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TAS Country : January 10th 2013
uary 11, 2013 11 Pictures: KAROLIN MacGREGOR FRESH: Stacy and Simon File spent a lot of time and money improving Hillwood Berry Farm and now grow a range of strawberries, loganberries, red currants, black currants and raspberries. wanted them to know where their had been grown without ---STACY FILE sampled before, including the two types of currants. A patch of their farm that is not being used for berry production has now also been planted with vegetables, including peas, lettuces, corn and rockmelon and watermelon. Mrs File said while initially they had planted the vegetables for their own family's use, customers at the cafe were also keen to buy the fresh home- grown products. ''It started for us really because having two young children I wanted them to know where their food was coming from and that it had been grown without chemicals and things like that, and we had an area we weren't using for berries so we put some veggies in there,'' she said. ''Now, though, we are getting heaps of people coming through that want to buy some vegetables as well as the berries and I think a lot of demand is coming from the fact that people are more interested in where and how their food is grown.'' Mrs File said working in agri-tourism was a rewarding experience. ''We love seeing families come here and have a really good time. That's what it's all about for us.'' As well as promoting their own business, the couple are heavily involved with the local Tuckerbox Trail, which features four local food and wine businesses. Mrs File said the trial gave participants an opportunity to sample produce on farm and talk directly with the producers. The trail also includes the Yondover Cheese, Millers Orchards and the Leaning Church Vineyard. ''It's fantastic that we can all work together and promote each other's business, because that's one of the great things about Tasmania, it is a unique place. ''I think we need to build on that so we can all be successful, it's not about competing against each other.'' When it comes to promotion, Mrs File said social media was an invaluable tool. ''A lot of things are said about Facebook, but for us it has worked incredibly well. It's a great way to connect directly with your customers, and it's free.''
January 3rd 2013
January 17th 2013