About the Otway Harvest Trail
The Otway Harvest Trail formed in 2009 to showcase Otway Ranges local produce and tourism businesses. The trail’s aim was to attract people to visit and stay in the Otway hinterland, and to benefit members through opportunities arising from the collaboration.
To the consumer, Otway Harvest Trail is a local producers’ trail located in Victoria’s Otway hinterland. The trail, as a collaboration, is a hub for Otway Ranges tourist information and a guide for tourists to the best businesses and operators providing places to eat, places to stay, things to do and local food produce in the Otway Ranges.
The Otway hinterland is blessed with abundant rainfall, rich soil, warm summers and mild winters. A patchwork of farming land nestles against a backdrop of pristine, lush rainforest. The area is dotted with a network of village communities, each a vivid reflection of the history, rural character and natural splendour of their locality. A range of specialist boutique producers have established businesses within the area, attracted by the relaxed lifestyle, natural beauty, and opportunities on offer. There are various high-quality accommodation options available to suit the needs and interests of visitors to the region.
A diverse range` of complementary industries have developed in the Otway hinterland including a strong presence of artists and artist studios, and a range of thriving cottage industries which further enrich the visitor experience.
By carefully managing and marketing the attributes of the Otway Harvest Trail we can deliver long-term benefits to its members, the local community, visitors to the area and the local economy. Contact us or visit the membership page for more information on how to become a member.
Emma Ashton – President
Emma & Peter Ashton purchased the Forrest Guesthouse in 2013 and established the restaurant ‘Bespoke Harvest’ with business partner Chef Simon Stewart in 2015. Located in the small village of Forrest surrounded by National Park, the restaurant offers a boutique dining experience of locally sourced ingredients, supporting the food and wine growers of the Otways.
Emma was born and raised in the Otways, and after graduating with a Bachelor of Arts from Deakin University, she started her career in PR & Marketing in Melbourne. Working predominantly in the communications field, she worked across a range of industries from retail cosmetics, to agriculture, financial services, radio and natural resources.
Travelling extensively throughout Australia, as well as living and working in South Australia, Northern Territory and NSW, Emma turned her zest for life and travel into a business in her home town. Returning with her family to run a small business, she developed a relationship with chef Simon Stewart and so began Bespoke Harvest restaurant. Their passion for the region is reflected in the produce used throughout the restaurant menu.
Sally Richardson – Vice President
Ami Hillege – Secretary
Highly creative business builder with a passion for local produce and taking the story
of ‘eat locally’ to a broad audience. Strong commercial background underpinned by
broad based management and leadership skills in corporate and small business
environments encompassing team development, financial acumen and project
management. Hands on experience of buying practices, with particular strengths in
Otway Fields – Gerangamete, VIC 3249 Owner.
August 2011 till present
Innovative Artisan products created from organically grown produce.
Award preserves and salts.
2015 Silver Medal Australian Fine Food Awards for Raspberry Vinegar Cordial
2016 Gold Medal Australian Food Awards for Black Garlic Salt
2016 Gold Medal Australian Food Awards for Pickled Shiitake Mushrooms
2017 Gold Medal Australian Food Awards for Black Garlic Salt
2017 Gold Medal Australian Food Awards for Raspberry Vinegar Cordial.
Two of our products were chosen to be part of gift bags for World’s 50 Best Chefs this
year in July.
Distributing our Otways grown products around the greater Victorian region as well as
selling via mail order through Farmhouse Direct across Australia.
Column writer – Otway Life Magazine & Birregurra Mail
Dinny Goonan – Treasurer