Naturally Well With Jo | Blog
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Victorian Ethical Farm Research Trip – Part One

Andrew and I are on a journey.  To live self sustainable as much as we can, to learn as much as we can about holistic organic agriculture and to share what we learn to encourage others to live consciously and well.  

Two weeks ago Andrew and I set out on a farm research trip in Victoria to learn as much as possible and be inspired on how others are living a simple life and using their land to grow ethical and sustainable food for not only themselves but also to share with the local community to encourage a stronger local food system 

Before we set off I contacted the farms that I thought would be awesome to connect with who are doing similar things to what we would like to do here on our property.  I am for ever grateful that we were welcomed with open arms into each home and farm.   

After arriving in Melbourne we picked up our hire car and drove to Daylesford.  The first farm we booked in to see which I was extremely excited about was Jonai Farms

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Who owns Jonai Farms and Meatsmiths?

Jonai farms is owned by Tammi and Stuart.  Two amazing and inspiring people who left city life and academic life to farm (with no experience).  After reading Joel Salatins book “You can Farm” and visiting Joel’s farm plus learning from other ethical and sustainable farms, Tammi and Stuart along with their three children moved to a sixty-nine acre property to farm ethically raised, happy and very tasty, heritage-breed pastured pigs.  They have now been farming for three years and what an amazing set up they have.  

Tammi and Stuart now have a full herd of heritage-breed black pigs and they now have a small herd of low line cattle.  Andrew and I were lucky  to see the brand new calf.  Jonai Farms first calf and it was exciting.

Their farm is on volcanic soils, completely different soil to ours, but can still offer the beef lush grass so consumers are able to enjoy grass-fed ethically raised beef.  

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It was fortunate for Andrew and I because when I contacted Tammi (and let me just say I have a major girl crush on this lady) she told us that the weekend we wanted to visit the farm, Tammi was running one of her amazing salami workshops.  Well lucky for us, we booked in straight away.  

One of the reasons we wanted to visit Tammi and her husband Stuart is because Tammi is a leader in the ethical food scene.  She is president for the Australian Food Soveignty Alliance and she practices what she preaches.  She has been a great mentor to me.  And as Andrew and I want to raise and grow our own herd of pigs and we are both supporters of ethically raised and organic agriculture we want to learn, be empowered and inspired from the farmers who are ahead of us and are doing it sustainably.  

We had another reason we wanted to visit and it was because their ethos aligns with ours. We only want to eat animals which are raised ethically and we wanted to learn off someone who puts animal welfare first. With our own farm and being on our own journey I think it is really important to learn from as many people as possible who want to contribute positively to the world’s food system.  Creating a connection between fellow ethical farmers and how our food is grown and what we eat will not only improve our own health and happiness, the health of the land, the animals,  it will also create a better environment for the next generation.  

After crowd funding and raising $27, 570 Tammi was able to construct a butcher’s shop right on her property and now after spending six months learning to cut up pig carcasses she now has a licensed butchery on her property and is able to cut up her own meat on her farm and sell direct to consumers.  

Not only that, after a second crowd funding campaign they were able to raise another $33,625 to build a commercial kitchen and curing room to do their own free-range farmstead salami and turn their business into a full nose-to-tail and no waste operation.  How exciting is that!?  They’re raising animals ethically, ecologically, & economically which if you are not aware is connected to our own health and well-being.  

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Our goal here on Bruny Island island property  is to build a sustainable CSA.  What CSA means is Community-Supported Agriculture.  It is a model where consumers are able to join to ensure they have a reliable source of ethically raised meat and organic produce.  Consumers can also visit the farm and talk with the farmer who grew their food (which will be me).  This stuff sends shivers down my spine.  I have always been excited to share with others the wonderful local farmers and producers we have here in Australia and now It will be an exciting day for both Andrew and I when we can open up the farm to share with others and to help others live well and be well and I am the farmer.  

