January 29, 2014

What’s been happening at the Achacha Plantation

Over the winter period we’ve been working hard at the plantation on being kind to our soil. In June we facilitated a very successful biodynamic workshop with Hamish Mackay from BD2024 and Ken Mason, a long time organic and biodynamic citrus grower.  There were 20 enthusiastic participants from many walks of life all learning together. Since then we’ve made lots of soil activator using manure, and other ingredients, from the healthy cows who have a home along our section of Palm Creek where they are helping us rid that area of hymenachne.  This is an introduced high protein cattle food.  Only problem is it invades waterways creating swamps and preventing fish from migrating.  We’re happy to say that, although it will take time, it seems to be working.  This is an alternative to using chemical pesticides. North Queensland Dry Tropics have initiated this project;  under the guidance of Scott Fry some very enthusiastic volunteers planted 900 native trees along the creek bank in order to eventually shade out this now designated weed. Merv and Garry our two fine plantation workers have really got into the swing of it and are very supportive of our no chemical policy. What would we do without them?

We loved being part of the Palm Creek Folk Festival, held opposite our plantation, in June and met many wonderful musicians from all over Australia. We are looking forward to being part of that again this year. Oh, and they all loved our Achacha panna cotta!

Margret Roadknight, a wonderful, entertaining and well-known singer was touring the east coast to celebrate her Golden Jubilee year, yes 50 years being in show biz. How lucky we were that she made herself available for a concert on site.  In fact she stayed for a whole week of fun. We’ve had requests to bring her back ……well, you just never know!

Right now we are in the midst of the 2014 season with many pickers and packers doing a great job in the heat and humidity at the plantation in North Queensland.  The word about Achacha is spreading.  There’s even a shipment on its way to a major chain in the UK and we will once more have a presence at Berlin’s famous Fruit Logistica in February, the world’s largest fruit fair.  On the 7th February we are looking forward to being part of the Chinese New Year, year of the strong and faithful horse, at Eight Restaurant in China Town. As a Bolivian fruit grown in Australia we love being part of the multicultural world of today.

On Saturday 8th February we will have the wonderful Masterchef participant and author, Kumar Pereira, at our stand at Eveleigh Markets to demonstrate the Achacha pulping method using the Thermomix and then the quick, easy and refreshing Achacha sorbet. Be there to taste it! Then on 9th February we will be participating in the Sydney Rootstock Festival for sustainable produce and growers at the Carriage Works. Now that should be a lovely day out for people interested in healthy food. Please see www.rootstocksydney.com

There are Achachas in many Farmers’ Markets in Cairns, Townsville, Mackay, Brisbane, Maitland, Sydney (Pyrmont, Eveleigh, Orange Grove, Marrickville, Hornsby, North Sydney and Warriewood) and Mulgrave in Melbourne. Coles, Woolworths, Thomas Dux, Harris Farm, Yandina, Clayfield in/near Brisbane, South Melbourne and Prahran Markets in Melbourne and many good fruit shops near you, hopefully. If you are far from a fruiter you can send a request to fruit@achacha.com.au and we will happily supply you (payment by PayPal) – unfortunately for quarantine reasons this service is not available for Tasmania, WA, and MIA.

Happy Achacha days.