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Numerous recent awards and accolades have confirmed what
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Garry Kadwell planted his first batch of potatoes at around the age of 10, having collected the small tubers that had fallen through the grading equipment on his family’s farm, and planting them in an unused patch of dirt near a dam.
When he sold the potatoes, the burgeoning farmer – who this month was crowned Producer of the Year at the 2020 Delicious Produce Awards – cemented in his own mind what he had suspected since age five; that he wanted to be a potato farmer.
“I made a lot of money selling that first batch of potatoes,” the latest in a four-generation line of potato farmers explains, “which I thought was great. Of course, I didn’t realise dad also had bills to pay for things like fertiliser and seeds. But I’m one of those very fortunate people that’s known what they want to do from a very young age.”
On taking over the farm from his father, Kadwell implemented a program of regenerative agriculture techniques, including returning 32 per cent of the farm’s land (a number that’s still growing) back to native flora. The resulting improvement to the soil’s nutrient-packed composition, is what, along with the farm’s altitude and climate, Kadwell says produces not only a 30 per cent increase in overall yield, but a better tasting potato.
“We’d gone down a path with agriculture,” Kadwell says, “where everything had to look good and have a good shelf life, but it didn’t matter if it had no nutritional value or flavour to it. I was sick of seeing people eating inferior product.”
Switching the 1,730 acre farm’s environmental practices also saw Kadwell experimenting with a broad range of ancient potato varieties rarely seen in Australia, including the Produce Award-winning Andean Sunrise.
“It’s very closely related to a wild potato,” Kadwell says of the 8,000 year-old variety, more closely related to yams than modern potatoes. “Their origins go back into Peru, in the Andes. Nature always gives things good properties, and then we have this habit of trying to manipulate them.”
He believes the reason the golden-fleshed potatoes have gained such a following among chefs like Lennox Hastie, Neil Perry and Matt Moran (who has called them the best potatoes he has ever tasted) is simple.
“They actually have a unique flavour on their own. They’re not just a carrier for other flavours, where you have to cover them in butter or something else to get flavour into them. You could use them as the centrepiece of your dinner and just eat a bowl full of them.”
As for winning the Producer of the Year award, Kadwell says it’s affirmation that his passion and enthusiasm for his produce have been well-placed.
“I don’t ever do things in life for recognition or accolades, I do this because I believe in it and I love it. So to get an award like this is very humbling.”
Now in its 15th year, the Awards celebrate the country’s new, innovative, native and consistently outstanding Australian ingredients grown, caught, sourced or produced with dedication, passion, knowledge and regard for the environment.
This article originally appeared on www.delicious.com.au.
By Jason Dinsmore
View all articles by Jason Dinsmore
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It’s official – the Upper Lachlan’s potatoes and lamb are the best in the state! Competing with some of the highest quality produce in Australia, two producers from the Upper Lachlan have stood out from the rest and won State awards in the 2020 Harvey Norman ‘delicious.’ awards: in the ‘Earth’ category, The Gourmet Potato – Kadwell’s Andean Sunrise potato, and in the ‘Paddock’ category, Moorlands Biodynamic Lamb’s biodynamically produced lamb.
The Gourmet Potato – Kadwell is a partnership between Garry Kadwell and Wentworth Hill, which began three years ago. Varieties within the company’s range are grown in a biodiverse environment, cultivated topographically and protected by linking ecological zones. Over 30 per cent of the farm’s land has been dedicated to these strategically planted zones which help the crops grow and flourish in protected microclimates, while encouraging the colonisation of birds and beneficial insects to minimise crop destroying pests. The Gourmet Potato Website with full story, philosophy and product range is about to launch – keep your eye out here www.thegourmetpotato.com.au.
Moorlands Biodynamic Lamb is also produced using sustainable farming techniques, and without using pesticides, antibiotics or growth promoting hormones. Certified biodynamic production principles ensure that the full interrelationship of soil to plants to animals is considered in the care of the land and live stock. The result is farming that is ecologically friendly and produce that is organic and premium quality. For more information about this amazing local company, and to place your order for their award winning produce, visit www.moorlandslamb.com.au.
The “delicious. Produce Awards”, now in their 15th year, unearth and champion Australia’s best and most innovative primary produce and producers with an emphasis on provenance, seasonality and sustainable production methods.
Congratulations Winemaker Alex and his team at Collector Wines for being awarded Star Cellar Door and Best Small Cellar Door in the Canberra District in the 2020 Gourmet Traveller Wine Cellar Door Awards!
Gourmet Traveller commended Winemaker Alex McKay’s ability to craft delicate, acid-driven and age-worthy wines, such as the flinty and floral Tiger Tiger Chardonnay, the taut and textural Lamp Lit Marsanne, and the soft, powerful Reserve Shiraz, and said that ‘all of McKay’s wines were elegant and perfectly attuned to the cool off-white style and warm timber tones of this cosy and quaint cellar door’.
Collector Wines’ cellar door lies just out of sight of the big city lights, in the sleepy town of Collector, at the northern end of the endorheic Lake George. Naturally unassuming, Collector Wines shares its space with the super cute Some Café next door. As Gourmet Traveller recommends, order a tasty toastie and a good cup of coffee for lunch – right after a wine tasting, of course!
