Sam Johnson and his nephew, Harry Mc Cave
Sam and Claire Johnson manage Boxgum Grazing on Windermere, a 1500 hectare multi-generational property near Young in NSW.
Their philosophy is simple. They stand by the quality of food they produce, their commitment to the animals and their welfare, and the long-term ecological health of their land.
They produce 100% grass fed beef and genuine free range pastured pork, which they market direct to customers in NSW and also the ACT.
Sam explained to me that the sows farrow outdoors and the weaned piglets grow out in the woodland areas where the they use their natural instincts to breathe life into the land.
They run predominantly Angus cattle that are% grass fed and receive no biocides or growth hormones.
Look for Boxgum Grazing at Southside Farmers Market in Canberra, Orange Farmers Market, Young Farmers Market, and Capital Region Farmer's Market at EPIC in the near future.
For more information, visit the web site.
Jose Coutinho and Pascaline Marchi of San Jose Smallgoods
The aroma of artisan prosciutto will lure you to the counter of San Jose Smallgoods
, where you'll meet Jose Coutinho and and Pascaline Marchi.
Their multi-award winning, artisan Jamon
is produced from free range Berkshire black pigs (sows) and handcrafted following old traditional methods. It is aged on the bone and has a moist, delicate and lightly sweet, salty flavour. It literally melts in your mouth and is best accompanied by grissini or good crusty bread.
Other products on offer include a range of bacon, bresaola, ham, pancetta, chorizo and salami; as well as premium quality delicatessen items.
Jose's philosophy is a 'refusal to compromise on quality' and this is evident in the very find products that have won so many awards.
This little jamon went to market
Allan Dixon and Sharyn Prendergast, Clive River Berry Farm
Allan Dixon and Sharyn Prendergast have much to smile about. This year, they bought the Clyde River Berry Farm, which is located in the hinterland between Batemans Bay and Ulladulla in NSW.
Visiting their farm is on my list of things for Peter and I to do in the holidays. I've been berry picking many times before, but I must say I have never seen such enormous blueberries! And the taste, oh my, these berries taste divine!
I've just frozen a 500g pack. Frozen blueberries are icy little taste bombs, perfect to snack on during the heat of Summer.
The Clyde River Berry Farm is open seven days from 10am to 6pm in December and January, except Christmas Day. There are all kinds of beautiful berries (including youngberries and raspberries), as well as peaches, plums and other seasonal fruits.
For more information, telephone 02 4478 1057 or visit the Clyde River Berry Farm
Clyde River Berry Farm blueberries, enormous!
Clyde River Blueberries, the most enormous blueberries I have seen!
Barbara Knoll of Barossa Fine Foods
Barbara and Franz Knoll, of Barossa Fine Foods, are passionate about using fresh, natural products. This philosophy is why Barossa Fine Foods is Australia's most awarded small goods producer, now boasting more than 700 medals won from national and state competitions.
The Knoll family's tradition in smallgoods production goes back to great uncle Andreas Knoll who learnt to make smallgoods such as viennas, knackwurst and salamis in a Munich factory at the age of 15 in 1924 and went on to own his own shop. He was followed by his nephew Hans, who learnt the business from Andreas before migrating to Australia in 1957, eventually opening his own shop, Bavaria Smallgoods, where his son, Franz, started work at the age of 15.
The company is now celebrating 21 years in business with its 120 employees across nine outlets focusing on the traditional hand-processing methods which have made it a market leader in small goods.
While its production has increased significantly, Barossa Fine Foods prides itself on staying true to its traditional hand-processing methods and never compromises on the quality of its smallgoods.
Mouthwateringly good Barossa Fine Foods bacon
Barossa Fine Foods is a family business
John Marshall, Frugii
'Oh, that's dee-licious!', the customer next to me exclaimed. She was having a Mmmoment
. It happens when you sample the ice cream, sorbet and gelato made by John and Ed Marshall of Frugii.
It all started about a decade ago with a copy of Larousse Gastronomique
and a baby ice cream machine, Ed explained to me. John started playing around with different flavours. We made a few and took them to Canberra restaurants to seek feedback. Now there are hundreds of different flavours, ranging from basil ice cream to tzatziki sorbet.
Frugi/Frugii (Latin for fruits of the forest) handmade ice cream, gelato and sorbet can be purchased at IGA Supermarkets in Hughes, Ainslie and Narrabundah in Canberra. You will also find John and Ed at the Capital Region Farmer's Market
and the Southside Farmer's Markets
. There's also a 'freezer door' in the Canberra suburb of O'Malley. Mr Frugii started off 2012 by creating his first chocolate from scratch, with cocoa beans from the Dominion Republic; roasted, winnowed, conched, refined, and tempered to make beautiful miniature chocolate bars, and gelato! Frugii's new hit flavour Ice Cream is Salted Butter Caramel. Visit the web site if you would like to know more about Frugii
Frugii Pistachio and Vodka Ice Cream. Mr Frugii makes his own pistachio paste, hence the flavour is sublime!
The lovely Anthea Cahill of Real Chai
Regular market shoppers at the Paddington Markets
, Capital Region Farmer's Markets
and Old Bus Depot Markets
will be familiar with Anthea Cahill and her 'real chai' stall.
