Thursday, October 27

Jupiter Creek Organic Farm

Been a bit busy with a new venture...
Since I began this blog my life has changed considerably. As an interested loca vore and 'green' advocate, I started writing on all things sustainable as they applied to me; birth, mothering, consumering, living etc. Never did I imagine that I would end up a director of  several eco- businesses, one going well, one in liquidation and a new one on the horizon. I have learnt so much over the last few years, a journey which many of you readers would have followed. With the demise of  our previous local food business that i was involved in, due to many reasons which I cannot mention publicly, some of us from that business have scrambled around trying not to squander such emotional and intellectual investment, intellectual property and community goodwill and have managed to fall on our feet and start a true CSA here in the Adelaide Hills. We have found some wonderful land owners willing to share our journey and vision of an organic, demonstration, community focused accessible farm who just also happen to have an amazing amount of spare, irrigated, fertile land and infrastructure; cold storage, warehousing and a fleet of under-utilised refrigerated vehicles ( not to mention WWOOFers) just perfect for us to start an organic farm and true CSA organic box delivery scheme. We have been madly tilling, weeding, ploughing, weeding (did I mention weeding?) fundraising, planning and applying for organic certification over the last five months for most of the farm: the market crops, beef cattle, orchard, chickens , future pigs, ducks and wild foraging area for mushrooms. We put a down payment on the tractor in the picture, tomorrow. We have a herd of beef cattle, sheds for free ranging chooks, biodynamic compost piles, volunteers, 60 acres  two of which are under our new market crops and loads of vision.  The boy bean ( and occasionally a surprisingly enthusiastic very biggest bean) and I have been farming on the days when Im not at my regular job and yes, the PhD is finished. I will keep you posted as to when we launch. Exciting times ahead.

Monday, October 24

Earth Station

It was an awesome festival, except when I lost the kid (the ecstatic one in the pic). That was definitely not fun, just as dusk was upon the blaring..crowds chance. Some guy spotted him after some frantic ask arounds and handed him my way. Had a wine.
Rod Quantock was my non music highlight with his musings on our non sustainable lifestyles, missed HRH Cate B speaking, but the small's not really that interested in sitting for two hours listening to a panel discussion on sustainable living. Music-wise, the sounds coming from the The Congos Konono No.1 was very hip shakin and toe tappin and deeply grooving. We did a lot of that; grooving, some eating and the occasional bit of chillin' in this very awesome new WOMAD event which mixes music with action and education in the most amazing location. And we really realised that the kid likes to move.

Friday, September 9

Haiku Friday

Digging and weeding
shared dreams with visionaries
sweet day on the farm

Tuesday, September 6

well, that was fun!

I woke up last week to a hacked site. Bleugh. Trawling through trying to find the offending code somewhere within the html backend took days. Finally, Im back online- the offending 'warning' popup has gone and I'm back to a safe site. The really stupid thing was it wasn't my site that was actually hacked, just someone else's, somewhere that had a link to this site, who had malware detected on their site. Try finding that needle in the haystack...the problem with this Blogger blogspot gig is that Google 'controls' the site so you cant get 'clean' until they clear you, and you have to ask and prove yourself to get cleared, what a pain! But, I have learnt some stuff. Anyone else had a hacked blog recently?

Wednesday, August 3

pear public service post

This is a repost of a recipe winner from a few years back and is one of the top hitters on this blog. It really is a ripper of a cake - quick n easy and perfect for pear season.

last weekend it was pear paste, this weekend i decided to use Haalo's recipe from cook (almost) anything at least once for a pear and walnut cake. i love any cake or bread with fresh fruit; figs especially, but i only use figs in cakes if i have just so many figs that i know they will start fermenting before we can get around to demolishing them all, they really are so special that they should be eaten au naturale. But pears, apples, peach, i love using up excess fruit this way and we have so many walnuts still left from last years bumper crop that Im always looking for ways to use them. Although, i usually only cook cakes like this when i know we have extra people around to eat it all on the day, like we did yesterday. This is seriously a very delicious cake and it took about 5 minutes to make. Seriously.

The recipe i used is exactly as Haalo has written but i threw in the bag end of chocolate chips that were only going to get pilfered by the kids.

Tuesday, August 2

ouef en cocotte

Our new fast food.
Quick, easy, tasty and nutritious.
Who can resist individual serves a la cocotte?
Two organic eggs in a pot, drizzle with organic cream, some truffle oil and bake in a water bath for 15 minutes in a medium oven, and not a moment longer, for delicious oozy egg yolks and creamy white.
Its a fantastic way to serve 'dippy eggs' for kids who struggle with the shell and parents who struggle with the mess of a kid with a dippy egg!

Sunday, July 31

organic lemon icecream sandwiches

Wicked things these are. I haven't actually eaten one as they are so packed with calories, but the kids most certainly have- at the soonest opportunity. Much to their chagrin however, they are on rations! As soon as I saw these online I knew I was going to have to make them. Not only do they use up 10 lemons of zest but also their 1/2 cup or so of juice. At this time in the citrus season, I'm always struggling to use the lemons from our very prolific Meyer lemon tree.

