Naturally Well With Jo | Natural Living
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No Fuss Sustainable Christmas Shopping

Christmas is just around the corner and if you’re like me and really dislike the christmas busyness and want to avoid all the crowds, I have the perfect way for you to shop. 

My guidelines around buying presents is that they must be eco friendly, local, sustainable and as much zero waste as possible.  I also love buying gifts that are informative and useful and a bit quirky.  

So this morning I did a little bit of shopping online from local businesses who are doing awesome things for the people and the planet. And I wanted to share with you who they are just incase you would like to buy your friends and family members presents that are good for the environment and fun for the receivers.  

The first one is:  SPIRAL GARDEN

A family-run, Tasmanian-based online retail business, specialising in environmentally-friendly toys, quality art and craft supplies, gardening tools, books and inspiring gifts made from renewable materials.  They also run workshops and e-courses in permaculture, celebrating our local environment.  Spiral Gardens emphasis is on quality products that are made with love and care for the environment, as well as experiences that seek to connect and educate while spending time in nature, hence our motto: “play, nature’s way…”

These guys have an amazing online shop. Here is their website link – Have fun shopping

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The second local business that I love is CARA EDWARDS DESIGN

Cara is an amazing women!  So creative and quirky.  I love her!  A graphic designer, a mad potter and a primary school garden teacher based in Hobart, Tasmania.  Cara works on a freelance basis and loves collaborating with local/ethical/small-scale businesses and organisations. With qualifications in horticulture and permaculture has given Cara’s work a unique perspective – her approach is unpretentious and she aims to create genuine, simple and positive designs.

I love how Cara designs products that are practical and fun.  She has a great range of cards, posters, badges representing Mother Earth.  Seriously in love with her work.  I can’t tell you what I bought as the person I bought for maybe reading this post.  Hehe.  

But here is what I love.  How cool are these badges?!    If you would like to shop this christmas with Cara here is the website link

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The third local business I love is GOOD LIFE PERMACULTURE

Good Life Permaculture’s approach to life is centered around the concept of radical homemaking.  They place their home and community at the core of everything they do in order to create what they feel is a a good life.

Hannah Moloney and her partner Anton Vikstrom (and little Frida Maria) are busy applying their skills in permaculture and sustainability in their our home and their community since they arrived in Tasmania in mid 2012.   They are extremely passionate, hard working people, dedicated to fostering a resilient world to live in, now and for future generations.

Hannah has jut released some permaculture educational t.towels.  Which I am totally in love with.  This hits my christmas present buying to a tee.  Practical, educational, fun and waste free.  

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For more shopping head here to Good Life’s website 

And number four of one of my favourite local businesses.  KYLIE ANNA CREATIONS

I love what Kylie does with her design work and also how inspiring and resilient this amazing women is!   Seven years ago Kylie discovered the power that positive words can have not only on her own life but those of others.   A dream was planted inside of her to create beautiful and inspiring items that would help uplift and inspire the world.  Kylie drew up a vision board of what she would like her life to look like and started dreaming (and doing).
 
As life goes, not all went to plan. Soon after, Kylie’s husband became very unwell with anxiety and depression and her dreams were put on hold so she could build her graphic design business up enough to support her family of five. The universe was having some fun with her – here she was so passionate about positive words, whilst her husband was in a deep dark place where he felt positive words had no power in comparison to the chemical imbalance that he was experiencing.
 
After a couple of years of trying everything she could find to help him, at the end of last year she realised that the only way she could help him was to help herself and lead by example. Letting go of trying to find all the answers for her husband, he was able to find them for himself, and now they’re in a much better place.
Kylie Anna Creations was born from Kylie’s love of words and ‘making stuff’!  She loves making fun gifts for family and friends.  And now it has evolved into three product lines.
 
Kylie Anna Creations creates beautiful, earth friendly, spiritual and inspirational homewares. The items are designed to help people in their spiritual practice, aiming at people on a spiritual path, yoga lovers, or anyone looking to create more peace, love and joy in their life. All items are currently made in Australia (soon to be all made in Tasmania) from earth friendly materials. They feature positive words, affirmations, and mandalas. 
 
fullsizerender-11Great gift ideas for not only adults but kids too.  Creating positive minds for these little ones is one of the best things for them leading into adult hood.  Please check out Kylie’s website.  You will be totally inspired.
 

Well there you have it.  Four of my favourite local businesses doing great stuff for us and the environment. Make this christmas a stress free one.  Go and grab a nice cup of tea, pop on some relaxing music and in the comfort of your own home you can go shopping.  

And you know what is also awesome, you’re doing something good, actually GREAT!!!!  You’re making conscious steps to living well, helping your friends and family live consciously and mindfully and you’re supporting local businesses.  What a great christmas!  Well done you!  

Please let me know what you end up buying.  Have fun shopping

Love Jo

 
 
 
 
 

 

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THANK YOU

Dear community

My heart is full right now.  I am extremely grateful to each and everyone of you who dug deep and donated to the Provenance Growers ‘Get Back Up’ Campaign.   Together we have raised $2813.09 to help farmers Paulette and Matt build a new Poly tunnel.  You can read about the campaign here 

What I love about this is seeing a community pull together to help each other out.  From all across the world we all donated and helped raise the money.  Your donation does more than build a new poly tunnel for Provenance Growers.  The money raised will go towards feeding people healthy, seasonal and local produce.  It goes towards enabling people to have access to healthy food.  It enables farmers Matt and Paulette to continue doing what they love, and that is to provide a healthy, safe and sustainable food future for their community. 

Your donation is more than money.  It is providing a positive and healthy future for humanity and the environment.  

On behalf of Primal Living I want to thank you so so much.  I am extremely grateful to each and everyone of you.  

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Please Help A Fellow Farmer – Support Provenance Growers ‘Get Back Up’ Campaign

Hi lovely community

I would like to ask for your help.  In Hobart, Tasmania today Mother Nature has not been very kind to farmers.  We’re having extreme winds and unfortunately the winds have caused some major damage to a fellow farmer and friend of mine Paulette from Provenance Growers. 

Paulette with her partner Matt and daughters have an amazing market garden here in Hobart, Tasmania.  They’re extremely hard working farmers who care so much about providing the local community with fresh, organic, seasonal food.  

Today on Instagram Paulette posted some heart breaking photos of her propagation house.  The wind has absolutely smashed the house down and has caused it to be totally ruined.  This is so heartbreaking;  all of Paulette and her husbands work on the farm has been set back immensely.  They have lost so much work and also their future income.  

Here is the damage: 

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Paulette has lost all of her seeds that she sowed in July and  her spring seedlings are mostly wrecked.   Not only that she has lost this seasons cucumbers, tomatoes and capsicums.  

I know how hard it is to farm food.  Having my own small farm I know the love, dedication and hours that go into farming and the willingness to ensure that as farmers we’re on top of the seasons to supply fresh local produce to the community.  
This is Paulette and Matts livelihood.  They have to re-build everything and start sowing this seasons crops again.  