When you buy meat
When you choose to eat meat I feel it is important to know how your meat is grown and raised.  I for one do not like to see cruelty to animals and I believe that when animals are raised humanly they are given the best life possible.  And when it is time to use the meat for our own human consumption the animal should not even know what is coming.  Tammi and Stuart along with many other ethical free range growers share this same philosophy and our farm research trip to Jonai Farms has greatly inspired me to continue to educate and empower people to eat consciously.  

As Tammi quotes ” You’re what you eat, so eat ethically”  

Before I show you what Andrew and I got up to on the Jonai Farm day I would like to share with you Jonai Farms ethos and values.  This has been taken from Jonai Farms and meatsmiths website 

Values

We value the pigness of the pig

We value holistic decision-making – ecological/social/financial

We value an aromatically & aesthetically pleasing farm

We value direct connections with our customers & suppliers (social, ecological, financial)

We value so-called waste material for re-use &/or feed on the farm

We value labour & strive to do things for ourselves

We value patience – nature takes time, & patience tastes delicious

Objectives

To raise animals ethically, ecologically, & economically

To control as much of our supply chain as possible

To sell directly via: farm gate, households, restaurants, wholesale

To be a model and a voice for regenerative, ethical agriculture

And this is why I love Jonai Farms.  

Now for the photos – It was a very hard choice to not put them all in.  

IMG_4152It was amazing to connect with like-minded people.  
IMG_4127Arrived and we’re ready to learn how to make salami 
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Tammi in her element.  Preparing to make Pate De tete which is made from slow boiled pigs head and trotters.

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Two pigs head, a trotter and a herb and veg bunch went into hot boiling water

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Tammi talks to us all through the butchering and she was extremely helpful with all of our questions

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The meat and fat on the pig was insane.  Such quality.  I asked Tammi “how do you know the difference between ‘good’ and ‘bad’ fat of a pig”  She replied ‘good’ fat is really white and smooth.  If the fat is bubbly then this is ‘bad’ fat”   

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Cutting the side of the pork down to divide it into meat, skin and fat to make charcuterie.  Tammi believes in nose to tail and no wastage.  All pork is utilised respectfully.  

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Oh this is one strong women and one heavy pig!

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Leg joints cut off to make jamons

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explains to us the different cuts of meat

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Just look at that fat!  Amazing.  

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Two pigs head and a trotter in this beer barrel.  It has been simmering away since 9.30 and if I recall turned off about 3pm.  The heads were strained and the terrine dish was lined with the pigs tongue and ‘good’ meat

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Curing in a salt solution 

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Salami in the making.  Freshly ground local black pepper and salt.  Everyone had a go to trim meat cuts and seperate the meat, fat and skin.  

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Chilli and black pepper.  Lots of chilli. This is to make the Capocollo.  

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The biggest sausage I have ever seen.  Even Tammi was excited!  This is called a Capocollo.  Made through a sausage maker and to Tammi’s surprise!  

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See!  Everyone was excited!  

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The amazing butchery where Tammi can now make and sell her charcuterie 

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We were fed all day with their amazing and tasty pork.  These guys do know how to farm.  Stuart was great and kept us fed all day.  Here he is making pork spare ribs.  

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Biggest grin ever! 

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This is all the salami that we made and in 6 weeks time we can all catch up again and enjoy it.  I love seeing how so many hands can create delicious and real food for all to share.  Tammi taught us how to string the salami.  

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The whole day was amazing but to come back from the farm tour where we got to see the whole Jonai farms and sit down to a long table lunch was the crackle on the pork!  

The Jonai Farm is transparent.  Open to the public to see how everything is done and I love that.  This is what we will inspire to be.  We want our consumers, you to come and pat the pig, goat and cow.  We want you to pluck a chicken and see how different varieties of vegetables are grown.  And we also want you to see the high’s and lows of learning to grow and raise all our own food, to live simply and to live well.
 
I hope I have inspired you to seek out ethically raised produce.  When you eat better quality meat, you eat less and you are more satisfied.  When you eat meat that you know who the farmer is, how the meat was raised, you create a sense of ecological connection which I guarantee will help you to live well and be well and it may even inspire you to start farming.  

