Saturday 24 November 2012

What’s Happening in Adelaide Today?

Well a lot of us are relaxing watching the cricket from the Adelaide cricket ground. Australia v South Africa 2012 test series.

Lots of folks are at the beaches or starting to celebrate the festive season with friends.

Some of us are stocking up on goods from many of our local farmer’s markets.

A friend has been making rich dark fruitcakes to share with family and friends and I am gathering ingredients to make my easy boiled in a bowl Christmas pudding which I have made for years. This is also a great recipe for young cooks to stir together ready for adults to then cook.

Jacaranda trees colour the Adelaide suburbs with their magnificent purple blooms. Many residents tie huge purple bows around the massive jacaranda trees to decorate the trees ready for street parties with neighbours.

Gardeners are still planting up their Mediterranean summer veggie gardens, tomatoes, corn, basil, zucchinis, eggplant, cucumbers, lettuce and lots more greens.

This year we still have lots of lemons and now baby figs and grapes on the trees.

Our Mulberries and loquats have just finished but I have seen an old English mulberry tree in Unley which still has fruit.

It is very hot today over 30 degrees Celsius.

Well siesta time now for some, enjoy your weekend and your festive season wherever you are.



I have made this easy Christmas pudding recipe for years ever since my Auntie Win gave it to me.
So it is really called Auntie Win’s Overnight Christmas Pudding. It is a light flavourful pudding and is great eaten cold the next day. Lots of Adelaide folks dry their own fruits so this would be a great recipe for them.

1  375 gram pkt of Mixed Dried Fruit
1 cup of water
1/4 cup of sherry or rum or brandy
Mix the above ingredients together and stand all day.
Then add
1 cup of freshly made breadcrumbs
1 cup of Self Raising Flour
1 teaspoon of mixed spice
2 tablespoons of melted butter
1 small teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda
1 tablespoon of honey or golden syrup
1 or 2 beaten eggs
Mix well .
Spoon into a greased pudding basin.
Cover with buttered greaseproof paper.
Cover with aluminium foil.
Tie these around the lip of the bowl with cotton string.
Leave to stand in the refrigerator overnight.
Next day boil the pudding for 3 hours in a pan with boiling water and a lid.
Remove from the pan, allow to stand for 15 minutes, turn pudding onto a plate and serve with custard, cream and seasonal berries.
This pudding keeps for months in the refrigerator or it can be frozen.
The original recipe had 1 cup of sugar which I leave out. Dried fruit, honey and sherry add ample sugar. I usually multiply the recipe by 4 to make 4 puddings and I substitute 1 375 gram pkt currants for the mixed fruit. Dried black currants add a wonderful flavour and richness.

Wednesday 26 September 2012


An opportunity for our Heathfield community to come together to share surplus home grown or homemade produce.

3rd Saturday of the month from 3pm – 4pm 7 july


 Nirvana Organic Farm’s classroom

184 Longwood Rd  Heathfield.

Dates and times may change according to seasonal conditions and community needs.

First swap OCTOBER 20th 2012

Fresh home grown fruit and vegetables
Home Baked goods
Homemade jams and preserves
Plants, seeds, seedlings and cuttings

Or just come along for a chat and a cuppa



Run by local residents test sept 005
totally not for profit
no money changes hands
no cost, no strings attached
everyone welcome


People come to this with a spirit of generosity and community. All produce goes onto a communal table and then we can all take what we would like and what we think is a fair swap. No money is to be exchanged for goods. It’s not a barter system where x many of one thing is swapped for y many of another .Just sharing our surplus.

Bring along your own cup to share a chat over tea or coffee.

By swapping your home grown and homemade produce you will add variety to your diet, save money, reduce food miles, eat fresh local food, meet new people, catch up with old friends and gain knowledge about cooking and gardening.

Enquiries 83392519

Wednesday 19 September 2012



A position is available for a 12 month part-time internship which offers an opportunity to learn from 30 years biodynamic growing and small holding lifestyle in the Adelaide Hills.

2 days a week – negotiable times and days. Can be made of some ½ days (week days only) Times may vary depending on season and conditions. (this is farming which is not 9-5) There is no money exchange only skills and knowledge.

For more information on Nirvana Organic Farm

Application in writing by October 30th to:

Nirvana Farm 184 Longwood Rd, HEATHFIELD 5153

Further information Deb or Quentin 83392519 after dark, before 9pm.



