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Meeting Martin Foot, a modern day Michelangelo

Meeting Martin Foot, a modern day Michelangelo

While hoarding hundreds queue in Florence to see works of Renaissance masters, we're in quiet Pietra Santa, meeting Martin Foot. He is a master sculptor of "Michelangelo's marble" in modern times, though I doubt he'd describe himself that way. With a distinctly...

How to hunt a truffle in France (and it’s not what you think)

How to hunt a truffle in France (and it’s not what you think)

Truffles in Manjimup are hunted with the help of a specially trained canine. Sometimes they don't make the cut: it's true, dogs sometimes flunk out of truffle school. There are tales too, of truffle pigs "helping out" with harvest in Europe, sometimes taking out...

Recipe: The Ultimate Garlic Paste

Recipe: The Ultimate Garlic Paste

Lara McCall of the amazing Burnside Organic Farm changed my life for the better the day she shared this recipe with me. Our fridge bulges with jars of this paste. Make enough to last a year, harvest your garlic, save some to plant, some to roast whole, make paste with...

The Weedy One: Diego’s Fantastic Foraging Feast

Bundanon's Spring Festival – “Siteworks 2015” On a Saturday in September we celebrated Spring with a bunch of art-lovers at Bundanon's Siteworks 2015. The properties at Bundanon, and Riversdale were gifted to the Australian people by Arthur and Yvonne Boyd in 1993....

Library Love Songs

Library Love Songs

My caring local librarian sent home an unsolicited book for me the other day: Inspired by Light & Land: Designers and Makers in Western Australia 1829-1969. Why yes, I am inspired by just that, Life and Land, I thought smiling to myself as I thumbed through the...

Dr Chan’s Feeling Good Ferments

Introducing Miin, and her husband Niel. If a box of Cadbury favourites were  filled with people, mine would have these two in it. They're living near Melbourne, running a business called Dr Chan's Feeling Good Ferments. If you asked me to name a small business run...

The Spice Road Pop-Up

The Spice Road Pop-Up

We were up at dawn in the mini-market garden, selecting and picking our best carrots, beetroots, potatoes, silverbeet, tomatoes, zucchini, corn, beans and more. Having so much produce in our first season was a marvel. That we were able to “select” at all, a...

Time for Gut Healing: When Eton Mess Brings Untold Distress

Where dwells benevolent belly love and digestion as silky smooth as a babe’s behind? I’m not there yet, but I’m on the way, a far cry from the bedridden mess I was Christmas night. I confess, I’m so glad of heart to be far from the distress in the sand dunes that was...

The Inaugural Right to Food Coalition

We attended the inaugural Right to Food Coalition in Casula, NSW, this week, and met a bunch of passionate people who are very aware of the need for access to food for everyone in Australia. The latest Australian Council of Social Services (ACOSS) report quoted at the...

2014 WAVE Electric Vehicle Festival, Stuttgart

2014 WAVE Electric Vehicle Festival, Stuttgart

Coming face to face with a stuffed horse was not what I had expected at Europe's biggest gathering of electric vehicle enthusiasts. We were in Germany, and likely to see a world record broken, when over 500 electric vehicles gathered together in Stuttgart. Having just...

Mündraub: Berlin’s wild foragers

We found Magda and Mundraüb months before arriving in Berlin, just by searching for biochar leads in Germany. Mundraüb means something like 'scrumping' in German, and their mission is mapping wild foods and abandoned fruit trees, whilst encouraging us all to see the...

How to make kale chips

How to make kale chips

A gift surely from the heavens, is kale chips. As a kid I loved BBQ flavoured samboy chips as a Friday afternoon treat. I was only allowed one “treat” a week and totally would’ve gorged more given the chance, thankfully my Mum kept consumption of junk on a very tight...

how to make Gozlemes

The deliciousness of Turkish Gozlemes is something every person should experience, in my mind. Kids love 'em too. SERVES 4 We use organic and biodynamic ingredients where possible, and avoid products with unnatural, unnecessary additives. Always read labels if unsure....

Kombucha tea: pass it on

Browsing a second hand store in Albany last year, I picked up a little book at random and flicked through the pages. A hand written note dropped out, titled, "Recipe for Kombucha Tea". Fascinated, I read on, finding that to make this curious beverage, one would need...

Vacola preserving: weekend workshop

'There are only ten minutes in the life of a pear when it is perfect to eat.' Ralph Waldo Emerson. He couldn't have been more wrong. Crunchy pears, slightly soft pears, and pears preserved in myriad ways, pears please me in ways many fruits can't, giving me almost...

How to make compost in six easy steps

Compost is key to thriving fertile gardens and farms. It helps grow nutrient-rich fresh organic food that'll make your whole person sing! Once you have the ingredients and you’re ready to start, it’s simple, like making a cake. If possible, grab a couple of friends to...

Preserving journey: into the wild (fermentation) we go

Modern day preserving methods often require using a lot of sugar. And let's be honest, it produces some special results in the form of jams, chutneys and bottled fruits to enjoy year round.  Most methods using sugar demand cooking at high temperatures, which can kill...

The Heroine’s Journey by Maureen Murdock

Stumbled across an author called Maureen Murdock this afternoon. I wasn’t a paragraph into the synopsis about her book The Heroine’s Journey when I burst into tears. Maureen is my mum's name. And the idea of mapping the contemporary woman’s psycho-spiritual journey...

Community cider making day

Community cider making day

We've spent the past two Saturdays a-merry-making cider; and it was easily the most fun we've had all year. Friends are helping us make things happen at Stellar Violets. Local winemaker Dave called up and said he was keen to turn his hand to cider and vinegar. He had...

How to hunt wild asparagus corms

How to hunt wild asparagus corms

Yesterday, a friend invited us "out the Perup" to dig up some asparagus corms. Due east of Manjimup, the Perup is where people can learn more about, and help look after rare, biodiverse flora and fauna (check out the Perup Nature's Gues House). There's also a lovely...

A visit to Kynjarmen Farm New Zealand

A visit to Kynjarmen Farm New Zealand

We're halfway into a week at Kynjarmen Farm, in the Waikato, a central region on the north island of New Zealand. It's the home of Stellar Violets founding members, Jen and Mark Eyers. Jen is mother of four grown boys. Skills and essential survival attributes that got...

How to dry apricots

How to dry apricots

 Easy steps my sister and I followed for sun-drying apricots.  1. Scrub up at least two old flyscreens. We got some on the cheap at the dump. I mean, refuse site. The endorphins are really doing their thing, even at this early stage. 2. Get some tree-ripe fruit....