Both Harvey and I feel like we really got somewhere in our hazelnut quest this weekend.
Saturday morning dawned fresh and bright and proved the perfect day for a roadtrip with the boys to Sheffield. Known as the Town of Murals, Sheffield is also home to the Hazelnut Growers’ Association’s Tasmanian representative. Greg Taylor was kind enough to give an hour of his Saturday morning to explain his farm practices to Harvey (and dodge the odd strange question from Noah). He has been a hazelnut farmer for three years, so we could see what the young trees were like.
After a fruitful morning exploring the town and the farm, we headed over the side of Mount Roland to Mole Creek and Deloraine, marveling at the fertile soil and beautiful landscape.
We decided it was high time to visit Launceston’s EskMarket and see what it had in store yesterday. A combination of produce, antiques and jumble, the market will be somewhere we visit, but we preferred the produce options at Evandale. Afterwards we went to Launceston’s Grand Chancellor Hotel for theTaste of the Tamar event. Here we saw wineries and food producers that line the river we now live on but, most importantly, we met some hazelnut growers who are based at Exeter, not far from us but on the other side of the water.
This couple established their 500-tree farm six years ago and this year was their first time selling the nuts. With bags of roasted and flavoured (cinnamon, honey, organe and chocolate) nuts, we could see yet another option to value add to this product, instead of just selling the raw nuts. It got us thinking of muesli, dukkah, oil, honey, cakes and biscuits, knowing there is so much scope.
I’m sure both farmers will become good contacts in our own journey in farming.
Another producer we met at Taste of the Tamar was Cocobean, a cafe in Launceston. I already knew they made great soy lattes, but yesterday I tried their chocolate as it dripped from a voluptuous strawberry and again today when we dropped in to sample some other flavours. We tried a raspberry champagne truffle and almond and cashew chocolate (me) and choc-coated orange slice and chocolate fig (Harvey) while the boys had a babycino and choc pop. I think they might need to consider choc-coated hazelnuts from local producers in seven or so years.