Jobs at Eureka Farm

Update – 23rd January 2019 No pickers required . do not ring

The rules for employing backbackers who want a second year visa have changed considerably. We are not big enough to employ anyone full time and now only use local persons.
In any case the picking season has just about finished. So we would still be interested in getting to know future applicants who live locally.( next year )  We have closed our accommodation for pickers.so this necessitates that that locals only apply. We appreciate those who have contacted us but please do not contact us if you are expecting work this year.

The following is an explanation as to what would be expected from potential local workers:  Looking for something to do. Part-time maybe. Picking fruit in the morning. This is a good way of earning pocket money for those extra expenses we all have. You don’t have to have had experience as we will teach you.

lots of blackcurrants were picked

lots of blackcurrants were pickedWe are quite keen in knowing persons interested in some casual work who live in the Break O’Day Municipality. 

P1030258(1)

We are a multi faceted operation. We grow all sorts of berries; we  have over 2000 fruit trees including apples, pears and stonefruit. We value add by running a shop, producing icecream,

 

Blackcurrants

In 2014 we started selling black currants on line. Our entre into this market was  heavily supported by Farmhousedirect and Australia Post. The following is the article that was written at that time. we have learnt a lot since that time about packaging and handling and hope we will have the opportunity to supply you once again.

Black currants

Black currants

 

lots of blackcurrants

lots of blackcurrants

However the black currants were unaffected and we had very good black currants; so many in fact that we didn’t know what to do with them all. Unlike machine picked black currants our black currants are washed and clean of stalks and other foreign matter. This makes them ideal for desserts and of course jams.

 

We made lots of blackcurrant jam and mixed berry jam and froze a lot but still there were more black currants to pick.

we made lots of blackcurrant jam

we made lots of blackcurrant jam

Blackcurrants everywhere

Black currants everywhere

Looking at the internet I discovered that there is a big market for frozen and fresh black currants in the United States. Maybe we could do the same here!

I then contacted Farmhousedirect who handle our products for on-line sales as well as many other similar producers. They were very supportive and we arranged for a special sale to happen with dispatch to go out the following Monday by Express Post.

Well I was dumbfounded for within a couple of hours all our black currants were sold. In fact due to an error in my ad we really didn’t have enough.

Now we were entering new territory. How were we going to get these items to our customers? My experience is that they didn’t deteriorate quickly in our chilled coolroom. However they did tend to juice and the skins became softer. With this in mind I decided to pack them in heavy duty plastic bags and vacuum seal them.I then enclosed this bag in another lighter bag just in case the bag was not perfectly sealed. We do two sizes fir mail orders namely a 1.5kg and 4kg package which we dispatch in express mail bags.   All the bags once packaged were put back in the cool room until dispatch which was planned for the Monday. However for locals either near us or in Tasmania we can dispatch in any size and freight is generally cheaper.

On advice from FarmHouse Direct we send them via the Perth Post office just outside of Launceston , Tasmania so as to be at an Express Post outlet. We had now discovered that all Post Offices in Australia were not equal. In fact there was not only a National Network but a State Network too. And to further complicate matters if you moved into another State Network all bets were off as to how long it took to get there.

With these processes in place the system seems to work well. Deliveries as far as Queensland often get there the next day.

So to all our customers thank you for your support . And to all out there more suggestions would be appreciated.

 

 

Summer Joys and Woes`

It has been an interesting summer for us. Well that is one way of describing it. Certainly the driest year in the 26 years we have been settled in Tasmania,
We have been continually irrigating our row crops with mixed results. It is very difficult wetting sandy soil. The more you water the more likely you are to remove the nutrients that the plant needs. With rainfall the mechanism is different and the nutrients outside the rootzone can migrate back to the plant. We have had a couple of showers one of 30mm and the improvement in growth for the strawberries was impressive. But alas that was some time ago and now it is back to the dry conditions.
The main orchard  is some distance away from the farmhouse and much higher. It is on a north facing slope on sandy soil with hard pan less the a metre below the surface. Very poor soil obvious by the lack of vegetation outside the paddock. Even the bracken is having a hard time this year. Gums trees have also been dying. But inside the paddock we grow apricots, plums, citrus and other trees. The citrus have really struggled with many dying. These are shallow rooted trees and thus much more susceptible to drought. 

