By Peter Kenyon
unpeeled.pressApr 30, 2022
Pod 16: Culture baked in - Silver Creek Sourdough
Beechworth has a famous bakery. But in this small NE town there's another, less famous and much smaller bakery called Silver Creek Sourdough. Louise Ritchie is a local artisan baker making great bread, pizza bases and crumpets. Her bread has gained a real following and some of her goods are being sent far and wide.
This short episode introduces us to Lou and why she does what she does.
Pod 15: Growing gold in Beechworth
Goldfields Greengrocer has been a Beechworth institution for decades. Family-owned and community-oriented, this small greengrocer adds value all along the local food chain. In this episode I talk to owner Kathleen Stackpole about her business.
Pod 14: Connection to country: terroir
Wine is frequently celebrated and understood for its connection to landscape. It reveals time, place, landscape and maker. Beechworth is regarded as one of Australia's premier wine regions. One of the smallest wine denominations in the country, its premium wines are almost entirely estate-crafted and bottled from hand-picked fruit. With a second generation of winemakers coming onto the scene, in this episode I talk to Phoebe Grant, Beechworth's youngest winemaker, articulate, and now creating her second vintage.
Pod 13: Sizing up to stay on top
Keith Nightingale has been growing apples for 68 years. From 20 acres in Doncaster he and his brother stepped up to 100 acres at Wandiligong in Victoria's alpine North East. Since then they've expanded their Wandiligong orchard to almost 170 acres with more trees in the nearby Buckland Valley, Stanley and Batlow in NSW. Keith is not shy of investing in what he sees as necessary to stay ahead of the game. By North East standards, the Nightingale's Alpine Orchards are the largest in the district however they are far from large compared to more industrial scaled producers further afield. In this episode Keith tells me about their very impressive family operation.
Pod 12: Value is more than money
Charlie Showers and Jade Miles eat a lot of apples. As heritage apple growers in Stanley, you might say apples have completely bitten them. Like me, they've watched apple orchards being torn out and felt more than a vague, passing sense of sadness. Astute, clever and hard-working, they've thought it through and felt the need to take a stand. Inspired by what they've seen overseas, including in Vermont in the North East of the United States, at Black Barn Farm they're celebrating the seasons, connecting with old ways of doing things and sharing their story.
Pod 11: The high cost of staying on the front foot
Henry Hilton from Snowline Fruits is the last full time, career apple orchardist in Stanley. He's regarded by many in the industry as one of the best apple orchardists in Australia, with a clear insight into what apples grow best and how to grow them using the latest techniques.
Pod 10: The growing scale of growing apples
Rob Tully is a fifth-generation apple orchardist and also the last. Three generations of Tullys grew apples in Doncaster, now suburban Melbourne. In 1955 Rob's father shifted operations to Beechworth and Rob eventually took over their sizeable orchard, producing premium apples for the local and export markets until 2016. Now all that remains is a 600 tree block of pears.
Pod 09: Evolving landscape: mines, pines and apples
The Thompson family grew apples near Stanley for most of the twentieth century. Retired orchardist Giff Thompson recounts that his grandfather and father saw the end of gold mining and the expansion of Stanley's pine forests. At the same time, the Thompsons' orchard grew from just a few hectares in 1900 to almost 50 hectares when sold in the last 1980s. Giff and his brothers were a vital part of Stanley's farming economy, supplying local, interstate and export markets with fruit. Their ownership saw exports to Europe, increasing economies of scale, automation and the introduction of controlled atmosphere storage.
Pod 08: When Cole was Stanley's king
Peter Chambeyron's family has grown apples in the small horticultural community of Stanley for almost a century. He's tranformed Europa Gully Orchard as a pick-your-own business offering a variety of heirloom apples, cherries and - from 2021 - potatoes. Peter tells me stories of Stanley's rich apple-growing heritage and some of the old varieties that he still grows with bigger markets in view.
Pod 07: Beechworth juicing apples yield clear opportunity
Once prolific around Beechworth-Stanley, apple orchards have been disappearing from the landscape over decades. Andy Christesen is the last commercial apple orchardist in Beechworth and fortunately for us still producing table fruit and his delicious clear and cloudy apple juice on site. I spoke to Andy about apples, apple growing and the future.
Pod 06: Yackandandah pair happily heads underground
Now closed, Lauren Salathiel and Chris McGorlick ran their cafe Saint Monday as a 'third place' in Yackandandah, where community culture - both arts and food - flourished. They tell me about their passion for community through food and their latest venture, a market garden for hyper-local Yackandandah food called Happy Underground.
Pod 05: Joan bowls some home economy
Beechworth's Joan Simms OAM discusses home economics with me, how it was taught via the New South Wales' government's agriculture and education portfolios and provided pathways to leadership for young people through the 20th century.
Pod 04: Beechworth Natural Farm sprouts fresh ideas
Ada and Pat Mickan talk with me about their certified biodynamic Beechworth Natural Farm where they produce fresh vegetables for the local market.
Pod 03: Jack's Wangaratta beans talk
Jack Herry grows fresh vegetables for the local market on rich soil in North Wangaratta. Herry's Harvest is a passion and a life purpose for Jack.
Pod 02: Lawyer shovels into high-value land
Matt Grogan, a Staghorn Flat market gardener and Beechworth lawyer, discusses the challenges of growing food in a region of high valuable land.
Pod 01: FoodShare chief talks food insecurity
More North East Victorian and border community residents suffer food insecurity. The bushfires of summer 2020 changed the way our region's food relief agency went about its business. Now COVID-19 has had its own impact. FoodShare chief executive Peter Matthews talks with unpeeled.press about the implications.