Local produce in the spotlight

Tom Ford is one of the local producers listed in the booklet.

Tom Ford is one of the local producers listed in the booklet.

Kathryn Sommerlad is on a mission to let people know about the great pockets of fresh produce available in the Tenterfield district. To that end she’s put together a booklet with all the contact details of those local producers, together with the times of the year their products are available.

While she acknowledges there are a number of outlets in the nearby Granite Belt, she’s focussing on the New England side of the border with locations extending out to Deepwater and Torrington and south to include Glen Olives.

“We need to promote our great local produce,” she said.

She said a lot of them have a small-scale operation and are often doing it out of love rather than chasing profits.

“There’s a lot of traditional knowledge and artisan practices out there,” she said.

“It’s important that they’re not lost.

Mrs Sommerlad would like to see more local produce celebrated, and is hoping the booklet will make it easier for restaurants and cafes to connect with local suppliers.

“If a chef comes to town they always seem to be time-poor but this will help them see at a glance what’s in season, with all the contact information to source it.”

Mrs Sommerlad is currently working on updating the reference. A copy was presented to each of the participants at the sold-out inaugural High Country Table gathering at Sunnyside Hall on March 11, and will again go to those attending the High Country Table’s Christmas in July at The Maze on July 22.

The updated version will also be made available for download at High Country Table’s Facebook page, but in the meantime through request at info@highcountrytable.com.au.

Tenterfield Shire Council’s tourism officer Caitlin Reid is also keen to stock the booklet at the Visitor Information Centre, considering local producers are a huge untapped resource to attract tourists.

She said food trails and farmers markets featuring local produce are very popular, and while we may not be Orange or Mudgee in that regard, perhaps we could be.

“It’s evident through High Country Table of the amount of quality produce that’s out there,” she said.