…by Russ Grayson, December 2013
A Tasmanian journey…
THE OTHER NIGHT, we ate local… Tasmanian local, that is.
Doing that was the result of shopping for food at Harvest, Launceston’s weekly growers’ market. It’s located conveniently in the CBD where it’s been for more than a year. Here, it brings together fruit and vegetable growers, bakers, olive oil brewers, meat producers and the agricultural panoply of the northern region of this island state.
The market meets Jane Adam’s (who set up the Australian Farmers’ Market Association) prescription for farmers’ market authenticity of no resellers, stalls staffed by producers or family or staff, a central, accessible venue and regular high frequency — weekly on Saturday mornings for Harvest.
It also supplies basic foods such as fruit, vegetables and breads as well as gourmet foods. Those basic foods are the mainstay of growers’ markets. The specialty and gourmet lines are really add-ons. Were they and not basic foods the mainstay, then we would have substantially different types of markets catering mainly for foodies and an affluent clientele.
Back to dinner which Fiona made, my culinary expertise expiring after more than a single saucepan of frypan is needed. Here’s what went into it, all but the Tasmanian cherry tomatoes and olive oil derived from Harvest:
- olive oil for cooking from Glendale Olives in White Hills
- organic haloumi cheese from Elgaar farm
- scapes from Tasmanian Natural Garlic (scapes are garlic stems with the bulbils from which new garlic plants are grown — they’ve a strong garlic taste and if you haven’t tried them I recommend you do)
- greens of tatsu, spinach, matzuma and asparagus from the market gardeners at Harvest
- Tasmanian cherry tomatoes procured elsewhere
- regional market gardener carrot
- sunflower seed roasted in soy and sweet chilli sauce from Coronea Grove.
Thankfully, Fiona knew how to put these together to produce a culinarily coherent and tasty meal of regional produce. I volunteered to wash up as my contribution.
The photo shows our haul from Harvest farmers’ market:
- fresh and succulent Tasmanian cherries and asparagus at top left pumpkin seed roasted in extra virgin olive oil and rock salt at top right
- multigrain sourdough bread from Manubread at centre
- fresh Tasmanian raspberries (Tasmania is the berry fruit capital of the southern hemisphere) at right
- fresh and crunchy Tasmanian-grown golden delicious apples at lower right
- garlic scapes at lower right
- organic haloumi cheese lower centre, which we were told can be fried or eaten raw with salad
- Tasmanian gala apple and sunflower seed roasted in soy and sweet chilli sauce at lower right.