Our Ramblings

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.

 

A Winter of potential content

This week’s weather has brought a sense of relief and relaxation. Finally the pressures of garden watering and keeping plants alive through the summer is over as we get showers and the sun loses its potency.

Most people grieve for the lost summer days, but not farmers! The Tasmanian summer, with its long hot days and minimal rainfall, is a stressful time of year and this year was made so much worse by the threat of bushfires.

Now fire takes on a different meaning – early, cosy nights descend and bring with them rest and contemplation in front of the hearth. Long wintry nights and cool wet days mean time can finally be

spent away from the garden and headspace for reading, hobbies and reflection can be reclaimed.

This is reflected in the seasonal change in food in the boxes – potatoes, leeks and kale suggest comforting winter stews and soups, with more winter heroes coming on in the garden.

We hope everyone else in the valley is also breathing a sigh of collective relief that we survived another summer – this time by the skin of our teeth.

 

Salsa Verde

This punchy sauce can be made with any combination of green leafy herbs. It is a great accompaniment to meat, fish, potatoes or even a simple snack drizzled over thinly sliced toast. This version is Vegan but for extra kick you can substitute capers for anchovies

Ingredients

  • 50g of basil, parsely or coriander
  • very generous glug of olive oil
  • juice of a lemon
  • 1 tbsp capers (adjust to taste)
  • a clove of garlic
  • salt & pepper
Method 

Step 1: Put all of the ingredients in a blender or food processor and whizz.

The consistency should be reasonably liquid, rather than a paste like a pesto, so adjust with more olive oil and lemon juice to taste if needed to loosen the sauce.