The fragrant aroma of cardamom, cinnamon, ginger and cloves will stop you in your tracks, if the sample cups of chocolate chai (with real chunks of yummy French dark chocolate) don't!
Anthea is passionate about chai and tells me she discovered it when she was travelling in the Czech Republic in 2004. She came home and took the plunge into small business after initially making up packages of her own chai blend as Christmas gifts for friends. 'I tried out at Gorman House Markets and was a big hit', she said. 'Old Bus Depot Markets and EPIC followed and then I had staff and here we are'.
Anthea's real chai range includes a caffeine free tea based on chicory and dandelion; white Christmas chai made with white chocolate, cranberries, nutmeg, cinnamon and ginger; chocolate made with chunks of French chocolate; and original made with black tea, spices and love. For me, real chai is a far cry from the powdered, way-too-sugary substance sold in many cafes.
There are recipes and videos on how to make the perfect brew with real chai on Anthea's web site
, together with testimonials and FAQs. And if you can't make it to one of the real chai market stalls, you can shop online via the site. Try my prunes poached in Real Chai and Indian Spice and Vanilla!
real chai - chocolate
Real Chai: beautifully fragrant, made with spices and love!
Jackie M - mouthwatering Malaysian cuisine
In between running a restaurant, preparing a range of frozen meals and curry pastes, making media appearances and writing various blogs, the amazing Jackie M finds time to feed the crowds every Saturday at her Orange Grove Markets stall at Leichhardt in Sydney.
I had read and heard many good things about Jackie's cooking, particularly her Char Kway Teow
. A container of Jackie's freshly made Roti Kaya
(Roti with Coconut and Pandan Jam) disappeared before I had the chance to photograph it for this snippet. Indeed, it was so delicious, Peter and I couldn't help but tuck in immediately.
If you can't make it to Leichhardt, Jackie's food is also available from The Happy Hawker stalls at the Concord Hospital Market, Marrickville Markets and Hornsby-Kurringai Hospital Markets. Jackie's restaurant is at 85 Majors Bay Road, Concord and is open from 5.00-10.00pm Thursday to Saturday. Bear in mind that reservations are limited!
For more information about Jackie M and her mouth-watering Malaysian cuisine, visit Jackie's web site
Jackie M's Roti Kaya - deliciously good!
Ken Fuz, owner of Black Horse Fine Foods, is a quiet, unassuming gentleman who just happens to produce a very fine range of jams, marmalades, chutneys, relishes, sauces and other specialty foods.
Black Horse is a small family business based in Canberra. "We take a lot of time to prepare our products by hand," says Ken. 'Each batch is made to our exacting standards and there are no artificial colours, flavours or preservatives, therefore you get a high quality product every time'.
Why the name Black Horse? "I've always had a vision of owning a black horse", Ken explains. "Oh, I've not seen rhubarb jam since I was a kid!", a lady shopper exclaimed as she sampled Ken's jam. I can vouch for that one, it's yummy, especially with scones. Ken also makes an amazing Carrot and Cardamom Jam. I used it recently to glaze some pork knuckles before baking! The flavours were lovely.
Black Horse Fine Foods are available at the Hall Markets in Canberra on the first Sunday of each month; the Old Bus Depot Markets in Kingston on the second and fourth Sunday each month; and at the Capital Region Farmer's Market every Saturday. Delivery can be arranged. How's that for good old fashioned service! For more information visit Black Horse Fine Foods
Ken Fuz, Black Horse Fine Foods: 'I always had a vision of owning a black horse'.
Wes Johnston and Todd Sheens
Here's a couple of bashful young fellows, Wes Johnston and Todd Sheens, from the Torry Hill Orchard in Young, NSW.
You'll meet Wes and Todd each Saturday at the Torry Hill Orchard stall at the Capital Region Farmer's Markets. They will be at the markets during cherry season, selling boxes of freshly picked Ron cherries. Peter and I always make a beeline for the stall, as there are also wines, sauces and some yummy cherry pies on sale. The pies are made by a local bakery in Young, using fruit from the Torry Hill Orchard.
Buy also from the Torry Hill Orchard farm shop at 537 Cowra Road, Young, telephone 02 6382 5676.
Torry Hill Orchard sauces and Winddarra Estate products
Cherry pies made by Sheehans, the local bakery, using Torry Hill Orchard cherries - delicious!
Tobias and Beatric Koenig
Beatrice and Tobias Koenig grow premium organic garlic, potatoes, apples and other seasonal produce on their biodyamic farm, Ingelara, near Michelago.
Eager shoppers were lining up to buy braids of garlic, garlic bulbs and garlic flower stems, which Beatrice advised are delicious baked or fried. 'You can even use the seeds from the flower head and sprinkle over food', Beatrice told me.
Crates of beautiful baby apples are on show with the arrival of Autumn. I filled my market basket, the fruit is perfect size for the lunch box.
Visit the Ingelara Organic Produce Stall at the Capital Region Farmer's Market each Saturday. For more information, see the Ingelara web site
Baby apples from Ingelara are great for the lunch box
Organic garlic braids, just beautiful!
Organic garlic fiower stems, delicious baked or fried!