Last week I drove 60 kms to Pine Ridge to visit a local, Clare Lee who owns a wonderful gourmet granola range called Fare. Like most countrywomen, Clare is an amazing multi-tasker, bringing up her three gorgeous children, as well as working alongside her husband David managing a historic Liverpool Plains property called Windy Station.
Clare is a breath of fresh air, with a friendly smile and a warm disposition. She hurries me into her gorgeous home and offers me in for a cuppa. Candle burning, kettle on and freshly picked flowers on the kitchen bench, we start chatting and can’t stop. It always lifts my soul when I get chatting to like minded business women- the passion we both share is ever present. And funnily enough we found a mutual connection to my hometown of Wagga Wagga in the Riverina.
Before Clare came to the Liverpool Plains, she lived in Esperence Western Australia, which is where she started her business Fare. The family moved when David accepted the job to manage Windy and she describes moving back to the Liverpool Plains like she was coming home. And the district is thrilled to have them here.
Clare is a total foodie at heart and deeply cares about the ingredients in her granola. She collaborates with other farmers to get the right mix of ingredients and nutrients so that not only what she produces tastes good but is excellent for your health. Clare sources her oats from Kendra at Brushwood Australia and some of her pecan nuts from Hicksons Pecans. The honey used is also farmed over the back fence from Black Creek Co. Clare grabs the freshly made granola mix and scoops some up with a local handcrafted spoon; and I have to say, it smells amazing. There’s a slightly caramelised and nutty smell, which I imagine is the maple syrup.
We chat on for while longer, grab a photo together then on the way out, Clare generously hands me a jar of green pickles made from another country local (insisting that I will love it) and invites me to take part in the Plains agri-tourism group she’s part of. I am sure I will be seeing more of Clare Lee down the track.
As I’m driving out of the Windy Station property, I can’t help but stop and stand in awe and take some photos of the historic grand Windy Woolshed. David and Clare are helping Romani Pastoral Company owners Mr and Mrs Schwarzenbach renovate the old dame built in 1901. They kindly want to share the woolshed with the community and have a strong sense of being custodians, choosing to maintain and preserve its history. As a member of the local Quirindi Children’s Medical and Research Institute, we were fortunate enough to hold a black tie ball here a few years back. I’ve attached some photos to see what a sensational night and awesome experience for everyone.
Don’t you love the two cows blocking my way over the ramp- they stood there for ages as if it was a sign to stay! It was hard to leave!