Copy of Garden Quality FarmingBIO- DYNAMIC AGRICULTURE


Improve your soils water holding capacity.

A one day course to introduce the practical concepts of the biodynamic methods to farmers and gardeners.

The Bio -Dynamic method is a modern organic method that creates a holistic approach to building healthy soil, plants animals and humans.

The course covers history, concept of a living organism, soils, compost, special preparations that enhance nature and equipment required.


Sunday, Sept 23rd 2012.

8.30 am. -4.30 pm.

Cost: $140

Includes: notes, lunch, Membership of Adelaide Hills Biodynamic Group..


Sunday, October 7th

9.00 - 12 30 $50

Principles of composting and mulching, techniques and materials used and how they can be used most effectively on your garden or farm.


Sunday, September 30th

9.00—12.30 $50

Practical guide to establishing and maintaining a productive and healthy

vegetable garden.


Sunday, October 14th 9.00-12.30 $50

Working with the rhythms of nature can develop your skills in fine tuning your garden and can add a new dimension to your gardening experience.


Sunday, October 21st

9.00 -12.30 $50

Practical guide to orcharding. Includes establishment, soils, ground covers, maintenance & pruning.


Sunday October 28th

9.00 pm – 12.30 $50

All you need to know about getting started with poultry. Includes selection, housing, feeding, breeding, pests.


Sunday November 4th

9am – 4pm


.The ideal way to recycle your garden prunings. This introduction to natural fibre weaving will show you the essential techniques, suitable plants & other materials to make baskets, fences, or trellises.

Course includes all materials, lunch, morning & afternoon tea.


Book your own tour anytime

An ideal opportunity to gain an insight into a successfully run biodynamic farm .This Garden Quality Farm demonstrates an integrated system incorporating orchards, poultry, native habitat & wetlands, home food production & hardy cottage gardens all rolled into a unique lifestyle.

minimum charge $60 for up to 5 persons

extra’s @ $12/ head)

SCHOOLS; Secondary $8 Student with 1 adult/15 student’s Primary $7 Student with 1 adult/10 students

CLUBS & GROUPS; 15 + @ $10/ head


Held at

Nirvana Organic Farm

184 Longwood Road


Phone 83392519

Practical, ‘hands on’ courses

conducted by experienced

biodynamic/organic farmers, Deb and Quentin. Their successful small holding, which has been run organically/Bio-Dynamically since 1983.

National winner of the Organic Federation of Australia Awards of Excellence as the leading Organic Educator

The 4.5 ha property provides the ideal classroom filled with practical examples of how goals can be achieved and gives inspiration into this GARDEN QUALITY FARMING for both gardeners and farmers alike.

Courses are aimed to maximise opportunities for participation and discussion. The number of participants will be limited so you will need to enrol ASAP

Friday 20 January 2012

ATG Table of Moveable Feasts



One of my favourite recipe books this summer is the ATG (Ad Terrae Gloriam – Glory to the Earth) Table of Moveable Feasts, the best recipes from 30,000 ATG picnics.

Here is a link to ATG and the cookbook Table of Moveable Feasts.

I love this book purchased from a local op shop for $2 obviously donated by a non gardener, non cook!

No proper cook would dare to part with it. It is full of lovely fresh salads to please all.

The recipes are simply prepared, transportable if necessary and include basic ingredients one has in the pantry.

My salad choice to make today from this book is Carpaccio di Zucchini.

Why ? because we have some beautiful young yellow zucchinis which yell to me just eat us RAW!

Yellow Zucchini-6

You simply slice the zucchini very thinly lengthways sprinkle it with salt, pepper, olive oil and parmesan cheese shavings. Repeat the process with another layer of the above ingredients then chill the salad for 1 to 2 hours.

Place the zucchini in curls on a plate with the marinade and extra parmesan shavings.

Serve with crusty bread, a fresh tomato and basil salad or smoked fish.

How easy is that!

At the moment  we are picking cucumbers, tomatoes, zucchinis, grapes, pepinos, all our amazing herbs plus the summer favourite sweet basil.

I have so much basil I am using it as a green vegetable and just adding handfuls to  Italian casseroles, Spanish rice dishes, pizzas and of course garden fresh  gazpacho.

Enjoy your summer gardens and stay cool or if you live in the Northern Hemisphere stay warm.

And Happy New Year to all our Chinese neighbours and friends.