Mountain Pepper (Tasmannia Lanceolata)
Mountain Pepper is a food and medicine with a history thousands of years old. Its rich antioxidant levels and outstanding antibacterial performance make it one of Australia's most sought after native foods.
At Australian Mountain Pepper we aim to provide you with the highest quality Australian bush foods which we grow and dry in a practice that is both environmentally and socially sustainable. Our pepper plants are the same species found at limited locations across south east Australia however the strength and flavour of the local phenotype we produce in the Budawang Ranges offers a spice that is truly unique.
We hand pick our berries and leaves ourselves so we can dictate the quality of what we supply to you. They pass through a three-stage cleaning process that does not involve any detergents or commercial cleaners. We air dry all our pepper ourselves and sell it in recycled and recyclable packaging.
Our pepper is 100% natural and 100% Australian grown, processed and owned.
Who we are
Australian Mountain Pepper is a family owned business founded by us, Meraiah Foley and qualified chef Tim Wimborne. We have a great interest in practicing a more sustainable style of living and business than has been common in the past. A practice that promotes the quality and quantity of wilderness areas and is reparative of agricultural land.
While growing and selling native Mountain Pepper is our business, our aim is to focus on the above mentioned sustainable practices and to supply a product with integrity rather than the sole target of maximising the bottom line at all costs. Quality over quantity and the environment above profit.
We also spend a lot of our time in the kitchen and in our large, organic, cold climate vegetable garden full of heirloom varieties. While Tim has the restaurant background, Meraiah comes from a long line of excellent cooks and from the kitchen we go to great lengths to provide quality, healthy food every day for family and friends and we experiment with new recipes to share with customers and foodies around the globe.
We love to hear from you so get in touch with us today!
We are passionate and evangelical about native Australian Mountain Pepper but there is more to us than this. Braidwood Food Company is our family owned enterprise that centers around eating seasonally and sourcing ingredients from ethical and sustainable producers and wild harvesting near our home town. We make food for food lovers in our region and beyond. Nature-first Farming meets Community Spirit. The result is Local, Freshness and Flavour.
Australian Mountain Pepper is a full member of the Southern Harvest Association, a community led organisation focused on growing local and regional food communities in the A.C.T. and South East N.S.W.
Drought, Fires and Flood.
Our lesson in renewal.
The worst drought in history. Six weeks of bushfires that destroyed our farm. The heaviest rain in 40 years. So, what's next for our Mountain Pepper orchard and locavore food business?
A lot of change!
So, we learned a lot in the last six months. About weather, climate and fire but also about community, native plants and people. We do know that we will have no pepper harvest in 2020. We don't know what the future climate will look like but it is certainly likely to be hotter and drier so we are undertaking a new 'risk mitigating' orchard recovery model. We have retooled our business to increase our hand-manufactured food products to account for lost pepper sales.
As is often the case we are now far more keenly focussed on family and friends but also ramping up the environmental and social sustainability of both business and home life, reducing our reliance on systems that have failed to provide security in recent times.
The bottom line is, we are aiming to grow better, not bigger.
We practice what can be described as 'pick & shovel' farming on this small property nestled at the base of the region’s highest peak, Mount Budawang. This is a special place, richly soiled and bounded by National Park on three sides. Primarily wet sclerophyll forest, it is crossed by a spring fed creek and is the home of massive tree ferns and Lyre Birds, Sugar Gliders and Spotted-tail Quolls. Our farm benefits from a very localised microclimate that delivers over 1,250mm of rain annually, cool winters and mild summers. This mountain refuge has deep, rich well drained soils which support forest trees over 50 metres high and nearby creeks that contain remnant rainforest. Our farm is registered with Kosciusko To Coast as a Land For Wildlife reserve.
We have cultivated a unique mountain pepper operation that employs permaculture principles and organic techniques. There is no use of industrial chemicals or non-recyclable/non-reusable plastics and great efforts are made to maintain the farm’s minimal carbon footprint and a near zero waste output. For the few inputs that come from off-farm we deal primarily with local suppliers and people we know personally.
Our sustainable and ecologically sound practices are creating a unique Mountain Pepper orchard. We practice companion planting, holistically managed soil and create our own organic fertilisers on site. We are the newcomers to this environment and we ensure our soils, water and annual harvest are shared with the creatures and wildlife that have lived indigenously here for thousands of years.
To our knowledge there is no other Mountain Pepper operation anything like this.
We call our farm Garaywaa, the local Dhurga aboriginal word for Milky Way. Days in the forest can be long and lazy but there is always something going on at the farm. Keep up-to-date with the Farm Journal.