Marvelous May Newsletter

Below you will find an excerpt from my May newsletter. To read the whole thing, including some new recipes, please click here. It is fun and fabulous!

Almonds
Everyone, including me, has been waiting for news on Richard’s fantastic Johnston and Somerton almonds, grown in the almond district, Willunga, south of Adelaide. I spoke to Richard on Tuesday. He told me there was a fabulous crop this year and he will be sending them sometime in June! Yippee!

swap crop logo

Introducing Crop Swap
Recently I came across an Australia and NZ group of people as keen as I am to share garden produce and, in fact, anything edible or related to food. So, I joined the group and made us a sub-group and website Crop Swap Cygnet and Surrounds. There are several others in Tasmania too. Please join the Crop Swap Cygnet and Surrounds facebook page for updates etc. If you would like to help me make this work, please contact me asap. I am really keen to get started! No money is involved at all. Whether you are a backyard gardener, home cook, forager, seedsaver, cuttings guru, pickle maker or bread baker, you are welcome.

Sundried apricots, pears, plums and peaches
Kevin and Cindy’s fabulous, new season’s organic, sundried fruits were supposed to be arriving this week but the silly freight people have not picked them up….. so it will now be the first June market before they arrive. Oh lalalalala, how do businesses survive that are run so badly? 

Rain-fed rice
The Qld floods inundated the Lismore freight depot but now they are up and running again. I am pleased to say that Slater Farms’ magnificent, fragrant, bio-dynamic, long grain rice did not get flooded and will be at the market, along with rain-fed medium grain rice and rain-fed rice flour too. 

May Sourdough Workshop-full 
I am pleased to say there are no places left for this workshop but I will be running another in late June or early July. Read about my sourdough workshops here.

More than just Permaculture
There are lots of permaculture design certificate courses but our Gumboot Gardeners group is helping to host something broader, deeper and more easily used for your own property. Please read about Julia and Charles’ course below, based on 25 years of teaching all over the world.

Just for a laugh
Here is a little video I made about 10 years ago, of how to easily dig in green manure. For some reason it is not playing as clearly as it used to! Check out the dry stone wall in the first few seconds. I built that, with stone from my yard when we were making terraces. I had to raid a roadside cutting to get a few bits to finish it off. It is a tricky, twisted circle, going above then below where I am standing, as it was on a massive slope!

Square eftpos
The Garden Shed and Pantry now has credit card, debit card, chip and contactless payment facilities! Square is a simple and cheap system suited to every form of transaction. It may be cheap but it is not free, so I would still prefer cash but no longer will there be any inconvenience if you do not have enough cash with you! 

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April Newsletter

Below you will find an extract from the April 12th newsletter. To read the full newsletter click here.
Steve Solomon Book
Steve has written a book for people new to growing food and / or new to Tasmania. It is called “Tasmanian Food Gardening: for beginners and new arrivals” Check it out at The Garden Shed and Pantry. $22Rolled oats…. and more
Did you know you can have rolled anything? Four Leaf roll rye grains, spelt grains, rice grains and barley grains as well as oat grains. I sell them all. I especially like to soak a mixture of them overnight then cook in the morning. You really can’t beat whole, rolled grains (soaked and then cooked) for nutrition and taste. It is way better than always having oats!

May Sourdough Workshop 
It only takes a moment to sign up for my May sourdough workshop and you will never regret it! I don’t go in for fussing about with food but everything I eat has to be fabulously delicious, the very best quality and the most healthy. Can you say that about the bread you eat? If not, then come to my workshop and learn to make easy, foolproof, nutritious, delicious sourdough and cultured butter with me, in my kitchen. Read about my sourdough workshops here.

Dates and bookings here.
$55

Gumboot Gardeners and Our Inaugural Pumpkin Festival
Thanks to all those who came out in the drizzle last Sunday and visited our Pumpkin Festival Stall, where we had pumpkin soup and pumpkin scones for $2 each, raising money to help send a young man in Kenya to The International Permaculture Convergence in India later this year. We raised $300 and it has been donated to Yongo. He asked me to tell you how much it means to him to have people on the other side of the world trying to help him. If you can donate a little more to help him reach his $3000, then please do so by following this link and reading his story.

