With the end of the quince harvest in our small Quince Orchard nearly here we have been doing a stocktake. So far we have given away over 100kg of quinces. We have given quinces to dog walkers who we see regularly walking past our cottage, to friends who have then made quince paste for their grandchildren, Michael has given them to customer’s, we’ve hung bags of quinces on our front fence to be collected by neighbour’s, as a thank you we left a big bag of quinces under a tree to be collected by someone who made a special trip to deliver something for us, Michael has dropped boxes of quinces at friends farm gates as a surprise as he has driven through the valley to work, and we have left bags of windfall quinces at a friends farm gate who has fed them to their pigs.
This years harvest was called Quince Kindness, with everything going on in the world Michael, Lil and I decided to give away as many quinces as we could and sell to existing customer’s (in the hospitality industry who buy our quinces and turn them into a product to sell) for the initial price we started selling them for years ago. It has been an honesty system, we harvest the quinces following hygiene procedures, put them directly in the box and the person buying the quinces weighs them (to save us handling them again and it minimises contact) and pays online. There has been boxes of quinces left outside our garden gate and a wave from afar as they have been collected. I like this honesty system. If a customer weighs 15kg of quinces, we ask them to pay for 14kg, this is about generosity, good will, we want our customers to enjoy the whole process from buying our quinces to them making and selling or serving them.
When people we have given the quinces to have offered to pay for the quinces the reply is simple.
Pay it forward. Do something kind for someone else.
Even if it is just smiling at a stranger in the supermarket, a gentle act of kindness.
Our Quince Orchard is more than just about harvesting & selling fruit. It’s about regenerating the once powdery “soil” that only scrappy weeds grew in. It is now habitat for birds and different Tasmania marsupials (Eastern Quoll’s, a bettong and bandicoots have been spotted in there), it’s home at the moment to the Indian Runner ducks, Polly and the girls are living in the front of the orchard, the intention is they are giving the front trees a power boost with their bath water emptied daily on the front three rows of quinces and side hedges. And the Back Orchard hens are holidaying in the other part of the Quince Orchard closest to the Kitchen Garden and can be tucked up and cosy in the Hen House each night. They all have fresh green pick, enjoying the windfalls from the quinces and food hedge, have large areas to forage, dust bathe and just be chooks and ducks.
The life lessons, to walk through the orchard, to spend time there. To stand amongst the slowly maturing trees and have a Shrike Thrush land in a branch close by, curious to see what you are doing. These magical moments make life rich.
You can read more about our Quince Orchard in my free ebook Quinces and there are quince recipes as well (link in side bar) and their is my Quinces page to click on as well (at the top of the page).
Sending Light and Love,
April 30, 2020