I feel so devastated for Provenance Growers and when I saw the photos Paulette posted on her Instagram page, I wanted to help them straight away.  I sat with a cup of tea and thought to myself,  how can I help them to re-build their propagation shed and start over again?  

I know from my own personal farming experience how expensive running a farm can be.  It ain’t cheap let me tell you.  Every little bit that you earn from selling vegetables goes back into growing more vegetables for the next season.  It can be extremely stressful.  And I can’t even begin to feel how stressful and heartbreaking this is for Paulette and Matt.  
However what I can do is offer my support and love to a fellow farmer and friend.  Without any hesitation I have created the

‘Get Back Up’ Campaign – And this is where I would love your help.  

I am asking this beautiful community and the wider community to help me raise farm funds for Paulette, her family and her farm, Provenance Growers.   I would love it if you could dig deep and donate what you can to enable Paulette to start re-building her propagation shed and hopefully more so show can start providing the community again with fresh, season, organic food.  

I just want to say that it is becoming extremely hard for people to access organic fresh food.   Sadly we have just had another organic farm close their doors. It is extremely sad and we can’t let another organic farm who grows the most amazing produce close down.   With the stress, time and money of re-building, it may take Provence Growers a while to get back on their feet.  However we can help them, show our support and offer inspiration and hope by donating today.  

If you would like to donate to the Provenance Growers ‘Get Back Up’ Campaign I would love it if you could purchase one of the values listed below.   

Thank you so much for donating funds to this campaign.  I am so grateful for your support.  And I hope that we can help Paulette and Matt get back up and running so they can be back at the markets doing what they do best.  Selling us delicious, organic and healthy fresh produce.  

Please click on the following photos to place your donations.  

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Please click on the photo below to donate $5.00 towards helping Provenance Growers, Paulette and Matt build a new propagation house.  

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Please click on the photo below to donate $10.00 towards helping Provenance Growers, Paulette and Matt build a new propagation house.  

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Please click on the photo below to donate $20.00 towards helping Provenance Growers, Paulette and Matt build a new propagation house.  

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Please click on the photo below to donate $50.00 towards helping Provenance Growers, Paulette and Matt build a new propagation house. 

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Please click on the photo below to donate $100.00 towards the campaign.  Thank you

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THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR YOUR SUPPORT.  I WOULD BE EXTREMELY GRATEFUL IF YOU COULD SHARE THIS POST AMONGST YOUR FELLOW FRIENDS, FAMILY MEMEBRS AND BLOGGERS.  THIS IS WHERE WE COME TOGETHER AS ONE AND HELP OUR FARMERS IN NEED.  NAMASTE.  X

UPDATE:

This campaign has now  closed.  I would like to thank every one of you who shared this blog post and who also donated.  Together we have raised $2813.09.  That is amazing!  I am super grateful.  Such big hearts.  

All money will be donated to Provenance Growers to help them build a new poly tunnel.  

Again, THANK YOU xxx

 All photos shown are of Provenance Growers Farm.  Please see their Instagram page.  

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Compost Bins, New Garden Beds and a Broody Hen

Hi there,  It’s a cold and wintery day here on the farm (even though we ‘re into the second month of spring)  I thought I would take up the opportunity and write an update on the farm.  

A lot has happened in the last month.  Projects are coming along.  We have installed eleven new raised garden beds, created a new garden area and have started to sow the spring crops.  We have also installed six new compost bins which have been made out of apple crates and we’re waiting in anticipation for chickens to arrive on the farm.  

Below is the new garden area.  We will plant tomatoes, capsicum and eggplant in the patch closest to you and the patch on the other side will have a green crop of barley.  We haven’t grown anything in that particular area so the soil is not at its best.  And I really need to go and have a soil test done on it.  The chickens have been having a ball scratching and eating any unwanted critters.

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Below are the new raised garden beds.  We have decided to cover these with poly pipe and also cloche netting.  The cloche netting will act as a wind break and also protect the crops against cabbage moth.  We drilled holes into the wood and hammered left over pieces of rio into the wood.  The rio allowed us to place the poly pipe over the beds.  It has been extremely windy here and they poly pipe has held up to the wind.  Which is a really good sign.    

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We  measured out the cloche netting.  5 metre lengths and cut them to size.  Took awhile to do all the beds. And also patience.  I am learning all the time patience is needed on the farm.  

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Next we threaded in 4mm rope through the cloche net.  This will help us to hold the cloche netting to the garden beds.  

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And here I am in spring with my puffer jacket and beanie on hammering rio into the wood.  The rio is used to enable the poly pipe to go on over the beds. 

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And now look at our new compost bins.  Recycled apple crates.  I am super excited about these.  We want to be a waste free farm and utilise all the materials around the home as compost.  I still have so much to learn about compost but for now what we are doing is adding all the compost material from around the farm.  We also mulched up heaps of dried trees that had come fro the garden into fine wood chips.  We also added the green clippings from mowing the lawns and lots of good weeds from the garden beds.  And I mustn’t forget the hen house compost.  My favourite.  When I clean the hen house I take out all of their bedding and poo and put it into the yard where they scratch.  I leave it there for another few weeks and after they have had a good scratch through it and added more nitrogen into it from their own poo I then take it and add it to the compost.  

We have layered the materials that have gone into the apple crates and watered it down.  Every fortnight I will turn the bins and fork the compost into the empty bin beside it.  So currently there are three bins full and three bins empty.  
We won’t put any food scraps in there because it will attract quolls and possums.  Our food scraps are shared between the chickens and another closed compost bin.    

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And the last update on the farm is about our little hen who is abut to be a mother.  I am so excited about this.  I have never had chickens before and actually I have never had any experience with a broody hen.  Lots to learn.  I did some research and what I read was it takes 21 days for the chicks to hatch.  The hen needs to be separated from the other hens and kept warm. She is very protective of her eggs and will only come off them to go to the bathroom and have something to eat.  However her eating is reduced a lot and I may find she doesn’t eat at all.  I was horrified by that.  So each day I am popping fresh food right next to her and also fresh water so that she doesn’t have to go off her eggs.  

And what I read about the hen being protective of her eggs is correct.  I have nearly lost my fingers when changing over her food and water.  She really does not like you going near her.  

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Here is the little pen we have here in.  During the day I open up the front ‘curtain’ and allow fresh air and sun to enter and at night I close it all down for her.  If its a cold and windy day I close it all down so she is all snuggled up and warm.  It is going to be so rewarding to raise chickens.  I really do feel excited to see them hatch and to be a part of something so special.  

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Normally with hens their comb is upright and bright.  My little hen’s comb is very small and not looking as healthy as it usually does, but that is because she is not eating or drinking enough and has gone into a ‘broody hen zone’.    I guess it is like us females when we are expecting.  Our bodies change and our hormones are a bit all over the place.    

