1. A piece of land left unsown for a period to restore fertility.
  2. A pale brown or reddish yellow colour (species Fallow Deer)

Adjective: not in use; inactive: My creative energies have lain fallow this year.

Have you ever cooked venison? Food writer, Sophie Hansen, married a farmer. Now they grow deer and then sell their venison at farmers markets. Her especially sweet blog, Local is Lovely is a collection of recipes and resources for people who love farmers and eating locally.

I married a farmer too. We eat mostly only our own meat and vegetables. It’s the way we were raised, super local and as delicious as food can get.  Sophie’s blog celebrates this way of eating with great recipes, interviews with producers, and the prettiest pictures. It feels like reading a great foodie mag and you can almost smell the cakes.

Their farm, Mandagery Creek, is near NSW food mecca, Orange. In the 90’s when I was at uiversity in a nearby town there was not much to see in Orange (except the ag college boys if you hoped to marry a farmer!) but intervening years have seen it blossom into foodie heaven with specialist growers, restaurants, food festivals, markets and vineyards. Many of our friends have relocated their young families there and I have been busting to revisit the region. In particular to eat with two of my childhood friends who run famed foodie hotspots; Jeremy Norris of Byng Street Local Storeand Willa Arantz at restaraunt Racine.

When Sophie asked me if I would like to do a basket making workshop at her newly opened Farm Kitchen as part of Frost Fest 2012, I said “Oh yes please!” and we set a date. She surprised me slightly last night by telling me the workshop on 10th August has already half sold out but there are still five places left. If your creativity has been lying fallow or you fancy a taste of venison and a foodie long weekend (the farmer’s markets are on the Saturday morning) then pop over to the workshops page for booking links. I’m sure Sophie could help point you to acommodation options around Orange.

She kindly suggested I might also like to have a wander and find some broken antler pieces in the paddocks. Really??

Consider that cake iced!

Photos: Sophie Hansen