Primal Living | Featured
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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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4 Ways to Stop Living on a Diet

Hi there,

I hope where ever you’re reading this from you’re having a wonderful day.  And thank you for stopping in to read my latest post on healthy living.  I was chatting to a friend the other day who inspired me to write this blog post and to share with you four sustainable ways to stop being on a roller coaster of diets.

I am extremely passionate about this topic. Because way back in the days (eleven years ago) I was on a constant diet. I was at the gym every single day for over an hour sweating my butt off (there’s is nothing wrong with the gym, if you are using it for the right reasons) and then coming home eating boiled up chicken breast and steamed broccoli. Or sucking down a protein shake and taking green tea tablets to boost my metabolism. Or I would skip meals/eat less because I thought it would help me to lose weight quicker.

Another reason I am extremely passionate about a no diet philosophy and helping you to not be on a diet is because of the way it made me feel. I was anxious about food; I felt stressed when going out for dinner, and my relationship with food turned into an eating disorder. Every Monday I was on a new diet. After binging on the weekend (because I could have a cheat day) I would feel so freaking guilty that I was back on the internet searching for the ‘right’ diet to go on that would strip the 2-3 kilos that I put on (even though it was fluid) And due to dieting I lost my period for two and a half years. The doctor at the time told me how lucky I was to not have a period! And at the time I thought that too. I am glad that through Primal Living I know better and am aware of  the importance of having a healthy menstrual cycle.  She is no longer my doctor.

So after speaking with my friend, who is going through a similar situation I went through it deeply touched my heart and inspired me in wanting to share with you four simple and sustainable tools  I did to stop dieting and to have a really wonderful, healthy and sustainable relationship with food.

1: I stopped reading the magazines that are all about losing weight

Yep, I totally ditched them. Any magazine that was marketing on the front of the cover “Lose 5 kilos in 14 days” and “detox for one week and lose XXX kilos” I totally removed from my purchases and mind. Not only did I save money, but this simple strategy worked. Why? Because it allowed me to start to understand that if I need to have a sustainable relationship with food I need to literally stop putting myself on any short term diets that simply focused on losing weight.   I wanted my new focus to be on the long term and my overall health and well-being.  One of my goals was not to have a unhealthy relationship with food and with my body when I got older.   By ditching these magazines I started to find other and more nurturing ways to have a healthy nutritional lifestyle. And that was……

2: I turned to eating food from nature

This is a big one. I remember growing up watching mum and dad grow their own food. We ate meat and three vegetables most night of the week and the vegetables came from dad’s garden (where he is still out there growing food) However as I got older and moved away from home and supported myself I thought that buying food wrapped in a box and labelled ‘healthy, real and fresh’ was the way to go. I was wrong. My weight would fluctuate all the time. Eating more boxed food than real food from the garden patch did put me on the daily scale weigh in regime and to be honest daily anxiety about it all.  But as I got more curious about a natural and sustainable way of life and worked as a personal trainer and in health food stores I started to realise that natures foods that come undressed, in their raw natural state, straight from the farm is the key to maintaining a healthy body weight.  It was a light bulb moment.  The other benefits of eating real food straight from nature is that I automatically avoid the preservatives, refined sugars, carbohydrates and other additives that come with food in a packet.  I stopped thinking about it.  Instantly by turning to nourish my body at each meal with fresh fruit and vegetables and any other whole foods that I fancied I realised that I stopped worrying about what was in my food. The stress started to go away. I started to have what I call food freedom and it felt so damn good!  Next came this……

3: I started to grow my own food

 I have only been growing my own food for the last three years. Before that I had zero experience in growing food.  I remember when I lived in the city and had a small balcony and tried to grow tomatoes. I grew them but they looked very sad. Maybe it was because I forgot to water them.
Every single day I am learning more about how to grow food. I am not going to lie here, growing food takes time, patience and can be hard work at times. However the benefits outweigh these few little pain in the butt issues.
Growing food is extremely rewarding. It is rewarding because you’re taking control of your own health. It is rewarding because you can go out into your garden or backyard balcony and pick a few things to have for your next meal. Another positive of growing your own food is that you are fully aware that the food you’re growing is organic and chemical free.  

Oh and growing food is so much fun for your children. Seeing a seed pop its head up out of the ground for the first time is pure bliss! So I highly recommend it if you’re not already doing it and give  growing food a go.   Just grow one thing. Choose the one vegetable that you love to eat and grow that.  I got some great advice off a farmer once and he said, only grow what you and your family love to eat.  Keep it simple whilst going back to basics.  I love it!  

