Article one: Farm to Fork
When it comes to ‘farm to fork’ experiences, few destinations rival the NSW South Coast and Southern Highlands.
From wineries, farms, provedores and paddocks you don’t need to travel far from Shell Cove to meet the amazing people and producers who are redefining food culture.
The region is home to a growing list of world-renowned businesses doing amazing things from their backyards and the below is just an enticing entree…
To the south…
The Pines at Jamberoo
Kel and Marla are the husband and wife team who turned their 70ha dairy farm, ‘The Pines’ into an artisan micro-dairy operating out of Jamberoo.
They are pioneers of the paddock and continue to lead the charge for reinventing their products and services to not only ensure they survive – they continue to thrive.
The Pines has become synonymous with the South Coast and producers most recognised for their award-winning milk or extensive line of ice-cream and gelato which is a common fixture at most Farmers markets from Sydney to Berry.
Recently they’ve entered the cheese market and now stock a line of mouth-watering flavours including a brie-style cheese, a semi-hard alpine-style cheese and a semi-soft cheese.
Off the back of record-breaking droughts, the devastating bushfires, unseasonal floods and an unprecedented global pandemic it’s fair to say it has not been ‘business as usual’ for this otherwise non-stop farm, however, that doesn’t mean things have slowed.
They’re continuing to alter and adjust to new demands, requirements and services. Stocks are slowly starting to increase in shops locally and they’ve upped their online services so you only have to head over to their website to find out more.
And it’s not just food! Why not book a visit the farm and find out exactly where and how their products are made! It doesn’t get fresher than that.
Buena Vista Farm
There is no denying Buena Vista Farm occupies one of the most picturesque parcels of farmland on the South Coast.
The farm was first purchased in the 1850’s and operated as a dairy farm until about a few years ago when it was transformed into a humble, albeit, sustainable operation which would help support a young – and growing – family.
It started humbly enough with a handful of chickens and over the course of four years they’ve increased the size and scale of the operations and are now one of the largest suppliers on the South Coast.
While the Buena Vista farm to fork offerings increased, as did their garden offerings, they also saw the need for condiments and added a commercial kitchen in which they make a range of fermented foods for sale at the local weekly farmer’s market.
At the end of 2013 farm owners, Adam and Fiona, began running cooking workshops, based around their passion for sustainable and wholefood cooking.
Fast forward to 2020 and the farm is now a regular at markets across the south coast and you can visit the property on one of their farm tours (bookings essential!). The tours include a brief outline of the history of farming in the area, the agricultural practices in use, and what it’s like living and working on a modern small-scale sustainable farm as well as a tour of the dairy, a look in the window of the cheese room and spending time playing with the goats.
To find out more about Buena Vista Farm visit their website here.
To the west…The Loch
Few properties offer such a unique and true ‘paddock to plate’ experience.
'The Loch' is working farm, garden and guest house which has recently adjusted their core business to continue to provide fresh, home-grown, produce to the community via their veggie boxes and freshly made ready-to-go meals.
With restrictions easing, Chef and owner Brigid Kennedy is set to reopen their doors with a special mid-winter Christmas in July and will be bringing out the best – and freshest – food, produce and mulled wine (bookings essential).
From tours, floral arrangements, farm-fresh fruit, herbs, vegetables and ready to purchase, chef-prepared meals, freshly baked cakes and condiments there is little this paddock doesn’t provide and it’s definitely worth experiencing.
For all bookings and enquiries, contact them direct via their website.
To the north….
Green Connect is a social enterprise based in Warrawong which focuses on creating more jobs for former refugees and young people, less waste, and fair food – meaning food that’s good for those who eat it, those who grow it, and the planet.
The permaculture farm appears from nowhere – one minute you’re driving through suburbia, the next you’re surrounded by rows of fresh produce, chickens, pigs and goats.
Operations began in 2014 and since then the workflow of the farm has increased significantly, they’re doing incredible work in their field and have been recognised with several awards for their work in sustainable food and social enterprises.
You can visit the farm and see for yourself or simply order one of their free-range meat or mixed veggie boxes, honey, soaps, broth or bread online and know you’re not only supporting an amazing enterprise, but you’re also consuming chemical-free food which is keeping over 120 refugees and youth employed.
There has never been a better time to experience and explore your own backyard.
Over the coming weeks, we will bring you a range of places and people who truly make the South Coast a world-class destination, until then, here are plenty more farm-to-fork experiences you can also try, here are just a few and we'd love to hear yours....
- Kangaroo Valley Olives
- Shoalhaven Gourmet Mushrooms
- Pecora Dairy
- South Coast Distillery
- Simall Wines