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Country wine, veggies everywhere and tempeh Sandor…

February 11, 2014 | Courses + Workshops, Food, Food & Fermentation, Gardening, Kitchen Garden | 6 comments | Author:


So this week has been a little crazy. There’s been farm vegetable harvests, amazing fermentation action, backyard veggies learning and a tempeh version of Sandor Katz’s head to deal with…

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Firstly, the post-solstice market garden has started pumping! There is much to eat and more to preserve. Which we are doing, as fastly as we can.

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Ok when I say ‘we’ I actually mean Nick, and the awesome Angie who has arrived at the farm to help out with all things vegetable.

Because I, shortly after taking this photo of me and a bucket of seeding lettuce at the farm, took off to start travelling around Australia with Sandor Katz to spread fermentation fervour left right and center.

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This tour involves all sorts of surprises – like nursing Holly Davis’s young country wine on my lap on the plane to Brisbane, so that i could ‘burp’ it to release the pressure in the bottle along the way.

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Photo via Holly Davis

This young country wine was actually for demo purposes, but Sandor was very appreciative.

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Photo by Food Connect Brisbane

So then in Brisbane we did a weekend of fermentation talks and sessions taking in everything from pickles to miso to labneh to cracked millet porridge.

There is a lot to say and show on fermentation. It’s all around us. And it is a beautiful part of all our heritage, both preserving and enhancing our food.

It was great to see people light up with the possibilities.

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The wonderful Rose made gorgeous food for us all throughout the weekend, along with Buchi Kombucha and Kehoe’s kitchen – yummers.

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Sandor blitzing the idli batter (fermented rice and lentils, steamed to a small dumpling like thing)

The weekend involved learning all sorts of new tastes and methods, and lots of rushing out to stir this or burp that until the appointed time when it was going to be used.

So it goes, when everything you’re working with is alive!

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Beet kvass, country wine and dill pickles all on the make during the sessions...
Beet kvass, country wine and dill pickles all on the make during the sessions…

Meanwhile in Sydney, Michael and a posse of Serious Backyard Veggies students spent the weekend potting up, writing down and thinking about new ways to apply integrated pest management to their gardens.

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Talking compost
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Soil block making…

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And then, there was this – a tempeh bust of Sandor (with miso hair and mo) made by the Brisbane Culture Club… i’ll post separately on this later. But it was pretty awesome.

Now, we’re at the Seedsavers headquarters in Byron Bay, preparing for tomorrow’s fermentation workshop at Harvest Cafe and trying not to get distracted by the Seedsavers beyond-amazing library of resources.

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In the coming week or so I’ll post all the student notes from the fermentation workshops so if you couldn’t make it, stay tuned!

And in the meantime, go put a batch of kraut on. It’s going to save the world, i rekon.

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  • Fi February 11, 2014 at 11:17 pm | Reply

    Hail to you for having the courage to ‘burp’ Holly’s wine on a plane at altitude. Did you wear much? xxx

    1. milkwoodkirsten February 12, 2014 at 5:58 am | Reply

      No not at all!

  • quiltykanuck February 11, 2014 at 11:45 pm | Reply

    You make me dream of summer…

  • Kassi February 13, 2014 at 3:54 am | Reply

    so the whole peaches (?) in ? will be wine? will we know more on that in the future?

  • jimmmycJim February 20, 2014 at 12:37 pm | Reply

    Kirsten I heard an interview on ABC radio with Sandoz while he was visiting Tasmania this week. He mentioned the normal way most of us make yoghurt by using a purchased container of shop bought yoghurt. Then he said he got heritage or heirloom yoghurt which was giving him better results.
    Do you know where we might be able to get this heritage or heirloom yoghurt starter culture from?

    1. Elaine Oliver February 28, 2014 at 3:45 pm | Reply

      Hi Jimmycjim,
      You can get a few different yogurt starters cultures from here.


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