Le Temps des Vendanges
One could be made to believe this is quite an ordinary breakfast anywhere in the World, but not quite...Let me explain.
Therese and Andrew bought this 22 ha property high up in the valley on the Hasting River behind Port Macquarie, NSW, Australia which was a horse hobby farm for a long time.
Their aim was to create a byodynamic farm and produce the most organic produce possible within reach of Sydney with the view to cater for the locavores of the biggest Australian city.
After six years of hard work, they are having an overnight success!
I first met Therese and Andrew about two years ago at an event in Laurieton called "A Slice of Haven" - Laurieton is minutes from North Haven - where they were displaying their wares, namely oranic free range eggs and various "condiments". I recently met Therese again at the Orange Grove Markets in Rozelle where they are every Saturday and it is how I found out about this new event they are starting at the farm this Spring. Our good friends Niki and Mark L. are the proud owners of holiday flats in North Haven (www.frangipaniflats.com.au) so I invited them for this Breakfast in the Beds and they were kind enough to host us at their property which is an hour away from the Near River Produce farm.
It is no ordinary farm, though, as pigs ferilise and stampede the grounds, chickens run wild and eat grass, and garlic, asparagus and other vegetables are grown in the beds near by...
About 60 people turnip up, mainly locals from near by farms or else and a few from Sydney like us. We were treated to the grand tour of the property after being welcomed by Therese and Andrew and fed with home made scones, jams and tea. It was a beautiful day, very hot for the season and I was glad I had my cap on!
We went to pick up eggs, harvest asparagus, taste finger lime - it feels like caviar when you crack the little jellies in your mouth - meet the pigs and the chickens. Lots of children participated and it was quite a treat to see them experiencing first hand - so to speak - how to remove eggs from under the hens...We also had a liitle trek down the river with Max, the family dog...
So, you got the picture: local eggs, freshly made bacon from recently slaughtered pigs, asparagus harvested earlier this morning, bread baked in the local oven...
Enter resident Chef and production manager Stephane and his wife, busy preparing this feast for us, hungry guests by now! No easy task to poach 120 eggs, fry the bacon, toss the dressing on the asparagus and plate...To make us wait in style we were served fresh orange juice from the trees on the property and bubbly from the near by Cassegrain winery started a while back by a French family near Port Macquarie. Much better than breakfast in bed at the Hyatt, trust me!
Born in France, well travelled, relocated to Sydney in 1997.
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