Young farmers Gloria and Tricia grow a variety of apples, stone fruit and quince in the small farming town of The Summit, 13 km outside of Stanthorpe. The summer season was going well, with good fruit development on all of their quince trees. Around Christmas a massive hail storm went down and their whole orchard was hit.
They expected to loose the whole quince crop, but the fruit hang on to the branches and kept growing. Came harvest time they were faced with a dilemma - yes, there was a lot of quince fruit ready for picking but no, there wasn't any first grade fruit that could go to the market. What to do now?
I heard about Gloria's farm from my friend Martin, a cider maker who had recently visited the orchard. I got in touch immediately and was able to purchase 300kg of hail damaged fruit that had nowhere else to go. These quinces were grown without any pesticides and got hand picked at their peak - it can't get any better than this, can it?
The fact that the fruit was badly hail damaged meant we had to spend more time preparing them in the kitchen. Each fruit was affected differently and the only way to prepare these quinces was one by one by hand. There simply isn't a shortcut when working with imperfect fruit. But once the prep was done, we were rewarded with the most beautiful pink and fragrant quince paste. And knowing that all this delicious fruit would have gone to waste otherwise totally makes up for the extra work involved.
Let's judge fruit by taste and freshness not superficial beauty. It's the inner beauty that counts!