April Newsletter… BIG news!

To read the entire newsletter click here.

The Garden Shed and Pantry evolves
Almost 8 years ago, a few months after I arrived in Cygnet, I started selling gardening stuff and organic, Australian wholefoods in a tiny little enterprise I called The Garden Shed and Pantry.

It has grown and supported me; it has brought me in touch with people who care about their health and that of the earth and many of you have become my friends. It has been a wonderful and fulfilling journey.

Now it is time to hand the reigns to Paola Tanner and Esther Cooke, two young mothers with a passion for healthy food for their families and a desire to share the passion with all of you. I could not have dreamt of better custodians for The Garden Shed and Pantry.

Over the next couple of months they will be learning everything about the ins and outs of every single item I stock; the growers, the ethics, the pricing, the newsletters and the needs of you, the customers. No stone will be left unturned!

I am not leaving Cygnet and I will continue with my sourdough and other workshops. Please come to the Cygnet Market this Sunday and meet Esther who will be helping me on my stall. She is a warm, cheerful, knowledgeable, community spirited woman who I first met through Crop Swap. I am confident you will all smile when you meet her.

Local, Campo de Flori Saffron on 936 Country Hour today at noon
Listen today or find the podcast online later. An enlightening interview with Lisa, who grows, packages and sells the saffron at Glen Huon. Hers is the saffron I sell too and her ethics perfectly align with mine. Lisa and her saffron will also be on ABC Landline at a time to be announced.

Organic, Australian chickpeas
Autumn is here and in our gardens there is abundance of seeds and nuts and dried beans. And so it is that our bodies are telling us we need seeds, nuts and dried beans and peas too. Check out my chickpea tagine recipe, and other, below….

Almonds, hazelnuts, Brazil nuts and walnuts are here
Fresh is extremely important with nuts and seeds as  they contain a lot of oil which quickly goes rancid, once the nuts are cracked from their shells and exposed to air. I have continuous, fresh supplies. Read more about nuts and their enzymes, below ….

Hughsli is back
Hugh’s irresistible lamingtons and lemon tarts will be at this coming market. You will find them at my stall. $5. Nothing ordinary!

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Welcome to 2018 at The Garden Shed and Pantry

Below are some snippets from my February newsletter. To read the full newsletter and see the photos, click here.

Happy 2018 I have had a wonderful break, relaxing for nearly 3 weeks at my rusty, quaint, fabulous, old beach shack at Balgowan, on the Yorke Peninsula in S.A. Check out some of my holiday photos below…. Now I am back and ready for a new year of nourishing you all with freshly milled, organic wholefoods and ingredients sourced directly by me from farmers and millers in Tasmania and Australia. I very much look forward to welcoming you again to my home shop and Cygnet Market stall. Opening times are on the photo at the top of this newsletter.

March Sourdough and Cultured Butter Workshop  Come to my kitchen and make with me the simplest and best bread for your body and taste buds. Learn about a range of grains and why they must be freshly milled. Create a batch of cultured butter to take home. I offer plenty of tastings and answer all your questions. Read more below….

Pat and Lina’s Olives Not every wholefoods shop owner takes time off from her holiday, on a day of 45C, to visit the olive grower and pick up buckets of olives so that their customers will not miss out at the first market of the year! Read more below….

Shani’s Kitchen Crafts; can you help? Shani helps me at the first market of each month and for some time she has been making fantastic pot holders (which always sell out), using the back pockets of jeans and recycled fabrics but she has run out of pockets! If you have some old jeans and could cut off the legs (which she doesn’t need) and just bring the tops, including the back pockets, that would be fabulous. Please bring to the market or leave on my front verandah. For every 3 pairs you donate at the market, Shani will give you one of her beautiful, hand made soaps.  

Nutrient Dense? It seems to be the latest catch-phrase … nutrient dense…. but what is it and does it matter? Read more below….

Hugh’s lamingtons and lemon tarts  Again you would be best to be to the market early to get some of Hugh’s very popular lamingtons and lemon tarts at my stall. I have not have any since before Christmas and cannot wait!!

Crop Swap Number 6… Saturday February 10th, 10am sharp It is going to be a biggy with lots of produce flowing from our gardens and kitchens. Everyone is welcome to our gatherings, whether or not you have anything from the garden to share. Do you have gardening books or magazines, can you knock up some muffins or a zucchini cake? Anything related to food is suitable. 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 below…

Viewing this newsletter If you do not see the full 2 columns of this newsletter, then please click “view this email in your browser” below the main photo. Some email servers clip either one column or some of both columns.

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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December newsletter… oh lalala

Closing dates
The Garden Shed and Pantry will be closed from December 23rd to February 1st and I will not be at any January markets.
TO READ THE FULL NEWSLETTER, CLICK HERE.

Someone keeps removing my garden Shed and Pantry sign from the tree at the entrance to my driveway and throwing it in the bushes! Now it has disappeared altogether but THE GARDEN SHED AND PANTRY IS STILL OPEN AT MY REGULAR TIMES SO DO DRIVE IN.

Four Leaf flours and grains reduced to clear 
One of my promises to you, my customers, is that whatever I sell you will always be fresh and that includes all flours and grains. So as not to have supplies languishing in my store room over January, when I am closed, I am selling off all remaining Four Leaf flours and grains at 10% off, to clear the decks before Christmas!

