City 2 Country Living.
City 2 Country Living. Teilah McKelvey

Paddock to plate experience

WITH an inability to stay indoors on weekends and my penchant for finding gems on Instagram, our weekends tend to be filled with trips near and far.

With two somewhat "willing” travel companions, the kids and I headed north to Hampton where the most picturesque farm Paddock to Potager resides.

The amazing little gem offers a farm-gate shop filled with an abundance of their own produce, along with that of many other local farms and artisans.

My children have always been pretty informed about where their food comes from and the May family farm offers the ability to see how real food gets to our plates. With a collection of very happy pigs in mud, the most adorable chickens (who knew chooks could be adorable?) a house cow and stunning kitchen garden, it's hard to not get lost in the crisp fresh air and immerse yourself in farm life. Now I will be honest, a drawcard for me is always coffee, so to be able to sit underneath an apple tree, sipping my latte, eating scrumptious pastries from The Baker's Duck and watching the children explore was definitely a Sunday well spent.

With a boot filled with delicious produce and mouth watering pork, we left with plans to return for children's Easter workshops and many more hours under the apple tree.

After someone who will remain nameless, aka Charlie, locked the keys in the car I thought my dream of a "quick” trip to Stanthorpe had been shattered.

But with a rescue mission from my parents (another super amazing perk of moving home) we set off south this time to see what we could find.

A tip I find invaluable when trying to convince the children that I am not just dragging them to fruit shops all day is parks! Each town has them and time spent at a few parks is fair for a few stops at fruit shops.

With the changing of the leaves imminent, the park by the creek with ducks and gorgeous walking paths making the perfect spot for a picnic, all you have to do is try not to eat all the goodies you have picked up before you even get home.

With my love for fresh is best, I have found an abundance of places locally, or just a sparrow's fart away, to keep our fridge and tummies full.

The tradition of the honesty box is a brilliant way to support local growers and I have a soft spot for one in Killarney.

If you follow the signs "Organic Vege” you will stumble across a home where the whole yard is a giant vegie patch and a fridge outside filled with delicious greens for salads and other seasonal goodies.

After spending an afternoon trying their homemade kombucha, sharing garden tips, and the children digging around in the worm farm. I can say it was pure gold to stumble across this little gem.

Thanks to the power of social media, all it takes is a shout-out requesting produce and I am regularly either invited over to locals' homes who have a surplus, or receiving deliveries from those who are more than willing to share.

Whether you're keen for exploring or staying in, I implore you to keep your eye out for local markets, co-ops and honesty boxes, and don't be afraid to ask if anyone has some to share. If you are feeling super adventurous why not pop into your local nursery and attempt to grow your own? In a world with the huge issue of managing food wastage, having the ability to share and support locally is one positive step forward. I'd love to end this by telling you I'm off to another fab location but in reality, the downside to spending days out is no one is home to do domestic duties, so the massive pile of dishes is calling my name.

'Til next time, T.