HUNDREDS of locals and visitors followed the Great Lakes Food Trail over the Easter weekend, discovering some of the best quality produce available anywhere.
Buffalo milk, mozzarella and succulent pork were some of the many temptations on offer at the 15 stops around the region.
Kids got hands on by feeding lambs and collecting free range eggs at Lucy Land Merino Farm in Bulahdelah, showing the important link between paddock and plate.
“It’s important to understand where your food comes from and how it’s developed,” owner Julie Steepe said.
“It shows what’s involved with the process, and how humanely and ethically it can be done.”
Julie said she is committed to chemically free farming, which produces a cleaner, more natural product.
Local honey straight from the hives at Bulahdelah Men’s Shed featured at the second stop on the trail.
Men’s Shed member Gary Haynes said the local flora gives the honey its unique taste.
“The local honey is the best,” Mr Haynes said.
“It is very sweet, palpable, with no additives, just all the good stuff.”
A stop at Old Inn Road Vineyard provided the chance to relax in the valley while enjoying a glass of local wine.
Co-owner Sooze Bosire said they focus on producing very clean, well balanced wines, which complement the region’s produce.
“The Verdelho goes very well with local prawns and oysters and the Dolcetto is an excellent medium bodied dry red that goes well with the local beef,” she said.
“The Chambourcin is a really robust variety that does well here also.”
Sooze said they have expanded their product range to include marmalades, with “a dash of wine” to give them a unique flavor.
Other stops along the trail included Wootton’s Brush Turkey Café, Burraduc Buffalo Dairy and Artisan Cheeses at Bungwahl and Topi Open Range near Seal Rocks.
“Our aim was to show the community that you can have ethical and local food at a reasonable cost,” Julie told News Of The Area.
Given the success of the weekend, Julie said they hope the event will become a regular feature.
By Daniel SAHYOUN