These 'sandwiches' fill a very big sweet memory hole for me. As a kid from a poor family I rarely ate processed food - a caramel koala was as good as it got but on the odd chance that I wouldn't have spent my 20c pocket money on saving for a book, I might buy myself a choc-chip ice-cream burger in its own plastic burger box (yikes) . Big, sweet and chewy - I loved those things!

So, this custardy adult version made with local organic butter, eggs and cream really took my fancy.

The ice-cream in this recipe is very sublime- I did road test that, its the best I have ever had; like a cold and creamy lemon curd. Soooo good. They were a tad time consuming, but fun, playful and really made the kids think I was the best Mum ever. I'm up for that every now and then in this rather puritan foodie household.
All wrapped up and looking ever so sweet in the freezer, these babies have been numbered!
Recipe made 16 2 1/2 inch sandwiches and substituted regular wheat flour for gluten free flours (rice and corn)

Tuesday, May 24

wow- its me!

Life is good,
but no haiku has been written for a while.
The weather is cold and fires are on and the beautiful autumn view has been replaced with damp and bare and a little bleak.
Life is busy,
new challenges and responsibilities have emerged but I'm managing to keep them all airborne, nothing has been fully dropped as yet (besides this blog) and I am learning.
Life is love,
the children are settled, happy, getting less complex (well the girls anyway) the bean is growing and making new demands where they left off. The bloke is his same calm, slow and generous self.
Life is full, overflowing. I'm liking it. I'm pushing boundaries Ive never pushed before.
Lots of lists unfinished, holes in shoji screens (big airblowing ones), unwashed floors and dusty curtains. Weeds in the garden and appointments forgotten to be made, again. Every minute of the day is full. Its all good.

Wednesday, April 13

purple clay slow cooker

I think thats what i have? Its what Google tells me it is anyway...

my Chinese purple clay electricity cooker has been devoted to invent electricity cookers with unique oriental culture, and perfectly combines Chinese dietary with a history of thousands of years with ceramics culture.
My clay electric cooker is leading the prosperous development of the whole purple clay cooker industry and is noble and elegant and keep my nutrition food lastingly!
I couldn't figure out how to use it so we just pushed buttons in multiple combinations until it felt noble and right. There were instructions enclosed in the cute midi pot inside for congee making and probably some great recipe suggestions too but alas, my Chinese isnt quite up to scratch.

We were given this a few years ago by a friend visiting from China and I had totally forgotten about it tucked up on a back shelf in the pantry. Having vegos in the house, I dont really ever feel a need to stew the life out of a vegetable. But I had a weekend, cold weather hankering for some chinese beef braised in star anise- you know that awesome flavour? - sweet, deep unami flavour of oh so Chinese yumminess and a thick gingery soy masterstock? And et viola, remembered the cooker!
I dragged it down, dusted it off, pushed some buttons and it performed a treat. I kinda like how quirky it looks. I think it may get a workout this winter.

Monday, March 14

are you prepared?

this is a great resource. This years disasters have heightened my thinking on this. Its a great exercise to do with the kids- get their lateral thinking and rational processing skills up to speed in practical ways! No, Im not a sentimental, spare the kids kinda Mum! grin.

didn't we have a lovely time

the day we went to WOMADelaide!!!!
I love WOMAD. a big hippy party with loads of great music, awesome food, glorious location and some good grooving to be had. Its not cheap, especially when you're paying for kids to get in (under 12 is free)- squeezed B2 in free but this will be the last year.
My highlight this year was Archie Roach singing Took the Children Away. I found myself  sitting on a hill in a sea of people just sobbing, listening to this magical voice singing poetry, spirited away to a place of deep grief and sorrow while at the same time loving every moment of those tears rolling. His voice is pure joy.

Friday, March 11

Haiku Friday

Love is a farm tour.
Sweet boys, new friends, orange hats.
Apple orchard fun.

Monday, March 7


its both an awful name and a really good one. A Foodland store has just opened in our village and I'm a little shocked at just how bloody excited I am about it. We live in a small village about 20 km from the CBD. Its not quite suburbia, its  a little more removed but not quite the country either. As committed loca vore's and small time consumers as we are , there are still things we use a supermarket for and we do travel every fortnight to town to make bulk dry foods and cheesy and some other luxurious purchases.
Now we have a fabulous new stupormarket about 200m from our home and I have to say , its bloody excellent! It opened today and it was packed. Foodland is a locally owned and operated company with a committment to buying local produce. The only other stupor in our town has been woolworths. So, yes, we are pleased. Feedback from the staff  I asked in there today was that lots of Mums have been really happy to NOT have to shop at Woolies anymore!  Its all about ethical purchasing and fair choices.
We did the full perusal of the store today and I left feeling very, very happy. So many products I buy at local makets when we can make it : crackers, cheese, dairy, meat, oils,eggs all local, all free range or organic. They stock the FULL range of Maggie Beer ice creams ( yes, that dedicated cabinet did  knock my socks off) , local free range chicken and pork products from Saskia Beer, artisan cheeses, biodynamic yoghurts, creams, milks, butters, fish, ALL local, local, local. And the dry goods we travel to town for..they stock them too! And the French cheese i cheat with..those too. the cheese counter rivals the cheese stores in the Central markets and what they dont have , they will get for you. Couldn't have asked for more and got more. And not a Macro or Woolies or Homebrand name in sight. All Foodland branded products are guaranteed Australian made and they try to have at least 50% SA made. So,  we still get our Food Connect Adelaide box of fruit and veg and will patronise the local small stores for what they offer, but when time and distance make markets problematic, we will make use of these amazing choices when we need to.
Dead impressed.
Happy. It just took a whole load of planning and organisation off my agenda. Local choices made easy. Hope the local Woolies really takes a hit. We need more stores with commitments like these.

