Join Tracey and Anthony Cotterell with a local Southern Forests Food Council guide to explore our very own gem, 300km’s from our very own urban doorstep. This is an autumn getaway that will be truly memorable. A genuine experience.
Maybe it’s the clear, crisp air. Or the extraordinary fertility of the soils. Maybe it’s the 365 growing days a year. Or the purity of the rainfall. Or maybe it’s a combination of all these things. Truth is no-one knows for sure. One thing I do know is farmers put their lives into agriculture, country folk seem to have something special in their souls. You will love getting to know them as you discover the treasures they grow, the jobs they provide and their commitment to bring us the end user an exquisite array of nutritious food.
Whenever you break an egg for breakfast, break open broccoli into florets or cut an avocado in half to reveal the milky smooth flesh you’ll be eating the best the state has to offer, in fact possibly the best on offer, period.
This bespoke tour is a collaboration with Southern Forests Food Council and has been specifically designed for our group. We are so excited to be working with this wonderful initiative funded by Royalties for Regions. this not-for-profit organisation does such an excellent job. Some experiences are only accessible for our group due to the close relationship SFFC has with its’ members. This tour does require a moderate level of fitness, as walking around farms, pack houses and nature experiences are included.
As this tour is within Western Australia the package price includes travel by private bus to our destination as well as accommodation at the Kingsley Motel Manjimup which has recently undergone a smart new sparkly refit.
WELCOME LUNCH WITH SOUTHERN FORESTS FOOD COUNCIL
Your hosts for the lunch will be one of the team from the Southern Forests Food Council Inc. (SFFC), a not-for-profit organisation established to represent the interests of local producers, culinary and agri-tourism operators and to foster the Southern Forests’ status as one of the nation’s key food bowls and culinary tourism regions.
The Southern Forests’ produces over 50 different fruits and vegetables, truffles and boutique produce, dairy and cattle farms, as well as award-winning wineries, and exceptional culinary experiences. The Food Council is playing a critical role in unifying the areas diverse producers through the creation of the Genuinely Southern Forests regional brand.
You will receive your welcome pack, and be provided with a full overview of the region and what to expect during your own Genuinely Extraordinary Southern Forests Food & Farm Experience.
FRUIT & NUT ORCHARD EXPERIENCE
The temperate Mediterranean climate of the Southern Forests is ideally suited to producing high quality, great tasting fruits and vegetables which are supplied both domestically and internationally. Today you will visit the family-owned and operated farm, by the ultimate couple duo and their children (3rd and 4th generation).
The farm includes a variety of tree fruits including apples, avocados, sweet persimmons (fuyu fruit), feijoas, chestnuts, walnuts, hazelnuts and macadamia nuts. Autumn is the perfect time to cruise around the farm in a purpose-built tractor and trailer, tasting the farms offering as you go. The perfect experience to kick start your tour.
CHECK INTO ACCOMMODATION AND REFRESH
DINNER AND WINE TASTING EXPERIENCE venue TBC
GREEN TEA EXPERIENCE
Located on the outskirts of Northcliffe, within earshot of the Southern coastline, an established avocado grower made the bold move eight years ago to diversify their agri-business to include a green tea plantation. Their family run estate now produces and processes high quality Sencha Green Tea on-farm into loose leaf, individual bagged tea and matcha green tea powder products.
As you will see and hear, the complex process of steaming, rolling and drying is time-critical to ensure the Green Tea oils which contain beneficial antioxidants are not lost. The proof of this of course is in the taste, which will conclude this extraordinary food and farm experience.
DAIRY CREAMERY & LUNCH EXPERIENCE
Milking cows have had a long history within the working food story of the Southern Forests region. From hand-milking to robotic milking automation; the local cream truck chugging along from Walpole to Manjimup to air-freight export into South East Asia, this industry more than most has demonstrated extraordinary adaptation in an effort to survive and thrive.
This dairy and lunch experience will demonstrate the entrepreneurial spirit and extreme hard-work of an early-settler local family of the Group Settlement Scheme origins that has founded so much of the agricultural success stories of the region.
PEMBERTON TROUT HATCHERY EXPERIENCE
From the early 1930’s, the development of recreational trout fishing of both brown and rainbow trout as a local food source and afterwards tourist attraction, has had a long and interesting history in the Pemberton area. What started out as a successful school science experiment, releasing ‘fry’ into the Eastbrook stream, became the focus of the volunteer-based Pemberton Acclimatisation Society. Building the Pemberton Trout Hatchery was a community volunteer lead effort that continued up until the 1970’s when the operations and management were handed over the State Government.