See you for part two of our Victorian Ethical Farm Research Trip 

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Thank you Tammi and Stuart for opening up your farm and your hearts to allow us to share a very special day.  

If you are interested in learning how to make salami’s or any of the other workshops which Tammi runs please go to her website here.  I highly recommend it!

 

 

 

 

 

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A Rare and Magical Event on The Little Island – It Snowed

The weather forecast mentioned a chance of snow down to sea level.  A warning went out to sheep graziers and a warning went out to all Tasmanian schools that there is a very high chance the kids will not be able to attend school.  As I listened to the news last night I must admit I felt excited.  I hope I wake up to snow tomorrow.  

And I did!  As I walked out from the bedroom and looked outside everything was covered in snow.  It was pure white and I was excited.  I raced back into the bedroom and woke Andrew up.  Actually, I may have yanked at him to get out of bed and look at all the snow.  

The last time it snowed this much in Tasmania was back in 1986.  I am not sure if it snowed here on Bruny Island but I am so glad we had the amazing opportunity to see it snow here in 2015 on the little island.  

I felt like a kid again.  I went outside and snapped away.   I hope you enjoy the photos and if you’re living in Tasmania I hope that you were able to enjoy the snow as much as I did.  

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I haven’t built a snowman since I was a child.  He may be a bit out of proportion but I had a lot of fun building him.  

It just goes to show how simple things like snow and building a snowman makes you happy.  Once again embracing nature sure helps with our overall sense of health and wellbeing.

If you’re living or visiting Tasmania I hope you enjoyed the snow as much as we did.  Please feel free to share any photos in the comment section below or post on the Primal Living Facebook page.  

I am off to grab the carrot from outside off the snowman because I need it to make pumpkin soup for lunch. Stay warm and we will chat again soon

 

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Farm Lunches

Pumpkin, Potato and Sage Quiche

Last year for the first time I grew pumpkins.  I was so excited that I was able to grow and harvest forty-seven pumpkins.  In the growing process I only lost two of them to possums and currently the pumpkins are sitting in my container ready to be made into delicious nutrient dense meals.  

Growing your own food is one of the most exciting and enjoyable things to do.  When I cut the pumpkin open to make the pumpkin, potato and sage quiche I was in awe of the bright orange colour that faced me. I grew this with my own two hands and not one bit of chemical or pesticide went into the soil.  My organic pumpkins have had a lot of love and organic matter added to it and then left to its own natural devices to grow. With the right environment nature can produce amazing produce and what’s even more amazing is when you can sit down to a meal knowing where your food came from and how it was grown.  

With forty-seven pumpkins in the container they are now ready to be eaten.  I made this recipe up on the spot and with minimal cooking experience I feel it is a winner.  Not only is it delicious it uses ingredients all sourced from my own backyard.  I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.  

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Pumpkin, Potato and Sage Quiche
Serves 10
A delicious gluten free quiche using local and seasonal produce.
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Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
35 min
Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
35 min
Ingredients
  1. 8 free range eggs
  2. 3 dutch cream potatoes, diced small
  3. 1/4 of a small pumpkin, diced small
  4. 1/2 cup fresh or dried chopped sage
  5. 1/4 cup cream (preferably organic)
  6. Himalayan or sea salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. In a steamer add your potato and pumpkin and steam unil tender
  2. Whilst vegetables are steaming add the eggs to a bowl and whisk
  3. Add in the cream and diced sage and combine well
  4. Butter a quiche pan
  5. Once vegetables are ready add them to the quiche pan and pour over the egg, cream and sage mixture
  6. Season well with salt and pepper
  7. Bake in a 180 degree oven for 30-35 minutes
  8. Serve with a delicious green salad dressed with cold pressed olive oil
Notes
  1. In the egg misture you can add other herbs such as rosemary, thyme or parsley
  2. You could also add in turmeric with the sage
  3. Omit the cream for dairy free and use coconut milk
  4. If you can't source dutch cream potaotes, kennebec is also suitable
  5. I used Qld blue pumpkin, however any variety of pumpkin would be delicious
  6. You can also serve pesto with the quiche
  7. Do not over cook the pumpkin and potato in the steamer. You want to add it to the quiche pan slightly under done.
Naturally Well With Jo http://naturallywellwithjo.com.au/
Don’t forget that leftovers is one of the easiest ways to continue to stay with a healthy and nutrient dense lifestyle.  I ate the quiche sliced and served cold for lunch the next day and than again heated for breakfast the following morning.  

