Recently we paid a visit to the Kumbia growers of South Burnett Region. It was a perfect day to travel North, sunny and around 32 degrees. On our way up, we stopped off at Somerset Regions Wivenhoe Dam for a quick coffee break and of course to take in the panoramic views. Recreational activities are jam-packed with walking trails, picnic spots, boating and much more. We’ll definitely be back to see more of Lake Wivenhoe.

Tucked in beneath Glen Rock is the beautiful little town of Esk. It boasts eclectic cafes, gift and antique stores including the Trading Post where we found lots of cool stuff! As we were on a tight schedule we continued on our merry way and stumbled upon a roadside farm stand. Local resident and fresh produce lover Pat helps growers sell fresh fruit, picked straight from the farm. We couldn’t resist the temptation to fill our bags with bananas, lychees and strawberries to munch on the way.

We finally arrived at our destination and were pleasantly surprised with the Kumbia growers progress after the huge Boxing Day hail storm. What a relief it was for the Francis family who completed their restoration on the packing shed.  Pictured here is the shed roof torn away. The Dugdell family on the other hand, unfortunately, had more devastation with hail net, shed and crop damage with another several months of restoration. The Kumbia growers have planted more fruit trees and there’ll be lots more juicier stone fruit next season.

Bunya Mountains

The Bunya Mountains is a place not only known for its breathtaking views of the Darling Downs but it boasts exotic fauna and Queensland’s famous Bunya-Bunya Pine; a tree known for its cultural significance and one of the food sources for the Aboriginal People. A fully mature tree grows up to 45m and produces many cones that bear fruit which is called the bunya nut.

After a good walk around the area, we were famished and ready to have dinner. We dined at the Lyrics Restaurant and Bar and met friendly owners Wayne and Eleanor. After a sumptuous dinner, we decided to taste test the Bunya nut. It was an interesting flavour, similar to that of a chestnut. By this stage we were ready for some rest in our hidden little cottage tucked in between a bunch of Bunya trees. The Bunya Mountains is one special place and one that you could definitely revisit time and time again.

Fuji apple Offerings

Chinese New Year is the most significant of holidays in Chinese culture. Families are brought together for a feast and to honour the household and heavenly deities as well as ancestors. Amongst the rituals, there are certain foods including the Fuji apple which signifies good fortune and is offered to the deities and ancestors as well as other fruit. Friendly greengrocers in the Sunnybank region of Queensland, Welcome Fresh Food, Formosa Asian Market and High Fresh Supermarket supported our Aussie growers Nicoletti Orchards by ranging super tasty Fuji apples in their stores.

As part of the Chinese and other Asian cultures, Sunnybank Plaza hosted the traditional vibrant Lion Dance with a troupe playing different drum tunes that mimic a lion’s movements in a lion costume. It was a spectacular performance as they moved from store to store and finally to the greengrocers. I was honoured to present to a lion a bright red envelope and a Fuji apple. This brings good luck and fortune. Let’s hope that this year delivers exactly what I hope for.

Autumn Fruit

Are you passionate about persimmons? Well, we’re only weeks away from Stanthorpe’s Terry’s Sweet Persimmons harvest and it’s going to be a bumper season folks. Persimmons are a bi-annual crop which means every two years the crop almost doubles. Terry and his wife Susan are proud of their orchard having dedicated many years of hard work to produce a superior flavourful fruit. Head to the grower’s profile Giacosa Family to learn more.

Interesting fact

Did you know that eating an entire apple including the skin can help promote good health! The skin contains polyphenols, fibre and antioxidants and is good for our bodies. Find out more at Aussie Apples and get crunching on a Nicoletti Orchards apple today!

P.S. Don’t forget the Kaso Plums new varieties Aussie Belle and Red Candy both yellow centred and ah-mazing are in and you can find them in local fruit shops throughout South-East Queensland. Enjoy the stone fruit and apple season everyone!