the next best thing to growing your own

For the locals in the know (here in country Ballarat) we are blessed in winter. Why you ask? Well we have Yendon farmer John and his crew that grow tommies, eggplant, peppers, cucumber etc in a set of hot houses. I was lucky to visit the place recently, when I picked up some fresh tommies for a cooking demo I was booked for in Melbourne. I was totally blown away by the set up. It's a commercial operation so it's nothing that I'm familiar with, but impressive nonetheless! We can buy Johns produce at some of the local markets and while the soil in my garden is still too frigid to successfully grow tomatoes I can rely on John. What I'd give for a hot house!

So what did I use the tomatoes for at the cooking demo? Well I made a very simple parsley pesto pasta and toped it with some roasted cherry toatoes and drizzled with that beautiful Meredith's goats cheese. Even though I don't have my own farm yet, I must admit I do love living in the country where this produce is really local! I can actually get to meet the producers and talk to them at the markets. Gold.