Elgaar Farm – Introduction
Elgaar Farm is a shining example of what can be achieved through organic farm practices. Joe, Antonia and the Gretschmann family produces milk from their Jersey cows with cream that sits proudly in the neck of each old-fashioned glass milk bottle. They farm totally organically and never use pesticides, fungicides or herbicides.
From their deeply-flavoured milk to their tangy yoghurt to the thick, rich cream, crème fraîche and mascarpone, all of their products are very special. Their aged cheddar which ripens for between 9 and 18 months is also deeply-flavoured.
We have followed them for many years and have always enjoyed their products and admired their enthusiasm for their work, despite the fact that it must be very, very hard and require amazing commitment to the task.
We can attest to the length of time they have been producing their cheeses and milk products as they were included in the 1998 edition of our book “A Food Lovers Guide to Tasmania” where we praised their milk and cheeses and mentioned places where they could be sourced.
Elgaar Farm products are in very strong demand and they cannot keep up the supply to all of the outlets who want to stock their products thus indicating that more and more farmers should be converting to organic agriculture where the price premium is higher and the demand is also higher.
Some background from their own Website is instructive:
In Bavaria during the 70s, chemical farming was taking hold and Joe followed other farmers and adopted chemicals into their practices. The thinking was, as long as it makes the grass grow faster, the weeds die quicker and the cows produce more milk, then it must be good.
That all changed when their first child came along. They began to ask some questions. “Is this really a world we want our children to grow up in?” The answer was no and from that day on they started to farm organically.
Not satisfied with old models of organic farming Joe and Antonia dived head first into finding out how to farm without chemicals in a modern way. They read books, talked to other growers and agricultural researchers, experimented, and after much trial and error they found a farming and production system that suited them both to a T.Elgaar Farm Website
You can find Elgaar Farm at the Hobart Farm Gate Market on Sunday mornings where a selection of their cheeses is on display. No vacuum-packed slices here but instead whole wheels of crumbly cheddar and silky ‘Elgaarthal’ and intriguing Ruby which has been washed.
Elgaar Farm are also at the Harvest Launceston market on Saturday mornings. At both venues you can also return empty milk, yoghurt and other containers and receive a refund.
The task of running the stall is shared by Joe and Antonia one week and the next generation on the alternative week.
Also look out for the excellent rolled oats, lentils and their own muesli mix from the related business run by the next generation called The Grain Family. They also have an excellent Dreikorn Porridge Mix made from freshly rolled oats, rye and spelt flakes and added linseed which they produce each week to ensure freshness of the grains.
Street: PO Box 17
Town/Suburb: Deloraine, 7300
Phone number: +61 3 6368 1227
Opening hours: Farm Gate Market, Hobart on Sunday and Harvest Market, Launceston on Saturday