 per box and deliveries to The Black Hen will be on Tuesdays. To subscribe, download the 'North' form under How To Join. Thank you to Julie for offering her friendly, creative space and being open to trying something new. It's great when someone gets what we do: providing Tasmanian communities with the freshest produce we can find from hard working and passionate farmers and growers. If you support what we do we'd love it if you could help spread the word.