Gary picking apricts

the yellow carpet of Apricots

A different story for the apricots. Picked a couple of tons this year versus a negligible pick last year. Quality was very good too. Apricots unlike citrus have a deep root structure as they obviously liked these harsh conditions. There were so many that at least 8 tonnes were left and dropped to the ground. 

the 2017-2018 Berry and fruit season has started

1-dscf0285

Just starting to pick cherries

3-dscf0287

Blackberries are great

5-dscf0289

What a season – hardly any rain in the last 6 months. But amazingly lots of fruit. IN the tree crops cherries and apricots are now being picked. Lucky we have irrigation.

Just the same lots of damage from roos and possums who are desperate for food as the surrounding forests are without fodder.

We have lots of berries though. At present picking strawberries, raspberries, black berries, red currants and blackcurrants.

Our shop is open every day and lots of other goodies available. Ann is a great cook and berry desserts, smoothies and our own special icecream are awaiting your evaluation.

Blackcurrants- for 2017/18

The 2017-18 picking season of black currants has started. We are now sending blackcurrants by Express Post to Eastern States of Australia. These are fresh, vacuum sealed and can be eaten fresh or frozen when they reach their destination hopefully overnight.

We also have black currant cordial and jams available in our shop or online.

See full article from earlier post: https://eurekafarm.com.au/bloghh/blackcurrants/

For ordering online  go to Farmhouse direct

lots of blackcurrants were picked

lots of blackcurrants are being hand  picked

Farm house accommodation

Home Booking

Looking for farm house accommodation? We may be the right people. 
We have been operating Eureka farm for many years and starting this year we have a limited amount of accommodation. 

Whilst you can book via AirB&B or Trip Advisor you also  have the opportunity to book directly. Bookings are now coming in so get in early if you want to book in January or February this year. Our contact number is 613-63725500

We have two types of accommodation. Our Farm House is our old family home. It  comes fully equipped for the discerning guests.. Lots of room with three bedrooms. 

The second accommodation is what we call the Aimee’s Bungalow. Just refurbished with two bedrooms, bathroom and kitchen. 

 Our two types of accommodation are near our Cafe and visitors will see what happens on a farm in summer. We grow many types of fruit trees as well as berries. Read more about our farm elsewhere on this site.
Some things to do:

Feed the animals, picking fruit a possibility in season.
Close to Farm Cafe. Enjoy a farm house breakfast at our cafe. Seasonal fruits , jams , chutneys and our famous ice cream are also  available in our shop. 

Great walks starting on the farm or nearby such as Winifred Curtis reserve; the Scamander Beach from Falmouth to Diana’s basin. On explore the hinderland. Rock climbing at South Sister , trout or salt water fishing in the Scamander River and much more.

We are a working farm and as such we start work early in the picking season. We promise not to bother you and you are welcome to join us. However we would prefer guests who do not party late at night as sleep is important for our sanity in these busy summer months.

Mon
1
Tue
2
Wed
3
Thu
4
Fri
5
Sat
6
Sun
7
Mon
8
Tue
9
Wed
10
Thu
11
Fri
12
Sat
13
Sun
14
Mon
15
Tue
16
Wed
17
Thu
18
Fri
19
Sat
20
Sun
21
Mon
22
Tue
23
Wed
24
Thu
25
Fri
26
Sat
27
Sun
28
Mon
29
Tue
30
Aimee\\\'s Bungalow                                                            
Our farm house                                                            

Just enter your wishes for days you wish to stay at Eureka Farm.
The calendar will indicate whether  either of the two types of accommodation are available. Remember that the main house can accommodate up to 6 people and the Shed up to three people.

 

 

Rain, Rain go away come again another Day

Lots of rain in Tasmania. Not just the East Coast but all over Tasmania. One minute we are experiencing droughts and now floods. Fortunately not too much damage todate but certainly slows down the work program. Oh well such is life!

Is Winter Coming?

May is nearly finished and yet the strawberries are still ripening albeit at a much slower rate. Alas we are not getting many to eat ourselves as the parrots seem to have taken a liking to them this year. Hopefully that won’t continue next summer.

The days are shorter but the weather is amusingly warm. Still wearing shorts . Sceptics on climate warming get over it. We are experiencing great changes in out climate. Yes it is nicer to have warmer weather in Tasmania but the rest of Australia it won’t be so good. And the danger of bushfires was extreme last summer. Fortunately we didn’t get bushfires on the East Coast but the west coast had bushfires in the rain forests. This is almost unheard of event and spells doom and gloom for many of our remnant species which are not bushfire tolerant.

So what are we up to? Perhaps you think we are sitting on our bums relaxing now that the picking season is finally over.

