The agriCULTURED wash-up, enough with the macro-economics chat, a prodigal son returns, and another thing.
What was and what will be (at Harvest)
It is difficult to conceive of how Ferment Stations @ Harvest could have gone any better last week. This is not to say that we didn’t learn from our mistakes and take away plenty of ideas and inspo for next time. But the way that Beaker Street, FermenTas, the vollies and most importantly, the participants deported themselves on the day was exemplary. Such good vibes. Such positive feedback. A raging success that we can’t wait to adapt to different ferments in the future. Kraut is just the beginning baby! There is a whole universe of fermentation that Harvest, FermenTas and Beaker Street are frothing to bring to you. A huge thanks and congratulations to everyone involved in any way.
What is next to look forward to then? Apart from longer days, warmer sunshine, and summer fruits? Well, this week at Harvest sees the return of Hawka and his proverbial fork. With the Hawthorn crew floating around, keeping the footy chat high, the banter upbeat, and the cooking delicious and nutritious. The following week sees the return of Eat Well Tasmania for their winter What’s in Season campaign. All featuring the very best that our Harvesters have to offer and aimed at helping you and your family eat better, cheaper and healthier. Hard to argue with that, right?
Enough of that chat chef
For the first time in a long time, the At Harvest newsletter is promising to not include any depressing macro-economics and/or cost of living chat. That stuff is everywhere you look. While we think it is important to bring it to you, with spring approaching and frankly, more going on, we’ll try and dial back the off-message topics. The conventional wisdom is that there will be so much more going on that we’ll no longer need to rely on tenuous links to external matters for fodder. The signs are positive so far.
Example? Gladly. Graeme Lodge and his Thirlstane Gardens are back from their hiatus. Graeme brings you the very best, most aromatic, diverse, and vibrant array of herbs and leaves this side of anywhere. We have been missing Thirlstane Gardens from the market for some time and gleefully welcome them back. With herbs consistently going up in price and down in quality, the value and excellence that Graeme represents cannot be understated. Ah dammit, there is that cost of living thing creeping in again. Guess we can’t help ourselves. Nor could Graeme help but return and try to retire off the back of a summer of lettuce sales. Oh snap. We did it again. Whatever. With Felds Farm, Red Cow Organics, Plants Direct, and La Cantara all slated for return in the next few weeks, we’ll have plenty to talk about besides lettuces.
And another thing
With spring approaching and some more colour returning to the environment, it’s worth noting that winter’s crop of root vegetables and brassicas are as abundant, affordable and delicious as ever. We’ve seen our nut and oil producers back at full strength after the harvest and processing season. These factors, coupled with the first appearance of soft leaves and herbs gets us to thinking about the first iterations of spring salads. We thought of it like this: loaded pumpkin. Take one pumpkin and cut it in half along the horizontal plane. Scoop out the seed pulp. Brush that big boy with oil, season with salt and pepper, and bust it in the oven at 180. Glaze it with maple syrup occasionally.
Make a stuffing from some bread ends, hazelnuts, onions, garlic, chopped apple and some rosemary. Pack that into the pumpkin cavity after about 30 minutes of cooking, then turn the oven down to 150 degrees. Continue to cook and glaze the whole shebang until it passes the skewer test. Rip it out, cut it into wedges like a pizza, and garnish the whole thing with leaves and herbs. Then you may bask in the adulation of your fans for an innovative way to prepare and present a warm spring salad.
And with that our work here is done, it’s knock-off time. See you at the market.