Autumn can the best time of the year in Canberra, especially when those brisk early mornings are followed by sun-filled days. The time is ripe for our second olive harvest. Here on the farm we have 300 Correggiola trees in an olive grove that spans two hectares. Our olives are carefully harvested by hand in order to deliver pristine olives to the mills on the same day they are harvested. Once the restaurant and cellar door open later this year, we’ll be selling our Pialligo Estate extra virgin olive oil. It is a medium Tuscan style, grassy with a peppery finish —perfect on salads.
Michael Thomsett, the horticulturist on our team, is in charge of the olive grove and orchard, as well as the market garden and vineyard. A graduate of Hawkesbury Agricultural College, with ten years experience as a judge at regional and national shows for olives and olive products; as well as having managed a large olive grove in NSW for a decade, he has a solid background in his field of expertise.
This weekend we’re picking the rest of the pumpkins and the last of the zucchinis. There are Japs, Queensland Blue, Butternut and Jarrahdale pumpkins galore! This was our first year growing Giant pumpkins and we’re looking forward to being a contender in next year’s Collector Village Pumpkin Festival. Once all the pumpkins have been harvested, the green manure or vegetable will be ploughed in and we’ll plant a grass and legume mix to add organic nutrients to the soil. In springtime, we’ll plant a range of vegetables and herbs for the cellar door and to provide fresh produce for the restaurant. There will be lots happening, so watch this space.
We’re in full production curing and smoking bacon at the moment. Our dry-cured bacon is produced to an age-old recipe that master-smoker Peter has brought back to life using his secret blend of spices, which results in unsurpassed quality and flavour of award-winning standard. The purpose of dry curing is to salt the pork in order to reduce the moisture levels in the meat. This is a different method to modern techniques. We do not pump, brine or inject our meat with all those unpleasant preservatives. Hence, when you cook our products, there is no nasty residue leaching out.
Pialligo Estate bacon is available in Canberra from IGA supermarkets in Campbell and Ainslie, Deli Planet at the Fyshwick Fresh Food Markets, TwentyOne Café and Grocer at Nishi, More than Meat butchery at Westfield in Belconnen, and Essential Ingredient in Kingston. For those who enjoy eating breakfast out, our bacon is served at Lonsdale Street Roasters, 38 Espresso in Kingston, and Penny University in Kingston.
Food enthusiasts in Brisbane take note: fino food+wine is distributing our bacon and you will find it at The Standard Market Company in Newstead and Fortitude Valley, Ingredients at Kenmore Village, Naturally Fruit in Taringa, and Zone Fresh in Windsor.
Work continues on product development in the form of hams, a delicious range of gourmet sausages, and Peter’s traditional white pudding. Stay tuned for more news in coming weeks. In the meantime, it’s back to work for us. As they say, there’s no rest for the wicked.
Charlie and Peter.