The Huon Valley in Tasmania is one of the most fertile agricultural regions in the World and nowhere is that more evident then at the Taste of the Huon, a celebration of fine food, wine, entertainment, arts and crafts from the Huon Valley and Channel region. The event, in its 24th year is held at Ranelagh which is only a short drive away from Hobart.
The Huon is famous for its apples and Tasmania is known as “The Apple Isle” but there’s so much more to this valley, including cherries, mushrooms, salmon, vineyards, berries and truffles. All of those ingredients are prized by Tasmania’s chefs who use them in their world class dishes that have been taking the food scene by storm and helping put Tasmania firmly on the map as a top destination for food and drink lovers.
I was honoured to be invited by the Huon Valley Council to become a “Huon Hero” and help to promote the region and its fantastic produce under the new “Product of the Huon Valley” brand, which hopes to make the Huon a household name around the World. We enjoyed a guided tour of the stalls at the Taste of the Huon where we met some of the valley’s leading producers and growers. There were the household names like Huon Aquaculture and Willie Smiths Cider as well as over 80….yes….EIGHTY other vendors selling and promoting their wares. It was such an impressive sight to see so many fantastic products coming out of this one relatively small area.
As soon as I received my invite, I knew I wanted to take portraits of the stall holders….the faces of the Huon Valley. Everyone sees the end product on the shelves or in their pantries but I think it’s hugely important to celebrate the people behind them. It’s a subject close to my heart, as I did my photojournalism thesis on traditional crafts and trades back in Ireland. I have massive respect for people who work the land and create products from it. In this modern world where so many traditions are being lost and businesses like those in the Huon Valley are being squeezed out by the larger corporate entities, we need to support these “smaller” endeavours.
It was a pleasure getting to meet the vendors today (albeit briefly) and I look forward to tasting more of their exquisite products in the future. I had hoped to take a portrait at every stall today but unfortunately the rain put a dampener on that, so I didn’t quite get the full complement. I hope in looking through these images, you’ll get a sense of the people who make the Huon Valley the great place it is.
The team at Natural & Organic Delights (Nature’s Kitchen) who won this year’s Best Food Stall Award.
See here for a full list of exhibitors from this year’s Taste of the Huon Festival.
I had trouble finding links for some of the vendors so if you’re featured here and have an online presence you’d like to share, please get in touch. Some of the vendors I spoke with have no interest in Facebook or social media so you’ll just have to look out for them at one of the local markets around the Huon Valley and southern Tasmania.