Backyard Bounty all-Tasmanian Vegie box: 19th November

This week’s strawberries come from Hillwood Berries, a large family-owned berry farm about half an hour north of Launceston. The Dornauf family employ modern growing methods, with the berries protected from the weather with growing tunnels, and all berries are picked directly into the punnet they’re sold in, which ensures the berries are in perfect condition. The 30 hectare farm is one of handful in the north of Tasmania that supply international giant Driscolls berries – there are a number of advantages of working with this larger company, including access to the results of their in-house genetic research, but one of the biggest is that Driscolls take care of distribution of all the fruit, smoothing out seasonal supply by buying from different berry growers across Australia at different points in the season. Most of the fruit grown on the farm actually ends up in mainland supermarkets whilst the farm employs hundreds of pickers locally, but luckily they’re also happy to sell some of their fruit to smaller buyers like us – an order of 200 punnets is pretty small to a farm that sends out multiple truckloads of berries a day! The Dornaufs also have a small pick-your-own farm and cafe on site that you can visit if you’re heading up to Launceston, and despite the size of the farm, over half their land is actually maintained as natural bushland.