Congratulations to Taralga’s Hannaford brothers from Hannaford Oil for being awarded Best Mild Extra Virgin Olive Oil produced in Australia at the recent 2019 Australian International Olive Oil Awards! What an achievement!
The Hannaford olive grove is located on Wolgarup farm adjacent to the historic village of Taralga on the New South Wales Southern Tablelands. The Hannaford Family has been connected with Taralga for over 100 years. Wolgarup Farm has been in the family for over 50 years. Establishment of the olive grove commenced in 1998. Hannaford Olive Oil is owned by David and John Hannaford. David was an accountant who became General Manager of the Tresillian Family Care group of Mothers and Babies Hospitals. John was a lawyer who became a Member of Parliament and Attorney-General for New South Wales.
This is the third time in four years that Hannaford Olive Oil has received an award in the competition. The judges commended the oil’s “spicy, chocolate, vanilla, pear and almond meal on the nose. Excellent transfer to the palate. Clean and spicy flavours of star anise, ginger and nutmeg. An elegant oil with good length and a late warm ginger nut biscuit finish.” Sound delicious? You can pick up a bottle of the award winning oil at the Crookwell Visitor Information Centre, or go online to find a stockist near you www.hannafordoliveoil.com.
Along with our colleagues from Yass Valley and Hilltops, Upper Lachlan tourism staff spent three days at the Royal Canberra Show in March 2020 encouraging Canberrans to come and fill their empty eskies in the Southern Tablelands. We were amazed by the number of Canberrans who had never explored the region surrounding the ACT!
Under the ‘Taste the Tablelands’ banner, we unashamedly lured visitors to our stand using the irresistible smell of freshly cooked Gunning Butcher Shop pizza sausages, steak marinated in Crookwell-crafted ‘The Good Rub’ and freshly toasted garlic bread, combining sour dough bread from The Argyle Inn, with Hannaford olive oil and Calenny Orchard dehydrated garlic. Over these delicious sample and local wine tastings, we started the conversation about taking a short break and enjoying the many and varied things to do and see in our region. The reception was certainly encouraging with visitors to the show keen to support the surrounding district.
As an unexpected acknowledgement of the team’s hard work, we were awarded with second best commercial exhibitor for the 2020 Royal Canberra Show! Well done team and thank you to our amazing suppliers.
Drum roll from the New York based NYIOOC World Olive Oil Competition 2019 a global showcase for the world’s best extra virgin olive oils. A cavalcade of winners have been announced and standing proudly with head high is Australia’s ALTO Olives. ALTO scored a perfect trifecta!
The global panel of judges tasted 903 entries from 26 countries and awarded prestigious medals to three ALTO extra virgin oils. Top performer was ALTO Vividus scoring Best in Class and a Gold Medal. Not to be outshone ALTO Robust also won a Gold Medal, while ALTO Delicate received a Silver Medal.
‘The New York World Olive Oil Competition is one of the largest, most rigorous and significant in our industry. Such global benchmarking highlights the superior quality of Australian olive oil and endorses the ALTO team’s tireless efforts to craft exceptional quality extra virgin oils,’ commented ALTO proprietor, Robert Armstrong.
The ALTO Olives grove is located in the cool climate foothills of the Great Diving Ranges in the New South Wales Southern Tablelands.
Amongst steep competition our very own “The Argyle Inn” has been awarded a prestigious hat by The Good Food Guide Awards held in Melbourne last week. This is very exciting for Hugh Wennerbom and team as well as for the region as a whole. If you haven’t already been to The Argyle Inn in Taralga and you are in for a wonderful culinary experience in a beautifully renovated country public house. The inn is open Friday, Saturday and Sunday, to make your booking call 0448 402 008, email – firstname.lastname@example.org or visit theargyleinn.com.au .
Numerous recent awards and accolades have confirmed what locals already know: that the produce grown, made and created in our region is world class.
Collector Wines and Lerida Estate both took out prizes at the recent Canberra and Region Wine Show, hosted by the Royal National Capital Agricultural Society. The Show recognises the best locally grown and produced from wines across the Canberra region.
Collector Wines won the top prize for Best Chardonnay for their 2016 Tiger Tiger Chardonnay, as well as Bronze for their 2015 Reserve Shiraz. Lerida Estate was awarded Silver for their 2016 Shiraz Viognier, 2017 Canberra District Shiraz and 2017 Single Barrel Syrah. Seven of their other wines were awarded Bronze.
At the recent Sydney Royal Fine Food Show Olive Oil Competition Crookwell’s ALTO Olives took out 3 Gold, 9 Silver and 6 Bronze medals, including Champion Olives for their Wild Olives.
The Awards, which are judged by a panel of industry experts, recognise the State’s top table olives and olive products. Crookwell’s star baker Reta Beattie also won the Agricultural Societies Council of NSW Group 7 Rich Fruit Cake Competition held at Yass recently. She will now progress to next year’s Sydney Royal Easter Show where she’ll compete against the State’s top bakers.
On behalf of the council and the community I would like to congratulate the award winners for their fantastic achievements.
They are a wonderful recognition of the hard work, dedication and talents of our region’s producers and artisans.