I would love to know if you made my recipe.  Please come back and share your thoughts.  

Happy cookingJo

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Throwing Out Food, Do This Instead (banana, coconut, walnut and chilli recipe inside)

When there is food going off in your fridge or pantry what do you do with it?  What about food, which is left on your plate at the end of the meal?  When we scrape the food off our plates after a meal because we’re too full to finish the remaining, do you think about the significance of your food scraps? Do you think about the impact the food that you’re about to throw into the bin could have on our planet? Food is life.  It is organic and can positively be turned into amazing compost for us to grow our own food in.  

However, unfortunately we get into a routine and we throw food into the bin without even considering where it may go.  We serve ourselves up a meal, which is too big and when we can’t finish it we scrape the remains into the bin – again not thinking where it goes.  

When you’re out for dinner and a large plate of food appears in front of you and you can’t finish it, do you ever wonder where all that wastage goes?  

According to a recent report by United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the World Resources Institute (WRI), about one-third of all food produced worldwide, worth around US$1 trillion, gets lost or wasted in food production and consumption systems. When this figure is converted to calories, this means that about 1 in 4 calories intended for consumption is never actually eaten.
When we have a world full of hunger, volatile food prices, and social unrest, It is shocking and upsetting to read about these statistics.  

Every year world wide consumers in industrialized countries waste almost as much food as the entire net food production of sub-Saharan Africa (222 million vs. 230 million tons) and the amount of food lost and wasted every year is equal to more than half of the world’s annual cereals crops (2.3 billion tons in 2009/10)

Global food waste is a problem, however you and I can make a difference with small and simple changes.  

How does this relate to my banana, coconut, walnut and chilli mini cakes?  It relates because I had three bananas that were going off and an abundance of eggs, which I needed to do something with them.  Brown and blackened skinned bananas are excellent for making cakes with and there is no shortage of things you can cook with eggs.  When I started to make the mini cakes I realised I only had home made chilli oil in the house.  
When you live on an island you have to make do with what is in the house.  No running to the shops to purchase olive oil.  Not only was I doing my little bit with food wastage, I was also taking another step in my own journey of living simply and producing food from lesser ingredients. I feel like these mini cakes are a real win in more ways than one.  

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Banana, Coconut, Walnut and Chilli Mini Cakes
Serves 18
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Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
20 min
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
20 min
Ingredients
  1. 3 bananas
  2. 1/2 cup coconut flour
  3. 4 free range eggs
  4. 1/4 cup chilli olive oil (see notes)
  5. 1/4 cup water
  6. 1 tbsp coconut oil
  7. 1/2 tbsp cinnamon powder
  8. Walnuts for topping
Instructions
  1. In a food processor add all the ingredients. Blend until a smooth mixture.
  2. In a greased mini cake tin add the mixture.
  3. Add a walnut to each mini cake before popping into the oven
  4. Bakes for 20 minutes on 170 degrees
Notes
  1. Use your timer and check in 10 minute intervals. They're ready when you can easily remove them from the tin and they are bouncy
  2. I used homemade chilli oil for this as it was the only oil I had in the pantry. If you do not have chilli oil, use cold pressed olive oil instead
  3. I used three mini tins with 6 cake moulds in each
  4. I am not a sweet tooth and this is why I did not add any additional real food sweeteners. You could add 1-2 tbsp raw un heated honey or rice malt syrup
Naturally Well With Jo http://naturallywellwithjo.com.au/
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What I don’t want you to feel in regards to food wastage is disheartened! As consumers, we can do a lot to change the situation.  When I lived in the city I didn’t have an opportunity to compost all my food scraps. Actually I did not have the education or self-awareness about the cycle of food scraps as I do now.  And now because I do I would like to empower you to look at what you do with your food scraps and make a positive change.

