The first About Regional Pop-Up Newsroom landed in Bermagui this week, based out of Julie Rutherford Real Estate we uncovered some of the untold stories of this town.
Kelly Eastwood from River Cottage Australia dropped in to share her plans for a deli and cooking school…
The About Regional Pop-Up Newsroom is in #Bermagui upstairs at the harbour at Julie Rutherford Real Estate.This time chatting to Kelly Eastwood about her new deli and cooking school.Drop by with your story between now and 2pm.CheersIan
Longtime Bermagui fisherman Allan Broadhurst talked about his life on the ocean…
Can't come to #Bermagui and not talk to a real fisherman! Here's one – Allan Broadhurst.The About Regional Pop-Up Newsroom at Julie Rutherford Real Estate.Drop by with your story before 2pm.Thanks for tuning in.Ian
And then there’s Bruce Frost, a life of volunteering, beekeeping and managing MS, one of the region’s great men…
The About Regional Pop-Up Newsroom is at Julie Rutherford Real Estate, upstairs at #Bermagui Harbour until 2ish. Drop by and share your story.Chatting to Bruce Frost right now talking volunteering, beekeeping, life with MS, and who knows!Thanks for tuning in.Ian
The new owner of the River Cottage Australia property at Central Tilba on the New South Wales Far South Coast is a 36-year-old single builder from Sydney looking for a place to put roots down and call home.
Tristan Diethelm says he is comfortable with the price he paid for the famous TV set but wouldn’t reveal the final figure.
“Considering it was River Cottage, I am sure I paid a bit more, but opportunities like this are rare,” Tristan says.
Reportedly listed for $895,000 in late April, Tristen told About Regional that the 9-hectare property was a dream come true.
Host Paul West has also moved on, his young family settling into Newcastle in recent months.
“We’re keen to get back to the South Coast in the next couple of years, especially as Otto gets ready to start school,” Paul says.
“I was so busy with the show, I needed to reconnect with family and take some time out and keep a low profile.”
The new owner of the property says he is keen to carry on the principles Paul put in place.
“I want to tap into local food and the community, that’s part of what attracted me in the first place,” Tristan says.
Currently living in and renovating a terrace house in Paddington, Tristan has plans for the Punkalla Tilba Road property.
River Cottage will be open for holiday rentals in time for spring 2017.
“It will be a place where family, friends and I can escape to, but I will be listing it for holiday rentals on Airbnb soon,” Tristen says.
All the animals that starred in the show alongside Paul were sold off late last year, the veggie beds remain and have continued to produce under their own steam, indeed a carrot from the River Cottage garden has become somewhat of a trophy for locals.
“I’ve pretty much bought the place as is,” Tristan says.
“Most of the furniture and what people saw on TV comes with the property, so it will feel like a River Cottage experience to fans of the show who want to stay.”
Being handy on the tools, the new owner also sees great potential in some of the property’s other buildings.
“The bedrooms in the house need a little bit of work, and the old dairy and silos could perhaps be turned into further accommodation,” Tristan says.
The vendor in the sale wasn’t Paul West, the property was owned by British TV production house Keo Films.
David Galloway, Executive Producer and Director of Programmes at Keo says, “After several seasons making the show and watching Paul grow the property it was a hard decision to sell.”
“Unfortunately without a TV commission, it was a business decision in the end.”
Up until tonight (July 3) the show was only available on pay TV and DVD, but SBS will screen all 64 episodes weeknights at 6pm, opening the show and the South East of New South Walse to a whole new audience.
“Who knows where that may lead to in terms of future programming,” the Keo TV boss says.
“For Keo, River Cottage Australia was a hugely successful venture, with four seasons airing on Foxtel’s Lifestyle Channel.
“It also gave the company a production base in Australia from which other highly successful Keo formats – like Struggle Street’ (SBS) and ‘War on Waste’ (ABC) have been produced,” Mr Galloway says.
As the new owner of the property, Tristan Diethelm chuckles as he confesses to only watching the first series of River Cottage Australia.
“But I’ve been looking for a property outside of Sydney for a while, there’s a buzz about the South Coast at the moment and I’ve been scanning the area for about a year,” he says.
“I am keen to nurture the property and would love to be working in the area down the track.
“There’s the beach nearby, a rural lifestyle, and a beautiful little town, it ticks so many boxes.”
While he lives in Sydney Tristan says he doesn’t feel like he has a hometown.
“My Dad is a yachtsman and we spent a lot of time sailing the world when I was young, so I am looking for a place to put down some roots,” Tristan says.
“And if Keo wants to film another series one day, I’d open up the property again for River Cottage.”
*Photos supplied by Julie Rutherford Real Estate, with photography by Kit Goldsworthy from Tathra (internal and some external photos) and Josh McHugh from Bermagui (drone aerial shots).
The TV show River Cottage Australia has been mothballed, host Paul West gives us the inside story and speaks of his plans for the future. Read more HERE.
Author Deb Hunt shares her amazing love story with a pilot from the Royal Flying Doctor Service, a man given up for dead in a horrific helicopter crash as a young fella that goes on to help lead this iconic organisation.
And one of the Anglican Churches newest priests, Merimbula’s Anthony Frost talks about his life of faith and the relevance of the Bible in 2017.
The skill, passion, and beauty of these small communities was showcased to 17 countries across Asia and Eastern Europe.
Local people and their flair for food, the environment and each other became the star of the show – and generated terrific goodwill and prosperity beyond the TV production houses.
