Home' Smart Farmer : June 2010 Contents JUNE, 2010
BY LOUISE MCBRIDE
NESTLED between well-
established crops of old,
distinguished berry vari-
eties, a humble crop of rhubarb
provides steady, ongoing busi-
ness for Lynda Demaagd's Ruby
Spoon jam business.
Lynda's parents, Charles and
Margaret Greig, had been
running the popular Hahndorf
Berry Farm as a 'pick-your-own'
operation for 30 years, before
going into semi-retirement.
Four years ago, Lynda decided
to try her hand at making jams
and preserves on a commercial
basis and the business has
continued to grow, based on its
high quality and local focus.
Charles and Margaret have
come out of semi-retirement to
help Lynda grow the lush fruits
and vegetables to make her
jams, chutneys, relishes and
preserves which are sold
predominantly through the
Wayville farmers' market and
local fine food shops.
The ever-popular blackberries
and raspberries are grown, as
well as the traditional older
silvan, tay and boysen berries,
originating from places such as
Scotland, America and Europe.
"The business is about
producing a quality product,
which starts with the tasty
fruit," Lynda said.
"Some of the older berry
varieties have a delicious
flavour and the whole process
of growing and maintaining that
flavour is important to us."
Rhubarb value-added in
AUTHENTIC BRAND: Ruby Spoon customers get nostalgic and excited
about the brand of authentic homemade jams.
High quality, local focus
Sold at farmers' markets,
Easy to grow, better to taste
WELL DRAINED: Rhubarb can grow in a variety of soil
types provided they are well drained.
Name rich in ruby colour
THE Ruby Spoon name was
coined from the rich red colour a
spoon turns as it stirs through
bubbling pots of berries in the
jam- making process.
As the reputation of the
business grows, so does the
kitchen block down in the orchard
-- it is extended every year.
In the days of the Hahndorf
berry farm, as customers would
come and weigh their berry
harvest, the mouth-watering, rich
smell of the cooking jams would
waft across. Countless jars were
sold on site.
Now farmers markets are the
"The markets are good because
people can taste our products and
we can get instant feedback,"
Ruby Spoon products are sold
through the Adelaide Showground
Farmers Market at Wayville
farmers every Sunday, from 9am-
Farmers markets' customers can
put a face to a products and learn
exactly where there food comes
from and how it is grown. Charles
says he still sees customers at the
market who used to come to the
old berry farm.
Lynda finds a lot of customers
get nostalgic and excited about
her brand of authentic homemade
jams and she often hears
comments such as 'my mum used
to make jams like this'!
Products are also sold through
Hahndorf gourmet cheese
company Udder Delights. The
company had been looking for jam
and fruit products to complement
Other outlets include Woodside
Cheesewrights, Taste in Hahndorf,
Hahndorf Apple Shed, Norwood
Fine Food and The Essence, in
"We receive such good feedback
from our customers," Lynda said.
"It makes us feel very
encouraged to take the next step
in our business."
Need to know more:
NATIVE to Siberia and the Himalayas, rhubarb has
been used for medicinal purposes for centuries and is
widely grown to use in preserves for pies, cakes,
deserts and wine.
Growing rhubarb is simple and the plants require
little maintenance. The plants are very thirsty and like a
lot of water and fertiliser.
They can be raised from seed or from planting the
crowns during winter.
Rhubarb does best in cooler climates, although
temperatures below minus 3C will damage plants (this
only temporary as new stems are likely to grow back if
the crown survives).
Rhubarb can grow in a variety of soil types provided
they are well drained.
Stalks are picked from the outside as required.
Rhubarb is dormant in winter and harvested during the
Sweet 'medicinal' plant
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