 EAT

One of the best ways to help food wastage in terms of eating is to become a mindful eater.  Serve up smaller meals at home and when you’re out for a meal ask for a small serve or entree size meal.

If you have food that is going to be wasted it is now time to go through all of your recipe books and come up with a meal that you can either eat that day or freeze for later.

If you do not cook, call a friend, your mum, grandmother and ask them to help you

Have friends over for dinner and have a big cook up.  Not only will you waste less, you will be able to enjoy fun conversations around a table.

THINK

If there is no possibility in your home to own a compost bin, bundle up your food scraps and take it to a friend who you know has a compost bin and leave it with them.

If you do have some space you can purchase a small compost bin to place in your cupboards or on the kitchen bench to help remind you to compost.

If where you live has an area for chickens, I highly recommend you purchase two.  Not only will they eat your food scraps they will also scratch through your compost and produce eggs for you.

Shop smartly.  Think about what you are about to buy and when it will be eaten.  Avoid buying too much and it ends up being thrown out.

Each week take some time to sit down and plan your meals for the week and your shopping list.  This will help you to avoid buying food that you do not need and saving money

When you go to a restaurant take a container with you and ask to take the leftovers home.  Leftovers are great to take to work or have for breakfast.

Donate any food that you can’t use anymore or don’t know what to do with to food banks

If you own property and have space to compost but need food scraps, help restaurants out and ask your close by restaurants to save their non-meat food scraps.

LIVE

Live consciously.  When you’re out for a meal become mindful of leftovers and ask to take the leftovers home

Buy less, waste-less

Become pet owner of chickens

Purchase a compost bin or make your own compost piles

Share a compost bin with your neighbours

If you have space at your home build a worm farm

I have listed below websites that may interest you to purchase a compost bin for your apartment.  Here at home I use a tumbler and currently I have a massive compost pile next to the chicken coop and when the chickens are free ranging during the day they have a ball scratching through the big heap.  

I really hope I have empowered you to become a conscious composter and to be mindful in what you do with your food scraps.  Food is life and we can turn it into amazing soil for our vegetable gardens to produce more organic produce to enjoy seasonally.  Have a go at composting and please comment below if you have any further suggestions on how to improve food wastage.  

Enjoy the banana, walnut, coconut and chilli mini cakes.  

Jo 

 

 

 

 

 

References:  

Urban Composter
Bokashi Composter
Nature Mill

United Nations Environment Program
World Food Day

 

 

 

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Coriander, lamb and Avocado Omelette

Wake up and smell the omelette.  I love making omelettes because they are quick to make and you can use any leftovers that you have from the night before and you can also add in lots of delicious seasonal vegetables.  

My omelette recipe below was made using leftover lamb chops that I had for dinner the night before and coriander and avocado.  Four ingredients used for a simple, nutritious and filling meal.  

Coriander, Lamb and Avocado Omelette
Serves 1
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Prep Time
2 min
Prep Time
2 min
Ingredients
  1. 3 free range eggs, whisked
  2. 2 lamb chops
  3. 1/2 avocado
  4. handful of fresh coriander
  5. 1-2 tsp ghee, coconut oil or cold pressed olive oil
Instructions
  1. In a fry pan melt the ghee or other fat of choice
  2. Whilst fry pan is on a medium heat add in the egg mixture
  3. Let the egg mixture cook for 2-3 minutes until it becomes set
  4. Add on top on half of the mixture the coriander, sliced lamb and sliced avocado
  5. Once egg mixture is firm, fold in half and cook for another 2-3 minutes.
  6. Serve with fresh cracked pepper and sea salt
Naturally Well With Jo http://naturallywellwithjo.com.au/
I used lamb chops in this recipe but any leftover meat will be delicious.  

Enjoy

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