Paddock-to-plate farm-based Tasmanian cooking school
The Agrarian Kitchen is situated in a 19th century schoolhouse at Lachlan, 45 minutes from Hobart in Tasmania’s Derwent Valley, Australia.
The Agrarian Kitchen grows and uses heirloom varieties of fruit, vegetables and rare breed animals in its cooking classes
Rodney Dunn and Séverine Demanet
Excerpt from web site:
The Agrarian Kitchen’s growing areas have been hewn from grazing paddock, securely fenced and tirelessly tilled to create a 500 square metre vegetable garden, an extensive berry patch and orchard.
The vegetable garden was first tilled by our own Wessex saddleback pigs to remove stubborn perennial weeds before being formed into beds. Paths are constructed of mulched tree trimmings from the property and lined with stones from our front paddock. The garden has been designed by local gardener and journalist, Paul Healy. The garden is now tended by our Gardening Team, Lee Farrell, Jethro Havenhand, Fin Fagan and Rodney Dunn using organic principles without the use of pesticides or artificial fertilisers. The garden is predominately planted with heirloom varieties and we are always on the look out for the old and interesting and are constantly experimenting with varieties, saving our own seeds where possible of the varieties that perform the best in our conditions, for example, at last count there have been over two hundred varieties of tomato.
We also have constructed two greenhouses where we grow a range of vegetables from raising our seedlings in late winter to early spring and planting them out to eggplants, melons, tomatoes, capsicums, chillies and heat-loving herbs in summer and autumn.
The berry patch pays homage to the local area’s history of berry growing and is constructed on around 180 metres of wire trellis system, including raspberries, boysenberries, loganberries, marionberries, silvanberries, tayberries, youngberries, gooseberries, blueberries and red, white and black currants.
The orchard is a mixture of heritage apples, pears, plums, cherries, apricots, peaches, nectarines, quinces and mulberries, each tree is a different variety and most are grown on a wire trellis in the form of espalier. The latest additions have been in the form of nut trees, including a Franquette walnut, many hazelnuts and chestnuts – a long term project.