It pays to explore your suburb

Fresh poached eggs

A Start note

I started this post just before Christmas, then went on a lovely 2 week break. I was back at work for just over 1 day before the flood water rose in Brisbane to change things for while.  Our basement was flooded out and we had no power for about 5 days but we were definitely one of the luckier ones in our neighborhood.  I have been undecided whether to proceed with this post given all the devastation.  Sadly the property/business I am about to post about was also directly affected by the rising flood water. A quick look on NearMap shows the green houses and shed shop were inundated. Adhering to the call to stay away from flood affected areas I have not done a drive by yet. Plants are quite resilient to flood water and I hope that the crops, especially the garlic will survive. Thankfully the tomatoes were at the end of the harvest. At the time of my first visit Russell told us that he wouldn’t give up this parcel of land for anything.  I will post an update later on how Russell and the farm are doing post flood.

I am always amazed at what you can find in your own neighbourhood, when you take the time to explore.  My husband and I go on mystery drives. We grab a takeaway coffee and head off into the suburbs, turning left or right on a whim. It was on one of these drives that we discovered Corinda Farm Produce.  It isn’t actually called that, in fact I don’t even know the name of the business. The sign nailed on the tree states ”Farm Produce’ and lists the small window of opening hours.

This is a good find. Now I have a local source (3km from home) where I can buy freshly laid eggs, tomatoes, garlic and honey. Six acres of farm land is not what you expect to find in the built up suburbs of Seventeen Mile Rocks, Oxley & Corinda. The property is zoned open land and thanks to the creation of the adjacent bush reserve by the Brisbane City Council, it will most likely stay this way.

We met Russell, who runs the farm with his brother. At the moment they grow a few varieties of Roma and cherry tomatoes and russian garlic. The eggs come from the chooks you see roaming around the property and the dozen eggs  I bought, had been laid that morning.  I am looking forward to visiting throughout the year to see what other seasonal harvests become available.

Rows of tomato coming to end of the harvest

The Russian garlic is grown in pots

Most of the garlic is grown on 3/4 acre across the road from the main property. We were given permission to take a self guided tour of the place. There is also sugar cane and bee hives on the property.

We had a good chat to Russell who explained that he can’t compete on price with his produce, his efforts are focused on providing exceptional taste. We sampled his home made semi-sundried tomatoes, made with butterflied dehydrated small grape tomatoes.  He uses this variety as it has more taste than Roma tomatoes. Interestingly, he said that many of the sun-dried tomatoes readily available in the supermarket are made using imported dehydrated Roma tomatoes.

Russell has a passion for garlic and I have to agree with him that it is a fascinating plant.  While it is low maintenance to grow it is a longer term crop, taking about 9 months from seed to harvest.  He showed us the dried flower which opens up with age and changes colour and appearance to end up a big fluffy soft purple pom pom.  We tasted a little flower bud, it still has the distinct pungent garlic taste but is much softer than the bulb and quite palatable on its own. The flower can be used in roasts or tossed through salad.  Russell has been experimenting with using the garlic flower to infuse through olive oil.

Cute little night cap on the garlic flower

Large Russian garlic bulb. A few interesting facts - Russian garlic is milder than ordinary garlic and according to Burkes Backyard is an environmental weed in Western Australia.

Russell is keen to attract more customers to his farm gate. If you live anywhere nearby you should make the trip. I think it is exceptionally special to buy direct from the farmer where you can see the tomatoes hanging in rows, chooks running around your feet and feel you have escaped to the country only 11 km from Brisbane City.  It doesn’t feel like the suburbs, it’s a gorgeous little  pocket.

View from the driveway

Put a reminder in your phone as the opening hours are fairly limited. He is open for business:-

Wednesday: 10am – 5pm
Friday: 10am – 5pm
Saturday: 3 – 5pm

 

Try putting 110 Cliveden Avenue, Corinda into your GPS (this is pretty close). Be careful though as our GPS (and google maps) thinks Cliveden Avenue runs straight through to Oxley Road. This is not the case as the road is cut by a small park and you have to detour around to get to back on to Cliveden avenue on the other side.

Just a quick note :- After writing this post I went back a few days ago to get some more eggs on a Friday afternoon and the farm gate was shut.  I figured with all the recent rain the property was probably very soggy and this could have impacted harvests and/or schedules.

Don’t be put off by the long driveway. The place isn’t set up for passing traffic. You have to drive or walk down this long drive way that takes you behind the tomatoe greenhouse sheds.

There is no ‘shop front’ front signs, the produce is sold out of this shed. If no one is around, give out a holler.

At the moment you can also buy Russells produce at the Powerhouse markets in New Farm and Marina Mirage Farmers Market on Main Beach, Gold Coast. Although he is thinking of giving up the long commute to the Gold Coast and instead trying the Wednesday City Farmers Markets.

I can’t remember the last time I ate a freshly laid egg, so even though it was 4pm in the afternoon I decided to have an early dinner of poached egg on toast.

The trick to poaching eggs is to use fresh eggs. The egg white in old eggs becomes runny and does not hold together.

I cracked my freshly laid eggs into boiling water and they held their shape perfectly - no skill required.

Best eggs eva!!

In my research about egg use by dates and quality, I came across a good article in the Sydney Morning Herald online. It is written for Sydney readers  but the information and rating of egg features is interesting.

I do think that Corinda Farm Produce is probably a rarity in Brisbane city but I encourage you to get out and see what is available in your neighbourhood. Please share any discoveries in the comments below – I would love to hear from you.

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4 thoughts on “It pays to explore your suburb

  1. Carolyn says:

    Wow what a find! Russells farm must be a well kept secret! How great is that buying eggs straight from the source and laid that day! Can’t get any fresher than that, the lady next door brought an egg salad to our b-b-que, with the eggs laid by her chooks and the taste was so much better and sharper than the shop bought.Its fantastic you can have that in the city.

  2. livingdelilah says:

    My goodness, this is just amazing. I was on Cliveden Ave just two days ago and never would have imagined what I would find if I left instead of right away from my usual route. I will definately swing by on Wednesday to see how they faired. I’m sure if they do have produce survice, they’d need business asap to recoup any damages.
    Thankyou once again for your advice and reducing my Coles-conditioned ignorance another notch.

    • Isabella says:

      Let me know if you go round there and he is back open again. I hope Russell starts to get more passer by traffic so that his stall stays open – it really is so convenient and unique. Also thanks for the Nice Places link, as a relatively new blogger this is super appreciated!

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