Sunday, March 17, 2013

Hazelnuts & Pears

We source and collect produce from all over the State, but this morning it was great to stay close to home to enjoy the wonders of the Lilydale Festival of Wood while collecting pears, hazelnuts and apples from our own and our neighbour's gardens and orchards. First stop, Peter and Jeni at Plover's Ridge Country Retreat (top left): we think they have some of the best views in the district perched on top of the hillside where this hazelnut grove (above, centre) has just supplied them with one of their best crops ever. A bagful features in this week's hilbarn box. Cute the way they often hang around in winged twos... 

Thanks to Pete and Jeni for contacting us about their surplus, and to Rhonnie and Bob at The  Pear Walk just down the road who let us collect hazelnuts from their trees, and the last of the pears from their beautiful laneway of 100 year old pear trees. Sadly, only enough for our double boxes this season.

We couldn't resist stopping to forage for damsons and blackberries growing wild in one of our favourite secret laneways on the way home. And then, a few boxes of apples from the hilbarn garden to add to those from Millers Orchard in Hillwood and Bron's Cox's from Underwood. It's been a fruit picking kind of day. Now, to packing. Then, what to make with this bounty?

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Now Showing!

Shades of red in the garden (clockwise from top left): flowering red gum (being ravaged by bees), rose hips (ready for plucking), and veranda begonias (do you think they're vulgar?).

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Plums, Nuts & Records

Endless days of "record" thirty degree temperatures mean autumn's jobs are hacked out in temperatures more common to summer! Plums: plucked from Barn's trees and shared with Rhonda who has promised to turn them into her wicked Worcestershire sauce, and hazelnuts gathered from both trees and ground with Rhonnie at the Pear Walk. Another thirty plus degree day yesterday, but today the barometer is hovering between "Change" and "Rain" and outside in the Nuns' House garden the scorched leaves are scattering and plummeting between gusts which tease us that a cool change might be coming. Finally.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Cherries, Tarragon, Bay Leaves

Still-warm days, long shadows, colours turning... it's March in Tassie, autumn is in the air, and we're celebrating the change of season with an autumnal hilbarn fresh produce box. This week, featuring Kate Smith for hilbarn's latest jam-packed jar of goodness with East Tamar Cherries pickled in Vinegar with Tarragon & Peppercorn (photographed above). Plus, Lower Barrington cabbage (thanks Brett for having to go through the unexpected health & safety induction program when you delivered to Quoiba!), Forth celery; Scottsdale onions; carrots & swede from Jetsonville; beans from Wesley Vale; crunchy new season Akane apples & Williams pears from Millers Orchard, Hillwood; Meander Valley raspberries from Hillwood; and freshly picked bay leaves from the hilbarn garden. Bring on autumn's gifts!