While visiting the East Gippsland region in Victoria, Matt Moran camps overnight beside the mouth of the Snowy River on a property where wild samphire and beach bananas are grown.
On his Corringle Beach property close to the mouth of the Snowy River estuary in East Gippsland, Andrew French, innovative bushman, inventor (he's credited with being Australia's most highly awarded) and cattle farmer is into his fifth commercial harvest of these coastal succulent herbs, samphire and beach banana.
- Andrew and Gabi French run Snowy River Station, comprising nine properties in Gippsland and southern NSW with headquarters at Corringle Beach near Orbost in East Gippsland.
- They started planting samphire four years ago. They now have about 50ha under cultivation.
- They sell to top-end restaurants and hotels and retail to the public through niche outlets. They also sell to agents in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane.
- They also raise Poll Hereford cattle and alpacas and sell locally butchered beef direct to the public, lucerne hay, organic peat, gravel, hardwood fence posts and cypress pine logs.
- Andrew is also a highly credited inventor and has sold his inventions to NAS
- Andrew is believed to be one of just three farmers in the world cultivating the historic food.
- Samphire has been harvested and eaten in England for a long time. Shakespeare referenced it in King Lear. “ Halfway down hangs one who gathers samphire; dreadful trade” Act four scene six, referring to the dangers of collecting samphire off the cliffs
- Samphire and beach bananas are salty seaweed-like vegetables that compliment seafood dishes and go well in salads