Hugh’s Last Market 😦 
Hugh is now part of Room for a Pony, in Elizabeth Street, Hobart, where he is bringing to Hobart many of the goodies you have come to love from him in Cygnet! His time at the Cygnet Market will soon end so come along and indulge at this Cygnet Market where he will have his fantastic breads, cakes and pastries  FOR THE LAST TIME!!!!

Gotta love that boy of mine who is the hardest and most efficient worker I have ever known!

Popping Corn, Lentils, Peas and more!
You will love my expanding range of AUSTRALIAN PULSES etc. I now have black beluga beans and white pearl peas, as well as red and green (Puy style) lentils. As well as Four Leaf regular, organic, Australian mung beans I also have some seconds of their split mung; seconds because some of them did not split properly as they are just trialling the process. I have Four Leaf split yellow peas, for a hearty soup. I also have fava, borlotti and azuki beans. See below for recipes and ideas.

Four Leaf, organic, Australian popping corn is now back in stock.

All these are so cheap and so good for you!

Square eftpos
The Garden Shed and Pantry now has credit card, debit card, chip and contactless payment facilities! Square is a simple and cheap system suited to every form of transaction. It may be cheap but it is not free, so I would still prefer cash but no longer will there be any inconvenience if you do not have enough cash with you! 

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Home shop open times are on the photo at the top of the newsletter.

Seasons in a Wholefoods Shop?

Everyone knows that tomatoes are a summer thing and cauliflower is a winter thing but most people are not familiar with the seasons for wheat or almonds or lentils or dried apricots. You may drive through the countryside in winter and see enormous green paddocks then you may drive the same roads in early summer and see the harvesters working in paddocks of crisp brown and still not put two and two together to understand what this means for your pantry. Well let me tell you…..

wheat-barley-oats-rye

Glutenous Grains look like grasses (and are grasses) when they are growing. These include wheat, barley, rye, oats and others such as spelt, khorasan and Egyptian Gold. In Australia these are generally sown by the farmers in autumn as the rains begin so they grow through winter, start producing seeds in spring and are dry enough to harvest in early summer or later in colder areas. They are then collected, winnowed (ie have all the chaff and any bits of dirt blown out so that only the seeds are left), graded (ie tested for protein levels, moisture levels, size etc), then trucked to silos to await shipping to mills or overseas.

I get most of these grains from Four Leaf, who are organic farmers and millers north of Adelaide in SA. I do get Tasmanian grown spelt and sometimes oats, when I can. Now and again the previous year’s grain is sold out before the next harvest is done. This happens late spring and into summer, depending on the weather.

If you shop in supermarkets you won’t know when or where the grain was grown, harvested or milled and this gives the illusion of grains (and flours) not being seasonal but grains begin to go rancid the moment the grain is broken, so old flour, rolled oats and others are, in my opinion, dangerous to our health as rancidity is a known cause of cancer. Moreover, rancidity cannot easily be detected in flour, by humans so buyer beware!

millet-quinoa-etc

Seeds…. sunflower, millet, quinoa, buckwheat and more, are grown in various parts of the world but organic Australian farmers grow few of them so I often run out between seasons. I refuse to buy any grains, seeds, lentils etc from overseas as the amount of fuel required to ship all these around the world totally negates their organic certification and all this shipping is a major cause of the pickle we are now in, with climate change. My customers must learn to eat seasonally and this includes wholefoods!

beans-lentils-chickpeas

Lentils, chickpeas etc are the dry seeds of annual bushes (like beans or peas you may grow in your garden and let dry off to keep some to plant the next year). Like with such beans or peas, gardeners will know how long it takes for those darn seed pods to be brown and crisp and the seeds inside dry and hard. So it is the same with lentils, chickpeas etc. Harvest can be mid to late summer or even into early autumn some years.

Thus I currently do not have the new season’s lentils or chick peas in stock and the previous season’s have sold out. This is the life of a small, organic, Australian wholefoods shopkeeper trying to keep her customers both happy and healthy!

Johnston almonds

Johnston almonds

Nuts come next in the year, ripening in early autumn but then requiring hardening off before the flavours develop and the nut inside the shell becomes hard, instead of soft. Many customers do not want to crack open the shells of almonds, for example, so I have to wait for the farmer to have his nuts cracked and, because he grows the special and delicious Johnston and Somerton almond varieties only, he does not want his batch thrown in with anyone else’s so he has to wait until last at the nut mill! Hence I will not have any almonds until July!! Last year there was a total crop failure due to a hail storm just at flowering time so my customers had no almonds at all.

