Food solutions, presto!

As part of the Huon Producers’ Network’s (HPN) managing committee, we have become increasingly aware of an overwhelming supply gap of local and sustainably grown fruit (gasp! really, in the Huon?!), veggies, meat and dairy. How could a valley famed for the quality of its produce still fall short of providing the community, cafes, restaurants and food businesses with the kind of produce on which the Huon’s reputation stands?

There are some complex economics at play, namely disincentives to grow produce sustainably as a result of consumer expectation for low prices, as well as generational shifts away from farming and towards services and city based industries. Government policies and planning regulations have likely played their part too.

Whatever the reason, these supply issues have come home to roost for us as procurers of local produce to help fill our boxes now that winter is setting in.

Securing a reliable and varied supply of fruit over winter is proving much harder than expected, with minimal citrus readily available in the valley. Other more niche winter fruits are still only catching on and are slow to yield (like feijoa), or old European staples (like medlars) have either fallen out of favour or were possibly never much in favour in Australia to begin with!

We are planning long term and hope, through both our own investment into our orchard and our efforts to build supply networks as part of HPN, that this problem will be overcome in the years ahead. We can’t wait to see more food grown in the valley and feeding everyone within. Oh, and if anyone hears of a good clementine tree please let us know!

Rocket Pesto

Basil & pinenuts are the traditional pesto partnership but the extended family can include any green leafy herb and any tasty seed or nut. This spiky one is particularly good as a dip or spread on sandwiches

Ingredients

  • 50g Rocket
  • 1/ 2 a lemon, juiced
  • a very generous glug of olive oil
  • a small clove of garlic
  • handful of walnuts
  • handful of finely grated parmesan (optional but hard to resist)
  • salt & pepper to taste
Method 

Step 1: Place all ingredients into a food processor and blitz until combined. Don’t be afraid to add more oil if required.

Alternatively, chopping the nuts and herbs by hand and mixing the rest manually gives you a rougher consistency if preferred.