Fathers Day at the Cygnet Market

It’s a double market this weekend at the Cygnet Market to celebrate Spring.

What do we have for Fathers Day?

For starters, we have lots of gardening things, including the new season’s range of watering cans from UK and men’s favourite gardening tool, the Ho Mi.

galvanised watering can

galvanised watering can

We have books on gardening and cooking.

Dads will love our Johnston almonds, the best almonds in the world.  Plus we have more Brazil Nuts and sundried Apricots and Pears and lots of other snack packs.

We’ve noticed more men coming along to our sourdough workshops lately and there are still places available for next weekends workshop. Ask Kate about the workshop or buying a Sourdough Kit.

Don’t forget to visit us up on the stage.  Enjoy the music and the food and everything else that the Cygnet Market has to offer.

Enjoy Fathers Day where ever you are!

Up on the Stage

Up on the Stage

Seed Sowing Guide – September

Kate’s Tip of the month:

The start of spring means that plants are bursting into life, so feeding them is really important.  Using a complete organic fertiliser will improve the soil as well as provide nutrients for your plants.  Use soluble fertiliser on newly planted seedlings and on bulbs as they finish flowering.  Feed potted plants with slow-release fertiliser and re-pot if required. 


Permaculture Tasmania Seed saving workshop with Kate

Permaculture Tasmania Seed saving workshop with Kate

Sow these seeds in September:

Sow these seeds in the garden:

Artichoke ‘Purple Globe’

Broccoli Raab

Broccoli ‘Purple Sprouting’ & ‘De Cicco’

Cabbages ‘Munchkin’ F1 and ‘Red Express’

Carrots ‘Merida’, ‘Amsterdam Forcing’ & ‘Scarlet Nantes’

Cauliflower ‘All Year Around’

Chicory ‘Red Rib’ & ‘Pain de Sucre’


Kale ‘Toscano / Cavolo Nero’

Kohl Rabi ‘Superschmelz’ & ‘Kolibri’

Komatsuna ‘Green’

Leek ‘Bulgarian Giant’

Lettuces ‘Flashy Trout Back’, ‘Royal Oak Green’, & ‘Rouge d’Hiver’


Mizuna ‘Purple’

Onions ‘Red Sheffield’ and ‘Creamgold’

Pak Choi ‘Red Choi’ F1

Parsley Mix

Parsnip ‘Melbourne Whiteskin’

Radish ‘Easter Egg’


Shallots ‘Roderique’

Spinach ‘Tyee’ F1, ‘Steadfast’ & ‘Bloomsdale Longstanding’

Snow Pea ‘Oregon Sugar Pod’

Sugar Snap Peas

Turnip ‘Purpletop Whiteglobe’

Sow in trays in the hothouse:

Basil ‘Genova’

Celery ‘Tall Utah’

Chamomile ‘Roman’


Corn, Sweet ‘Max F1′

Spring Onion ‘Bunching’

Tomatoes (six different varieties chosen by Kate and Seedsaver Sam)

Zucchini ‘Costata Romanesco’

Sow (and grow) in the hothouse:

Asparagus ‘Mary Washington’ (in containers but outside during summer) (by order only)

Basil ‘Genova’

Capsicums ‘Antohi Romanian’

Hey! Hey! Hey! Spring is here now!

It’s seed sowing time!

tomatoes in one of the seed racks

Kate’s Tip of the month:

The start of spring means that plants are bursting into life, so feeding them is really important.  Using a complete organic fertiliser will improve the soil as well as provide nutrients for your plants.  Use soluble fertiliser on newly planted seedlings and on bulbs as they finish flowering.  Feed potted plants with slow-release fertiliser and re-pot if required. 

You can buy these seeds from my market stall at The Cygnet Market.

If you need any further advice, please ask. My father ran a successful nursery for many years in Adelaide and I have grown up amongst trees, plants and seeds. I want people to be able to grow their own food.

If you would like to purchase Cottage Garden seeds or Native seeds, you can order these from us at Cygnet Market.

All of my products are also available most days from 1pm at The Garden Shed and Pantry, Cygnet

Getting the best flavour from your spices

Getting the best flavour from your spices requires just a little planning.  Here are some easy tips to get the best from your spices.

