Taking in taste of Tassie
A YEAR ago, a friend of mine was diagnosed with cancer and faced months of chemotherapy.
To get her through those horrible treatments, we pledged to travel to Tasmania together in one year.
A few weeks ago she got her test results - cancer-free - and last week we packed our bags and flew to Tasmania.
What a beautiful place to celebrate life and healing.
We stayed in cosy vacation homes and spent every day exploring the coast, interior and mountains of Tasmania, feasting our way through bustling cities and charming villages.
One of my favourite things about Tasmania is the abundance of food available for foraging in the hedgerows, fields and gullies. It seemed everywhere we looked was something to pick and savour.
There were tangled hawthorn bushes covered in bright red berries known as haws. They are beautiful in tea or jam with their zesty citrus flavour and have been used for centuries to strengthen and heal the heart.
We found massive elderberry bushes covered with clusters of fat, glossy berries that are wonderful dried for tea or simmered with spices for an immune- boosting cordial to sip through the winter months
And there were rosebushes everywhere, clambering up dilapidated stone buildings, their plump rosehips ready for plucking.
Each rosehip is packed with vitamin C and they taste so nice in tea by themselves or simmered with a few slices of dried apple or pear.
One of the homes we stayed in was a restored barn built in the 1800s. It was surrounded by apple trees, pear trees, quinces, walnuts, hazelnuts and figs. It was amazing to step out the door and fill bowls with delicious things, then bring them back inside to nourish us.
We had blackberries atop granola and swimming in full cream milk with newly picked raspberries and blueberries I found at a roadside stand.
The apples accompanied us on every drive, providing crisp, juicy snacks as we strolled along the beach or took in breathtaking views atop towering cliffs.
The hazelnuts and walnuts were welcome treats in the afternoons with a strong cup of tea.
And the figs were beautiful right off the tree whenever we needed a pick-me-up.
I loved being in a place of such abundance and am excited to add hawthorn bushes and nut trees to our farm.