One of the highly anticipated Tassievore events occurred last week, a tour of the Agrarian Kitchen garden by gourmet gun – Rodney Dunn. Rodney – an entertaining host and champion of the paddock to plate concept, had a lots say on growing: how and why. Based on the ‘Oooooh’s’ and ‘Ahhhhh’s of the 35 Tassievores present, a great time was had at the cooking school in Lachlan, just 10 minutes out of New Norfolk.
Starting in the herb patch (Mexican hyssop, apple mint and shiso cress!), we then got the low down on the smoke house, met the pigs and goats, explored the fruit trees and row upon row of berries, walked through two poly tunnels (tomatoes, cucumbers, aubergines and licorice basil all growing well!) and down the rows of planted out corn, beans, beetroot and lovage (aka “Celery on speed”). Fascinating tales were told: growing tobacco as an insecticide, the Agrarian Kitchen’s former life as a district school and perving on pigs.
What I was most happy to hear was Rodney’s common sense approach to local eating “I have no problem with eating a QLD mango in summer, but things we can grow here, we should be growing and eating here”. Amen bro! After an hour long stroll outside we popped into kitchen and had a sticky beak, checking out the wood fired oven, the cook book collection (650+) and customised rain coats – clearly the weather doesn’t get in the way of cooking school participants getting out and picking their own!
I had a really great time at the Agrarian Kitchen and can see why the cooking courses are so popular (Tassievore Sarah attended a class in 2011 and still gets dreamy eyed when the topic arises). A huge thank you goes out to all Tassievore’s who attended, and of course to Rodney and Séverine for hosting!