And if you only have space for some herbs…..than just grow herbs and for the rest of your food that you need to eat, so you can be free  from being on a diet is buy fresh whole foods either off your local farmers market or the fresh food section of your local supermarket (avoid those aisles at all cost).  Too much crazy unknown ingredients down there!  Next I did this…….

4: I stopped seeing food as the devil and seeing it as a way of life

I used to see food as good or bad. But this is a problem to see food that way. Because it plays with your mind and it can keep you in a dieting, spiralling situation. For example, if you put food in the ‘good’ category or the ‘bad’ category and you head out to a friends birthday and have some cake that is full of all this refined ingredients and then you eat something else that you tell yourself is ‘bad’ (because it is not on your 14 day diet plan) I guarantee that you would have left your friends birthday bash feeling so bloody guilty that you start talking to yourself in such a negative way. “Oh I shouldn’t of eaten that, that was bad of me” or what about this one “I wish I could just stay on my diet”.
Here’s one that I used to tell myself “Well I might as well eat more of it and start again on Monday, I have ruined my diet anyway” Does this sound like you? Don’t worry if it does and don’t feel at all feel guilty.  I want you to show towards yourself some well deserve love and kindness.  Remember  I was like that too. and If I can change the way I speak to myself and my eating to take back control of my mind and my health you can too.

I started to see food and appreciate food as a healing way of life. I was tired of being on a diet, tired of worrying about what to eat (in case I would gain weight) and tired of being a slave to food. So when I ate I asked myself a simple question “Is this meal going to make me feel healthy and happy or feel sad and in pain afterwards?” And overtime by asking myself that little question I found myself choosing more and more foods coming straight from nature. I found myself reaching for more whole foods. And I literally felt like I had broken out of prison.

I  started to see nutrition as a way of life, not some quick fix.  And as I tyoe this today I can feel so proud to say that for the past eleven years I have not dieted.  And it is all because of implementing a Primal Living mindset.   By just asking myself that simple question above helped me to change the way I eat and  have a sustainable and healthy awareness of food.   The other  bonuses of that is I stopped weighing myself, stopped all diets and stopped worrying about what to eat.  

If I do eat food that will end up making me feel sick and in pain I don’t beat myself up about it anymore. Because I know that as soon as I start choosing whole foods again, real food from the vegetable gardens, from nature  I am straight away back on track with zero guilt.

I hope I have given you a few ideas to help you to adjust the way you see food and your health.  Whether you’re wanting to lose weight, feel comfortable and love the skin you’re in and or want a healthier relationship around food know that you can.  You can have all this whilst enjoying delicious and yummy food. Start with implementing one of the tips above and you too will be off the diet train.  

And here is a delicious recipe to get you started.  I made this today after picking and eating broad beans in my garden.  Picking the broad beans made me hungry so I decided to grab a handful of them and walk around the garden to see what else I had.  I ended up picking cabbage leaves (because my cabbages are not quite ready) kale, rainbow chard and marjarom.  It was so simple, so quick to make and as always so good for me.  img_6898

Broad Bean and Green Salad
Serves 1
A delicious, simple and seasonal salad that can be eaten on its own or added as a side dish to some locally sourced, ethically raised protein.
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Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
5 min
Total Time
10 min
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
5 min
Total Time
10 min
Ingredients
  1. A handful of broad beans (un podded)
  2. A large handful of kale, chopped
  3. A large handful of rainbow chard, chopped
  4. A handful of marjarom, chopped
  5. 2 large cabbage leaves, chopped
  6. 2 tbs tahini
  7. Handful of organic pumpkin seeds
  8. Handful of walnuts (or any other favourite nut)
Instructions
  1. In a frypan, add a tbs of butter and let it melt. If you are dairy intolerant add coconut oil.
  2. Add in the podded broad beans (prepped earlier)
  3. Cook for 1 minute
  4. Add the other greens and cook just until warmed through. No more than 3-5 minutes.
  5. Serve with a few good tbs of tahini, pumpkin seeds and nuts.
  6. Season with himalayan salt and cracked pepper.
Primal Living http://primalliving.com.au/

 

 

 

 

 

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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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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 on Bruny Island

Hi there community.

I am excited to share with you that I am now teaching Vinyasa Yoga on Bruny Island, Tasmania. Bruny Island is my place of home. I moved here three years ago from the middle of Hobart, to embrace a self sufficient lifestyle.  My partner and I wanted to move to a place where we could  grow our own food, have some chickens and learn how to be self reliant.  And so we moved to an island!  

Bruny Island has some of Tasmania’s most beautifully preserved natural environments with abundant wildlife and stunning cliff top views. You can walk along the long sandy beaches and take yourself on some amazing bush walks.