This includes at my home and both December markets. If you come to my home shop I will give you an even better deal for larger purchases. But be quick, as supplies are dwindling already.

Reduced to clear:Sundried apricots, pears, plums and peaches
Kevin and Cindy’s fabulous, certified organic, sundried fruits are selling like hotcakes! Now, 15% off for 400g or more. Read more below …

Hughsli raspberry lamingtons, lemon tarts, vanilla slices and his famous GF, paleo, grain and dairy free carrot cake
No matter how much he makes, it always sells out! Be early and don’t go home disappointed!

Natural Therapies offered by my amazing house sitters!
I am off to my shack on the beach in SA. My Cygnet house and garden will be looked after by some friends of mine, who have incredible experience in various natural therapies, as outlined here…

Offering a wonderful range of deep relaxing therapeutic treatments in Cygnet, surrounded by beautiful nature and gardens.

Reflexology, Pregnancy Reflexology, Infertility Reflexology, Reiki and Classical Homoeopathy.

We treat a variety of health issues or just come in relax, de stress and rejuvenate.

Some of the issues that can be treated: joint/back/knee/shoulder pains, headaches, migraines, menstrual difficulties, menopause, pregnancy conditions, infertility, stress, poor circulation, diabetes and many more. Ring and just talk to us to see how we can help.

SUMMER SPECIAL PRICES

Reflexology – $50 hour

Reiki – $50 hour

Homoeopathy – $80 hour plus $15 per remedy

PHONE Ashi and Michael:   0400 234 145

What is a gift?
I love giving presents. All year round I have my friends and family in my head as I cruise around markets and so on. It is amazing how often I see something that is perfect for so and so, made by the stall holder. I gather them up and put them in my “presents” drawer for the giving day. To me, that is what a gift is; something I randomly find while the person is in my thoughts.

It seems to me that most shops should just be called “Made in China”. I seriously often want to ask at the counter “Do you have anything in here that is made in Australia?” Even most of the mementos sold on the Spirit of Tasmania are made in China. It makes my head spin.

There are several reasons why I care where things are made and they all come down to concern for our effect on life on earth. I do not want to be even a small part of reducing habitat for orangutans, platypuses, Tassie devils, elephants, frogs or our unique flora. Plants and insects are the life force of our planet and nothing can live without their enormous (but shrinking) diversity.

I will not give gifts that are shipped up and down and around the world or made of fibres that last thousands of years or contribute to climate change / pollution / poverty/ or to harming the soil. Once you wipe out all those options, you are left with beautiful, local, natural things.

Come and look through my wares, with your family and friends in your thoughts and you may find just the thing to give them and you can be sure that it is only going to do good and not harm to life on earth.

Check out some of my suggestions below….

TO READ THE FULL NEWSLETTER, CLICK 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! 

_________________________________________

Home shop open times are on the photo at the top of the newsletter.
Garden Shed and Pantry website
E: kate@gasp.online

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. 

Minerals
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! 

A Wild and Woolly Tasmanian Spring at GaSP

I have a new crop of beautiful, English watering cans sprouting in The Garden Shed and Pantry (GaSP) for helping to germinate your seeds and to keep them gently watered until being planted out in the garden. I also have a huge range of Tasmanian (Southern Harvest) and Italian (Franchi) seeds for growing your way to health and prosperity! And, when you’ve done all that, I have Shani’s soap for gardeners, to clean you up 🙂 Read more below…..
Read the full newsletter here.
Local Soap for Gardeners
Shani is my new helper for the 1st market of each month and she also is a maker of many wonderful things, including a soap for gardeners’ hands. Not only that, but she has sourced paper to wrap the soap from The Paperman, who you may have seen on Landline recently. He makes paper from apple waste and more, in NW  Tasmania. Come and talk to Shani and buy some soap at this Sunday’s market. See more below…
September Sourdough & Cultured Butter Workshop
The never-ending story of my sourdough workshops continues. I love them and so do all the participants. Easy, foolproof, nutritious, delicious, no-knead sourdough made with freshly milled, organic, Australian flours; what could be better?Add to that your own, super easy to make, cultured butter, which costs an arm and a leg in the shops, and you are on a winner for your health and taste buds.
You can read all about it here. Click here to book. $55.

Hugh’s lamingtons, tarts and GF breads
Hugh has gone all out this week but again you would be best to be at the market early not to miss out on Hugh’s very popular lamingtons, lemon tarts, vanilla slices and GF sourdough breads at my stall… Last market I sold out again! Don’t go home disappointed. 
 
Tasmanian Wakame and Kombu
There is no other ocean I would want to eat from than the ocean south of Australia. We are so very lucky to have Craig Sanderson harvesting wakame and now kombu off the east coast of Tasmania. Seaweeds are full of minerals including iodine, calcium, iron, magnesium, selenium, zinc and much more. Read more below….

Nuage Blanc and Quark
Paris Creek is a biodynamic dairy in South Australia owned by Helmut and Ulli whose inspirational story you can read about here. From time to time I indulge in a batch of their most exquisite soft cheese which they call Nuage Blanc (soft cloud) and I have some to sell as well. They also make quark, which you can read about the health benefits of, here. Quark is on order and will be arriving soon. Reply to this email if you would like me to put some aside 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! 

_________________________________________

Home shop open times are on the photo at the top of the newsletter.
Garden Shed and Pantry website
E: kate@gasp.online

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.