20 Jan 2010 - 12:00 PM  UPDATED 6 Sep 2013 - 9:31 AM

If you pass a roadside stall selling fruit at this time of year and don’t stop, you’re probably missing out. Not all of them are totally brilliant, but for every miss there are several hits; stalls selling just-picked berries that are so good they make me giggle like a schoolgirl.

I would like to eat my raspberries like Audrey Tatou does when she plays Amelie in the movie of the same name. But I’m afraid I like them riper than that, so they’re tenderly giving up their juice into the bottom of the punnet and won’t slide over my fat digits.

My neighbour Mary has some sensational raspberries in her fridge, picked by her grandson. I visit her for cherries – the deep coloured, firm, beautifully flavoured variety, Van, is in season at the moment. As I drive up the hill to Puggle Farm I wind down the windows, gobble cherries and spit the pips out the window. It’s a trick I learnt from a neighbour; drive so slowly that you can devour most of a bag by the time you get home. Last year I spent time on the front porch teaching Nick’s daughter Tilla, at the age of three, how to spit the pips, both of us with our shirts off, sitting on the steps in the afternoon sun.

I found some incredible strawberries on the drive between Cygnet and Hobart the other day. Small, sour and sweet. Magical things that tasted like they’d been grown in earth, not water. I bought some others that had great flavour, without being very sweet, though the texture was dry. All they needed was to be warmed with a bare hint of icing sugar and to be served with a good dribble of raw, sweet, unpumped, day-old jersey cream. Which, thanks to Maggie, I still have plenty of.

Gooseberries are just finishing, though I’ve made some puree so I can have another fool in a few weeks time. The thing I’m most excited about is the abundance of black currants. Sold cheaply, they are so sour they can suck your undies up your bum. But cooked into a syrup and they’ll make plenty of cordial to see me through to the cooler months.

Not all the fruit is going to good homes. Apparently the market for cherry juice is dominated by cheap imports from Chile, so all the export reject cherries (those that have a dimple in the wrong place, or a stem that’s too short, for instance) are simply dumped.

I don’t like to see such waste, so I’ve spent days shovelling cherries to pigs. First crisp pink cherries beloved by the Japanese, now dark Van cherries. Hundreds and hundreds of kilos. You can measure the amount in tonnes. The pigs clack around the seeds, gorging themselves on the fruit. Last year I had a leg of cherry-fed pork at this time of year, and it was juicy, sweet and amazing. Mine will mostly end up at the market stall.

The garlic has been pulled and left to dry under the south side of the house. I think I under-planted. This amount, at the rate I eat it, will only last a few weeks if that. Next year I’ll get plenty more in the ground. Luckily a neighbour put in an acre of the stuff, so I think I’ll be able to get more when my stash runs out.