October Newsletter

New L’Abbruzzese Organic Pastas
Adrian at L’Abbruzzese has introduced me to an expanded range of their organic, Australian pastas. Made in Adelaide by an Italian family, these are the best dried pastas I know of and are so reasonably priced, compared to others I have seen. See more here…..

Pat and Lina’s Wild Olives
Everyone loves the olives that Lina sends me from their farm, just north of Adelaide. Pat and Lina use no chemicals and just the old fashioned, Italian way of extracting the bitterness from raw olives by soaking them in barrels for months and months. The greener, jumbos take up to 9 months to be ready! Read more here….

Shani’s Kitchen Crafts
Shani helps me at the first market of each month and this Sunday we will have on my stall some of her fantastic, hand made pot holders and pot scrubbers, all made from recycled fabrics and fibres….. as well as her 100% natural Soap for Gardeners. I have bought some of each and can highly recommend them. These would all make fabulous, unique and beautiful  presents too. 

Vitamins are made by living things (plants and animals). Minerals come from the soil and water and are absorbed by plants and eaten by animals. If the soil lacks minerals, so will the plants (and animals) you eat and so will you. Low magnesium is something many people have. Read more here….

Hugh’s lamingtons and GF breads
Again you would be best to be to the market early to get some of Hugh’s very popular lamingtons, vanilla slices, lemon tarts and GF sourdough breads at my stall. No matter how much he makes, it always sells out!

Next Crop Swap October 7th, 11am – 1pm
More than 20 people came to our second gathering, on the Saturday morning of August 12th. It was a a blast, with 2 tables packed to overflowing with plants, seeds, produce, baked goods, books, lemons, rhubarb and more. Everyone was smiling. It was such a great vibe.

Everyone is welcome to our gatherings, whether or not you have anything to share. Come for a coffee and chat. Come alone or with friends and family. Gather in my front shed. Join the Crop Swap Cygnet and Surrounds facebook page for updates or ask me to put you on the email list. Read more here
Sundried apricots, pears, plums and peaches
Kevin and Cindy’s fabulous, new season’s organic, sundried fruits are selling like hotcakes! Read more here and my recipe….

Campo de Flori Saffron
Lisa grows saffron on her beautiful farm at Glen Huon. I am now stocking her glass jars of saffron and her recipe cards.  Economic jar refills are also welcome. This is my kind of ethical philosophy! Read more here…..

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! 

Sunday May 4th at The Cygnet Market

As the weather chills everyone is glad that the Cygnet Market is a warm venue! The Garden Shed and Pantry is on the stage and has all the organic ingredients to make your cold weather cooking healthy and delicious. Inside and outside the hall you will find some of the best cold and hot food of any Tasmanian market with Sally’s Chinese curry puffs, spring rolls and vegetable pancakes, Gerard and Deb’s organic beef pies and vegetable pasties, Ed’s English pork pies (plus great coffee) and a multitude of other, ever-changing, home made and often home grown meals and morsels. Sit up on the stage at the “Stage Left” cafe tables with a coffee and enjoy a view of the whole market while you eat and chat with friends.

Outside are Alex and Lenny, 2 local, organic market gardeners each offering the best seasonal vegetables in southern Tasmania. You will have to join the queue for Cam’s amazing, organic, wood-fired sourdough breads, inspired by trips to visit family in France. Next to Cam is Sami’s coffee and organic hot chocolate stall.

For more information, photos and a stall holders list visit the Cygnet Market website.

1-Cygnet Market etc

Beautiful, Organic, Australian Pastas

Summer is a great time for quick meals that don’t require too much preparation and now that tomatoes and basil are flourishing, pasta often comes to my mind, for dinner. When I came to Tasmania I could not find any Tasmanian-made pasta and could not live with supermarket pasta after growing up with L’Abruzzese so I added it to my Garden Shed and Pantry list.

L’Abruzzese Organic Australian pasta is made by an Italian family business in Adelaide. It includes several grain choices and the best tasting gluten-free pastas.


When I visit Adelaide I love to go and see Carmello at L’Abruzzese who embraces me in the Italian way and says how much he loves to meet his customers.

“Everyone is in such a rush” he explains “They load up their orders and are gone but you come and talk to me and tell me about the people who enjoy my pasta in Tasmania and I like that!” I stand for a while and watch the extended Italian family cutting and folding the spaghetti then laying it out to dry slowly, ensuring the best texture.

My latest shipment includes organic:

  • Rye penne
  • Spelt shells
  • Wholemeal spaghetti
  • Lentil and rice penne (gluten free)
  • Chickpea and buckwheat spirals (gluten free)
  • Plain wheat: orecchiette, fusilli,
  • Spinach: fusilli. olive leaf shapes
  • Mixed penne (plain, spinach, wholemeal, tomato)

These all come to me in bulk 5kg boxes which can be bought by you in any quantity you need, from 500g upwards. I regularly have orders from people wanting a whole 5kg box of something else that I do not stock, from the L’Abruzzese website, which I am happy to order for you.

February at The Cygnet Market

My market stall on the stage at The Cygnet Market is where I showcase almost my full range of Garden Shed and Pantry products. 

See you at the market this Sunday, February 2nd

I guarantee that my products are fresh and I have a following of avid spice lovers who know to come to me for all their requirements as my spices are kept sealed and in the dark between markets. I also have yoghurt cultures and soon, milk kefir, when mine starts to multiply. English watering cans and best quality garden tools are my passion and I stock local seeds for growing the best vegetables in the Tasmanian climate. As well, I offer an eclectic range of garden and food books and Tasmania’s Clean Conscience eco-cleaning products.

