When the Brancatisano family took over an eleven hectares of market gardens near Dromana in 2016 the property was neglected, infested with blackberries and littered with the shells of old cars rusting in the grass. The Italian family (three brothers and their partners) had been in the fruit and vegetable game for generations, and set to work rejuvenating the property with fresh plantings. Four years later Torello Farm is an organic farm gate ripe with fresh, seasonal fruit and vegetables, sourced both from the orchard and farm on the property, and from other growers in the local area.
The vibe here is more farmers market than fruit and veggie shop. You might arrive to find a local farmer unloading kiwifruit or dropping off eggs. The produce is always seasonal and always changing. Expect to find fruit and vegetables you wouldn’t normally see in a supermarket, such as strawberry guava and pomelo (similar to a grapefruit), as well as all the essentials you need to create a healthy, organic meal at home (or at your holiday house).
But it’s not just fruit and vegetables. Mark Brancatisano and Sophie O’Neil live nearby and raise Belted Galloway cattle and Dorset Down Lamb to stock at the farm gate. Both animals are heritage breeds from the UK, chosen for being slow-growing (they’re completely grass-fed), gentle nature and rich flavour of meat. Nothing goes to waste with the slaughter, so expect to find cuts you’ve never heard of when you browse the fridge at Torello Farm.
Alongside eye fillet and scotch fillet you might find brisket, chuck on the bone, or steaks such as hanger, flat iron or Pope’s eye. And if that’s all a bit bewildering Torello Farm upload recipes to their website regularly, and the staff are always happy to give tips at the farm gate.
If you don’t feel like cooking at all you can pick up a ready-made take home meal, created in the property’s commercial kitchen using seasonal ingredients and fresh meat cuts. Expect lasagnes, Massaman curries, pies, plus desserts such as heritage apple and rhubarb crumble.
The store also stocks local products such as Cape Shank olive oil, apples from Mock Orchard in Red Hill, flour made from heritage wheat at Tuerong Farm, free range eggs, pickles and preserves, honey, and pear and apple juice.