Jenny Indian Chestnuts

A delicate balance

Every year around this time Jenny Indian emails from Stanley with an update on her and partner, Steve’s, chestnuts and quinces.

This year I’m sharing Jenny’s message because it so honestly and humbly reveals what farmers are going through with the drought and a never-ending fire season.

It also gives an insight into the constant balancing act small farms require just to keep going – off-farm jobs, multiple income streams, managing injuries and an endless list of jobs.

Dear Chris and Josh,

 I have just noticed the CERES recipe for poached quince and it has prompted this email (which I’ve been mulling over for a few days now).

Both Steve and I really are very sorry to pull the chestnuts we usually deliver and to do that so near to selling time.

It is a small tsunami of farming events really which resulted in us having to jettison some things in order not to go bonkers – that sounds very dramatic but these things do sneak up on us all.

Steve’s still up the fire-towers (away much of the time and returns pooped).  A snapped hammy and a broken toe didn’t help either.

Though we have had some rain (and were almost soggy for a few days there) I am still having to regularly water veg and orchard.

Our cottage let is very busy (good but phew…) and so I just couldn’t do it all and had a small melt-down one day.

Nothing significant on a global scale but sometimes you just have to stop and realise that you can’t do all you want to do!

I do hope that you have managed to find a chestnut supplier – most from up here go to the wholesale markets but I am told there are some good organic/biodynamic ones in central Victoria.

We will deliver our quinces (a breeze to pick compared to chestnuts) on Monday and hope they are well received.

Thanks again for being so generous and understanding.

All the best,


Jenny did drop her quinces off on Monday –  you can find them here.

If you’d like to stay in Jenny and Steve’s magical little cottage among the chestnut orchard here’s the link Garden Cottage, Stanley (near Beechworth)

And we did manage to find some back-up chestnuts which you can also find here.



Milk in glass Imminent

We’ve been waiting with bated breath for the return of glass milk bottles – well we got the word from Simon at Schulz Organic Dairy that they are ready to go.

The Fair Food customer service and logistics crew are finalising the deposit, collection and refund process and we’ll be ready to launch after everyone comes back from the Easter/Anzac break.

In the meantime there are things to get everybody’s heads around with the whole deposit return system – the most important of which is keeping the glass cycle going by returning our bottles clean with their lids on (which also gets your deposit refunded).

Here’s some more info/FAQs from Simon Schulz

Q. How much milk is in each glass bottle?

Each glass bottle holds 1-litre of milk.

Q. Will you be releasing reduced fat milk in glass bottles?

No, at this stage only full fat milk in 1-litre bottles will be available.

Q. What is the cost of the milk in glass bottles?

We had hoped that the milk-in-glass milk price would be the same price as it’s plastic bottle equivalent, however the cost of the production has increased as our throughput of glass is less efficient  What we save by not using a plastic bottle is replaced by the additional labour required to transport, handle, wash and fill the returnable glass bottles.

Q. Why is there a refundable deposit charge for the glass bottle?

The glass bottles cost a lot more than plastic bottles to manufacture. By facilitating a deposit charge per bottle, it ensures we can recoup the costs of any bottles that are not returned to us. We also hope that a returnable deposit helps incentivise consumers and retailers to return the bottles.

Q. Why are other milk producers who offer milk in glass not charging a glass deposit?

Evidence we gathered from overseas showed that a container deposit scheme ensured a bottle was more frequently returned if a higher deposit was requested. In fact, in California does not have a milk in glass brand who did not charge a deposit. We are invested in a circular economy with our packaging and what better than to have you the customer invested with us… for as little as $2 per bottle!

Heads up on Fair Food deliveries over Easter and ANZAC Day

Yes, we are delivering Easter Friday and ANZAC Day
But, we will be closed Easter Monday.

Have a great week



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