In Gourmet Farmer Series 3, Matthew’s new goal is to become self-sufficient and to generate enough income to support his family. His new property, Fat Pig Farm, makes Puggles 10 hectares look pretty insignificant and is both daunting and exciting. He could have more pigs, more cows, more sheep, ducks, geese, a dairy, a smoker, a hanging room, a polytunnel, an orchard – all on the one plot of land where everything will be integrated: the pigs ploughing the soil, the orchard providing food for the pigs, the cows delivering non stop supplies of milk (and whey for the piglets).
He could even host paddock lunches out of a mobile kitchen. But he’s no ingénue this time round; he knows he’ll be on a steep learning curve if he’s to achieve his vision so he’ll need to do some careful planning. Gourmet Farmer Series Three is the story of Matthew, Sadie and little Hedley taking on the challenge of making the new farm work.
Episode 1 – New Farm
Matthew’s Puggle Farm is under shade and too wet for most of the year, which has hindered his farming aspirations. He’s bought a new farm, 70 acres 10 minute drive from Puggle Farm. There’s a lot of work to be done; roads to build, fences to repair, and a polytunnel and smoker to build.
Episode 2 – Chickens, Vegies and Polytunnel
It’s a year of experimentation and Matthew has kept chooks for eggs, but now he’d like to get heritage chickens at his Puggles Farm to free range for their meat. Matthew is challenged to have a regular supply of vegetables when his garden is up and running and he is keen to build a polytunnel to ensure year round supply.
Episode 3 – Festivale
Matthew has been planning to build a commercial kitchen but the cost is prohibitive. Ross tells him about a caravan fitted out with a commercial kitchen that is for sale on Bruny Island. ‘Festivale’, Tasmania’s biggest food fair, is looming and the caravan would be perfect.
Episode 4 – Smoker
Inspired by last years’ trip to France, Matthew decides to add a couple of geese to his menagerie, and while picking them up off a local farmer, he is distracted by a home built cold smoker. One of Matthew’s visions for the new farm is to experiment with various food processes, and now, inspired by the cold smoker, he wants to test out new cured products then smoke them.
Episode 5 – Shop Special – Cheese, Saffron, Sloe Gin
Matthew and Nick’s new shop venture, A Common Ground, provides many challenges; meeting demand with a variable supply of seasonal local produce, maintaining commitment to ethically grown and prepared food whilst managing the bottom line. The shop is not in the ideal location and a couple of new ideas are needed to increase sales and foot traffic through the shops’ doors.
Episode 6 – Breaking Down a Pig
Matthew is keen to use all parts of the pig to make sure that he’s adding as much value as possible to his future porkers. He has a plan for a ‘Breaking Down’ day, where one pig is broken down into its constituent parts, ready for cooking and preserving.
Episode 7 – Cellar Door and Wine Growing Road Trip
Nick has bought himself a wine fermenter and is hoping to enlist both Matthew and Ross, to make a barrel of their own vintage. The three boys go on a Cellar Door road trip around the Tamar Valley, researching both wine varieties and wine making…also in an attempt to secure some enough grapes for a barrel.
Episode 8 – Beef
50 acres of pasture is a lot of grass to manage and the local NRM, who are the mob who consult on how to improve and maintain a healthy farm…have told Matthew he desperately needs to get animals to graze his grass… to regenerate it and add fertility to the soil.
Episode 9 – Fish
Matthew, Nick and Ross go on a sailing adventure to Maria Island on Tasmania’s east coast. The boys learn how to sail, meet some keen fishermen, are visited by dolphins and whales and explore Maria Island hiking and snorkeling at the marine national park.
Episode 10 – Vive La France
It’s been a year since Matthew expanded his business and bought the new farm and it’s been a steep learning curve for both him and Sadie. Their passion to have visitors to Fat Pig Farm share and experience their lifestyle and taste products made from the farm has led them to set a date for their very first open day and feast. Though there have been many months of planning, some huge setbacks put them on the spot and have them foraging for alternative products from their farm and surrounding area. With a few days till opening and bad weather on the horizon only time will tell if they can pull it off.
‘Gourmet Farmer: Series 3’ is available now on DVD.Sydney Unleashed is one of Australia’s premier entertainment publications exploring the latest in lifestyle trends. From Sydney’s finest restaurants, cafes and bars to the hottest in gadgets, products, and home entertainment, Sydney Unleashed is your one-stop lifestyle platform.