“There is no doubt the filming of 32 episodes of this national and international show has had a positive impact on the region in many ways,” says Sarah Cooper, Business Assistance Manager, Eurobodalla Shire Council.
“Aside from the immediate economic benefit that comes with a full TV crew filming for 3 months each year, there will be long-lasting effects,” Sarah says.
“The increased tourism in and around Tilba with visitors wanting to sample the ‘River Cottage Australia’ life has been a huge economic boost for the region and will be for some time.
“It’s been a four-year partnership with Council and the community, we will miss the show.” she says.
Paul West speaks with Ian Campbell about his plans for the future:
Paul West laughs as he remembers meeting viewers from Hungary on the main street of Central Tilba.
“If you have an eye for natural beauty, great communities, and that true regional character, then this is the best part of Australia,” Paul says.
The cooking and gardening program has also made a number of skilled locals ‘famous.’
As the show moved along Paul needed to call on expert advice, drawing on CWA cook Nelleke Gorton, farmer and felter Tabitha Bilaniwskyj-Zarins, Erica and Nic Dibden from South Coast Cheese and Tilba Milk, and mobile butcher Matt Christison, among many others.
Matt says the show has changed him.
“It’s been a huge buzz, the crew made me feel so welcome – they are great people.
“I was gutted when I heard the news, I will miss it. The Cooking School especially has been very satisfying,” he says.
Matt’s profile on the show has been good for his own business, which he’s very grateful for.
“Other’s have been inspired too, there are a lot more mobile butchers out there now,” Matt says.
While the show featured the recipes and gardening tips you’d expect, it was also known for showing regional life in all its colours, including the slaughter of farm animals.
As the one firing the gun and often cutting the throat of an animal, Matt says the reaction of viewers was interesting.
“I am very proud of that work,” Matt says.
“We showed how it can be done naturally and humanely.”
On the flipside, Matt says he’s disappointed his butcher jokes were cut from the show.
“I cracked every ‘meat’ joke there is, none of them made it to air,” he laughs.
Kelly Eastwood is another of the names tied to show reflecting on the positive impact it’s had and making new plans for the future.
Kelly says she’ll take the next month off and rest before jumping into anything new.
“There are lots of opportunities for good food here and I’ll be writing my cookbook over summer,” Kelly says.
“I believe so much in this region and I just want to show it off to the world.”
For Paul West, his wife Alicia, their 2-year-old boy and baby due early next year, River Cottage Australia lives on in many respects.
While the show might be hibernating, Paul’s passion for food is awake and kicking under the banner of Triangle Farm Tilba.
Over the last couple of months, Paul has been turning a grassy paddock on the Princes Highway, opposite the Dibden’s dairy farm, into a market garden.
“When you are making a TV show you do more TV making than you do food growing,” Paul says.
“Now that the TV show isn’t on the horizon, I want to do more food growing.
“I’ll be growing a variety of chemical free vegetables that I hope to sell into the Bermagui and Tilba farmers markets, and maybe I’ll get down to Bega as well, and supply a few hospitality businesses,” Paul says.
A pop-up food stall is also part of Paul’s thinking, but he’s keen to get the garden producing first.
“Tilba sits atop a region that is colloquially known as the triangle,” Paul explains.
“It’s the trio of villages – Bermagui, Cobargo, and Tilba, they make a triangle on the map.”
Paul says the name Triangle Farm is also a nod to the triangle being the strongest shape.
“And the three points [of a triangle] also symbolise produce, place and people – the three most important elements in food,” Paul says.
Fresh from their time in the spotlight in episode one of season four of River Cottage Australiathis week, a one of a kind Bega Valley winery is preparing to step into a future that is rich in the values of its past.
Rescue helicopter pilot Euan McKenzie and retired soldier Carlin Stanford put their first vines in the ground at Verona, near Bega NSW in 2009.
Armed with a degree in Oenology and Viticulture from Margaret River, Euan and Carlin’s dream of Together Wines was growing well until just before getting ready to sell their first drop.
Despite their old dairy having produced food for the region for around 100 years, current legislation stopped it from being used to produce, bottle and sell wines.
Euan and Carlin are looking to make the financing of their family business just as sustainable as their management of the environment.
Despite some killer hot days since planting, their vines have never shown any signs of heat stress. What makes that even more remarkable is that their vines have never been irrigated.
Together Wines is working with nature to produce Pinot Noir, Sauvignon Blanc, and Rose that demonstrate their time and place. Traditional wine making techniques with low intervention as well as organic and biodynamic viticulture adds further depth.
Vines were first planted into deep wide holes ( 2475 holes in total 400mm wide, 800mm deep) that were backfilled with decomposed green manure, sending the roots deep into the famous soils of the Bega Valley. A technique not generally used in commercial vineyards, but something Euan and Carlin thought essential in their sustainable dream.
Grasses and herbs around the base of the vines are used to regulate water uptake, as well as provide minerals, mulch and habitat.
The end result is a wine that reflects each unique season.
It’s only “together”, with small contributions from people with a passion for sustainable farming, good wine and regional innovation that Together Wines can take the next step.
A pledge of $100 builds momentum towards the $24 000 target and sees people become a Friend of Together Wines with a lifelong discount of 20% on future wine orders. Bigger pledges open up more opportunities including private vineyard tours and barrel sampling.
An opportunity for wine lovers to connect with the grower and build the future.