For those of you in Sydney or who read the Sydney Morning Herald, we had a great article appear in there on Friday, written by one of their regular columnist's, Steve Manfredi. If you don't get the Herald and are interested in reading the article, here is the link: http://smh.com.au/lifestyle/cuisine/cooking-with-borlotti-beans-20120312.html.
Michael and I had the chance to meet Steve at our Sydney launch and we were thrilled to meet a chef with such a passion for local, seasonal and fresh food. Steve has run and currently runs an assortment of successful restaurants + is a succesful author and entrpreneur in his own right. To see his detailed bio, visit: www.manfredi.com.au.
Thanks for the coverage Steve! It was lovely to meet you and we appreciate the support.
We were thrilled to see the Weekly Times has just done a lovely story on our beans. If you would like to view the link for the article, here it is: http://www.weeklytimesnow.com.au/article/2012/03/07/451511_print_friendly_article.html.
The article has come at a great time. We got 3" of rain this week and the Patch 3 beans are absoutely loving it. They've plumped up beautifully and are almost begging to be harvested.
The moisture in fresh beans is something to behold and one of the many benefits of our stay-fresh packs is they seal in the bean's natural moisture. If you have a fresh bean and take it out of the shell, it actually noticeably dehydrates overnight. Locking in the freshness is one of the reason's our Edible Gems fresh beans don't require soaking before cooking!
I wrote a few days ago about how we had lost the borlotti bean patch 2 to the heat. One thing we’ve learned in the world of this brand new product – when the borlotti’s are ready…they are ready! They wait for no person, no machine, no packline, nothing! While heartbreaking to plow the entire patch under, we are learning everyday.
We are currently waiting for Patch 3 and we hope to be away with Edible Gems freshly shelled borlotti beans in-store. Our ‘fans’ have been so patient – we can’t wait to get the beans to you.
Sometimes farming is filled with joy…and sometimes it brings disappointment. As stone fruit growers, there is often no greater pleasure than sharing, eating and enjoying a beautiful, ripe, stone fruit and knowing that we’ve grown it. Or doing in-store demos and talking to people whose kids love our fruit. It is truly amazing to create food.
Sometimes however, there is also disappointment. As anyone following this blog would have noted, we’ve been nurturing our brand new crop, borlotti beans, since October last year. The goal was to have our Edible Gems Freshly Shelled Borlottis in-store this week – 20th February. Unfortunately, the beans were ready a week ago, but the pack house wasn’t and much to our sadness, we’ve lost patch 2. It has produced beautiful dried beans that still taste amazing, but the moisture that makes a fresh bean plump and edible is gone. Zapped by the heat. So…we now wait for patch 3.
At the risk of jinxing ourselves, we are aiming for the first week of March. Patch 3 should be ready as should the packhouse and fingers crossed, we will be ready to roll.
For those of you who have made contact and have been waiting and supporting us so patiently, keep hanging in there. They will be worth waiting for.
As farmers, Michael and I are pretty new to this social media business. However, I’ve always loved to talk and share recipes and to some degree, this is the part of social media that really appeals to me. The chance to meet people from near and far, and connect over good food, good products and interesting ideas and recipes.
So I am thrilled to pass on the following link from Nat Kringoudis. She’s been playing with our Edible Gems and doing an amazing job of creating recipes. She’s recently created a Beanie-licious Brownie using Edible Gems and our freshly shelled borlotti beans! Check out the photo and the recipe here (http://melbournenaturalfertility.com.au/2012/02/beanie-licious-brownies/). I’ve always wondered if our fresh beans could go sweet and Nat’s recipe is proof they can. Thanks Nat for bringing the sweet side of borlotti beans to our attention.
20 Feb 2012: Days to Harvest – 1
Fingers crossed, Michael will finally be in the paddock and harvesting beans tomorrow! He can’t wait and he said come h-ll or high water, he’s harvesting! The packline is 90% done and just waiting for some beans to run over it so he can fine tune the details.
Thanks for your patience and with any luck, beans will hit the stores this week.
I was in the bean patch on the weekend harvesting some for our dinner and they are just so ready to be harvested. Even though I see the bean patch every day, I just never tire of popping open a shell to see the unique and amazing beauty of the beans within. Here is the photo I took on the weekend. Are you ready Australia? Fresh shelled borlotti beans are coming!
16 February: Days to Harvest 3-4
Well, it is getting down to the wire now. Michael is currently flat out working on bringing our no-touch packline for the beans together so we can start harvesting asap.
I am not sure if I wrote much about it in a previous blog, but Michael has pioneered a world first in the sense of our fresh beans will never be touched by human hands from seeding through to you opening the pack and cooking them. With all the food safety issues occurring around the world, this was important to us.
Here’s a quick overview of what will happen when we start harvesting. The borlotti plants get harvested by Big Red (see prev post) and they get shelled in the field. The beans go into a bin by themselves. As the bin fills, the beans are taking to our brand new packhouse where they are chilled to help hold their goodness and help with shelf life. When they get packed, they go through a wash process, they go through a sorting/grading process using an optical (camera) sorter. They then go up an elevator and go through a weighing head with multiple outlets, which puts the beans into 300g punnets. They punnets then get sealed with a breathable film, which helps ensure they stay fresh in your fridge for two weeks. The film also protects the beans if you decide to freeze them.
Some of these processes are done in different countries for frozen beans, for canned beans and for dried beans. But as far as our research shows, no one is doing it for fresh beans.
Wow – Michael and I were so excited to see Edible Gems mentioned in the recent issue of the BBC Good Food Magazine. We are getting some fantastic press, which is both wonderful and appreciated. There is no doubt people are interested in our freshly shelled beans.
We are on track to start harvesting and packing next week – can’t wait!
Great to see a lovely snippet on our Edible Gems beans picked up in Paradise Magazine, part of the Gold Coast Bulletin. Anyone interested in reading the snippet can click the following link: http://www.pressdisplay.com/pressdisplay/viewer.aspx.
We’ve also just received word we have a Gold Coast stockist for Edible Gems. Look for them at the Robina Fruit Market.
14 February: Days to Harvest – 6
Given we are hoping to get product to stores the week of the 20th Feb, we have been working hard to pull together the stores who are going to be stocking Edible Gems.
Having been greengrocers ourselves, we really wanted to keep this product exclusive to greengrocers and specialty retailers in Year 1. As LaManna Direct notes on their website (www.lamannadirect.com.au), we need to support the independent supermarkets, fruiterers and butchers to ensure future generations have a choice.
To see the current list of stockists who will be supporting Edible Gems freshly shelled borlotti beans when they come available, simply visit our: Where To Buy page, which we will update as frequently as possible.
Your Feedback: Where do you want to buy Edible Gems from? Do you have an independent supermarket, deli, fruiterer, farmers market you support? Would you like them to stock Edible Gems? If yes, please let us know their name/location and we will make contact to see if we can encourage them to stock the product.