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And that there is an update on the progress with the farm..  Like I mentioned earlier, I am learning patience.  There is so much still to do with infrastructure to enable me to plant crops without them being eaten and we also need to put in wind breaks to protect the crops.  We have a dam that we thought we could fix from leaking, unfortunately it is still leaking.  I would love all this to be done yesterday, but I know that it all takes time.  And if I can’t get in there to plant, thats OK.  What is important is that I take the time each day to enjoy the learnings.  

Living on the land and wanting to support yourself self sufficiently is a lot of hard work.  I learn something about myself every single day and I have also learnt to be a lot kinder to myself.  I am working with nature and she has a way of making us slow down and only do what we can do.  

So whilst it is still an extremely windy day here  on the farm I am going to go into the hot house and plant out more seeds of tomato, capsicum, zucchini and pumpkin.  I hope that they will germinate and be ready to plant out in November when the weather has warmed up a bit.  

I hope you’ve enjoyed my little update and please feel free to ask me any questions in the comment section below.  My goal is to share as much as I can about our own experience on the farm learning how to live more sustainably and self sufficiently.  

Lots of love and happy gardening.  

Jo

 

 

 

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You’re Worth It

Last year I was fortunate enough to receive the Sprout Producer Scholarship from Sprout Tasmania.  Sprout Tasmania is a not-for-profit organisation run by volunteers who are dedicated in supporting local food producers who want to turn their farming ideas into reality and go to market.  

The vision of Sprout Tasmania is to be a collective who creates positive change and prosperity for food producers by sharing knowledge, ideas and stories about the producers, their products and businesses.  They want to create a market place where consumers can purchase ethically produced, great tasting produce.  

And this is why I am honoured and feel very proud to be chosen as a Sprout Producer.  In a time where food is taken for granted and is making us unwell, as farmers and producers it is up to us to make a change, to be the change and to make a difference in the conventional agricultural and industrialized food industry.  

It is why we need organisations like Sprout Tasmania around.  To be a voice and to help up and coming ethical small scale farmers like myself produce organic, chemical free food.  To enable us to make a difference in regards to peoples health and well-being and also the health of our environment.  

As part of the program each recipient is allocated a mentor.  I am very lucky to have Tony Scherer as my mentor.  Tony is an amazing certified organic grower and owner of Rocky Top Farm here in Tasmania.  Tony has a wealth of knowledge and is an horticulturist and sustainable agriculture lecturer.  He has been growing and selling organic produce from the age of seven (so that’s around 60 years).  He is a guru in market gardening, and I am extremely grateful and fortunate to have Tony as my mentor for Primal Living Farm.  

Today I had Tony pop out to my farm to offer me some guidance.  It was so good to walk around the farm and ask questions on soil health, growing crops from seed, when to transplant out and organic, chemical free vegetable growing.  We also got onto the topic of charging people for food.  And this is where I came unstuck!  I came unstuck for a number of reasons; however the main reason is charging people to buy my vegetables.  You see I feel that every single person should have access to chemical free organic produce.  And when I can grow food and give people honest, organic real food I feel like my job is done. When I hand over my produce to another person and I see their face,  I know am helping them to be healthy and well and I feel that’s how I am being paid.  

However I also know that giving away food does not pay for the next lot of seeds I need to buy, the hours of work I put into the farm or the hours of research and courses I do to make myself a more knowledgable and resourceful leader in holistic health and sustainability.

I mentioned to Tony about how I haven’t made a sustainable income from growing food and how I didn’t feel comfortable charging people for my produce.  And what happened next was a very concerning look from Tony and a comment that went like this (not in exact words, but very close)

You’re growing food that is not sprayed with a single chemical.  Food that is extremely tasty.  You spend hours out there looking after the soil and ensuring that the produce is well looked after.  You’re ensuring that people are able to heal their body with chemical free and organic real food.   And his last comment was…..you’re worth it.  

And than he said this.  “More people know more about how their mobile phone works than what they put in their body”  

And that there folks, was the biggest aha moment I needed to push me in valuing and selling my produce and to be the change I want to see in this world. 

Tony is right.  More people do know how their mobile phone works than what they put into their body.  And if I don’t charge for my chemical free produce, I can’t be the change I want to see in the world and help educate people on why chemical free, organic produce is worth the extra dollars.
 
This post is not actually about me making money.   It is though about valuing what we put into our bodies, valuing ourselves, valuing our organic farmers and having a greater understanding of how our food is grown and why it is worth the extra few dollars we pay for it.  

When I charge $6.50 for a punnet of strawberries compared to $3.50 it is up to me to educate the consumer the value they are receiving when they buy my strawberries.  When you take two strawberries, one being chemical free and grown organically and the other being grown with pesticides and conventionally and you put the strawberries side by side, you wouldn’t know the difference (until you tasted it).  

And when you’re a family on a budget or anyone on a tight budget you habitually look for the cheaper punnet of strawberries. I used to do that.  However now that I do know the difference between chemical free, organically grown vegetables compared to conventional grown and the amount of sprays that potentially have ben used on the conventional fruit I believe my health and what I put into my body is worth spending the bit extra on and now I make a choice to buy organic.  

However if you are still not convinced and you feel that buying chemical free and organic fruit and vegetables is not worth it, I would like to share below an extract taken from a report written by Friends of the Earth on “pesticides food and you” 

“According to scientists, pesticides regularly detected on Australian Food have been linked to possible problems with human endocrine function, ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder), learning and behavioural problems, lower IQ and possible increases in Lymphoblastic Leukemia in children”

Longer term exposure to pesticides have also been linked with development of Parkinsons Disease.  Of particular concern is the possible impact of pesticides on the development of the human foetus, cancer, hypothyroidism and autism. Of the 125 types of pesticides detected on Australian fruit and vegetable surveyed, 45% are suspected endocrine disruptors, with 62% of all detections related to suspected endocrine disrupting pesticides. A number of health issues can be related to endocrine disruption”.  

The most ‘at risk’ foods in Australia due to pesticide exposure include: apples, wheat, strawberries, pears and grapes.
Also of concern is potential for pesticide residues in; lettuce, nectarines, peaches, bread, bran, biscuits, imported tea, barley, tomatoes, apricots, canola, flour, carrots, plums and green beans”.

So as you can see our health and well-being starts with food.  And because you’re worth (let me repeat, you’re worth it) spending the little bit of extra money on chemical free food you can take a massive step towards having good health and knowing more about how our food is grown.  

Some ways to start this life changing action is by changing a few simple things.
 
1:  Shop at your local farmers market.  As much as possible buy from the local small farmers who grow fruit and vegetables chemical free and organic.  Have a chat with the farmer.  Every farmer I know who grows organic food loves nothing more than chatting with their customers.  I often think the conversation and the connections that have been made is why we all do it. 

