We move the clocks in October, but I think the days are already long enough. Chickens are back on the lay (or in the pan if they don’t come on).
It’s a tough gig being a farm animal. When a boar doesn’t produce; when a rooster fails in his duty; and when an ewe, sow or chicken doesn’t live up to its potential, it ends up in the pot and on the plate. It’s not pretty, but at least this way, we know where our food comes from.
I adore this season with asparagus pushing its green nose up through the soil and the flowers overwhelming the garden. The bees, after a time of quiet, start to venture out from their hive again, filling the comb with sweet nectar. The honey I collect from the hive will be an individual and unique representation of Puggle Farm.
It’s lambing season, too. Lamb is killed all year round depending on the breed and location. In Tasmania, they’re born as early as August right up until October. The lamb we eat now, though, isn’t this year’s drop. At Puggle Farm, we don’t kill our lambs until they’re at least a year old, by which age, they are classed as hogget and the flavour is more robust than younger lamb. Most people call any lamb eaten now ‘spring lamb’ and that’s because they are born in spring. At the earliest, they’ll be eaten in autumn.
As the weather warms, it’s time for asparagus frittata, Mediterranean-flavoured lamb, cheesy bread with beer, and pizzetta cooked on a barbie. For something sweet, I’ll be making shortbread and a cumquat-scented trifle.
Photography by Alan Benson.
As seen in Feast magazine, October 2011, Issue 2. For more recipes and articles, pick up a copy of this month's Feast magazine or check out our great subscriptions offers here.