Rain Fed Rice

The Garden Shed and Pantry is very pleased to announce a new (sustainable) stock line:

Biodynamic, Rain Fed, Fragrant, Long Grain Brown Rice.

The average Australian rice grower uses five Olympic-size swimming pools of water to grow one single hectare of rice!


Brett Slater just sits back and waits for the summer rains.  He is one of the country’s first farmers to produce commercial quantities of rain-fed rice.

Up until now, Australia has produced the majority of its rice using paddy production techniques.

Australian rice growers use almost 13 megalitres of water per hectare per season, more than double that used by cotton farmers and triple the amount used by vegetable growers.

Brett, who also grows soy beans, wheat and barley, said the wet summers in northern NSW made rice-growing a logical crop for the region.

”We’ve got such a high summer rainfall. It fits in pretty well for us here.”


Each hectare of the Slater farm produces half the yield – five tonnes – of conventional growers, but without the need for water allocations.
”We sow it like a normal crop of wheat or soy beans and, because of our high summer rainfall, it just grows,” he said.

Rather than truck the unprocessed ‘paddy rice’ to Leeton in the NSW Riverina for milling, Brett bought his own mill to produce rice that was not only rain-fed but boasted ‘low carbon miles’.


Nutrition value of Brown Rice:

Brown rice retains its bran and as such has a higher nutritional value than most other rice.  It also retains the Vitamin B that other rice lacks.

Brown Rice contains:

70% available protein (not complete protein unless combined with a legume, nuts or seeds).

High levels of: manganese, phosphorus, selenium, magnesium, vitamins B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, zinc, iron, potassium, calcium and fibre.

Brown rice is gluten free.

Biodynamic, Rain Fed, Fragrant, Long Grain Brown Rice is available from the Garden Shed and Pantry in one kg bags or in larger sizes by request.  Soyabeans from Slater Farms are also available in the same sizes.

Now you can enjoy sustainable Australian grown rice and not feel guilty about destroying the Murray Darling system.

Organic Tasmanian Quinoa

The Garden Shed and Pantry is very pleased to announce a new stock line:

Organic Quinoa from North West Tasmania.

organic produce tasmania

Quinoa, (pronounced keen wah) is a grain-like crop grown primarily for its edible seeds.

All Quinoa previously available in Australia has been imported from South and North America and has high food miles.  The new alternative is Kindred Quinoa which is grown, harvested, cleaned and polished on the  farm near Sheffield in North West Tasmania. The only food miles Kindred Quinoa has is going from the farm to its destination – your plate.

Lauren and Henriette Damen are the first to grow commercial quantities of organic Quinoa in Australia.  They were awarded “Best Organic Product of the Year 2012” by the Centre for Organic & Resource Enterprises.


Kindred Quinoa is not washed, heated or dried and has its natural colour.

It is full of flavour and has a nutty taste.



Nutrition value of Quinoa:

Quinoa was important to the diet of pre-Columbian Andean civilizations. Today, people appreciate quinoa for its nutritional value. Quinoa is considered a superfood.

This ancient grain contains more protein than any other grain, with a good balance of all 8 essential amino acids, making it a good choice for vegetarians. Quinoa is also high in fibre and has a low-GI, beneficial for keeping blood sugar levels stable. Quinoa is an ideal grain for diabetics.

Quinoa is one of the most nutrient rich grains around, being a good source of iron, needed to transport oxygen around the body, B vitamins for energy, calcium and magnesium for healthy nervous system function, and vitamin E, a powerful antioxidant.

Due to its high source of calcium, quinoa is useful for vegans and those who are lactose intolerant.  Quinoa is gluten-free and considered easy to digest.

Quinoa – the delicious, gluten-free alternative to couscous!  is available from the Garden Shed and Pantry in 750g bags or in larger sizes by request.

Fresh, Cygnet Hazelnuts


We have just taken delivery of new seasons hazelnuts and you can enjoy the benefits of eating fresh new nuts.

These nuts are organic and are grown locally (just a few kilometres from my place here in Cygnet).

These hazelnuts are a mixture of several different varieties and are of an excellent size and quality.

Get fresh local hazelnuts from the Cygnet Market.  The next Cygnet Market will be in the Town Hall on Sunday 7th April at 10am.

The next Sourdough Workshop – April

I am planning a sourdough workshop for the weekend of April 12/13/14. What time it runs depends on what is most popular for the participants.  You can check the times available by accessing the link at the bottom of the page.

The first session commences at 7.30pm and runs for one hour and includes how to make the dough,  the first rising, caring for the starter and tastings.   Session two of the workshop runs at 8.30am the next morning and  includes preparing for the second rising (no its not religious!) and how to bake it, other breads including hand made and bread machine and more tastings (breakfast and coffee!).

The cost of the workshop is $45 and includes the kit that I sell at the Cygnet Market.  The basic kit has all of the instructions for making sourdough bread plus the ingredients required for two standard loaves.  The ingredients include the special sourdough starter and the flours are all high quality organic flours from Four Leaf Milling in South Australia.  The workshop kit also contains one dough scraper and more of my favourite recipes. We make the bread together and I answer all your questions so that you go home confident to make easy, wonderful bread on your own.

For those who do not reside locally, I have a room for rent in my house.  Find out more here.  When you book the room in conjunction with the workshop, your partner or a friend may stay for free.

Register by using this link. Please feel free to contact me if you would like more information.

Organic, Sun-dried Apricots now available

Who doesn’t love dried fruit and especially dried apricots?

It’s a big risk – bringing organic sun dried apricots in to the pantry when Lenny is around!!

They could be gone before I get them to the market so be very quick.

apricot trees 038.jpg

Kevin and Cindy Legg are organic farmers committed to producing quality certified organic fruit.

Their property is located in Cadell (near Morgan) in South Australia’s riverland less than a kilometre from the Murray River.

Kevin and Cindy Organics produce the highest quality organic fresh and sun dried fruits and vegetables
All of their apricots, pears, peaches and plums are naturally dried with no sulphur, preservatives or electricity!


Sun dried apricots are available in two sizes:

200 gram snack pack

375 gram glass jar

Enjoy the healthy eating available from the Cygnet Market.

Complete Organic Fertiliser for your garden

Our complete organic fertiliser, made according to Steve Solomon’s recipe, was a very popular new product that The Garden Shed and Pantry had for the very first time at the Middleton Fair.  We sold out all stocks at Middleton but you can order more COF mixture directly from us in Cygnet or at the Cygnet Market (1st and 3rd Sundays, all year round). 

Tino & Kate discuss the benefits of COF mixture

Tino & Kate discuss the benefits of  the COF mixture

Complete Organic Fertiliser (COF) mixture contains many ingredients such as kelpmeal, high-phosphate guano and various agricultural limes plus seedmeal etc.  Some of these ingredients are not easily obtained in smaller quantities or at an affordable price.  I have decided to purchase all of the ingredients required to produce the COF mixture.

I sell the mixture in small bags (approx 9 litres) which is suitable for an average garden (approx 20 sq metres, or 4 beds, 5m x 1m) or in a large bag (approx 36 litres) which is suitable for the keen gardener and larger areas.

You can read more about COF mixture in Steve Solomon’s book, Growing Vegetables South of Australia