2:  Grow your own food.  You do not need to do what I am doing.  You can grow food on a very small block.  My mentor Tony gave me another great piece of advice and that was “Only grow what you love to eat”.  I would like to pass that same words of wisdom down to you.  Make a list of the vegetables that you and your family love to eat and start with that.  The excitement that you will feel when growing your own food will be extremely rewarding and it’s a great way to have the kids involved. 

3:  If you don’t have access to a farmers market and you can’t grow your own food ask your local supermarket if they can supply chemical free, organic produce.  Don’t be shy about this.  The more times each and every one of us asks this question, the more we can make a difference.  

4:  Educate and change.    I know that this can take time and I know that we should be able to eat food and not have to worry about what has been sprayed; unfortunately this is not the case.  

 If you’re having hormonal issues or any other health issues than the first thing I would be addressing is food.  It starts with food and it starts with you.  Ask questions, read the back of packets, use google to find out what that ingredient are.  Be a detective.  Lets change how we know more about our mobile to knowing more about how our food is grown.  

And on that note, I would like to help you get started.  When you see your favourite vegetable or fruit for $2 cheaper at a supermarket compared to the local organic farmer selling it down the road, I would like to encourage you to buy from the farmer down the road.   Because by buying from the local organic farmer will be worth the extra money you spent  in more ways than one.  And in the end you will be saving money by not having to spend money on fixing your health.

I wish you the very best in health and wellness, and remember you are worth feeding your body with real food grown organically.  So head out there and find the local and chemical free farmers doing that for all of us. 

Love Jo

 

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Yoga . Health . Sustainability

It has been awhile since I wrote my last blog post.  Life has been rather busy for me on the farm and then winter hit and I wanted to go into hibernation.  I felt I needed to rest up, slow down and do nothing but sit by the fire and read books.  
Instead I decided to leave the farm to go and study to become a Vinyasa yoga teacher (or was it my intention to escape the Tasmanian winter for warmer weather).  

For the last six weeks I have been living at Krishna Village – Centre for Yogic studies with 19 other fellow yogi’s all living, breathing and studying yoga together.  Yoga has always been an interest of mine.  I loved reading about yoga philosophy and I have personally been practicing yoga in my own lounge room on and off for a few years.  
Initially it was hard for me to practice yoga.  I have a mind that likes to think a lot and heading into a yoga space where it is just me and the mat I initially found myself checking the time to see when the class would end.  However overtime I came to find yoga to be the best thing to help calm my mind and to be gentle with myself.  I love how yoga has continuously helped with my stress levels and to be a better person. 

And now that I have just spent six intense weeks studying to be a yoga teacher I have found yoga to be more than the asanas.  

But first let me tell you a little bit about Krishna Village.

Krishna Village is an eco yoga community set on an organic farm.  Their mission is to provide the blueprint of a simple, mindful, spiritually based lifestyle. They work to provide a wholesome (in Sanskrit: sattvic) and sustainable lifestyle that is good for all living beings and conducive to a joyous and loving attitude.

The Village offers a place where you can volunteer and be a WWOOFER on their organic farm, or you can take up one of their retreats and stay for 7 days immersing yourself into the culture of ‘simple living, higher thinking’.  Or if you are wanting to learn more about yoga and fully immerse yourself into the yogic philosophy you can do what I did and live and learn to become a yoga teacher.  

The yoga teacher training course goes for six weeks.  Whereby you will deepen your practice and learn to live a wholesome yogic lifestyle? You will be immersed into an inspiring spiritual environment that is applying yogic wisdom in all areas of life; from nutrition to meditation, from physical movement to spiritual practice? 

Living at the Krishna Village I was immersed into a beautiful community of spiritual seekers from all over the world who are coming together with the intention of sharing their gifts and talents and supporting each others’ learning and growth.

Here is a video of myself and my fellow yoga teachers on our recent course.  

As you can see Krishna Village is a beautiful place to visit, to stay as a retreat guest or do what I did and study.

The Study

The study of yoga and to become a yoga teacher was one of the best and hardest things I have done thus far. We were told right from the start by our teacher that we would be pushed out of our comfort zone and that we will be asked to do things that at first will be really hard.   My teacher was right. 

From week two of the course I was teaching classes.  I was also getting up at 4am to meditate and study.  We were in class from 6.30am to 2pm learning everything from life Coaching, Ayurvedic nutrition principles, Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras, Philosophy of yoga, meditation study, Vinyasa flow (which is what I am now accredited in) Chakras, Pranayama, Anatomy and Pysiology, teaching methodolgy, the yoga of business, teaching assessments and chanting workshops. Plus on top of all the study we needed to participate in 35 yoga classes, create our own classes and sequencing and do 20 minutes each day of meditation and self practice.  

We also worked on the farm, which is called Seva work.  Here is a beautiful post written about Seva work by my fellow teacher Ana which also includes beautiful photos of yogi’s and my new family.  

From 2pm we had lunch which was provided by the village.  Lunch was always a beautiful selection of salads, soups and dishes all plant based and predominantly from the organic gardens.  After lunch, normally from 3pm I would be back studying or practicing with my group before our 5pm class.  And after dinner you would find me back in the yoga room studying and practicing, or collapsed in bed sound asleep after such a massive day.  

Because I loved the philosophy of yoga, myself and some of the other yoga teachers took private philosophy classes with our philosophy teacher Michael.  And it was during these philosophy classes that I felt myself fall deeply in love with yoga.  The classes have  helped me to see that yoga is more than asana’s.  The poses on the mat.

To me yoga is resetting my own system on a physical and spiritual level.  It is about creating balance and equanimity to be able to live in peace, good health and harmony with the greater whole.  The ancient and sacred text which is written in the yoga sutra of Patanjali describes the inner workings of the mind and provides a blueprint of fundamental guidelines to live your life by.  Thus enabling oneself to not only be a better person, one of more compassion, unconditional love and acceptance but also how to use our energy in relationship to others, to be able to serve and give.

For me personally and my philosophy behind Primal Living I felt yoga was the missing link.  I now feel fortunate to have the ability to pass on my learnings from yoga to serve the wider community.  

The teachings of yoga are complimentary to the philosophy of Primal Living.  Primal Living is to create wellness through holistic health and sustainability and now using the ancient text of yoga I feel I can better help you in your journey towards a more sustainable, healthy and wholesome life.  

If you would like some help finding balance with your health, wellness, lifestyle and fitness please don’t hesitate to contact me.  I specialise in working with people in finding optimal health through sustainable living, nutrition and yoga.  

I would like to leave you with a beautiful photo of my new yogi family who I feel blessed to have met and to have shared so many amazing memories with.  I hope that you my readers will get to meet some of these amazing souls and to experience their teachings.  

Thank you for reading and please feel free to leave any thoughts below.  

