Peanut's first day with us - 16/03/19.
Our first veggie garden.
First fire season - organised just in case!
Season One - First saffron flower - 2018.
When you learn to shut the gate on the house yard.
If anyone had said to us in early 2015 that one day we would be living an hour from Hobart, Tasmania on a farm, I think we would have politely suggested they needed their head read! Yet here we are living the dream, with amazing views out to the Mt Wellington ranges in the distance.
Since I first met my husband Lee, he had always wanted to own land; I on the other hand was very happy with city life. We lived about 6 kilometres from the centre of Melbourne’s CBD and had a busy life. Me (Jen) as one of the executive nursing team in a large tertiary health service, where I had worked for over 35 years. Lee as a senior manager for a major Telecommunications company, with the previous couple of decades spent in the Royal Australian Navy.
Our life changed after my birthday weekend in June 2015, which we spent in Bung Bong, Victoria. On the second morning I stood on the farm-stay house balcony and made what proved to be the galvanising statement – “You know, I think I could live somewhere like this”, it all happened quickly from there. By the time we watched a program on Landline about the Australian Saffron industry a couple of weeks later, that then gave me an idea for what I could do on a farm, and the journey began.
By November of 2015 (all based on weather conditions to suit growing saffron) we had looked at properties in northern Victoria, Blue Mountain region of NSW, south coast NSW and finally Tasmania where we found our 250-acre farm. The offer was accepted and the die was cast.
We had a brief 18 months in Canberra when Lee went back into a Navy position, but we were on our way to our farm. This was the first time in my life that I lived anywhere but Melbourne, so excellent practice for the move to Tasmania.
In September 2017, we moved to Tassie and haven’t looked back. We’ve packed a bit into our time so far. Setting up our new business ‘Eladnelle Farm’ – (for those wondering that’s Ellendale spelt backwards and pronounced 'ee-lad-nell') in the beautiful Upper Derwent Valley region of Tasmania. Major renovation of our farm house, established a vegetable garden, joined the thriving and supportive community of Ellendale, made some lovely new friends and grew accustomed to not being able to pop out to the shops when something was forgotten. Who could forget adding 'Peanut the Sheepdog' to our little family (our gorgeous Smithfield Collie) in March, 2019.
In 2018 the first flock of sheep were purchased and we are about to sell our third spring lambs in the next couple of months.
Our major venture though has been to plant, grow, pick, process, market and sell our Eladnelle Farm Saffron. We completed all of this ourselves; plus, for our harvest seasons we were able to employ some casual workers from the local area.
We are aiming to establish ourselves as sellers of high-quality Tasmanian Saffron to the market place. As of our 2019 harvest; we are continuing the practice of only processing the actual Saffron section of the stigmas from the Crocus flowers. What this means, is that we only process the red part of the stigma - which is pure Saffron. The yellow/orange that you may find on some Saffron sold is called "floral waste content" it is part of the 'style' of the flower and has no culinary value at all.
We aim to constantly review our practices, so that we can ensure we only provide the best Saffron, as demonstated by our results from the laboratory testing of our Saffron in 2019; which was graded as Premium Grade 1 Quality Saffron, which is the highest grade of Saffron possible.
We believe we are well on our way to achieving that aim, after receiving both an award as a State winner, then subsequently a Gold Medal in the 'Earth' category of the prestigious 'Delicious - Harvey Norman Produce Awards' in 2020.
In January 2019 we also became regular stallholders at the renown 'Farm Gate Market' held in Bathurst Street, Hobart each Sunday. We have our Saffron retailing in a few shops and also a couple of Restaurants have our Saffron listed on their menus. Plus, we were at 'The Taste of Tasmania' for the seven day 2019/20 festival as Providores of our Premium Grade 1 Quality Saffron.
We hope we’ve made the right decisions and that it will appeal to you, our valued customers.
Let the adventure continue…….
Jen and Lee