If you would like a 5kg bag of anything from my lists below, please send me an email and I will hold one aside for you as I only take a limited number of them and they sell quickly. Gluten free is a special interest of mine.

The market is now one of the best in Tasmania not just for tourists but for those wanting to buy fresh, organic vegetables, fruits, breads, cheeses, wholefoods, dried fruits, olives, olive oils, eggs and coffee. Artisan cakes and pastries as well as Sally’s superb Chinese dumplings, fresh stir fries and savoury pancakes nestle into the hall with Ed’s perfect English pork pies and Cathy’s moist Dundee cake.

Annie is a milliner and her hats are world class; all designed and made by her in Cygnet. You will also find an extensive and infectious collection of rocks, fossils  and more from around the world, at Mike’s stall. Add to that the craftsmanship of local artists, sewers, photographers and card makers and you can soon see that Cygnet is the place to be on the 1st and 3rd Sundays, 10am – 2pm, all year round!

You can find all my prices on these links:

 Grains, flours, pulses and seeds price list


L’Abruzzese Organic, Australian Pastas

The Rest of the Pantry: Oils, Nuts, Dried Fruits, Honeys etc

The Garden Shed: Tools, Seeds etc

Simply the best pasta

I don’t like to compromise.  When I came to live in Cygnet three years ago, I tried to buy really top quality (organic) pasta.  I had been spoiled when I was living in Adelaide and I tried a few different pastas here but none measured up to the fabulous taste and texture of the L’Abruzzese pasta that I was used to.

When I went back to Adelaide, I went to visit Carmelo and pleaded with him to be able to buy his pasta – of course, Carmelo is lovely and immediately agreed.

This, and a few other things that I could not live without here in Cygnet, was really the start of the Garden Shed and Pantry.

About L’Abruzzese:

Many of the pasta products available in Australia are imported and therefore cannot be assured of being G-E free. L’Abruzzese pasta is made with top quality, all Australian ingredients, free of chemicals and any genetic engineering.

Established in 1980, L’Abruzzese Pty Ltd continues to create fine quality home-style egg noodles, gourmet and organic pasta using traditional methods, with only the freshest and natural Australian ingredients (no chemical, no preservatives, no genetically modified elements). The result is pasta with a unique, home-style look and superb taste “just like grandma makes”!

A small family owned, and local company, they serve Australia wide retail food & hospitality arenas and are HACCP approved for food safety and NASAA 100% Certified Organic (reg 5195 P).

The difference between L’Abruzzese Pty Ltd pasta and other brands is its home-style look and taste.

L’Abruzzese use only traditional methods in manufacturing to help retain the natural flavours and hence, taste.  L’Abruzzese also hand-pack their pasta, ensuring its quality.

pasta range

pasta range

All L’Abruzzese pastas use the finest Australian ingredients including farm-fresh eggs (in the egg varieties) and top quality wheats with no chemicals or preservatives, together with a slow-drying process, anywhere between 20 to 48 hours. The result is a myriad of pasta shapes that not only have a unique look and superb taste but also hold well in the cooking process.

Sourcing the best Australian ingredients has lead to a fostering of solid, long-term relationships with premium wheat suppliers and flour mill producers in both South Australia and nation wide.

Twenty years on, the company now specializes in an extensive range of tasty egg and gourmet flavoured pasta as well as delicious certified organic pasta.

The name L’Abruzzese originates from the Italian region Abruzzo, found in the middle of Italy approximately east of Lazio, the region which houses Rome. It is said that the best pasta in Italy comes from Abruzzo.

L’Abruzzese Pty Ltd has won the Prime Minister’s Employer of the Year Award for SA Small Business for employing people with a disability and In 2004 the company was a Winner of the Premier’s Food Awards for excellence in food manufacture in South Australia.

If you simply want the absolutely best pasta, you can be confident that The Garden Shed and Pantry has just what you need.  We stock the gourmet organic range of L’Abruzzese pasta.  The gluten-free range is also delicious and we keep at least two different varieties of this range to cater for these customers. Some of the L’Abruzzese pasta comes pre-packaged but most of the pasta is delivered in bulk and we can package to the size the customer wants.

You’re simply the best, better than all the rest …….Mmm, it can’t be wrong!

prepackaged pasta

prepackaged pasta

Renovations! GaSP!

A few months ago I had my thirty metre poplar tree chopped down.  It was on the north side of the house and took away all of my winter sun.  Even worse, the roots had spread and I feared they were going to damage the foundations of the house.  Now the top of the tree has been turned into a huge pile of mulch and the bottom of the tree has been cut and shaped into wood to make a garden setting.

A few weeks ago, the pantry was closed while we removed everything to install new shelving.  The pantry also received a fresh coat of paint.



My tree lopper / qualified carpenter, Corey (from Treemendous) , found the timber for free – local, recycled timber apple crates – saved in the nick of time from being burned!

I call this gourmet rustic.



Corey did a great job to put in new flooring and shelving and work out with me what would fit best.

So now I have lots of shelving on the left hand side (even a high shelf for displaying books) and lots of bench space on the right hand side.





There are special shelves for spices and a hanging wall for the seed racks.  It’s really great and I would love you to visit and check it out.

a big spice rack!

a big spice rack!


To celebrate the newly renovated pantry, I am introducing the frequent buyers scheme – spend $20 or more and receive 10% of the purchase price in spices.


Spend $20 and get $2 of spices

Spend $40 and get $4 of spices  etc

You may need a Spice Tin to store all of your spices and keep them fresh!

a wall of seeds

a wall of seeds