YARNING at WILDE FOODS
This is the story of how Wilde Foods came to be and how we ended up in Carneys Creek.
So, I’m a City girl born and bred (but that’s another story) and the love of my life or DDH (Darling Dearest Husband) is a second generation Farmer (or Food Producer as he prefers to be called). We met and married on Tamborine Mountain, Queensland. He was a Sharefarmer (you lease the land) growing Avocados and Rhubarb. I was a Self-Employed Technology Tutor. I had been learning about and growing native foods as a hobby for about fifteen years previously.
With DDH’s encouragement, I started growing foods and developing recipes for products from them.
Around that time there was a Food Fiesta competition that was to create a plant based meal. One of my good (or bad – depending on your point of view) qualities is that I can’t keep my mouth shut. I asked the organisers why there was no Native Food based meals and the answer came back that I should create one myself for submission. We submitted “Rainforest Symphony”, which made it through to the Finals and won the competition!
Included in the meal was our Pickled Warrigal Greens and Macadamia Nut Pesto and Brandy & Black Apple (a native fruit specific to South East Queensland and Northern New South Wales), which have since become our staple products in our range.
Fast forward about two years and we decided to sell everything we had to get out of the Mortgage Rat Race and buy a piece of land so that we could put down roots. Literally. We lived in DDH’s motorhome and began a diligent search for property. It had to be as near as possible to rainforest, so I internet surfed for real estate near the Border Ranges. We had become a part of the Eat Local program in the Scenic Rim (we’re in the second Eat Local Book – and THAT’s another story too), so I didn’t want us to lose the small following we had, by moving out of the Scenic Rim. To cut a long story short, we had no luck finding anything in our price range and were all set to widen our search range to over the border into NSW, when Covid hit and the borders closed. So the decision to stay within the Scenic Rim was made for us.
I had found some properties online and Carneys Creek was on the shortlist. We did the Goldilocks thing with the shortlist – this one’s too big.. this one’s too small… this one’s too steep.. this one’s too flat/prone to flooding.. but when we came and investigated this one, DDH walked around excitedly pointing and waving. I didn’t need much convincing. I reasoned that if a Farmer of DDH’s calibre is excited about a piece of land, then it must be the right one.
We bought the property in May 2020 and since then we’ve put in a bore; built a shed, which we camped in for four days out of the week while we worked our other jobs the rest of the week; planted pioneer trees to shade our rainforest trees; moved an old Queenslander onto the property and renovated her; planted crops of Black Apple trees, Davidson’s Plums, Avocados and Warrigal Greens all of which I’ve propagated from seed; planted a native food forest; and planted about 900 indigenous trees to feed koalas and regenerate the property.
Of course, there’s still plenty to do, so you can follow our progress in the Blog below.
See you in the next instalment.
There I was, literally like Jack and Jill, rolling down the hill.. till I came to a sudden jolting stop about halfway down. No, I didn’t break my crown, I just sat there and sobbed.