Big Love – Jo xx

Photo Credit Tom Jones

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No Experience Growing Food – You Don’t Need Experience If You Have Passion

Happy Spring everyone.  I love this time of year.  Even though I still have the wood heater going because it’s still a bit chilly here in Tasmania, I  love spring. The flowers around my garden are amazing and all the vegetables which I planted a few months back are starting to come alive.  The bees are starting to appear again and the days are getting longer.  At the moment in the garden I have kale, silverbeet, spinach, mizuna ready to be eaten.  Plus pumpkin and potato’s from last season.  I also have a good supply of fresh parsley, coriander and leeks.  I am enjoying these fresh and organic vegetables and herbs but I can’t wait until the rest of the garden is ready to be harvested.   

What isn’t quite ready is the Brassica’s.  I am waiting for the kohlrabi, cabbage, cauliflower and broccoli to be picked.  Turnips I am checking everyday to see if I can pull more out of the ground.  I have done some succession planting, which means planting your seedlings out every 3-4 weeks.  This way you can (hopefully) ensure you have a continuous supply of vegetables through the whole season.  

Did you know that two and a half years ago I never owned a vegetable garden?  It is amazing what anyone can do.  

Lets take a look around the primal farm vegetable gardens and be inspired by the seasons and seasonal eating.  

It all starts with the soil.  We have been working really hard on our soil to ensure it has the right balance of all the important nutrients.  Our goal is to be 100% organic and so far so good.  This big pile of compost is 100% certified organic, purchased from a horticultural place here in Tasmania.  We brought compost in because we cannot make enough of our own.  Most of the food scraps go to the chickens.  We do have a lot of brown and green waste material and we also use chicken and sheep poo.  I think by the look of my vegetables below, we are doing extremely well with having good organic matter.  

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First up is the kale.  Two varieties. These seedlings were only planted out two weeks ago.  They should be ready in another four – six  weeks.  But don’t worry I have plenty of kale below ready to be harvested.  

The photos I am about to show you are in one garden plot which is divided into many beds.  I have decided to make this plot the Brassica family.  You will see beetroot in there which is not part of the Brassica family, however I planted this way before I knew how to do crop rotation 

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Baby chinese cabbage.  I do have a problem with slugs.  As you can see lots of tiny holes.  This is where the slugs and I also believe white cabbage moths decide to chomp away.  I do try all the organic ways of getting rid of the slugs but unfortunately nothing has worked.  So it becomes me versus them at night with a head torch picking them off.  As I refuse to use any chemicals or pesticides on my property I just let nature do its thing.  

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Below is lime streak mizuna and also mibuna.  It is amazing.  Has a strong pepper flavour and tastes a bit like rocket.  

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My tiny Brassica seedlings.  These guys below are broccoli.  Four weeks ago I planted thirty six seedlings.  I do tend to go a bit over board and I think it is so I can share them with the slugs and cabbage moths.  

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Aerial view shot of my garlic and beetroot seedlings.  The garlic is growing really well.  I have never grown garlic before and it is going to be a good day when I can harvest my first bulb. 

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Just look at these.  Baby spinach leaves.  These guys should be ready in another four weeks.  

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I planted rocket between the mizuna and the kale.  Rows of it and they’re growing really well.  

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Did you know you can eat beetroot leaves?  Yes you can and when picked early enough they are so sweet and delicious.  The chickens love them too.  I should be able to harvest this crop in another few weeks. (Fingers crossed).  I planted the beetroot in March but I think because of all the cold weather it has been slow to grow.  

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Mature spinach.  The leaves are super green and lush.  I think it’s because of the organic matter.  

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Come on, you can do it.  Sprouting purple broccoli.  First time planting it.  

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I love kale chips and I am glad I love Kale.  I have it growing everywhere in the garden.  

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The garden bed below is green and purple cabbage.  Still a long way to go but I see shape.  

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Welcome to garden two.  The next lot of photos are taken from the second garden plot and inside this plot I have ten beds.  
Below you’re looking at apricot flowers  I think this is unbelievable.  After the flowers we will be receiving apricots!  

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This was today’s collection of eggs.  The girls are laying really well.  Most days I am receiving seven – nine eggs.  Actually the other day I collected fifteen.  I am sure it is because they’re outside in the sun every single day from 7.30am – 5pm.  Lots of fresh greens and I am also feeding them plenty of other vegetable scraps and protein.  

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The first harvest of turnips.  I love the colour.  I roasted these in coconut oil.

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Below is a green crop.  Well it is supposed to be a green crop.  I need to tell you something.  I have a problem with picking the vegetables when they’re ready or digging the green crop in.  I love my vegetable gardens looking pretty and seeing all this green makes me happy.  I also love seeing the broad bean flowers come through.  Green crops are brilliant at putting nitrogen back into the soil.  After this I will plant tomatoes.  

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Not ready but below I have growing sprouting broccoli, cabbages, silverbeet, Brussel sprouts and kale.  I could actually pick the kale.  

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This is exciting.  I decided to create a no dig garden in the path.  I have put straw down and then organic compost and planted marigolds, broad beans and peas.  They are all starting to sprout.  And the exciting thing, underneath all the soil and straw will be lots of worms which I can throw back into the garden beds.  

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Soon to be picked.  Delicious organic cauliflower

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Another one, but it has a little bit longer to go

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And this one did not make it.  The cold snap we had made it flower.  

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I separated previous rhubarb and moved all the rhubarb to a new garden bed.  Now I have more rhubarb and more space in the garden.  Double win situation.

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More delicious kale.  I am looking forward to kale salads with roasted beetroot and toasted walnuts with a good drizzle of olive oil.  Simple eating is truly amazing

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Below I have more Kale.  This is another variety

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New season celery. I can actually start to eat this.  However I still have a good supply of last seasons celery which I must eat first before it becomes to stringy

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Tiny purple sprouting broccoli

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I love seeing the cabbage hearts take shape.  Just look at it!  How beautiful.  Nature is magical.

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Another garden bed with more green crop.  I can’t wait to plant out in late spring

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I found this guy in another garden bed.  More sprouting purple broccoli for late spring, early summer eating

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AMAZING!  This would have to be my favourite photo.  Look at all the vitamins and minerals in this garden bed.  I have kale, turnips, mizuna, broccoli, cabbages, brussels sprout and silverbeet growing.  

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A tiny broad bean seedling.  

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Kohlrabi – I love it!  eaten raw in salads is the best.  Extremely crunchy.  The bulb needs to get much bigger before I harvest it

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Herbs, glorious herbs.  Mint and parsley

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Marjarom.  

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And Parsley.  I do have coriander growing and another variety of parsley plus rosemary, thyme and sage. Adding fresh herbs to your meals is a great way to add flavour

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And lastly, this is the third garden plot.  This plot had pumpkins, zucchini, marrow and potatoes in it from last season.  It has been resting all winter with lots of organic matter added to it.  The chickens spend most of their day in here and they love it.  I am looking forward to putting the spring and summer vegetables in.  