Thankfully there are a lot of walnuts grown in Tasmania so I never seem to run out of them. I have to get hazelnuts from Victoria or SA from time to time but sometimes I still run out before the next season as I aim to sell organic ones or from farmers I know but who are not certified organic.

kevin-and-cindy-organics-drying-apricots

Kevin and Cindy Organics

Dried fruit is a similar story, as I get organic, sundried apricots, pears and sometimes plums from just one grower because I know of no-one else who uses no chemicals, no preservatives and no electricity! I rang her a few weeks ago to confirm my order and she told me there had been a hail storm in November, which had never happened before, and almost all the apricots were damaged! Oh no, I still don’t know if I will get a supply from her. Fingers crossed!

The apricots should be ready soon, then the plums and lastly the pears, some time in autumn.

rainfed-rice

Rice is usually harvested some time in March or April. The rain fed, organic, bio-dynamic, aromatic rice I buy is from northern NSW. The farmer uses no irrigation; only rainfall. In doing so he does not need dams or pumps or electricity but does rely on nature. He may get a smaller crop if things are not right but so far he has not let me down although once he ran out before the next harvest. We both do our best!

murray-river-organics-in-1970s

Murray River Organics in the 1970’s

I get organic raisins, sultanas and currants from a grower in The Riverland who only grows these grapes….. did you know these are all grape varieties? Sultanas (Sultanina, Thompson Seedless, Kish-mish), Currants (Zante Currant, Carina), Muscat Gordo Blanco (Muscat of Alexandria), and Waltham Cross (Rosaki, Dattier, Regina, Malaga). The dried fruit of the last two is collectively called raisins in Australia.

Last year their sheds and offices were damaged in floods but, luckily, most of their crops had been harvested and moved to a warehouse in Melbourne. Phew. I didn’t want to have to tell my customers that even more of my products were not available!

pumkin-seeds

The pumpkin used for seeds

Pumpkin seeds take ages! There is only one pumpkin seed grower in Australia, that I know of and they are in Victoria. They are a small, family group who run a fabulous and very ethical business. It is well into autumn and as late as May before the new year’s pumpkin seeds are harvested and dried. So far, so good. Lets hope it stays that way!

Olives are the last, being harvested for oil in about May and pickled at various times from May onwards through winter. Sometimes the olives have more oil, sometimes less. Sometimes the trees have more olives, sometimes less. Sometimes things go awry with the weather and sometimes it is perfect! Pat and Lina keep us all in SA olives and oils for as long as they can but this year I am going to run out as the oil olives were drier than usual and there were less jumbo olives on the trees; a double whammy.

We are lucky indeed that the floods last year came within about 10cms of the spilling over the levvy and did not burst its banks, ruining Pat and Lina’s market garden and olive trees.What a year for all our growers!

Farming is tough. The people I buy from are real people who grow beautiful, organic food which they hope will survive through the months of growth and produce an income for them. As the climate becomes more unstable, their livelihoods are put seriously at risk. Not only that but I am also dependent on them for my income and we are all dependent on them for our food. All these problems happened in 2016. I wonder what will happen in 2017. Whatever happens, you can now understand why wholefoods are seasonal and how, even though they are dry goods, climate and supply and seasons mean so much.

 

March Sourdough and Cultured Butter Workshop

The March workshop date is Friday, March 24th, 7.30pm – 9pm and Sat. March 25th, 8am – 9.30am. You must come to both sessions. $55.

To read about my sourdough workshops, click here.

For bookings of the March workshop click here. To book, add your EMAIL (NOT your name, even if I know you) now.

This is a fun and informative workshop for anyone wanting to make easy, foolproof, nutritious, delicious sourdough bread with fresh, organic, Australian ingredients.

Spiced Orange Blossom Honey Muffins

Makes 18 patty pan size

Heat the oven to 180C.

Line muffin tins with patty pans.

Ingredients:

2½ cups Four Leaf 85% light flour

6 tsp. baking powder

90g butter

1/4 cup sugar

2 good Tbl. Do Bee orange blossom honey

2 finely chopped or grated cooking apples

1/3 cup Tasmanian walnut pieces

1 tsp. cinnamon

2 1/3 cups made up of the juice of 1-2 oranges plus milk

1 egg, lightly beaten

Mix flour and baking powder together in a large bowl.

Rub in butter to coarse crumbs.

