Its February and summer is absolutely humming in the valley.  The Barossa is wearing its golden summer clothes with gorgeous sun bleached paddocks interspersed with the rich green of grape vines.  A drive in any direction spreads a vista in front of you as a patchwork of golden stubble, sun bleached browns and perfect rows of deep green vineyards.

The local fruit orchards have all been turning out apricots, plums and peaches – rich in flavour and heady scent, with sun warmed juice dripping down your chin.  The apples and pears have just started with the first varieties now being picked, and grapes are starting to develop some colour indicating that vintage is only just around the corner.  Tomatoes are coming on thick and fast, which also means zucchini are at their peak – and anyone who’s ever grown these things knows what that means!  It’s the time of year you are anonymously leaving them on doorsteps and insisting that visitors take some home with them.  Meanwhile you are grating them into everything and chopping up the monster ones for the chooks (there is literally 24 hours between a perfect zucchini and a monster – the damn things grow overnight!!!!)

Barossa farms and vineyards across the valley are preparing for the hot days and long nights of vintage.  Grape bins are being prepped, grape crushers are all re-comissioned, Vintage teams are fully inducted, and the first truck loads have already started appearing at winery weighbridges.  In coming weeks a large portion of our community will switch across to night shift as they drive grape picking equipment in the cool of the night, and leave the hand picking teams to work in the day light.    We love how we can map the shift of the seasons by the conversations at the post office….in December its all about wheat yields, January is apricots and peaches, and now February we make the final shift to grapes.  The agricultural backbone of our region is highlighted right there!

And normally we would be all about getting ready for the Tanunda show which is always held early in March, but unfortunately this year its had to be cancelled due to COVID.  We are disappointed, but we understand why its necessary, and we have been lucky to have it run the last two years while many others were cancelled, so we will just throw our support behind the voluntary committee and focus on next year instead.

Anyway, with all this amazing produce at our fingertips, and our normal show prep time on our hands, we have decided to launch a Seasonal Pantry Series that you can join online and will talk you through all sorts of options for taking the abundance and turning it into staple pantry items.  You can join us in our kitchens as we chat and demonstrate a few traditional food skills through a series of six episodes,  Follow the links below to our website to learn more.

What else are we up to?

In the meantime we are still awaiting information from Wakefield Press regarding the book project manuscript – we are in the queue and we just have to be patient while the next steps unfold.  While we wait for that to happen we have started recording the accompanying pod-cast series and kicked off with our first interview yesterday.  We were chatting to Helen and Annabelle, daughter and grand-daughter respectively to Gladys Plush who’s recipes for Dried Pear Cake and Mixed Citrus Marmalade have been included in our updated publication.  It was a beautiful conversation filled with childhood memories of a wonderful woman and her baking, laced with fabulous stories about fetching jugs of fresh yeast and sneaking cigarettes in the chook yard!

Days like those are absolutely our favourites, and we cant wait to have the whole series recorded, edited, and ready for sharing.

(if you are interested in Gladys’s recipes you will find her as Mrs JEC Plush in the cookbook.  She’s got 11 recipes in the original cookbook, largely in the cake chapters.)


As always, copies of the original Barossa Cookery Book are available via the shop on our website.  They make fantastic gifts, or to keep for yourself.  Couple it with our ‘I’m a keeper’ tote bags and you are set for seasonal abundance.


And what about you. What are you up to in this keeping season?  We love to chat and we love to connect so don’t be shy.  Reach out to us on socials, via DM or email.  We always love to hear feedback, comments, or even just to start a chat.


Keep on keeping, Keepers!



Sheralee and Marieka




The dictionary defines a ‘keeper’ as a person charged with responsibility for the preservation and conservation of something valuable, but being a keeper is also a doing word.

We are the keepers.  The keepers of the traditional food skills, the regional food stories, the new ways of doing old valuable things.  And every year, at this time and in this season, we lead the way.

You.  Me.  Us.

We are the keepers.