I’m time poor at the moment, spending every free moment on the finishing touches to the book, so I don’t have the luxury of a day to wade up the river or hit the lakes, waving my stick in the air in the hope to bag a beautiful healthy Trout. As an alternative I support our local Trout farmers, Tuki that are based on the volcanic Stoney Rises north of Smeaton. Yes not very sporting, but let’s remember that I don’t hunt or fish for ‘sport’ it’s always been about sourcing a meal. Tuki is where we sometimes go with the kids on free weekends to buy some fresh fish and sometimes get the girls behind a rod for fun.

I love this fire place. Always a welcoming sight when we visit Tuki in winter.

A double bonus today was that as I was leaving, my foraging senses took control and I spotted a healthy bunch of fresh stinging nettle just behind some signage. After a good chat with the owner I garnished harvesting approval and went crazy stuffing a full bag with the intention of making more pesto (later in the afternoon I made 7 meals and bagged, tagged and froze them).

The road home was beautiful with isolated spring storms popping up over the volcanic range making for some pretty spectacular scenery, the lighting was full of mood. I love this region. Anyone that poo poo’s the Ballarat area is a fool.

Smeaton is a quaint little town just south of Tuki. It’s a little time capsule.