Ah spring, is there anything better than beautiful fresh greens and flowers at this time of the year!?
The team from B&B Basil are on board for September and have some great things to share with us.
B&B Basil began as a father and daughter team in 2000. After noticing a lack of locally grown herb products at the Melbourne fruit and vegetable market, George Bobin and Susie Young decided it was time to begin something new and started growing large Hydroponic Basil in pots. Their products were an instant hit at the markets and the demand for their high quality herbs have only grown from there. See below for our questionnaire with Susie and her insight into B&B Basil.
Join us in September for a stunning burst of colour and flavour. Especially on one of our new dessert specials, stay tuned.
How long has B & B Basil been operating?
We started in 2000.
How did B & B Basil get started? What was the inspiration?
Originally we started as George (Dad) was looking to make a change from a very manual type duck farm where our family farm produced duck eggs since I can remember. We both had a green thumb and a love for food. I was in my first job out of school, a trainee in a local Bakery, and had my afternoons free. On a trip to Melbourne markets George got talking to someone about produce and it was mentioned that good Basil was hard to come by in Victoria at the time it was mainly coming down from Queensland. George had a long time passion for Hydroponics and I was keen on producing a bunch in a pot and keeping it less labour intensive. From there we started offering our Basil around local restaurants and then into an agent at the Melbourne wholesale Fruit and Vegetable Market. Bit by bit we grew. Working after work, weekends and friends and family helped out when possible. When time was right Jan & George made the move to sell the Duck Farm which worked in with my first house purchase that had a hectare of land with it. Next came a question from a local grower that small tips of produce were being asked for as the Microgreen trend started to gain interest in Australia. We decided still a nice bunch in a pot style and just grow them small. Starting with our current varieties of Basil we quickly found our next big thing. Over the years our varieties have grown to 40 different Microgreen or Microherbs, a variety of pea tendrils and now increasing demand in our Edible Flowers.
Is there a specific product you are most fond of from your business?
Our Microgreen Basil is still my favourite with its strong fragrance but followed closely by Salad Burnet as I love its fresh flavour.
If there was one thing you loved most about your business, what would it be?
The best part is taking the time to get about the farm and wandering through the greenhouses. It could be any kind of weather outside but it transports you to a calm garden with so many amazing aromas and colours.
What’s your number one tip for the ultimate herb experience?
Keep it fresh, colourful and flavoursome…we eat with our eyes as well so give something new a try…even the edible flowers.
Any hot tips for people wishing to use micro herbs in their home?
For home use they can be tricky to track down in the grocers. We recommend asking for a mix of 6 or 12 and have a play. Matching some with everything, from entree to dessert. Then with whatever is left blend them all together and you have your own version of Herb Salad Mix which is great on brunch or lunch! If you’re buying them living like our pots they should last out on your bench top for at least a week depending on the variety. They just need a touch of water and filtered light.
Where would you take a visitor for an essential country food experience?
There are currently tours run through the Bendigo Tourism called ‘From Market to Paddock to Plate’. These are a guided tour of the local farmers market and farms with the catering selected from local produce along the way. Your also finish with a lovely dinner cooked by one of your hosts!
If you could visit any city for a day’s eating and drinking experience, where would it be and why?
Melbourne is my favourite. No matter how many times you go you can always find good quality food and so many varieties of flavour.
What other local artisans or producers do you admire? Why?
We probably admire more local regional chefs more that source local food and help bring us idea’s to make us local producers think outside the box from traditional produce.
If you had to choose your last meal, what would it be?
Oooo thats tough. ..can I choose the 8 course degustation please!