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 ūüôā 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! 

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

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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.

 

A Ripper of a Newsletter!

My favourite recipes for beans, spice oils, health and happiness! Another newsletter packed with information because I love what I do!

Read it here.beans at market in India

Back home. Business as usual. March newsletter.

What a fabulous trip I have had and what stories I have to tell. In my newsletters and on this website I will tell you about my food adventures in San Francisco. The first of these is in my latest newsletter which you can read here.
Open as usual
My home shop will be open as usual this week and beyond. I will be at every Cygnet Market too.I am as passionate as ever about bringing you the very best in organic, Australian wholefoods and ingredients along with the know-how to help you have a healthy life and to bring your garden to your table.A special thank you to my wonderful house sitters, Julia and Charles, who served many of you in my home shop while I was away. Thanks to them providing me with a stocktake, I was able to get to and order all the products to restock the GaSP shelves, while I was still in San Francisco, and have them arrive a few days after my return! Autumn 2016 Workshops
I will be having plenty of sourdough workshops and gardening workshops + the odd fermenting and sprouting workshop through 2016. Hugh may be doing more workshops¬†too. You will read about all our workshops here in the newsletters so please take a moment to read them so you don’t miss out!!

APRIL sourdough and cultured butter workshop dates and registration here. You must put your EMAIL address, NOT your name, even if I know you, so I can contact you as a group.

San Francisco Sourdough Starter
The air in San Francisco contains a variety of bacteria which has made sourdough bread famous there; for its flavour and texture. It is called Lactobacillus sanfranciscensis. The story of how I got some starter from the most famous of all San Franciscan bakeries, Tartine, is in the newsletter here .

Also, read part one of my travel snippits about food, famous eateries and unexpected delights.

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Home shop open times are on the photo at the top of the newsletter.
Garden Shed and Pantry website
E: gasp4winns@gmail.com

Mid-January Newsletter

Travel Dates
My home shop will be open this week as usual and I will be at the Cygnet Market this Sunday Jan. 17th as usual.

Then I am going away for 6 weeks. My wonderful house sitters want to meet you so they will be¬†opening¬†my home shop on Thursdays as usual, from 2pm – 6pm (but it will be closed on Fridays). I have stocked the shelves for you so please don’t let me down!

Charles (USA) and Julia (Australian) have spent 25 years running permaculture courses in Maine, USA. They are a fountain of knowledge and delightful people. They will be here from Jan. 21st – Feb. 27th.

My Travels are taking me to NZ where, first, I will be staying with my penfriend of 47 years, Nicola, who I have only met twice before. She and her family live on a farm west of Christchurch.

Then I will be rowing for 9 days with 4 of my Cygnet rowing friends in the NZ Coastal Rowing Raid and Regatta. We are spending 2 weeks in all, amongst the islands north of Auckland, rowing, kayaking and adventuring. What fun! You will be able to follow our adventures on The Swan, St. Ayles Skiff facebook page, where we hope to post regularly.

Then I am going to San Francisco for 2 weeks to stay with my son Alex and his wife Jing. Bliss! I hope to write on my regular blog whilst there: Vegetable Vagabond

THE GARDEN SHED AND PANTRY WILL NOT BE AT ANY CYGNET MARKETS IN FEBRUARY BUT I WILL BE HOME IN TIME FOR THE FIRST MARKET IN MARCH.  

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To read the rest of the newsletter click here.

January 2016 newsletter

Happy New Year to all my customers and all who read this website. May you find peace and happiness in your life this year…. and lots of fun! Read below for my news in brief. Click here for the full newsletter.

Open as usual
My home shop will be open as usual this week and beyond. I will be at every Cygnet Market too.

I am as passionate as ever about bringing you the very best in organic, Australian wholefoods and ingredients along with the know-how to help you have a healthy life and to bring your garden to your table.

 2016 Workshops
I will be having plenty of sourdough workshops and gardening workshops + the odd fermenting and sprouting workshop through 2016. Hugh will be doing more workshops late¬†January¬†and through¬†February¬†too. You will read about all our workshops here in the newsletters so please take a moment to read them so you don’t miss out!!

Fresh Pasta
I am making fresh pasta on Thursday mornings, for sale at my home shop on Thursday afternoons only.

Those¬†people who said they¬†would like to receive a bundle for free and let me know if they’d be interested in buying it if I did offer it, please don’t forget to collect it!!¬†Collection of free pasta will only be on Thursday Dec. 31st after 2pm during my home shop open hours. And I will have bundles for sale too.

You truly won’t believe the difference!

Thanks for the Wine Bottles!
I rely on my wonderful customers to provide me with wine bottles, which I sterilise and fill with the olive oils and apple cider vinegar I sell. You have been most generous and I now have quite a few. However, I need about a dozen a week, so do keep me in mind in the months ahead.

Please leave¬†clean, label-free, screw cap, wine bottles of any colour or shape,¬†on my verandah any time. Please don’t bring them to the market.¬†¬†