Local Producers
Big Swing Organics
creamy avocados and perfect pickles

Smashed, grilled, sliced, stuffed, spread… How about pickled?

Avocados might not be an Australian native, but they have certainly become an Australia obsession and you probably think you’ve enjoyed them every way possible. But if you haven’t had them pickled, well, you’re missing out!

Big Swing Organics is the home of Christy Shelper and DJ Garner, two professional circus performers who tell everyone they stumbled into being organic avocado farmers! A lush farm in the hills of Goonengerry is a long way from the National Institute of Circus Arts in Melbourne or from touring the world with Cirque du Soleil, but that’s exactly the change of location, lifestyle and walk of life these two have made. And it is the place where Christy takes the certified organic avocados grown on the farm, and turns them into pickled avocados. The taste is phenomenal and the beauty of the jarred offering is that it gives Christy and DJ a chance to showcase their pristine avocados well beyond the traditional harvest season. And don’t throw out that pickle brine – it makes a perfect salad dressing once you’ve devoured the perfectly pickled avocado slices from the jar!

While they may describe themselves as newcomers to farming, it is clear they’ve immersed themselves into a farming life with enthusiasm. Listening to DJ wax lyrical about the benefits of planting particular species to attract bees; talking with Christy about the subtle variations of herbs and spices in her pickle brine; or seeing the experimental dragon-fruit trellising and you get a sense of just how much they’ve both embraced there new world.

But they haven’t completely left the circus behind… Look closely around the farm and you might just spot a zipline, tightrope, trampoline or other piece of circus-equipment hidden among the trees!

Quirks and curiosities

  • What do lambs, gems and bacon all have to do with avocados? Simple! They’re all varieties of avos grown here in Australia, along with reed, wurtz, gwen, sharwil and pinkerton.
  • Did Australia invent avocado toast? Probably not, but according to the very cool website Australian Food History Timeline, Margaret Curren wrote a piece in Brisbane’s The Telegraph in 1929 which describes spreading avocado on toast or water biscuits and sprinkling with pepper and salt. The article is probably the earliest mention of avocado on toast.

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