Paddock to plate to palate
Just short of an hour’s drive from Perth, Chittering is a place deserving of discovery, with sensational landscapes, delicious fresh produce and good wine.
I explore the best of the region on a guided familiarisation tour which follows the Chittering Farm Flavour Trail to celebrate the Chittering SpringFest. We cram in a line-up of gorgeous fooderies, farm and nature experiences.
We drive down twisting roads, past luscious green fields dotted with lambs. And old farm cottages perched on rolling hills. The streams are full and flowing and the canola is a carpet of gold. The dirt tracks are dusted with rainbows of wildflowers.
The Aspara-van at Wootra Farm
We visit the Aspara-van at the Wootra Farm for a tour and taste of the asparagus with the growers.
Peter and Colleen Osborn established their asparagus venture in 2015 with 500 crowns and now have 14,000.
The plants continue regrowing, most crowns are four or five years old and some good producers are up to seven.
The Osborns chose to grow in the rich Bindoon soil with the aim to produce delicious asparagus, picked fresh to eat fresh, limiting carbon miles.
Peter says they aim for the asparagus to be in water within half an hour of picking to keep it fresh and that chopping off the bottom is a handy tip to freshen up the vegetable.
Fun fact: Asparagus is high in potassium, so helps to lower blood pressure and it provides 25% of your daily Vitamin C.
Little Eeden Farm
We visit Little Eeden Farm Honey and Apiary, a place where locals and travellers alike journey far and wide to explore and taste their honey.
We meet the owner, Arno van Eeden for a delicious morning tea and honey tasting of his pure and unprocessed natural and infused bush honey.
Arno and his family immigrated from South Africa to Australia in 2005 and says “We sell a story, we don’t sell honey. People enjoy our story; they enjoy where we come from.”
Little Eeden Farm has a sophisticated repertoire of weird and wonderful honeys. I try the Chilli, Ginger and Garlic Honeys, but the Passionfruit Honey is definitely my favourite.
The Farm is open Saturday and Sunday from 10am-4pm, offering honey tastings and light lunches, coffee and cakes.
We call into The Orchard for an orchard tractor ride in the pouring rain! In less-than-ideal conditions we squeeze in to avoid the rain and the reaching mandarin branches throwing fruit in our direction.
Along with a few near boggings, we learn how the fruit is grown as our guide plucks mandarins and oranges off the tree for a taste test. We arrive back at the packing shed and try delicious fresh juice.
The best time to visit is between May and November when there are lots of oranges and mandarins to pick. Lemons, figs or pomegranates may also be available from December to April.
The one-hour Orchard Tour and Tractor Ride is available Friday to Sunday each week with session times of 10am, 11:30am, 1:30pm and 3pm.
Tickets are $12 for children and $20 for adults and must be purchased online before arrival.
The Orchard is also hosting their Long Table Dinner on September 17, where guests will indulge in a gourmet four-course meal. Tickets are $130 per person.
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