Today you’ll see the original ponds built in 1936 and be introduced to the life-cycle of this sporting fish that has been on the plates and in the smokers of locals and beyond for over 80 years.
This family agri-business was established in the early 1990’s, starting off in Bullsbrook, north of Perth supplying the local market in Western Australia. They now grow strawberries, raspberries, blackberries and blueberries in three locations supplying Australia’s major supermarkets and the worlds largest berry brands.
They are a family business, constantly on the lookout to adopt the latest horticultural methods and technologies and diversify their fruit varieties, which is the secret to their success today. Their philosophy is simple – you should be able to walk into their field at any time and eat whatever you want straight off the plant, knowing that what you are eating has nothing harmful and is healthy. Harvest manager Dougy will show you around the plantation, provide an overview of the operations and their seasonal worker Programme. You may even get to pick and eat a few strawberries on the way!
ORGANIC APPLE CIDERY & WINERY EXPERIENCE
A travelling English couple were one of the early pioneers in the Pemberton Wine Region, establishing their vineyard in 1987. Their fifteen-acre vineyard and apple orchard are managed based on organic principles and practices that have enabled a distinctive sense of place in their wines and ciders.
Established five years ago, their small orchard consists of four apple varieties selected specifically for cider making. This fruit, together with locally sourced apples produces a range of ciders and cider vinegar that includes both French and Australian styles, a non-alcoholic cider, a liqueur cider and traditional English farmers-style called Scrumpy. Being the oldest cidery in Western Australia, you’ll experience first-hand and taste the fermenting-magic that produces this region’s unique cider offering.
LOCAL PRODUCE DINNER
This local restaurant prides itself on showcasing the quality and diversity of produce from this amazing region. Your evening will focus around introducing your tastebuds to some of the produce you will visit during your stay, as well as other tantalising tastes and genuine food and drink experiences.
BRASSICA VEGETABLE & CAULIFLOWER RICE EXPERIENCE
From 400 pristine hectares near Manjimup, in the heart of the Southern Forests of Western Australia, a multi-generational family business has developed a fully vertically-integrated agri-business based on brassica vegetables, lamb and eggs.
Using a hybrid system of bio-dynamic and traditional products, they produce a variety of delicious brassica vegetables such as cauliflower, broccoli, red, green, Savoy and Chinese cabbages and kale together with beetroot and silverbeet. A recent addition is their newly launched ‘Cauliflower Rice’. A value-added product that utilizes the deemed second-grade cauliflowers into a sought-after couscous and rice substitute.
NATURE EXPERIENCE – KING JARRAH TREE
Located 4km east of Manjimup, the National Trust registered, 500 year old King Jarrah Tree is an example of early conservation efforts to protect significant tree species from the early timber industry. In 1910, local Manjimup resident Bert Blakers marked this tree ‘to be protected’ the day prior to being felled and then rode his pushbike 30km north to Bridgetown to speak personally to his boss Mr Brockman who agreed with his decision. Over a hundred years later, this 45 metre tall sentinel of the forest still exists today and is a testament to the drive of an early protector of the unique local natural environment.
MARRON & LUNCH EXPERIENCE
As with so many properties in the Southern Forests region, this mixed farm of marron dams, sheep, broccoli and potatoes, its origins in the beautiful Smithbrook sub-region came about through the Group Settlement Scheme. Operated by three partners with a 600 – 700kg per year harvest, this experience will offer a truly local fresh-from-the-dam on to the barbecue for lunch Marron experience served with the warmest of local hospitality.
POTATO & BEEF EXPERIENCE
Settled in 1925 after the failure of the Group Settlement Scheme in the Eastbrook area, a well-known and loved local Pemberton family started out with dairy production and then moved into potato growing shortly afterwards with addition of Angus beef. Migrating from Tirano in the Valtellina region of Lombardy, Northern Italy, the family have kept their long held strong and proud culinary and primary production heritage alive through the generations, adapting to modern markets and becoming vertically integrated under the Beta Spuds brand.
With strong and loyal commitment to the Pemberton community, visiting them is not without humour and the warmest hospitality.
HEIRLOOM PUMPKIN & SQUASH EXPERIENCE
Recently established in 2011 by a marine biologist and nurse, their passion is to grow rarely seen and unusual vegetables. If they’re strange, funky or otherwise different, then that’s their specialty. Their love of seeing visual beauty matched with fabulous old flavours also connects with today’s discerning palates. They are passionate about introducing heirloom vegetables to consumers and love it when their customers get excited about trying them and experimenting with new recipes. This experience will introduce you to a world of cucurbit vegetables you never knew existed!
