Tamar Valley farmers, producers and vineyard owners will open their gates to the public this weekend, as Farmgate Festival returns for its fifth instalment.
Punters are encouraged to attend any or all of the festival's 16 venues, from Friday to Sunday, to understand how the region's well-regarded produce is grown and created.
Short tours, produce tastings and purchases straight from the farm gate are all set to be a part of the event's behind the scenes look at Tasmania's great food and wine story.
Farmgate project officer Dr Sandra Astill said the event was created in 2017 to showcase the products from some of the region's smaller producers.
"A lot of the larger businesses have a number of mechanisms in place to generate visitor interest," she said.
"Smaller places work quietly in the background, and although their produce might be available at the Harvest Market on Saturdays, it's important that people see first hand how difficult it can be to grow, understand where the food they're eating comes from, as well as to hear the unique origin stories and future aspirations of the producers."
She said the festival's popularity had grown exponentially since its inaugural year, and that it would welcome six additional farms in 2021, each offering something new and exciting for visitors to try.
One of those newcomers is the Fork n Farm Artisan Homestead, who is scheduled to demonstrate some of its food production methods across the three-day event, including cheese-making, charcuterie and sourdough baking.
Owners Cassie and Aaron 'Lob' Lobley founded the bed and breakfast facility, which is also home to a culinary school, in January, last year.
Mr Lobley said while the pair were living in rural Far North Queensland, they became proficient in growing their own produce and making smallgoods at home, purely out of necessity.
"We never really got fresh food, bread, butter or anything, so we learnt to make it all ourselves, then Cass was teaching everyone how to make things and it just continued," he said.
Ms Lobley said events like Farmgate were essential for raising awareness around the unique experience on offer at the couple's Glengarry-based establishment.
A host of Farmgate favourites are also scheduled to return for another year including Brady's Lookout Cider.
Third-generation orchardist Caro Brown and her husband Chris are Australia's only cider makers dedicated to Methode Traditionelle, a champagne inspired method of crafting cider that was popular in the 16th century, which emulates the Tamar Valley's world-renowned sparkling wines.
Mrs Brown said the couple's hands-on, traditional and organic approach to their craft has allowed the Rosevears-based business to flourish since its establishment in 2014.
"We had some apple trees in our backyard and thought that we should do something useful with them, so that's how things started," she said.
"Since then we've been really pleased with how our ciders have been coming together over time, and we've even won some awards on a state and national level.
For us, events like this are about helping people understand the importance of how and why we farm, because we're somewhat different in the sense that we farm with the environment in mind.
The full farm experience will be available to patrons, with berries, olives, grapes and truffles among the multitude of fresh produce available.
Demonstrations on harvesting, production and processing, as well as interactive wool weaving will be complemented by the many opportunities for animal encounters with ponies, sheep, pigs and many more farmyard animals set to be on show.
Visitors at the event are required to drive their vehicles between venues, where festival tickets will gain them entry to as many farms as they would like to visit on both days, allowing plenty of time over the weekend to travel through the scenic Tamar Valley region and visit them all.
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