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Olives, the universe and everything

as seen from from the Hunter Valley

About my Hunter Valley

The Hunter Valley lies a couple of hours north of Sydney and less than an hour inland from Newcastle in NSW. The Hunter is where many of the most famous household names in Australia started: Lindeman's wines, Arnott's biscuits and Steggles chickens are among many to make their mark initially in the Hunter Valley.

Today the Hunter is home to many boutique wine producers and a host of gourmet food producers. Most of the big producers have moved on leaving a culture of hard work and fine food. My brand of Belarna Grove is a small player in the overall scheme of things. Based in the picturesque village of Broke and surrounded by rolling fields, vineyards, olive grove, cattle properties and other like-minded people.

Many of these products are available at a cellar door of our local wineries and other outlets in the region. I do not supply the major chains (Woolworths, Coles, IGA, ALDI etc) and do not intend to do so.

The Hunter Valley today has another claim to fame - Coal. The port of Newcastle seems more coal exported that any other port In The World! Coal exports means coal mines, and the centre of the Valley between Singleton & Muswellbrook is home to dozens of open cut mines hell-bent on digging up coal to ship to Korea, Japan and China before the bubble bursts. Have a look at Google Earth if you want a shock.

What will be the legacy of the coal industry - good question!

The mines will be gone in 30 years time - the farmers hopefully will be here for a lot longer. But what will they be growing? As the climate gets hotter, as the rainfall pattern changes, what will survive and what is the future? Some grape varieties are already being abandoned for cooler climates.

Could we grow insects to eat? Would you eat a cricket? Probably not, but would you eat a hamburger with a delicious patty that might not contain cow but minced insect, soy and lentils but still tastes great? Perhaps. Is this the future of farming - producing protein more efficiently that growing grass to feed to cattle to kill and cut up and mince?

Visiting

For information about visiting the Hunter Valley in general try:

www.winecountry.com.au

For more specific information on the Broke Fordwich area or the Hunter:

www.brokefordwich.com.au

For information about olives in the Hunter Valley, the Hunter Olive Association site is:

www.hunterolives.asn.au