Know Your Beef

Quality produce is quality because of the care, expert knowledge and attention to detail that goes into it, not the price tag.

By this definition Maryvale farmer Jess Hodges produces serious quality beef and from Kilbilli Farm, she will be proudly supplying Plenty with her produce.

Jess Hodges, Kilbilli Farm

Jess Hodges, Kilbilli Farm

Spending time in agriculture in the far west Channel Country and the Northern Territory before returning to south-east Queensland, Jess brings an impressive skill set to her own venture.

“We’re producing yearling beef fed on pasture supplemented with grain and barley sprouts,” she said.

“It’s nothing at all like a feedlot, it’s all out in the paddock and the barley sprouts we grow hydroponically.”

The carefully crafted diet is one of the most important ways Jess is able to maintain constant quality throughout her beef.

“If you get a steak it should have a little bit of fat, not too excessive, and some marbling through the muscle and thats what we aim for,” she said.

“It’s about taking it right from the beginning, from seeing a calf born and feeding it to a point that you’re happy to sell it to a consumer.”


As well as supplying the kitchen, Jess is also hoping to offer her beef directly to customers at Plenty.

“We are hoping to have different cuts available for sale and importantly not at an exorbitant price, they will be products that the everyday person can afford,” she said.

“It’s really about having that opportunity to cut out the middleman and thats how we are able to offer reasonable prices.”

Jess says the growing trend of consumers looking to connect with where and how their food is produced can only be positive.

“Its really important to give the right picture about how a product is really being produced, here the steers are actually out in the paddock and eating grass so we like to show that,” she said.

“At the end of the day you have to get satisfaction out of what you do and we do.”

From the paddock to you plate, Kilbilli Farm beef will be Plenty.

Kilbilli Farm to Plenty West End

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Know Your Quail

A core ethos of responsible, locally sourced food is ingrained in Plenty and Pittsworth farmers Clive and Erika Wylie have made it clear they share this value.

With decades of agricultural experience acquired throughout the world from China to Borneo and all across Australia, the couple know a thing or two about producing honest food.

With their latest venture, Banyard Game Birds, Clive and Erika are focusing their vast knowledge and experience on producing one thing; quality quail.

Clive Wylie, Banyard Game Birds

Clive Wylie, Banyard Game Birds

As a founding director of Inglewood farms, Australia’s leading producer of organic free-range chickens, Clive Wylie has already made himself instrumental to agriculture in the Darling Downs and jumped at the opportunity to continue working in the region.

“I’d known about this little qual business for seven or eight years and I’d been chatting to the owner for quite a few years and when he decided to move on, the wife and I decided to buy the business,” he said.

“We bought it only about six months ago and it’s really a fascinating little business.”

Clive says Banyard Game Birds concentrate solely on producing the best quality quails by managing the entire process from start to finish.

“We actually breed our quail, incubate them, hatch them out and have our own little abattoir making it a fully self-contained business,” he said.

“We do bring our feed in but we are looking at setting up our own little feed mill so we can source all our own ingredients.”

Clive and Erika see the benefit everyday in the quality of quail they are able to produce by controlling the whole process.

“We’ve been involved in food production for a number of years and one of main things that appealed to us about the business was we are really able to offer a sense of knowing where your food comes from,” he said.

“It’s really nice to be fully in control of that.”

Down the Great Dividing Range to Plenty, Clive and Erika’s quail will be gracing our fridges and your plates from our November launch.

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Know Your Honey

Beekeeper and owner of Farmgate Honey, Murray Arkadieff, may well have pollen in his blood.

Following in the footsteps of his parents, Murray was the proud owner of his own smoker and hive tool at the tender age of ten and many years and thousands of stings later he’s still holding on.

Murray says roughly one-third to two thirds of the food we eat is required to be pollinated by bees, a fascinating fact that drives his interest in the field.

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Appearing on our shelves and menu at Plenty come November, Farmgate Honey’s range of all natural products definitely stray beyond the usual fare.

Perhaps the most inviting offering is their fresh-from-the-hive comb honey.

“We produce a lot of comb honey and sell it still in the frames, It has a lovely taste and a delicious chewy texture,” he said.

“We export it to Guam, Egypt, Italy, Japan; it goes all over the place.”

Murray and his team run over 1200 hives within an 800-kilometre radius of Brisbane, travelling thousands of kilometres every year in pursuit of honey flow.

“A lot of people see beekeeping as just an old man in his backyard working a couple of hives but for us we’ve got three workers, big trucks and we are out in the bush for days at a time camped in swags,” he said.

“Different varieties of trees yield nectar and flower at different times of year depending heavily on the weather so you’ve got to really chase the honey every year to find out where it is.”

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These variables make for a complex and flavoursome honey that can change from season to season while maintaining a consistent quality.

Producing roughly 100 tonne of purely natural honey a year, Murray and his team are expert beekeepers and expert honey wranglers.

“The honey comes from the bush, it’s all Australian and we work hard to get it,” he said.

Plenty West End, Know Your Farmer. November 2013.

Know Your Olives

Great food starts with great ingredients and getting the staples right makes all the difference.

Quality olive oil is essential to any diverse kitchen and Plenty’s choice is Coolmunda Organic Olives extra virgin.

Owner Gesine Owen says the secret to a great olive oil lies in the process.

Coolmunda Organic Olive Grove

Coolmunda Organic Olive Grove

“We pick in the morning so our olives come straight out of the paddock, straight into processing and we can get a tonne done an hour,” she said.

“It’s all about maintaining a fresh 100% organic product from start to finish.”

The 72-year-old grandmother can safely call herself an old hand, spending the past 15 years growing olives on the banks of the Coolmunda Dam, an area perhaps better known for livestock.

“Growing cattle just wasn’t for us and I’m european so we thought we’d grow olives,” she said.

“With our products we’ve grown slowly so we could maintain the process from paddock to our factory and straight to sale and you certainly get a better taste for it.”

Far from the traditional Mediterranean climate known for olive production, Gesine has tweaked and adjusted to create an award winning range of table olives.

“Our kalamata actually took out the blue ribbon at last year’s Sydney show,” she said.

After declaring Coolmunda the winner the judge remarked the kalamata was exactly what a good olive should taste like.

The tricky business of determining the exact timing and the arduous task of handpicking the olives without the use of any treatment is all worth it in the end according to Gesine.

“(Because of the lack of chemicals and solutions) they can look slightly inconsistent but the taste is always consistent and always amazing,” she said.

On our shelves and in our kitchen, Coolmunda Organic Olives will be plenty.