After a postponement from their usual schedule in May due to the floods, it is fantastic to see that Northern Rivers Food (NRF) have announced the return of their annual Harvest Food Trail in 2022, allowing locals and visitors the much needed opportunity to come together to experience, celebrate and enjoy our amazing food & beverage offerings in the Northern Rivers NSW region.
Held over the weekend of July 30 and 31 this year, the event is guaranteed to be a very Northern Rivers experience, reflecting on and celebrating the distinctive provenance of our region’s food. The Trail will offer lots of wonderful eating and drinking experiences, jammed-packed with our most-acclaimed restaurants, producers, farmers and growers.
‘Our Harvest Food Trail is a carefully curated collection of very special food and beverage experiences for you, showcasing our amazing food and beverage producers in this region,’ said Anne Briggs, NRF Executive Officer.
‘Part of enjoying the food is knowing the story, understanding where your food was grown, the regenerative methods the farmer used to produce your food, the families behind the brands and their unique stories. Our Harvest Food Trail offers a range of special food and beverage experiences over the weekend, including unique farm tours, ‘behind the scene’ insights, tastings, chef workshops, lunches and so much more.’
‘The Harvest Food Trail offers something for everyone. You can create your own food discovery trail visiting farms, restaurants, distilleries, breweries and food outlets, whilst enjoying a leisurely drive at your own pace, choosing your own itineraries over the weekend.’
So what is on offer over the weekend July 30 and 31st?
Celebrated chef, nutritionist and author Sam Gowing will be running a full day class at her new Tweed Cooking School. Tweed Escapes and Blue Ginger Picnics have a top desk cruise on the magnetic Tweed waterways all the while enjoying a platter of 100% local produce.
Norco and Cheeses Loves You have joined forces, opening Allard’s Dairy in Burringbar to demonstrate how a dairy farm operates with cheese making and tastings. Table Under a Tree in Rosebank will showcase their ethical Boer goat farming operations will have talks on the incredible flavour and health properties of goat meat and product for sale.
Zentveld’s Coffee Farm & Roastery in Newrybar will open the farm gate doors and offer regular farm and roastery tours. Enjoy superb views from the verandah overlooking the farm, while you taste coffee grown organically and learn how they care for their soils, bees and wildlife. Brookfarm are providing a special morning tea and regenerative farming tours on their macadamia farm at McLeods Shoot, all with wonderful Hinterland views. Australia’s Manuka in Tyagarah will open their apiary with the worlds’ most potent and pure bioactive Jellybush honey.
At The Farm in Byron Bay there will be a behind the scenes tour to learn about their paddock to plate journey with drinks and a tasting plate from Three Blue Ducks afterward. Duck Creek Macadamias in Brooklet will also be opening their farm gate and offering free tastings of their top quality chocolate macadamia products.
Explore Byron Bay and Playing with Fire Native Foods will provide walking tours to discover our local edible bush tucker plants in both Bangalow and Mullumbimby, sharing insights of our indigenous history and traditional stories. Afterwards you can taste some of our amazing Australian native foods and purchase plants to grow at home. Karkalla Byron Bay has a local lunch special on Saturday featuring local indigenous ingredients.
The Oyster Shed on Birds Bay is participating, with waterfront dining overlooking their oyster farm, where you can feast on oysters with local finger limes and a paired gin cocktail. Bellingdale Farm in Nunderi have prepared a special long lunch, with a shared feasting menu overlooking Mount Warning. At Pipit Restaurant in Pottsville there is a special six course seasonal menu on offer, where guests can glimpse the cooking process in their open-plan kitchen. In Burringbar local favourites Mercado Juarez offer a three course lunch celebrating authentic Mexican food.
Further south, Barrio at Habitat in Byron are putting on a special barbecue with an emphasis on sustainable regenerative practices and Crystalbrook Byron has a ‘meet the maker’ Pork and Pinot Long Lunch featuring Bangalow Sweet Pork. Harvest Newrybar are offering a special long lunch in their bakery, using their wood-fired oven, bringing together produce that is native to the region. Ballina RSL will also have a Boardwalk Lunch with a Bangalow Sweet Pork roast – enjoy local produce at its finest overlooking the beautiful Richmond River.
On the distillery and brewing side of things Two Mates Brewing’s Taphouse will be open for celebrations in Lismore, with food trucks and a paired drink special. Lord Byron Brewery have a new tiki bar with tours, tasting paddles and cocktail specials. Cape Byron Distillery are delivering a Botanicals Class as well as a Meet the Maker tour while Common People Brewing in Bangalow have Harvest Food Trail special local menu with paired beers. Husk Distillers at Tumbulgum have a morning tea event with homegrown produce and their delicious cocktails enjoyed on their grounds. For those driving, drop into Wild Yeast Brewing in Lennox Head, where you can meet the maker and sample their organically grown non-alcoholic ginger beer.
There is also the Duranbah Farmers Markets at Tropical Fruit World to browse their farm and taste their tropical fruits in season, while Santos Organics at stores in both Mullumbimby and Byron, will have tastings of our region’s finest organic treats, all accompanied by a bunch of talented local musicians caressing your ear drums with cruisy live beats.