Local Produce

Author: Kombu  

We are lucky in Bellingen - one of the most climatically diverse regions on the East Coast. Although small (that is Bellingen Shire in red on the map) the climate varies from coastal plain through Bellingen Shirewsubtropical valleys and then climbs up to the dizzy heights of the Dorrigo plateau, then further up towards the highest peaks in Northern New South Wales close to Ebor. We range from locations that never see frost to others that get snow most years. With (almost) guaranteed rainfall and plenty of sunshine we get to see grass (and most other plants) growing like there is no tomorrow.

All that rain, heat and sunshine brings problems as well - and fast growing plants means fast growing weeds as well. We also see storms that can bring strong winds and damaging hail. Best of all we have a beautiful landscape - and many organic and chemical free growers who work through drought, flood and heat to bring us the best food they can. 

We get local produce arriving in store daily. The following pages offer a selection of some of the amazing produce we are priviledged to sell in store. 

Dorrigo Potatoes

By on 12 May 2015 click here to comment

The potato originated in the Andes at least 8000 years ago but it was only in the 1530s that the Spanish Conquistadors brought it back to Europe. However for a long time it was not considered acceptable as a foodstuff and in northern Europe potatoes were mainly grown in botanical gardens as an exotic novelty. In Elizabethan times it was served roasted in ashes or soaked in wine and then dressed with oil and vinegar and boiled with prunes which perhaps explains why it didn’t catch on as a vegetable for another 200 years! Although harde... continue reading

Local Pumpkins

By on 12 May 2015 click here to comment

The name pumpkin goes back hundreds of years. It originates from the Greek word for "large melon" which is "pepon." Pepon was adopted by the French and became pompon." The English then changed pompon to pumpion. American colonists finally changed pumpion into pumpkin, which then made its way back to England and thus onto Australia. Pumpkins are members of the Cucurbitaceae family along with zucchini, gourd, squash and cucumber. Technically a fruit, pumpkins have been in cultivation for more than 5000 years. Pumpkins grow well across our region. There are three main varieties grown here... continue reading

Dorrigo Apples

By on 3 March 2015 click here to comment

Although hard to grow down in the valleys and on the coast, the climate in Dorrigo, Ebor and the surrounding areas is ideal for growing that most popular of fruits - apples. There are four main varieties received into store and when in season we sell well over 100kg a week. Apples are a beautiful fruit - there are hundreds if not thousands of varieties, with stories behind them all. The four local varieties we sell are the: Fuji - our most popular apple. The Fuji apple originated as a cross between two American apple varieties—the Red Delicious and old Virginia Ralls Genet (sometimes cited as "Rawls Jennet") apples. Fuji apples are typically round and range from large to very large, averaging 75 mm in diameter. They contain between 9–11% sugars by weight and have a dense flesh t... continue reading

Local Citrus - Oranges

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As you will know it is citrus central in the Bellinger Valley. Almost perfect growing conditions means so much fruit and so many varieties - so we are going to focus on one at a time! This month.... Oranges . The orange (usually the sweet orange) is the fruit of the citrus species. The orange is an old fruit - in fact oranges were mentioned in Chinese literature in 314 BC. They are also popular - orange trees have been found to be the most cultivated fruit tree in the world. The trees are widely grown in tropical and subtropical climates (such as the Bellinger valley) for their sweet fruit. The fruit of the orange tree can be eaten fresh, or processed for its juice or fragrant peel. ... continue reading

Local Citrus - Lemons, Limes and Grapefruit

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As you will know it is citrus central in the Bellinger Valley. Almost perfect growing conditions means so much fruit and so many varieties - so we are going to focus on one at a time! This month.... Lemons, Limes and Grapefruit ... Citrus is a popular fruit in this region - and with good reason - it is ideally suited to our climate. It is not a new arrival either - recent research indicates citrus originated here in Australia, and also in New Caledonia and New Guinea. A lime ... continue reading