Join Tracey and Anthony Cotterell with local Southern Forests Food Council guides to explore our very own gem, 300km’s from our 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.
PASTURED EGG EXPERIENCE
Charlie and Coleen have well over 3,000 chickens on their farm who must be among the luckiest in the world. We know they’re happy as the eggs these ladies lay are second to none and we are proud to use them in our cooking classes. With a genuine transparency you will be taken to the paddocks to see for yourself how the other half (of chooks) live!
Charlie has built many of the bespoke caravans where the chickens safely roost at night and where the fresh eggs are collected from each morning. This business is a real family affair with their 2 young sons assisting mum and dad around the farm when they are not at school.
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
With breathtaking views over Lake Beedelup, the recently renovated Lakeside Restaurant within RAC Karri Valley Resort offers visitors from far and wide a generous selection of dishes based on local and West Australian produce. Tonight’s dinner will be a select menu that focuses on the seasonal Autumn offerings of the Southern Forests, sourced from some of the growers you will be visiting over the course of your bespoke Food & Farm Tour. An introductory taste to the agricultural heart of this beautiful region.
HEIRLOOM PUMPKIN & SQUASH EXPERIENCE
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. They love the mix of visual beauty with fabulous old flavours which appeal to today’s discerning palates and are passionate about introducing heirloom vegetables to consumers; being greatly rewarded 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!
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 world’s largest Berry brands.They are 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’re 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 along the way!
LOCAL LUNCH EXPERIENCE
Established in 1990 to showcase the skill of local South West fine woodcraft artists, this gallery has long been an iconic tourism destination in the Southern Forests region. In recent years the adjoining cafe in partnership with local smoked goods manufacturer Holy Smoke has evolved to offer light cafe-style lunches incorporating their range of products and in-season local fresh produce.
Enjoy a platter style lunch after which a visit to the gallery will uncover the outstanding local timber artistry of local craftsmen and women.
ROBOTIC DAIRY EXPERIENCE
Home to more than 2,200 Holstein Fresian cows, this global leader in ethical dairy has an incredible story of pioneering hard-graft, community, dedication to quality products and cutting-edge innovative methods. this afternoon, we’ll look at their state of the art dairy and creamery that now operates with a sophisticated processing system using robotic milking technology, low-temperature pasteurisation and environmentally sustainable packaging.
LOCAL WINE BAR DINNER EXPERIENCE
With a relaxed, local-centric atmosphere and focus on local wines and seasonal Southern Forests produce, this couple opened their tapas and wine bar in 2017. Tonight’s dinner will be a selection of delicious small-plate dishes designed to capture the season and match with their local wine list offerings.
MARKET GARDEN EXPERIENCE
Tree-changers Jamie and Pippa moved to Pemberton in 2017 with the goal of growing and eating in-season, nutrient-dense local fresh food as close to its source as possible.Passionately believing in growing without the use of herbicides, fungicides or synthetic fertilizers, they established a small market garden on the principals of bio-intense growing methods. They now sell their produce to 10 local restaurants, regularly attend the local farmers markets and sell from their own roadside stall.
They love educating people about growing food, looking after the soil and caring for the bugs that care for us.
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, beef breeding 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.
LOCAL LUNCH EXPERIENCE
With a predominantly Italian family background, this chef recently returned home to the Southern Forests in April 2016 after a 16-year working history at Frasers restaurant in Kings Park, Perth. He opened his own place, the name he chose was inspired by two hungry willy wag tail birds that his daughters regularly fed. Focussing on sourcing from local producers, he offers quality cafe fayre with an Italian leaning and today’s lunch will give you a taste of his local connection and café offering in the region.
POTATO FARM EXPERIENCE
The farm of this third-generation potato growing family is situated in the beautiful Middlesex Valley of Manjimup. This area is renowned for its ideal growing conditions and rich karri soils where potatoes have been grown for decades. This afternoon, this dedicated young farmer will take you through his family story, the growing cycles, varieties they’ve chosen to grow and their recent independent branding initiative.
Passionate innovative and generous, this grower is a wonderful example of the next generation of Southern Forests primary producers adapting to change in a fast-evolving and demanding market place.
WOOD FIRED PIZZA EXPERIENCE
Included on our previous tours and back by popular demand, this well known wine producer of Italian heritage will be sharing his knowledge of traditional self-sufficient growing and food preservation passed down through generations of his family. Following a wander through the vegetable patch, enjoy a smorgasbord of home-grown and sun-dried tomatoes, cheeses and salamis paired with his award winning wines followed by home cooked wood fired pizzas.
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-minimalisation, healthy value-adding initiative.
MIXED FRUIT ORCHARD & SOUTHERN FORESTS FUNGI EXPERIENCE
Coming back towards Manjimup along the fertile Seven Day Road, we will be visiting a mixed fruit orchard producing everything from cherries, apricots and nectarines to passionfruit and figs. With strong Italian heritage the Guadagnino family have thrived in the Southern Forests since arriving in 1950. For over 60 years they have been growing delicious produce for the Manjimup community and is now available direct from the farm shop facility.
A recent exciting addition to the family’s diverse production is a variety of fungi. Today, next generation Jess and Adam will introduce you to their exotic range of unique fungi that have Perth chefs lining up to source!
LOCAL LUNCH EXPERIENCE
Today’s local lunch experience will be at Southern Roastings’ new café venue called ‘Park’. Park is located within the brand-new entrance building to the redeveloped Manjimup Heritage Timber Park that is also home to the Manjimup Visitor Centre and the Age of Steam Museum. As part of the Manjimup Town Centre Revitalisation Project, this new tourism drawcard offers historical exhibitions and displays that tells the story of the region.
Your local lunch platter experience will offer a variety of fresh ingredients and preserves that tells the region’s agricultural history in the making with as few fresh food miles as possible.
This third generation young and passionate primary producer who recently joined the SFFC Committee of Management, returned to the family farm in recent years and chose to diversify by including passionfruit; a fond childhood taste memory. Along with the infrastructure for growing, he has invested in the grading, pulping and value-added equipment necessary to sell jarred pulp into the retail market.
For our last farm tour of the day, you’ll be meeting Mitchell and talking and tasting all things passionfruit.
FINGER LIME EXPERIENCE
This retired physiotherapisc couple had been looking for a project for their self-sufficient farm and stumbled across finger-limes, otherwise known as citrus caviar. With two empty paddocks sitting idle on their property in Pemberton, they planted their first trees from parent stock in 2006. The fruit thrived and in 2011 they sold their first harvest in just 6 weeks, supplying eager Perth chefs.
Your experience of this fascinating and delicious native fruit will reveal the amazing popping-texture, beautiful lime green to pink colours and distinctive fragrant refreshing taste.
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.
WINE, OLIVE OIL, VERJUICE AND FAREWELL 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.
Your final farewell experience will be a tour of the vineyards and olive groves, tasting of the Kordic’s produce that clearly demonstrates their regional provenance together with a fortifying country morning tea for the journey back to the city.
Tour price includes:
Tour price does not include:
Simply complete the 2020 Southern Forests Registration Form and return to our office.
Print form, complete and scan back to us via email, photograph on your smart phone and text to Anthony 0409 969 920 or send by mail. We will then be in contact with you to confirm your booking.
You are welcome to call Anthony regarding accommodation details, you may just have questions about the tour or would like to express your interest.
Please be aware some experiences are subject to change. Occasionally, changes in service providers businesses are unavoidable and outside our control. We strive to present you with the best any destination has to offer at the time of the tour. All tour experiences are subject to natures seasonal weather.
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