In October, we joined Sally from Herbaceous Tours on a drive south of Hobart to the Huon Valley and D’Entrecasteaux Channel region. During the day we met many gourmet food producers, tasted many artisan products, and we promised to write articles about each individual place. So far we’ve published features about Hartzview Vineyard and Nutpatch Nougat. And today, it’s time touch base with Kelty Farm.
Kelty Farm: Tasmanian Organic Produce
Sally introduces her tour guests to many farmers, makers and growers who would otherwise be off-limits to the public. Rex Williams from Kelty Farm is one such farmer, and I feel quite lucky to have seen his property and his animals. It made for a great first stop on what turned out to be a very substantial day of gourmet sampling.
The primary food produced under the Kelty Farm brand is certified organic, free-range meat. Black Angus beef, Berkshire and Wessex Saddleback pigs are raised on the property at Woodbridge, about 40kms south of Hobart. On the day of our tour, the humans seemed way more interested in meeting the pigs, than vice versa. Once they realised we didn’t have any apples to offer, they soon lost interest.
Rex Williams: Growing Beef, Pork and Apples
Rex Williams is involved in the entire food production process, including processing the meat at the local butcher. Kelty Farm beef and pork is processed locally at either Cradoc Hill Abattoir or N C Griggs & Co Butchery in Huonville. Besides the regular and upmarket range of meat cuts, Kelty Farm produces sausages made from a combination of their own beef and pork. Still organic, they’re also free of all nitrates, full of natural flavour and totally Tasmanian!
Although the meat is not sold directly from the farm gate as such, you can bulk order or request special cuts (either direct sale or wholesale trade) from Rex Williams. You can also source Kelty Farm meat in good Tasmanian food stores. The beef and pork products are sold in vacuum-sealed packaging, and the cryovac bag system apparently offers a longer refrigeration life and a tender eating experience.
D’Entrecasteaux Channel: The Outlook is Good
Kelty Farm is not a bad place for Rex Williams to live and work. The property commands a stunning view over the D’Entrecasteaux Channel and Bruny Island. Making the scene even more picturesque: 17 hectares of apple orchard, and the region was in full blossom during our visit.
The 100% organic apples grown on site are sold through Trial Bay Orchards at Kettering or used as fodder for the pigs. I should have asked whether feeding apples to the pigs resulted in pork with an apple sauce flavouring.
Apple varieties produced at Kelty Farm are a combination of both heritage and modern varieties. They include Royal Gala, Jonagold, Granny Smith and my personal favourite apple of all time: the Pink Lady. I love the name and I love the taste!
Being a certified organic farmer, Rex Williams is an expert in growing fruit without the use of pesticides, herbicides or artificial fertilizers. He was happy to share his experience and answer questions from keen gardeners on the tour.
Sally offers a tremendous service to the gourmet food industry of Tasmania. By allowing access to her tour groups, producers can introduce their culinary specialty to potential new customers. I know I’m always very excited to see a product on the shelves when I’ve been to visit the grower in person. And I’ll certainly be keeping an eye out for anything with the Kelty Farm label from now on.
Think Tasmania was able to visit Kelty Farm as a guest of Herbaceous Tours. For more information or to book your own Tasmanian food and wine experience, visit the Herbaceous Tours website, email Sally Legosz or phone 0416970699. You can also follow Herbaceous Tours on Facebook.
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