Backyard Bounty all-Tasmanian Vegie box: 15th December

Summer in Tasmania really starts around Christmas – which for us generally means mild panic for a month hoping that things we’ve offered for our Christmas boxes will be ready to go, whilst nature goes about its business oblivious to the commercial imperative… Our last week of regular boxes for the year see the welcome return of quite a few summer delicacies a whole week before Christmas!

We’ve struggled a little to find raspberries that we’re completely happy with – I’m not raspberry crazy like many of my country-men so I have pretty high standards, with sweetness, tang and that real raspberry aroma and flavour all up there on the agenda – but we picked up some raspberries from Lucaston Park Orchards at the Green Cherry Shed last weekend and were so happy with them we decided that we should buy another 150 punnets so we could share them with $30 and $40 customers this week! Organic customers don’t miss out either, with delicious raspberries from Longley Organic Farm – and the $55 family organic boxes get two punnets!

Speaking of tang – Ashcraig Farm have supplied us with our annual green gooseberry order, which was a little light on this year due to the weather but we’ve managed to share out these tart little gems with the $20 and $40 boxes. Stew them for a bit first to soften them up (this also releases pectin which results in a thicker consistency) before adding sugar to taste – or add even more sugar and make a little jam.

Technically still on the subject of fruit, Richmond Farm have started picking zucchini a little early this year with the hot weather – zucchini are only grown on fairly small scale in Tasmania as the season is quite short (and they’re not suited to hydroponic growing techniques), so most of what’s sold in supermarkets and grocers is grown interstate; Tassie zucchini are a pretty rare thing!

Our potato grower John has also supplied another “summer” treat this week – namely 100 super-size fresh garlic – and we’re definitely looking forward to his new-season roasting potatoes in the Christmas boxes next week, with three varieties (Kennebecs, Up to Dates and King Eds) all just about ready to come out of the ground!