Curiously, the scene from the verandah reminds me of Northern NSW around Dorrigo. Poplars quickly bring it all back to focus but the thought still lingers.
It is raining. Has been on and off all day, just the drizzling type the birds love and you can tell by the noise they are making, unseen whistling in the Macrocarpas.
A group of plovers stroll across the newly mown lawn looking like they are determined to be somewhere on time. Down at the front dam the frogs seem to be in paradise; at least they are saying so.
It is a sea of green hue out there. Everything you get on the Dulux colour card of green is in front — framed against the shadow of tree and bough, but moving in the breeze. I didn’t believe native green had so much potential and could turn on such a show, particularly with help from many roses bursting from thin tendrils. Roses at Stanton have always taken on a pregnant air at this time of year; November.
To my right Back River winds unseen up towards Platform Peak the biggest of the Black hills now shrouded in swirling mist making it hard to tell where cloud and sky meet. It isn’t hot, about 17 deg, more of a NSW north coast winter lurking in a Tasmanian Spring.
It is a stretch at the moment to see the verandah shaded by hops that have recently been planted, just itching to climb up the strings onto the railing outside the main room. They will do this with great gusto around February emulating their colleagues at Bushy Park. We now have to be patient.
Stanton’s hops are not Tasmanian when you get down to it. They are here because they will thrive and be loved despite coming from across the seas. Every beer drinker should have hops growing on the verandah where they sip, it is … company!
The beer of choice at Stanton is a Two Metre Tall Forester or a Boags Premium, definitely not with bottles clinking at one’s feet. As an aside to this a great beer divide exists in Tasmania, a classic tale of North and South, but that is for another time.
Hop varieties have intriguing names that suggest a sort of befuddlement from the start. Wine makers don’t seem to be as laid back as beer brewers but a cavalier attitude towards brewing won’t do, there is more to it than you think.
A wondrous hop name to me is “Fuggle”, a famous English hop. Another grown at Bushy Park is called “Jungle”.
A premier English hop is named “Golding” said to have originated in East Kent villages in the UK.
A research trip to a microbrewery or three in Kent would be a satisfactory holiday indeed. Two Metre Tall use “Hallertau” and “Pride of Ringwood” hops to make their ale. It is now available on the Gold Coast for those wanting something different.
Stanton’s international contribution to flavour consists of the following guests:
Mount Hood (US)
Super Alpha (NZ)
I’m sure they will be sociable types in the true beer spirit.
Stanton has had other guests over the years and one group has stayed the distance. The bees at Stanton have been here forever and have done their thing quietly and efficiently ever since. An apiarist who comes here periodically talks about them as ” the girls” with quite some affection.
We at Stanton have now converted to the faith and from now on there is no holding back. Playing with bees is entirely satisfying and what a result!
From the visor of my white astronaut suit I see the friendly smiles on their faces and I contemplate ditching the protection and going “au naturel,” showing my endearing nature so to speak.
The white suit is a uniform like no other when you look at it. If you wore it to Woolies people would associate you with great worth to the country and so look at you with admiration. Perhaps they will buy chocolate for you … or they may not.
At Stanton our honey goes lavishly on porridge next to the King Island cream and the raspberry compote.
November has been a wet part of Spring but this is beneficial. If it keeps producing fine sprays of moisture in quantity every flower, leaf, vegetable, fruit, and the hop will be ready to enjoy in the new year.
But first, starting next week, Summer will show how blue goes with the green.
Perhaps we need a painter to capture this on canvas.
04 Dec 2011 admin