Naturopath Gina Oliver and recipe developer Meaghan Tarrant met at an organic grocery store in 2007, bonded over local produce, and today are the creative foodies behind Harvest, a blog with a big-hearted love of delicious food and sustainable farming. The two women are passionate storytellers and cooks who weave together tales of inspiring farmers, with easy, healthy recipes for every season.
“I believe everything in moderation; I’m not interested in labels or restrictions, just good food prepared as close to its natural form as possible,” Meaghan tells us. “I love Michael Pollan’s quote: ‘Eat anything you want, just cook it yourself!’”
Who inspired you to be so passionate about food?
“My friends. Food has always been a common interest with every close friend I’ve made over the years.” Gina
“Mum and my sister. Mum would always invite us kids into the kitchen to help her prepare meals, bake treats and share food with family and friends.” Meaghan
Why did you start your beautiful blog?
“I originally wanted somewhere central to direct my naturopathy patients to cook good, wholesome meals. I asked Meg if she wanted to help me; we’d been cooking and eating together for years and I knew she was well versed in the blogging realm. It turned out she had already been thinking of the same idea!”
“My partner, Julian Dolman, takes our lovely photos and is the main driving force for the farm visits. Capturing people in their natural habitats is what he does best. Learning where our amazing food comes from – and what the farmers go through to supply it to us – is a life changer for how we eat and appreciate food.” Gina
What do your friends beg you to make?
“My sister loves it when I make a chocolate-and-prune cake – a recipe we recreated after the most memorable piece of cake I’ve ever eaten, down in a lovely town called Cygnet, about 30 minutes south of Hobart, Tasmania.” Gina
“I have a few good salad recipes up my sleeve, which friends often request. However, when the weekend rolls around, no-one ever says no to ricotta pancakes!” Meaghan
What five ingredients are always in your pantry?
“Tahini, apple cider or red wine vinegar, oats, ricotta and eggs.” Gina
“Almonds, coconut oil, sumac, pearl barley and miso.” Meaghan
What are you learning and loving about healthy eating?
“It’s about paying attention to how you eat, not necessarily what. I used to be such a mindless eater and would eat far more than my quota. But now I’m paying heaps more attention to when I’m actually hungry and eating slowly.” Gina
“I just love that wholefoods are popular again! So many cafés and restaurants are adopting a simple approach to cooking and coming up with some amazing results. There is so much flavour and beauty in the simplest of vegetables and grains.” Meaghan
“... actually does taste better than junk food.” Gina
“... doesn’t have to complicated, boring or expensive.” Meaghan
What are you excited about this year?
“Supporting growers in the pristine areas of Victoria who are dedicated to providing others with the best quality produce. I love shopping at my local organic store and supporting small grower initiatives like Grown and Gathered, dreaming of the day when I’ll be living in the country surrounded by fresh air and perfect soil so I can start growing my own produce again.” Meaghan
Harvest's top picks
Kitchen Farmacy Editor Kris Franken