Calling all foodies - tickets to this year’s Samford Harvest Autumn event are now available.
Guests will have the opportunity to treat their tastebuds to a five-course meal with ingredients and produce sourced locally in and around the Samford Valley.
Celebrity chef and Samford Valley local Alastair McLeod has designed the menu for the event, which will be held from May 20-22 in the rustic barn at Loop Growers in Highvale.
Speaking to Moreton Daily, Alastair says Samford Harvest is an opportunity to celebrate local farmers and producers, while treating diners to an authentic paddock-to-plate experience.
“Food has always brought people together – it’s the conduit to friends and families getting together,” Alastair says.
“To be able to marry that with the producers, farmers and growers we have here in the Samford Valley, and create a fine dining experience for locals and visitors to enjoy, that’s just a beautiful thing.
“A lot of people don’t realise what we have right here in our own backyard. There are so many passionate growers who produce top quality ingredients.”
Throughout the evening, the farmers and growers whose produce features in the dinner will also have the opportunity to speak about their craft, giving guests a greater insight into the ingredients.
When it comes to the future of farming and producing nutritious food, Alastair says Moreton Bay is in good hands with the region’s established farmers.
“After we scratch the surface of the local food scene, you find a group of passionate producers that we need to shine a light on,” he says.
“I wouldn’t be able to do what I do, with Al’FreshCo Catering and Samford Harvest, without the resources available directly to me right here in our own backyard.
“We have so much talent and a rich farming past, present and future.”
Some of the producers that will feature at this year’s Samford Harvest include Loop Growers, Millen Farm, Blue Dog Farm, Lot 81 Microfarm and Woggoon Farm.
This year’s Samford Harvest will be held in the barn at Loop Growers in Highvale.
Loop Growers Co-owner Alice Star is looking forward to the event and sharing with the community the work she and her team do around sustainable and organic farming.
“We have a big old barn here on the property which is just beautiful, and we are thrilled to host this year’s event,” Alice says.
“For people to be able to come out to our farm, see what we grow, learn more about what we do, and eat the food that is grown right here, that’s an exciting thing to be a part of.
“It’s nice to help bring that connection from farmer to chef to consumer all together in the one room.”
Unfortunately, Loop Growers was one of the many areas which was inundated by flood waters in late February.
Alice says the farm experienced four separate flooding events over the course of the weekend.
Thankfully, the barn where Samford Harvest will be held in May was not impacted.
But they now face an extensive clean-up process.
“The rain which fell in Mount Glorious exceeded the Australian record for maximum rainfall in 24 hours which was 709mm,” Alice says.
“The water levels we experienced were higher than anyone in the area has seen - something so powerful that it defies explanation and really needed to be seen and felt to be believed.
“For us, it flooded four times during that weekend – the first three floods did a lot of damage to the garden, and we lost a lot of stuff that was lying around.
“All of our hardware for compost collection has been lost.
“Our seedling house and its contents are gone.
“The garden is littered with tools, bathtubs, and belongings that got caught in the trellises still standing from our cucumber and eggplant crops."
Alice says the fourth flood on that weekend was the worst, describing it as 'violent'.
“The fourth flood we had on the Sunday was just violent - we didn’t stand a chance. The water just kept coming.
“As soon as the water reached the roof, it just tore everything down due to the pressure.
“All our crops have now either failed or are rapidly being harvested from the ground to be distributed.”
A Go Fund Me has been set up to help with the recovery process. So far it has received close to 500 donations totaling $41,777.
“The support we have received from the community is just incredible and has definitely kept us going over the last few days,” Alice says.
To help his friends get back on their feet, Alastair says people can also donate extra money when they book their tickets for Samford Harvest.
“If you would like to donate a few extra dollars, I know it will be greatly appreciated,” he says.
Alastair and his team from Al’FreshCo Catering have created a mouthwatering menu for Samford Harvest.
Stracciatella, roasted roots, Bauple nuts, cavalo nero oil
Free range heritage breed pork terrine, gin pickled cucumber, white apple
Mushroom taco, parsley pesto, marinated feta
Slow cooked beef, braised greens, fennel puree, lemon, Aleppo
Caramelised chocolate cake, yoghurt Chantilly, elderberry
Food connoisseurs will be able to choose from four dates:
Friday, May 20 at 7pm
Saturday, May 21 at 12pm
Saturday, May 21 at 6pm
Sunday, May 22 at 12pm
Tickets are $123.18 each and can be booked here.
Loop Growers is located at 674 Eatons Crossing Rd, Highvale.