In July we intend to take a welcome break and go to the U.S to see how other farmers operate and of course visit friends and family. Before that there is plenty to do. Right now we are collecting canes for nurseries. No help around this year so guess what Ann and I are the total team. Working conditions rules for backpacker employment have been changed considerably by the Government. In past years it was a very attractive proposition whereby backpackers could get a second year extension in return for working on farms for 3 months in their first year. Whilst the rule still sort of applies it is not easy for horticultural farmers to keep such workers on longer than just the picking time as they are not experienced in other work which generally takes longer to train them for.

Anyhow back to us and you can see in the picture below what a bundle of canes looks like. We also have lots of pruning of the fruit trees and sprays to reduce fungal problems. Fences to fix, strawberries to cut back and if time permits replant, mowing and weed control. The list goes on and we just keep at it.

bundles of 10 canes off to nurseries around Tasmania

bundles of 10 canes off to nurseries around Tasmania

Visit Eureka Farm in the Autumn

Leaves on the apricots are starting to drop now.

Leaves on the apricots are starting to drop now.

Autumn weather has come at last. But so far it has been a beautiful autumn with extremely mild weather. (winds still from the north).

1-DSCF6073

 

We are still picking strawberries and with the mild

weather they seem to be getting bigger and better. 

1-IMAG1483-001

hard to beat home made cake with Tassie’s best icecream and fresh fruit. Always a winning combo

What a nice time to drop in for one of our special desserts. Home made fruit pies or our super fruity Summer Puddings seem to be the winners at this time of year.

Berry fruity crepes are great in winter

Berry fruity crepes are great in winter

Our Chilean Mountaineer , Diego has moved on

Diego is our first employee from South America and in his case from Chile. Diego has now left Eureka Farm after being here three months. Diego came to us with quite a few practical talents including a love of the outdoors (mountaineering) and cooking. Many of our guest workers struggle with a lack of English but not Diego. OK there was the odd time when the words got confusing but for the most part he understood. This gave him and of course me the advantage that I could use him on the farm for more practical work such as repairing rotten posts and modifying the fences to keep out the wild life.

NextGen ScrollGallery thumbnailNextGen ScrollGallery thumbnailNextGen ScrollGallery thumbnailNextGen ScrollGallery thumbnailNextGen ScrollGallery thumbnailNextGen ScrollGallery thumbnailNextGen ScrollGallery thumbnailNextGen ScrollGallery thumbnailNextGen ScrollGallery thumbnailNextGen ScrollGallery thumbnailNextGen ScrollGallery thumbnailNextGen ScrollGallery thumbnailNextGen ScrollGallery thumbnailNextGen ScrollGallery thumbnailNextGen ScrollGallery thumbnailNextGen ScrollGallery thumbnailNextGen ScrollGallery thumbnailNextGen ScrollGallery thumbnail
on top of the worldDiego climbingdsc02649Diego's last night cooking - gnocchi02-p1020891_003-p1020892time to evaluate Diego's cookingreflectingwalking the old coast road the gangScamander Beach 15-p1020881-001_016-p102088216-p1020882_017-p102088320-p102087420-p1020874_021-p1020875

All of our workers have worked as a team this year resulting in a very harmonious farm life. Diego’s enthusiasm and easy going nature however was a much-needed tonic when things got busy.

We have become very involved with the Helpx organisation and have sourced some very nice people this year. Most are young and seeking second year visas and often come from a city background and sometimes found working on a farm daunting.

We have developed a roster and have had up to six kids here at a time. Generally we like not  too many of them to come from the same country as then they get a better chance of improving their English and getting to know people from other cultures.

In our roster we divide up the duties. One of the main duties is the preparation of dinner. After a long days work eating the evening meal seems to be treated with a great deal of enthusiasm followed by a good dessert. Some of our kids have never cooked before and thus often spend time researching what they are planning to cook when their time comes. Of course the better meals receive the most accolades but by an large all meals have been pretty good.

Lunch is a more simple affair. Leftovers from the evening or sandwiches. Breakfast has been muesli and fruit. Lots of fruit gets consumed and I am sure all of our pickers now love fruit even if they haven’t had much before coming here.

Feeding the chickens, putting out the garbage, washing up etc are other shared duties. I would have to say I have had no disgruntled employees and everyone seems to have the right amount of gusto and approach to their jobs. Lastly they have learnt a feature of farm life which is up at Sunrise and to be soon after dinner. No one seems to want to party and the only thing that might delay them is a last look at their Facebook page.