... a dreamer, freelance writer, massage therapist, naturopath, mother & drop-out social work student living, working and writing in the Blue Mountains. When not occupied with the real world, she writes fantasy.
Get in touch with the land @ top foodie event in the country
Local grower selling her wares. Orange Food Week 2013
Showcasing cold climate produce, wine and food, and with a history of 24 years behind it, Food Week is one of the key food festivals of NSW.
Proving the popularity of the 10-day festival, several key events (the Food Train & Forage) are already booked out. However, with 80 planned events including the Night Market, 100 Mile Dinner, the Sunday Producer Brunch, wine tours, and much more, there's plenty of opportunity to partake. Visit a local farm, scour the markets, go wine-tasting or ballooning, visit a restaurant and meet the producers, growers and chefs behind the food.
The shires of Orange, Cabonne and Blayney are known as 'The Food Basket' of NSW. Coinciding with harvest and autumn, Food Week is a beautiful time to visit Orange – also known as the 'colour city' for it's spectacular autumn foliage.
With most of us Coles and Woolies shoppers removed from the origins of our food, experiences like Food Week provide an opportunity to get in touch with the land our food comes from and how it's produced. It's a strangely poignant experience to purchase fresh fruit direct from a grower and to sample ciders and wines produced from the land you stand upon.
Food Week at Orange 2013 was one of the highlights of my year. With even more events in the calendar for Food Week 2015, this popular annual foodie event should be even bigger and better.
The grape vines turn russet in autumn during Orange Food Week.
Having experienced Food Week, I suggest the following to get the most out of it.
Study the Food Week event program and plan ahead. You can view it here. Choose the events you want to attend. I made the mistake of turning up without pre-planning and missed out on several events I had wanted to see.
Book accommodation in advance. Orange can get heavily booked during Food Week.
Grab a map. And, consider visiting towns around Orange – such as Milthorpe and Molong – also offering events as part of Food Week.
Anticipate that you will end up purchasing food and wine – so make room in the car, your backpack or whatever means you have, and bring cash. With so much fresh and yummy produce - from delicious freshly harvested stone-fruit to gourmet strawberry wines and so on – there's temptation galore.
Bring a jacket just in case. With an elevation of 862 metres, Orange is the second highest city in Australia and can get chilly at this time of year, particularly at night.
If you're going to drink, bus it to the winery.
Vegetarians need not despair. There's a Bodhi restaurant in Orange offering a $35 pp banquet of their most popular dishes as part of Food Week.
Plan time to just enjoy the scenery and take your camera. The scenery along the way and within Orange, featuring golden poplars and dazzling flame trees, is pure camera candy. Check it out in the pic below.
Country drive to Orange - resplendent with golden poplars.