Melissa Leong reflects upon seasonality as she steps out of the city and soaks up the vistas of Tasmanian farmland.
I’m sitting in front of the most sickening view right now, perched on top of a verdant hill, overlooking the rolling beauty of the southern part of Bruny Island. It’s ugly work, but someone has to do it!
Here you can see the months coming in and out. The property I’m on is home to a sheep dairy and cheesery and it’s where I come to run away from Sydney and regain some semblance of sanity.
What I love about Tasmania is the seasons. They’re clear and distinct things and almost everyone who lives here is naturally in touch with what each season brings. Summer is blackberries on the thickets, quinces on the trees in autumn, local game meats in winter, tiny lambs with their spinning tails while they feed from their mothers in the spring.
In Sydney, we’re not so imbued with definitive seasons. On the upside, we don’t endure as extreme weather conditions, but on the downside, it can be harder to know what’s in season and when. We are lost to this sense of time the environment provides.
Luckily, there are easy ways to find out what’s in season if the urban landscape around you isn’t giving up any clues.
The best of these is to become mates with a producer or purveyor at your local farmer’s market or grocer and ask what is in season. They will not only know what is in season but how smaller weather events have impacted the quality and price of crops from different parts of Australia.
You’ll see seasonality reflected in price and abundance of produce. If it’s cheap, good-looking, and abundant, chances are it’s in season, Australian-grown and at the height of its brilliance, so buy up and eat up.
So, spring has sprung this week and it’s going to be a beauty. Personally, fresh green things like peas and asparagus are the ticket, or at least it will be on my plate. And for dessert, it’s going to have to be the season’s first crop of Aussie mangoes!