Big Rosella Festival about to take flight

Jams, chutneys and condiments on display at the 2021 Big Rosella Festival. 284010_01

Erle Levey

Eyes will be centred on Woolooga this month for the 2022 Big Rosella Festival, and there is a lot on offer to tempt taste buds.

Greg Petersen and Cecilia “CC” Diaz-Petersen will be presenting their seventh festival in what is believed to be the biggest of its type in Australia based on rosella fruit.

As well as tastings of jams, pickles, chutneys and condiments, there will be farm tours, craft and produce stalls, cooking demonstrations, coffee and food.

“It will be a day on the farm,” CC said. “There will be some singing and dancing as well … a good community day.

“The rain events made it harder to keep the fruit and vegetable crops up but we had put a lot of rosella fruit away so as to be able to meet our production targets.

“We have been able to keep the quality for which we are known.”

A brand-new commercial kitchen will be ready for the festival. Constructed to improve production, it will allow space for more visitors including retailers.

The kitchen will provide a farm cafe, and highlight the produce grown on site.

There will be Q and A times with farmers, to learn about the wins and the challenges of working the land.

“More than ever, people are keen to support local farmers,” CC said.

“This is an opportunity to experience what it’s like.

“Farmers help drive the local economy and attracts visitors to the region.

“This field day is organically presented by the farmers.”

New products CC will be launching include sweet and spicy rosella barbecue sauce, that goes with anything from chicken to baked potatoes.

Rosella jam or syrup to go on pancakes as well as icecream will be available, together with rosella strawberry jam.

On the menu will be gooseberry apple pie and rosella strawberry pie, CC’s spring rolls and pork sausages.

“This is to celebrate all things rosella and share the flavours of Woolooga,” CC said. “We believe this is the only one of its kind in Australia.”

Chefs from Brisbane to Hervey Bay will be on hand for cooking demonstrations throughout the weekend, using seasonal produce.

My Kitchen Rules winners from 2013 Dan and Steph Mulheron of Eat at Hervey Bay will be there, together with Brisbane food presenter and chef Dominique Rizzo.

Other guests include Jason England, chef/co-owner of Odyssey Bistro Hervey Bay, fellow chef Neil Yates, and Adrienne Jory chef/owner of El Planta Mexican in Fish Lane, South Brisbane.

The QCWA will be helping out at the festival, along with Woolooga State School.

“Watch for the rosella-iced donuts,” CC reminds me.

Big Rosella Festival opening times: 9am – 3pm Saturday, Sunday, June 18-19.

Petersen’s Farm and CC’s Kitchen are at 2 Reilly Rd, Woolooga.

Visitors are asked to bring cash due to unreliable phone reception for point of sale systems. 

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