Masala Dabba and Spice Jars

Masala Dabba and Spice Jars

  • Keep your spices in a cupboard or pantry, away from direct sunlight and preferably in airtight containers (metal tins or glass jars are best).  We sell Indian Spice Tins (Masala Dabba) – as seen on SBS’s Madhur Jaffrey’s Curry Nation. This will reduce the damage to the essential oils contained within the spices.  While they might look good, NEVER display your spices on a shelf above the stove – the heat from the stove will reduce their life.  Also, keep spices away from the humidity of the dishwasher.  Keep spices at or below 18 C.
  • Try to remember to label your spice container when you first open it.  Use a permanent marker to write the date on the container, so you will be able to assess when to discard the product if required.  Whole peppercorns, nutmegs and cinnamon sticks tend to hold on to their flavor for a long time, and potent whole spices, such as cloves, cumin, and cardamom will also last for a long time, generally up to three years if stored properly.  Whole spices keep the longest because they have not been cracked or ground which would expose their flavors to air.  Ground spices have a shorter shelf life.  Pre-ground spices should be discarded after one year.
  • Where possible, purchase whole spices and grind them to order.  As explained above, whole spices have a much longer shelf life, particularly the more delicate varieties like nutmeg and cardamom.  Using a Turkish Spice Grinder will achieve excellent results – just a little time spent grinding provides a wonderful flavour boost.
  • When you are unsure of the amount of spice you might use, purchase the smallest container of a spice that is available.  Buying larger quantities is a false economy if you do not use the spice before its flavour falls away.
  • Buy your spices from someone who is interested in spices.  Test them by asking about the origin of the product.  If your spice merchant sells bulk spices, they are likely to be a safe bet as turnover is typically high, and the spices are most likely to be fresh.  An added bonus is that the prices you will pay are quite likely to be up to 50% cheaper than what you might pay in a supermarket!

Apple Cider Vinegar

We have been selling Apple Cider Vinegar from day one and it seems to be getting more and more popular.  We sell Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) that was made by a local man who is no longer with us.  We understand that the man regularly used local organic apples to make his ACV, however, as the ingredients are not able to be confirmed, we do not promote this product as being organic.

The ACV that we sell, is decanted from larger drums so bottles may contain traces of “mother”.  The “mother” is a substance composed of a form of cellulose and acetic acid bacteria that develops on fermenting alcoholic liquids, which turns alcohol into acetic acid with the help of oxygen from the air. It is added to wine, cider, or other alcoholic liquids to produce vinegar.

Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple Cider Vinegar

As well as this ACV, that we sell in 750ml bottles for just $5.00, we also have “Super Strong ACV” which we sell in two litre bottles.  The “Super Strong ACV” is suitable for feeding animals and for dilution, depending on the use required.

Vinegar (including ACV) is used directly as a condiment, and in the pickling of vegetables and other foods.  Vinegar was known early in civilization as the natural result of air exposure to beer and wine, because acetic acid-producing bacteria are present globally.

We know our customers use ACV for:

  • vegetable wash (5% solution)
  • salad dressing
  • cleaning agent (particularly in the bathroom and on hard surfaces)
  • sunburn relief (dilute and pat on burnt skin or add a cupful to your bath)
  • wart removal
  • digestive tonic

Tell us what you use ACV for by commenting below:

Nigella seeds

Nigella seeds are grown mostly in Egypt and India and are harvested from the Nigella sativa plant (love in the mist).  In Australia, it grows well in hot dry climates such as South Australia.  Nigella seeds are black, triangular and about the size of sesame seeds.  The flavour of the Nigella seed is described as smoky and peppery.  Nigella seeds impart a flavour combination reminiscent of oregano, black pepper and onion.

nigella sativa flower

nigella sativa flower

Nigella-seeds in hand

Nigella-seeds in hand


The cultivation of Nigella seeds has been known for millenia and were reported as having been found in various ancient egyptian sites including Tutankhamuns tomb.

Culinary Uses :

· Used as a decorative spice for tossing onto flat breads (such as naan).

· Can be sprinkled on savoury biscuits or pastries, as well as over salads.

· Can be added to any type of curry or stew, and to dahl.
Nigella is one of the ingredients in the Bengal mix of five whole spice seeds known as panch phora.

Look for our recipe; Chicken Tagine with nigella seeds.

Get these and other fabulous fresh spices from the Cygnet Market or at the Garden Shed and Pantry.

Check out the newly renovated pantry and the special Spice offer.

September Sourdough Workshop – limited places still available

I still have some vacancies for my next sourdough workshop.

dusting the rising bowls

dusting the rising bowls

The workshop will commence on Friday 6th September at 7.30pm.  The first session 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 commences on Saturday 7th September at 9.00am and includes preparing for the second rising and how to bake it, other breads to make including the ever-popular fruit loaf, more tastings and coffee or tea.

This workshop has 2 vacancies.

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.

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