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Andrew Rath from Bronzewing Native Pepper Farm, a property to be visited during the two day forum on native foods and botanicals.

Pepper hunger drives new cropping option – Opportunities for native foods and botanicals

Tasmania is “pepper-central” in the world of Australian native foods and botanicals (ANFB), and demand is outstripping supply. A Tamar Valley event on the March 8-9 is your chance to discover the possibilities of this booming new crop.

The two-day forum will focus on growing and marketing of Australian native edibles and medicinals. Research, cultivation, product to plate and export – as well as cultural issues – all will be covered in this event organised by Australian Native Foods and Botanicals (ANFAB).

This event is part of a national roadshow supported by the Australian Government-based Farming Together program and Tamar NRM’s federally funded Backyards to Broadacres Program.

Speakers will include Dr Chris Read of Diemen Pepper, who has worked for many years in the areas of essential oils and floriculture, as researcher, technical adviser and practitioner. He currently operates a mixed horticultural enterprise on his coastal property near Hobart.

Tasmanian bushfoods expert and horticulturalist Kris Shaffer of Five Kungkas will talk about cultural significance and respectful harvesting while Amanda Garner, ANFAB Chair, will discuss the domestic and export market opportunities.

York Town based distiller Philip Ridyard from Strait Brands is also championing indigenous Tassie ingredients along with sloe berries and hazelnuts included in their vodkas and gins. The company produces Tasmanian Native Pepperberry Vodka and an award-winning Strait Dry Gin made from an organic lemon infusion, as well as the world’s only hazelnut gin.

There will be a visit to Andrew Rath’s Bronzewing Farm at Underwood, a producer of Tasmanian Mountain Pepper since February 2011 and aiming for an expected yield of dried Tasmanian DEVIL Mountain Peppercorns® of 2000 kg/year.

The event will be held at Launceston’s TailRace Centre at 1 Waterfront Drive. The field trip includes bus transport and each day includes lunch. The per-day cost is $45 plus booking fee. Book through Eventbrite, and the link can be found on the promotional poster at www.anfab.org.au or @anfabau or www.tamarnrm.com.au
Greg Lundstrom Program Co-ordinator Tamar NRM PO Box 396, Launceston TAS 7250