When Lyndal and Steve Buth moved from beachside Peregian in Queensland to Heathcote in country Victoria, they thought they’d be retiring. They bought 20 acres and planned to be self-sufficient, raising a few pigs and chooks and growing their own vegetables. But while they were serving some of their smallgoods to friends at a breakfast in 2014, the idea for Heathcote Harvest was born.
The cafe and produce store opened in 2015, at the end of a long dirt road that houses Sanguine Estate, Downing Estate, Heathcote Estate and Jasper Hill wineries. The Buths raise sheep, free-range Berkshire pigs and laying hens, and grow most of the vegetables used in the cafe. What they can’t grow, they source from other local producers, except for their coffee beans, which come from Lyndal’s brother at Maleny Coffee in Queensland.
Inside they offer grazing platters of their own terrines, ham and salumi paired with local cheeses and house-made condiments. The menu also includes pickles and bread, and heartier dishes such as pork schnitzel with creamy mash and red-cabbage sauerkraut.
On weekends, you can bask on the lawn in the sunshine, or cosy up by the heater indoors. The larder is stocked with preservative-free sausages and various cuts of pork (prepared by the Buths’ mates over at The Meat Room in Kilmore East), fresh eggs, take-home meals and house-made preserves such as peach and rosewater jam, and pickled onions. Each week, the cafe showcases a new edit of wines from different local vineyards to pair with your ploughman’s lunch.