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Thank you so much for scrolling through my vegetable gardens.  As I mentioned at the start, I had no experience with growing food all I have is passion.   I also had no experience with soil health and crop rotation.  However with a big pile of books and lots of reading and researching you can do a lot.  The best advice I can give you is to start with looking after your soil and two, just get out there and plant.  I started planting everything and I didn’t worry about crop rotation until a year ago.  It also gave me time to really understand the seasons and what grows and what doesn’t grow.  And it also gave me time to learn from my mistakes.  I am only at the very beginning of growing my own food but feel extremely proud that I have achieved all this in under two years.  From the first year to this year is a 100% improvement and I am looking forward to next year.  There is so much to know but it is fun learning and experimenting and I am always down at my neighbour’s house asking questions.  
Third advice, never be embarrassed to ask questions.  I am a visual learner and I learn by doing. So it is great for me to spend time with other gardeners and learn how they do things.  

Spring is a great time to start a garden.  If you have grass at your place, I would love to encourage you to turn that into a vegetable garden.  Big or small it does not matter.  What matters is that you’re taking responsibility over your own health and wellbeing and you are growing your own food.  It is an amazing thing to do.  The health and wellbeing benefits goes far beyond just food as medicine.  

So with passion I encourage you to start growing your own food.  

Happy Gardening!  If you have any questions at all, please share them below because I want to help you to start your own food bank!  

Jo

 

Self sufficiency & sustainability

70% of the Seafood You’re Eating in Australia is Imported – Here’s What We Can Do

If you haven’t guessed it by now you would know how extremely passionate I am about sourcing and eating local, ethical and sustainable produce. Local fruit and vegetables, local meats and local seafood.  We can achieve eating this by knowing where to shop and by asking questions.  

Supporting our farmers at the farmers markets or buying direct from the farmer is one way to shop to be able to consume ethical and local produce.  You can also achieve this by buying into a local community supportive agriculture system (CSA local produce box), growing your own food or buying from your butcher or local fisherman who can tell you exactly what you are buying and where it is from. 

However, where I become  disappointed, angry and disheartened is when I go to buy fresh produce and there is no clear labelling on where that produce is from or even how it was grown.  I want to be able to ask the butcher, the shop keeper and the waiter at the restaurant if the food I am about to eat or buy is local.  I want to feel connected with the food I buy and with the farmer who grew it.  I feel we have a right to know. Don’t you? 

Within Australia we are starting to see changes in the labelling of fruit and vegetables.  However we still have a long way to go with meat and seafood and it wasn’t until I watched the SBS program ‘What’s the Catch’  which was presented by Matthew Evans, I stood up and took notice of what is really happening in the seafood industry here in Australia and why I feel the need to write this post to help support seafood labelling.  

According to Matthew Evans, 70% of seafood sold in Australia is imported.  And the seafood that you thought was flathead sitting on your plate in front of you at the restaurant can actually be sold as something else. It does not even need to be labelled as ‘flathead’ it can simply be called ‘fish’.  

Personally I find this ridiculous and I am not the only one.  You may have heard of Matthew Evans from Fat Pig Farm who also has a very popular SBS television show called The Gourmet Farmer.  

Matthew is currently lobbying the government to bring in new laws to legislate changes to seafood labelling so we as consumers know exactly where our seafood comes from and what species of seafood is actually on our plate. Matthew Evans has worked tirelessly with a senate committee to encourage people to look into seafood labelling.  The senate committee recommended country of origin labelling to be extended to all seafood sold in Australia. The senate commitee also recommend that fisherman  (who were excited about the potential new regulations) would be required to sort, label and record their catch accurately.  This was all for the consumer, so you and I knew where our food came from and what we were actually consuming.  

The labelling will encourage restaurants, cafe’s, takeaway shops and bistro’s to be transparent and truthful and tell us exactly what type of fish we are ordering and where in Australia that fish is from.  Matthew has spent many months fighting for the introduction of new labelling laws.  He has travelled Australia talking to and hearing stories from local fisherman about misrepresented and mislabeled products. 

He was able to get the Federal Senate to consider current labelling and asked for their help to change those labelling laws.  Unfortunately the Federal Senate did not think it important enough for consumers to know if the seafood they are eating is local, ethical and sustainable.  The Senate has decided not to implement the proposed amendments, but to keep the current uninformative labelling in place.   This is a joke right!?

How can our Senators, both from political parties, not realise the consequence of ensuring imported fish is labeled correctly before it is sold to customers?   How can they not think it is important to bring in regulations so that consumers can feel confident when dining out eating seafood or buying it from a local takeaway shop.  With 70% of fish sold in Australia imported and misleadingly labeled at point of sale,  how can this not be taken serious?

So what does this mean?  

It means that when you buy sushi, or buy takeaway fish from a fish punt or even sit in a restaurant and order seafood, you have no way of telling whether the seafood your eating has come from Australia, whether it is even local or worst still is actually what they called it is on the menu.  

Wherever I purchase my fish I want to now exactly what it is, where it was caught and when it was caught. I don’t want to read on a menu that I am eating ‘fish’, I want to know exactly what I am putting into my mouth.

Not knowing where your food comes from is not only bad for the consumer (and potentially your health) it is also bad for the environment and for the farmers and local and responsible fishers who do the right thing.  

How can you help?

Buy local and sustainable seafood. Question your fishmonger. Where was the fish caught and is the fish as claimed i.e. Is it Pink Ling or Blue Eye.  Never ever buy imported prawns.  Watch ‘What’s the catch’ to find out why.   

Definition of local and sustainable seafood: 

Local and sustainable seafood is fish or shellfish which reaches our dinner plates with minimal impact upon fish populations or the wider marine environment.  
It is with the understanding that the way fish are caught, the impact on the seafloor and other marine wildlife is done in a healthy and natural way to help protect the marine eco-systems.  

How do you achieve this?

1.  Buy from local and responsible fishers.  Head here to download the sustainable fishing guide app
2.  If you fish, only take what you need and fish responsibly. Over fishing is not the answer.  
3.  Ask for wild caught or line caught fish at the checkout.  Ask if it is local and whether it is a deep sea and slow growing or long-lived species.   Don’t be shy in asking the questions.  If you cannot receive an answer that you’re happy with walk away.  
4.  Try to avoid buying any species of fish known to be in ecological crisis – see list below
5.  Try to avoid any species of fish caught using methods which harm the marine environment – see list below
6.  Eat more shellfish 
7.  Look hard for food labelling signs on tinned fish at your local supermarket which can give you genuine commitment in the way the fish has been caught and or farmed.  
8.  The most destructive fishing technique is trawling and dredging.  Both of these methods drag heavy gear along the bottom of the sea, which disturbs and destroys the seabed.  Over fishing is also a burden on ocean inhabitants.  So by you and I asking for line, wild caught and local fish we can help to keep fish levels stocks relatively high without jeopardising the ecosystem in which they live.

