Producer Profile … Mooreville Gardens


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Peter Worley and Lisa Innes are the husband-and-wife team behind Mooreville Gardens, a 64 acre free-range egg and vegetable farm in Burnie. Their 4000 hens are happy, healthy chooks, having access to grassy paddocks 24/7, and living in mobile sheds. Peter and Lisa were kind enough to make the long journey from Burnie to attend our ‘Meet the Producer’ night at Hill Street Sandy Bay a few weeks ago, and we took the opportunity to chat to them about the finer details of egg farming in Tassie, and what makes their eggs so clucking delicious!


Q: How did you start in this business?

Our family farm has been growing vegetables for nearly 30 years which we sold at farmers’ markets from Launceston to Smithton. As great believers in farm diversification we looked for an add-on and came up with the idea of free-range egg production. So about seven years ago, we started with 200 birds, selling all our eggs at farmers’ markets every week.

We saw an opportunity to grow our business and researched the viability with a road trip south to Hobart. We door-knocked small shops, large shops and cafes until we came across an IGA called Hill Street Grocer. I spoke to Marco very briefly, who was very encouraging. We did more research on Hill Street and other shops around the state and concluded that there was a good opportunity for us. We increased our flock numbers over the years to where we are now, producing over 2,000 eggs per day.

Q: Tell us about your business today

We are a fairly labour-Intensive operation with most work done by hand from collecting eggs to packing, delivering locally and arranging freight state-wide. We pride ourselves in having a happy and loyal workforce which filters down to animal welfare, which is our number one priority - well-looked after happy birds produce more eggs with little or no stress.

All our birds are fed a vegetarian diet. We don’t feed any animal by-products or use organic fertilisers containing animal by-products. We don’t spray pastures with chemicals. Weed control is done in two ways, by hen and tractor/slasher power.

Q: How did you come to work with Hill Street?

We started supplying Hill Street around seven years ago. I mentioned earlier about meeting Marco but there have been two other significant highlights  -  meeting Steve Longmore and getting involved with the opening of Devonport Hill Street Grocer, and building a relationship with Omiros down in West Hobart. Steve and I are always crossing paths when I deliver to Devonport and he always has time for a quick chat. Omiros, well we don’t speak regularly but there’s always one topic of conversation between us which centres around TV soaps and me.   He always wins the conversation but it’s all in good humour!

It's always a pleasure dealing with every Hill Street store. We are very fortunate that all our customers’ businesses are family-owned and family-run.

Q: What is special about your eggs?

The truly special thing about our eggs is that they taste and look like natural, farm fresh eggs. Our birds live on pasture, they have a grain-based diet and every single egg we sell is never more than three days old when it leaves our farm with a six-week shelf life. Freshness of the eggs is the key.

Q: Which is your personal favourite way of cooking eggs and why?

Saturday morning after egg collecting is poached-egg-for-breakfast day. There’s no need for salmon, mayo, hollandaise sauce, rocket or any other greenery. A fresh poached egg on toast with a little ground salt and black pepper cannot be beaten (although my stepson disagrees as he claims drowning it in tomato ketchup is better).

Q: What do you like most about being a producer in Tasmania?

I strongly believe that Tasmanian producers are appreciated and highly valued by Tasmanians. We saw this at the ‘Meet the Producers’ night at the Sandy Bay store. We regularly receive random phone calls and emails from people who just want to say how much they enjoy our eggs. These calls are so appreciated. It’s amazing to think someone has taken time out and made the effort to contact a producer with a compliment, that is gold.

Q: What are the challenges?

Until several months ago our biggest challenge was staff. With a bit of thinking outside the box and some new staff we changed how we delegated work and responsibilities. This has been highly successful for us. We have three regular casual workers, all ladies and all extremely good at their job.

Q: How would you use your product at Christmas?

My favourites … devilled eggs (recipe below), and potato salad with bacon, egg, and mayo.

Q: How will you be celebrating Christmas this year?

A quieter Christmas this year. The family is getting smaller with the kids starting to fly the nest. Our workers of course have the day off, so my wife and I are chief egg collectors, feeders, washers, packers and despatchers. Busy for us but sometimes it’s nice to have the farm to yourself although you’d be most welcome to visit and maybe … help!

Q: Is there a recipe that you would like to share with our customers?

Yes! Perfect Hard Boiled Devilled Eggs with Smoked Salmon!

Perfect Hard Boiled Devilled Eggs with Smoked Salmon

You will need 8 large eggs at least 10 days old.

  • Boil enough water to cover the eggs, add a little vinegar.
  • Place eggs in gently with space around each one.
  • Simmer for ten minutes then place in an ice water bath until cool.
  • Peel under running water gently, making sure to get under the membrane.
  • Slice lengthways and scoop out egg yolk. Mash with 1/3 cup of mayonnaise,
  • 2 tsp Dijon mustard, add a little salt and 2 tsp of juice from the gherkin jar.
  • Spoon mixture back into the egg white and top with small slivers of gherkin and the smoked salmon. Sprinkle lightly with paprika.



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