The drive into Neerim South never gets old, it’s just absolutely gorgeous all year round – one of the many reasons Dave and Maria Antonie bought a lovely 30 acres (now St Fiacres Farm) nestled in the hills and have spent all their free time turning it into a foodies paradise.
On Friday afternoon we have to say that Dave and Maria raised the bar for our farm visit. Not only did they take us and six kids on a fun bumpy buggy tour around the farm but they put on a feast for us afterwards!
St Fiacres is seriously beautiful and so lovingly maintained by these two busy busy people! They have pigs, cattle, llamas, grapes, olives and loads of veggies that they put in by hand. Their veggies are grown naturally and seasonally in the dirt or in their hothouse and they have a bit of a local reputation for growing amazing chillies in loads of varieties. Dave works at Vin Rowe Farm Machinery so he gets lots of tips and advice from all the farmers he knows.
Maria is a food chemist and she travels every day to Melbourne for work and then comes home and tinkers with her gorgeous sauces, pickles, chutneys and spreads in her purpose built kitchen / coolroom / cellar door. She has BIG plans for that kitchen and what will come out of it and they talk about it so passionately you can’t help but be taken along for the ride. We are looking forward to the day when we can tell you all about the next phase. Part of that has to do with the picturesque acre of grapes that lines their driveway and they have already begun making their own wine. Of course we had to sample it and then sample it again to make sure and it’s really lovely and complimented the delicious pasta sauce made by Dave too.
St Fiacres sell their homegrown pickles, chutneys, relishes and sauces and some fresh naturally grown vegetables at Warragul Farmers’ Market, Rokeby, Jindivick, Loch, Hill End and Yarragon Markets. Try their sweet chilli sauce, it’s seriously yum!