We can vote with our dollar at the checkout and with the list of good fish, bad fish below we are empowered to make better buying decisions.  This is how we can make a difference.  

WHAT TO EAT AND WHAT TO AVOID:  

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HOW CAN YOU HELP CHANGE THE SEAFOOD LABELLING LAWS SO WE AS CONSUMERS KNOW WHAT WE’RE EATING

You can help in a big way by heading over to sign this petition.  Australia deserves accurate seafood labelling and this petition is petitioning the Australian Senate to change the rules so we as consumers can feel confident in knowing what we’re buying and eating.  Sign here 

Download the sustainable fishing guide here:

And more information for you on how to buy and eat ethical and sustainable seafood

AND LASTLY – ENTER MY COMPETITION

To thank you for taking a stand and supporting the petition, and Matthew, and deciding to take positive steps in changing the way you eat, live and think; I would like to give one lucky person the chance to win ‘The gourmet Farmer, Goes Fishing’ cookbook which has been kindly donated by Matthew and Sadie from Fat Pig Farm.  

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All you need to do to enter is this:  Tell me why you signed the petition.  COMMENT BELOW

Winners will be announced on Friday 28th August here on the blog.  Good luck

And now with all this information, you can fish and eat fish ethically and sustainably.  

If you liked this blog post I hope that you will support Primal Living and the positive messages that we spread by sharing this post.  Thank you.  

 

References: 

http://www.sustainableseafood.org.au/
https://www.sustainabletable.org.au/Portals/0/Switch%20the%20fish_guide_cutkeep-page1.pdf
http://www.sustainableseafood.org.au/data/MiniGuide_30_May_2014_web.pdf

Victorian Ethical Farm Research Trip – Part Three

I hope you have been enjoying the series of our ethical farm tour we did a few weeks back in Victoria.  If you missed part one and part two you can read them here and here

So now we are on our way to visit Ryan and Deb from Benton Rise Farm.  I know I have said this about every farm we have visited  but I was so excited about meeting Deb and Ryan and seeing their small-scale farm

Benton Rise Farm is on the Mornington Peninsula and to get there you need to catch a ferry.  It is about a 40 minute one way trip and apparently can get quite rough.  Lucky for us, the day that we went across was beautiful.  A bit chilly but with the sun out we thoroughly enjoyed the trip.  

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Who is Benton Rise Farm? 

Ryan and Deb with their three children decided as a family that they wanted a lifestyle where they can all be part of a fantastic community and live simply.  They wanted to know who grew their food and they wanted to be connected with the land and the food that they grew.  They wanted a non-complicated lifestyle and to do things the good old way.  And so they bought Benton Rise Farm (BRF).  BRF is a beautiful 3 acre patch of paradise in Tuerong, which Ryan and Deb took over by the previous owners who created a magical small-scale farm from the overgrown paddocks.   

Ryan and Deb grow their own organic fruit and vegetables which they sell from a gorgeous 1910 train carriage every weekend (which came with the property) and they also run goats, pigs, chickens, roosters and guinea fowl.  Which they kill on their property and eat for their own consumption.  

The kids are truly connected to where their food comes from and even the littlest helps dad with killing a rooster.  Not only that every weekend Deb sources local and organic fresh fruit and vegetables from nearby farmers and sells this with their own produce from the train.  

The train is a weekend farmers market whereby locals come to visit, enjoy organic local produce boxes and most importantly connect with like-minded people.  I love this.  It brings people together.  It helps to strengthen the local food system and it ensures that people are able to enjoy fresh and organic food that will help them to live well and be well.  

And whilst mum and dad shop inside the train the kids can have so much fun outside the train.  I felt like a kid whilst at BRF.  There is so much to see and do.  Kids can interact with all the animals and Ryan tells me that the goats love kids.  What a great day out for the whole family.  This is such a beautiful connection between food and human health.  

So lets take a tour of BRF and be inspired.  

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Oh my, this little piglet didn’t go to market but he did go inside to be loved.  He was the runt of the litter and the kids took him inside to hand feed and  keep him nice and warm.  I had cuddles and he was so cute.  

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Eighteen piglets running around all extremely happy.  As we were there in the middle of winter the pigs digged up the paddocks extremely quickly.  These guys are about to be moved into new paddocks but when Andrew and I were there I can honestly say that they were having a ball in the mud.  Ryan and Deb have two massive houses for them to sleep in and they can run in and out as they please.  It is so cool seeing healthy and happy piglets and mum by their side.  

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Beautiful organic and locally grown produce which locals can purchase from the train

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I wish we could grow citrus in Tasmania.  Super jealous of the citrus orchard.  Actually I was inspired by this so when I came home I bought an orange tree and placed it in our hot-house.  Fingers crossed.  

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This is one of the chook houses.  Andrew and I loved this because Ryan built a door that is has a self timer.  So he has set it to open and close at certain times.  We hope to do this with our new chook pens.  

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I have never seen guinea fowl before.  I know, where have I been?  Obviously under a rock!  We loved these birds.  Super cool and very noisy.  

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More pictures of happy piglets.  I just wanted to cuddle them all.  So cute.  

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I love hand-made signs.  As you drive into the farm you are directed to the massive car park.  It is such a great set up.  

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Roosters galore.  I lost count of how many roosters they have but I love how they have such a diverse range of different breeds.  We must get a rooster here on the farm

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Andrew had shed jealousy.  Ryan has a great set up inside his blog shed and I love how the kids squiggle on the wall next to the garden tools.  I don’t think you can ever have too many garden tools

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Boots by the train

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Broad beans growing up in between native flowers.  Great idea and it looks so pretty

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Many rows of citrus trees.  Deb tells me that Ryan is a gun at growing fruit trees.  I must get him down to Tasmania as we have killed two lemon trees and a lime.  

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I loved the goats.  They have two and are so friendly.  

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Hello there.  I hope you are having a wonderful day.  Said goat to human!  Nah, just kidding.  But this picture defiantly needs a catch phrase.  Do you have one?  Comment below

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More citrus trees.  Just look at the vibrant colour of the oranges.  

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You don’t need a lot of room to grow food is my new motto!  Remember Ryan and Deb are on 3 acres and they are doing so many amazing things.  

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This is one of my favourite pictures.  Another beautiful rooster.  

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The train.  I absolutely love this.   Every weekend the train is filled to the brim with local, seasonal and organic fresh produce.  People come to support local and connect with the community.  What a beautiful way to live

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The amazing hot-house that Ryan is in the early stages of building.  We love this so much that Andrew has contacted the company to get quotes.  Can you imagine all the tomatoes we can grow in here.  And don’t forget chillies’ and eggplant and then once the season is finished throw the chooks in there during winter.  

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The boys and Deb chatting all things hot-house.  

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Daddy pig.  He looked up at me when I took the photo but decided that was too hard.  