Oh, it looks pretty bloody good as well! Signage is almost non existent and the interior lighting really shows some consideration to human nature. Rumor has it that the owners wife made some hard line calls for a very pleasant and minimal aesthetic.

Friday, March 4

Haiku Friday

Haiku is easy!
Tomato's. Lots and lots of,
many more on shelves.

Friday, February 25

Friday, February 11

Thursday, February 10

bag giveaway

only one more day to go!
Julie at Towards Sustainability has an ethicurean reusable produce bag and tote giveaway!
Go enter!

Wednesday, February 9

lecture * with pracie

Gave an interesting one yesterday,
Don't think those there child-dentists liked it much.
Few too many home truths; I tried to be gentle.
But someone's gotta tell it like it is.
Dentistry in this country serves the dentists well... shame about the people.
They don't hear that much in dental school.

amendment: pracie of lecture.
Defined equity.
Defined values.
Defined subjectivity.
Defined distribution.
Defined values of developed nations
Defined health as a human right in this context.
Described distribution of poor oral health in Australia.
Described medical vs dental expenditure in Australia
Defined communism (they always confuse equity with communism)
Defined universal health care
Described dental system as NOT universal
Queried the equity.
Queried dental health profession interest in equity
Queried dental health profession commitment to population health
end of story

Saturday, February 5

gift horses and all...

No way! Not this time around. Do I want 40kgs of very ripe organic, local, heirloom tomatoes, delivered NOW? 
Our tomatoes haven't even hit their straps! A few fruits here n there. Weird weather and off season again this year. 
I spent hours last Thursday night making 25 kgs worth of passata and bottling blanched and peeled globes. Somehow in my mania I managed the beans bath time and dinner in between.
The Bloke returned home to a totally steamed kitchen (no Vacola ) with water dripping down the windows and me up to my armpits in tomato skins. The final 10 kgs got solar dried (we knew we had a few days of 40 ahead) .The Bloke fashioned up this tent, mainly to keep the tiny pine needles falling on them than to keep any animals out. A 'never got rid of' old trampoline mat served as the base and these op shop sheer curtains strung over the central rope worked a treat.

Friday, February 4

Haiku Friday

A festival of cheeses;
friends, wine and provenance told.
Heavenly table.

Thanks for the pic Carole

Wednesday, January 26

223 years, if not now when?

In 2006 an Aboriginal elder in residence at Griffith University in Brisbane suffered a stroke at a campus bus stop and lay there for five hours in her own vomit before a group of Japanese students came to her aid. A thousand others had walked right on by without giving it a second thought. These people weren’t members of the Ku Klux Klan, they were university staff, students and State Government bus drivers.You probably wouldn’t discriminate in a professional environment based on someone’s skin colour. Not only would that be illegal, it’s also morally wrong and as a society we’ve come a long way since some Australian swimming pools were segregated in the 1960s. But racism rears its ugly head in subtle ways.
This Australia Day, spare a thought for those affected by the devastating floods. Flip them a coin if you can – they need it. Polish off a few cans of our national beverage if you like too – hell, do it in a park. But if you do nothing else, get off your arse and do something about fixing the gaping, ugly disparity between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians. It’s been 223 years already. If not now, when?

This is my Australia Day. I'm afraid i cant muster any real 'national' pride as a collective nation, as individual people I can celebrate our flashes of charachter but nationally...nup. Too many racists running around swathed in flags,  old men driving Commodores with flags all just conjures paternalism and lies for me. A myopic sense of  history and entitlement. Its an unusual nation when so many have an aversion to our flag. I know I'm not the only one. On Australia Day it makes me grimmace.

Thursday, January 20

Sainte Maure Poitou Affiné

its not local.
I digressed.
Im off carbs and wheat and a I needed a treat.
Nothing I DO, nothing I MAKE HAS NO CARBS. I'm a carbaholic, hence the break; need to reset the system. So, I'm looking for treats which can sustain me. I have not found a remotely close local alternative to these lovely wheels of French goat.

This absoloutely stunning log of Sainte Maure Poitou Affiné was our theme around which a simple dinner of green leaves and heirloom tomatoes was made. I sliced the log, crumbed it with fresh thyme and rosemary and gently sauteed top and bottom in a pan to warm their insides and until the milk sugars caramelised. It then was very reverentially placed atop the green nest and sprinkled with some local Joseph  'la casetta' aged vinegar, the likes of which deserve its own post