Add sugar, apples, cinnamon and walnuts.

In a small bowl combine beaten eggs, liquid and warmed honey.

Gently stir the honey mixture into the dry ingredients only until roughly combined and there is no dry four left.

Using 2 dessert spoons, fill all the patty pans with all the mixture.

Place into heated oven and bake 20 minutes. Check after 15 minutes and cover with foil if necessary.

When done, remove each muffin from the tins and cool on a wire rack.

Serve warm with yoghurt and a little extra, warmed Do Bee orange blossom honey drizzled over.

Great cold, in lunch boxes!

Organic Sourdough Kit – Australia wide delivery

My Organic Sourdough & Proving Bowl Kit is available for Australia wide delivery.

The price for the Organic Sourdough & Proving Bowl Kit is $65 and includes postage within Australia.

I have now sent hundreds  of kits all over Australia to people wanting to make foolproof, easy, delicious, nutritious sourdough bread.

Ordering is by email to me and payment by direct bank transfer. After email order confirmation I will send you the bank transfer details.

Organic Sourdough & Proving Bowl Kit now available for Australia wide delivery

Organic Sourdough & Proving Bowl Kit now available for Australia wide delivery

There has been an enormous amount of interest in all of my workshops recently, particularly Sourdough Bread Making, so, for those too far away to attend, I  offer the kit and a proving bowl for purchase online. Adding up all of the Sourdough Workshops that I have conducted plus all of the kits that have been sold at the Cygnet Market and online, would mean that I have sold over 300 kits in the 4 years since I have been offering them. Below, you can read some of the feedback I have received about the kits.

I recommend Four Leaf Organic grains

I recommend Four Leaf Organic grains

The Organic Sourdough & Proving Bowl Kit has the recipe and all of my tips and tricks for making delicious and easy sourdough bread, the ingredients required for two standard loaves, plus the rye-based starter which ensures excellent bread into the future.  In addition, it has a proving bowl which has been designed specifically for sourdough bread. I only post on Mondays or Tuesdays so your starter does not sit over the weekend in a Post Office, instead of in your fridge!

The ingredients include the special sourdough starter and the flours are all organic flours of the highest quality from Four Leaf Milling in South Australia.  Flour from dry-land farming in South Australia has all of the characteristics that are best suited to sourdough bread-making since the sourdough method originated thousands of years ago in Egypt, another dry land.

Again, the price for the Organic Sourdough & Proving Bowl Kit is $65 and includes postage within Australia.  

Since I don’t have an online payment facility, ordering is by email (gasp4winns@gmail.com) and payment by direct bank transfer. After order confirmation I will send you the bank transfer details.

Again, the price for the Organic Sourdough & Proving Bowl Kit is and includes postage within Australia.  

Since I don’t have an online payment facility, ordering is by email (gasp4winns@gmail.com) and payment by direct bank transfer. After order confirmation I will send you the bank transfer details.

The perfect sourdough bread made with the kit

The perfect sourdough bread made with the kit

You can check the performance of my kits by reading the testimonials below and read about my workshops here.

Contact me if you would like to purchase one of my kits..

Here is another complete kit ready to go in the Express Post bag.

Sourdough Bread Express Post Kit

Sourdough Bread Express Post Kit

 Feedback:

May 2, 2015: Hi Kate,  baked my first  loaf today and it turned out beautifully.  Tastes great too.

Thanks, Ruth

Ruth April 2015

Hi Kate. Thrilled with the result from your kit. Made two loaves and rest of starter in fridge for next weekend. Beautiful crust and flavour. Kit easy to use. Will be in touch before Mother’s Day to get one sent to my mum. Many thanks. Anne.

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Hello Kate,

I’m not sure if you remember me; you were kind enough to help me on my way to a successful sourdough bread baker after sending my kit . See attached photographs of the loaves I made on Saturday. We are so happy.  I have planned a greater wholemeal and rye content for this weekend’s bake. We enjoy a substantial percentage of wholemeal/rye in our bread. Anyhow, the crust and crumb are exactly as we like it and the oven spring is great.

One is a ‘normal’ sourdough with only bread spices and the other is an olive sourdough (yummy toasted on Sunday morning with a fried egg on it!).Thank you again for all your help. With your guidance (and taking away the fear of baking SD) I’m now where I wanted to be when I started my research.

Kindest regards,

Ingrid

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