LOCAL TAPAS & WINE BAR EXPERIENCE
With a relaxed, local-centric atmosphere and focus on regional wines and seasonal Southern Forests produce, this local bar opened in 2017 offering the community and visitors alike a modern small-plate dining and drinking experience like no other. Tonight’s dinner will be a selection of delicious tapas-style dishes designed to capture the season and match with their local wine list offerings.
FARMERS MARKET EXPERIENCE
First stop for your Saturday morning will be the Manjimup Farmers Market to taste and buy some of the regions great offerings. Enjoy the bustling Farmers Market featuring fresh, seasonal fruit and vegetables, value-added gourmet food, local wines and artisanal products.
Take this opportunity to meet the genuine down-to-earth locals who produce this genuine fresh local produce and other local offerings. You will have a chance to pick up your morning coffee too!
PASTURED EGGS EXPERIENCE
You will have the opportunity to visit a local egg farm and learn about their pastured eggs and what makes them so special. They are more than just free range, these are pastured eggs. Which means the hens are continually moved around the pastures behind the cattle in a rotational style system regenerating the pastures as they go.
This is in an amazing model of modern day sustainable farming and is a must see. Husband and wife duo along with their two young sons produce some of the tastiest eggs in the region. Meet the hens and tour through the packing facility.
FRUIT LEATHER EXPERIENCE
With a similar Group Settlement story origin to many in the Southern Forests, the 700 acre property in the Yanmah sub-region has seen early dairy cows, export cauliflower, cattle, sheep for wool production, plums and now the beginnings of a value-adding industry producing fruit leathers and snack bars.
14 of the 700 acres produce 15 plum varieties that in season are sold fresh throughout IGA supermarkets in WA. Seeing an opportunity to utilise riper fruit that would otherwise go to waste from his own property and others in the region, this producer set up a fruit leather and drying business. Today you’ll experience the beginnings of this exciting waste-minimalization, healthy value-adding initiative.
Being born into local families and with years of beef farming experience and a love of machinery, working 16 hectares after farming over 600 hectares is something this producer considers a hobby during retirement. Aside from propagating a berry bush they found but didn’t recognise, they planted nine fig varieties, including an unknown variety from cuttings of an ancient fig tree near Lake Muir they’ve called Rowley’s after Rowley Muir, a member of the early Muir pioneering family.
Today you’ll see and taste the varieties that are in season and hear their interesting stories of how their produce connects to the history of The Southern Forests region.
NATURE EXPERIENCE AND PICNIC LUNCH
Located on the Munda Biddi Trail, this property features famous trees of Commerce, Culture, Legend and Literature. It was planted between 1987 and 1993 and features 50 species over 9 hectares. The centrepiece of the wood is marked by four species planted as spokes of a wheel: Commerce represented by the English Oak; Culture by the Cedar of Lebanon; Legend in the European Ash and Literature is represented by the Laurel. The wood is mainly at the bottom of a hill and is an ideal afternoon stroll after a boxed picnic lunch. There are some old building ruins (1951) from past tobacco growing days there as well.
AVOCADO & GRAPE HARVEST EXPERIENCE
Manjimup has been home to this Macedonian family for more than 80 years with viticulture, dairy cattle and beef, mixed horticulture, potatoes, cauliflowers, beans and recently avocados. Here you’ll discover the story of this generational hard-working, community-dedicated family, taste the fruits of their labour, which at this time of year includes this regions celebrity fruit, avocados and wine-grapes for their award-winning wines.
SEASONAL AUTUMN DINNER TBC
OLIVE OIL, VERJUICE AND FARWELL MORNING TEA EXPERIENCE
What began with a passion for wine in 1987 for Vic Kordic, has blossomed into an operation producing award winning wines, extra virgin olive oil and verjuice. Brothers Paul and Mark Kordic now head the vineyard and produce cool climate wines with elegance and unique character.
This beautiful property boasts olive trees that are over half a century old, providing magnificent shelter for their vineyard. Handpicked and cold pressed, this stunning oil captures the pure essence of the variety and brings perfect spice and flavour into a gorgeous balance.
Enjoy a farewell country morning tea spread incorporating the abundant summer produce of this beautiful region before departure.
Tour price includes:
Tour price does not include:
PLEASE NOTE: All tour experiences are subject to natures seasonal weather and any change in operation of local businesses/suppliers.
2020 Autumn Southern Forests Food Tour EXPRESSIONS OF INTEREST now being taken. Let us know if you’d like to be kept informed regarding details of this tour as released. Email us from the contact form on this page.
Please call us at the office on 9319 1097 if you have any questions, we’d be delighted to talk.
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