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Juicy, organic and real.  The way food is meant to be.  Eaten fresh from a tree or out of the ground. Remember this and you will see amazing health and wellness results

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I loved the arch way into their vegetable gardens.  So pretty

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I can’t remember what breed this chook is but isn’t she beautiful?

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And there you have it.  Benton Rise Farm.  I can honestly say that Andrew and I had so much fun spending the morning with Ryan and Deb.  Ryan stayed back from his other job to show us around and we are extremely grateful.  When we were there it felt like we had known these guys for ages because we never stopped talking about all things related to growing food, simple living, leaving the city life, community, sharing and chooks.  

Three things we took takeaway from our visit?

1:  Learn as you go.  This is what Deb and Ryan are doing and the results are awesome
2.  If you have children, involve them as much as you can
3.  Go for bio-diversity.  In the vegetable garden, with animals and also with the garden.  It creates a beautiful ecology and also a talking point when people come to visit.  

Thank you so much Ryan and Deb for everything.  It is such an amazing feeling when you meet someone for the first time but know that you will be great friends forever.  That is how we feel about Ryan and Deb.  And if you’re ever in Tuerong please look up BRf and spend the morning shopping out of their train.  

Thanks for reading, please comment below with any questions or tell me how this post has inspired you to get out there and grow your own food.  I will see you soon for part 4 and it’s a beauty!  

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Victorian Ethical Farm Research Trip – Part Two

If you have just joined us and would like to catch up, part one of the trip is here

Our second day in Victoria we were excited to go and visit A Plot In Common which is owned by Tash and her husband Ben along with their three gorgeous children.  We are still in Dayelsford and the weather has been extremely cold.  I would say it was colder then Tasmania.  

From our hotel where we were stayed,  Tash and Ben’s farm was only 30 minutes away.  We stayed right in the middle of Dayelsford and I must say it is a beautiful town.  We stayed at a place called Frangos and Frangos for three nights and everything was perfect.  

With beanies and puffer jackets on and gumboots thrown into the back of the car we headed off on our early morning start.  We arrived at A Plot In Common and was greeted by the biggest smile.

Tash and Ben purchased the property in late 2012.  They now own a 10 acre farm in Lauriston which from Melbourne is over an hours drive and from Dayelsford 30 minutes.  With little farming experience they moved to the farm and now live and work from the farm full-time.  With passions in growing their own food, slaughtering their own meat and being part of the local community Tash and Ben with their three children wanted to create a life that had more meaning and could bring simple pleasures and happiness into their daily lives.  I just love that!!  

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Who is A Plot In Common?

We wanted to go and visit Tash and her farm A plot in Common because I was totally in love with their ethos and just like us they had ten acres.  A Plot in Common is a beautiful place that brings people together. Friends, family and community.  A farm to allow people to come and grow vegetables in the provided raised garden beds or join Tash and one of her guests in a workshop which she runs out of their stunning barn built-in the 1800’s.  

As we arrived Tash showed us around and first up were the garden beds.  She has built a beautiful community where by people can come and go as often as they like to help Tash grow food.  I love this idea. Not only is Tash helping others to have access to fresh, local and organic food she is also bringing together beautiful long life connections which will create a ripple effect for people to live well and be well.  

IMG_4269 IMG_4260 IMG_4250 IMG_4249 IMG_4259 IMG_4255 IMG_4269I love the idea of the raised garden beds.  Tash mentioned to us that initially she loved having the grass around the beds because she liked seeing lots of green, but if she was going to do the beds again she would have less grass.  Because it is just another thing to have to look after when you already have plenty of jobs already on the priority list.  And I know from my own experience since being on Primal Farm, making things as efficient as you can is the key.  There is always so much work to do. 

We did visit the farm in the middle of winter and a lot of the beds are being rested ready for spring planting. Exciting times ahead for the A Plot in Common gardeners.  

We were then introduced to her feathered friends.  Bruce the rooster and his ladies.  I loved the idea that Tash moves them around in her chook caravan and also she can keep the girls and Bruce contained and safe by an electric chook fence.  A brilliant idea and this little tip that Tash shared with us is something that we will defiantly do on our property.  

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One thing I have great respect for is that these guys slaughter their own meat for their own consumption.  I really admire people who do this.  Those who have done it for generations and those who are just starting out.  It’s never easy to kill your own animals but doing it this way, the ethical and humane way is showing the utmost respect for the animal and 100% connects us to our own food.  

Another thing I love about Tash and Ben is that they just threw themselves into farming and are learning along the way.  They have tried home schooling, converting farm buildings, building garden beds and establishing bee hives and with great support from their neighbours who are farmers and also from friends they are doing an amazing job.  
It was great hearing all their stories of the ‘mistakes’ that they have made and it made me just want to get home and fully throw myself into everything.  One thing I became aware of with this whole trip is I need to let go of perfection. Perfection on the farm does not happen.  Sure you strive to do your best but you just can’t beat nature! And who wants to anyway!  I am sure Tash and Ben agree with me here and anyone else reading this, the fun is in making the ‘mistakes’ and learning.  

The pigs!  I reckon everyone who can should own a pig.  We can’t wait to get more because you can use the whole animal, nose to tail and feed more than one family.  Plus pigs have the best personality.  Whilst we were there the black pig decided to get a bit friendly with his new girlfriend and for the first time (I know) I saw two pigs having a really good time.  I think Tash hopes to have baby piglets in spring.  So keep an eye out on her blog for photos.  

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Their beautiful jersy girl resting in her barn.  

One thing I loved is how like-minded people you have only known for five minutes can have an instant connection and be friends for ever.  I could have stayed and chatted with Tash and her family for ever but unfortunately we had to go so we could go and visit a beautiful town called Trentham and then have a look at the garden, Diggers in Eden.  

If ever you’re in Dayelsford please look up Tash and A Plot In Common to book into one of the workshops. You will be forever inspired and maybe inspired enough to have a plot, grow your own food and farm.  

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Andrew and I took awhile many things from Tash and Ben.  A young couple wanting to live a simple life which they can share with others.  I am very much inspired by them.  I have listed three things that we learnt and will implement here on Primal farm.  

1.  Let go of perfection.  Just get in there and do it
2.  Learn from your mistakes and never stop sharing
3.  Buy some electric fence for the chickens.  Perfect way to keep them safe

I chatted for most of the morning and I forgot to get a photo of Tash so I took this one from her Instagram page so you can see who this gorgeous lady is.  

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(photo credit:  A Plot In Common)

Thank you so much Tash and Ben.  You guys are doing wonderful things and I am looking forward to the day you both visit our little farm here on Bruny Island.  

Please share your comments.  and if you love this post I would be very grateful if you shared to help others change the way they eat, think and live for better health and wellbeing.  

Look forward to showing you Part 3 where we go and visit Ryan and Deb from Benton Rise Farm.