The island is also the perfect place to come to when you need some respite, some time out from the daily grind and to nurture yourself. To access the island you come across on a ferry from Kettering, around a 35 min drive south of Hobart. The ferry runs everyday and as soon as you step onto the ferry to come across the D’Entrecasteaux Channel you will feel your shoulders drop away from the ears and time is non existent.

Which means that coming to Bruny Island to stay and to participate in one of my nurturing and soul healing yoga classes is the perfect gift that you can give yourself.  Practicing yoga in nature is one of the best ways to heal the body and give the whole mind, body and soul the love that it deserves.  

Below is my current timetable. Please check my Facebook page and my timetable on my website for any changes to the classes and for up coming workshops.  

I really look forward to seeing you in class and enjoying the time dedicated to nurturing, loving and healing oneself.  

jo-yoga-a4-poster2

 

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How To Build A No-Dig Garden Bed (1)

How To Build A No-Dig Garden Bed

We have been extremely busy on Primal Farm working hard on producing good honest organic real food.   I have become addicted to growing food.  It’s not a bad addiction to have but it does mean that I am running out of room and need more garden beds.  Our goal on Primal Farm is to regenerate the land.  What that means is we strive to continue to improve the soil and not take from it.  Unfortunately this is what mono-culture crops do.  Mono-culture crops can strip the soil of vital nutrients and this is why some farmers will supplement with chemical fertilizers.  Mono-culture crops also encourage the proloferation of diseases and pests relevant to that crop species.  Again chemicals need to be used to manage these issues.  Personally I don’t want to be eating crops that have been sprayed with chemicals because of the unknown affects those chemicals may have on my health and the health of our customers.  And secondly there are questions on how long it takes for man made chemicals to break down in the environement.

Unfortunately our land has about 6cm of top soil and under that there is a lot of rock and clay.  Although not insurmountable it’s going to take us sometime to build up and regenerate our top soil so that we can use this to grow nutrient dense food.  We are slowly working on this however this is going to take us some time and I needed new garden beds quickly.  So we decided to build some no-dig garden beds.

The benefts of no-dig garden beds are:

Easy to make
No digging required
Can be built anywhere and on top of anything
Reduces weed growth
Minimal materials needed
Built using recyclable material
The materials used to build your garden beds will break down into nutrients which feeds your vegetables
A brilliant way to involve the kids

Below are step by step photos of how we built our no-dig garden beds.
The first photo shows where we decided to build the beds.  As you can see this part of the land is in terrible condition.  It is dry, covered in cape weed and has no top soil.  Because we are building on top of the grass we mowed the patch first.
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Next we brought in from storage our rotted hay.  You can also use pea straw or lucerne.

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Lots of hay being used.  This hay was bailed two seasons ago and has been sitting in storage ever since. Some of it we left out in the rain which rotted and it is great for building the beds.

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Step One:  Our garden beds are fifteen metres long and one and a half metres wide.  The first layer is going down.  When you build your garden beds think of it like making a layered sandwich.  The first layer is the hay.  You can also use newspaper, pea straw or lucerne as your first layer.  The day we decided to make our beds it was extremly windy on primal farm and we had no hope in keeping the newspaper down.  Once you put your first layer down you need to water well.

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Step Two:  Next we put down a layer of certified organic compost.  We have been making our own compost but we can’t make enough of it and as we are an organic farm we buy in a compost which is certified by Australian Certified Organic (ACO).  We also watered this layer.

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Step Three:  Next we put down a layer of premium certified organic pellets and watered in well.  The pellets have been certified by Biological Farmers Association.

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Step Four:  Next layer is our own compost.  We make our own compost using all of our household food scraps, the dry leaves, lawn clippings and any other organic matter from our farm.  We also add in the hay and chook poo from the chook house.   Our own compost piles are situated  next door to the chook pen which allows the chooks to dig and scratch daily. After this layer we again watered.
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Looking good and healthy

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Step Five: Next step is repeating the first step and that is putting another layer of hay down and water well.

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Step Six:  Add another layer of certified organic compost and another layer of pellets.  Water well

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As you can see in the photos the beds are coming along beautifully.  We are going to be making another two more beds in this area.

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The last layer is a layer of seaweed from Bruny Island Beaches.  Seaweed is an excellent organic matter to use because the sea plants are full of nutrients for your fruit and vegetables.

IMG_8093The seaweed smelt so good.  We put this straight onto the garden beds.
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And now they are both complete.  To build both of these garden beds it took us roughly four hours.  And now they are ready for planting.  The vegetables going into these two beds are pumpkins, zucchini, corn and cucumbers.

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So lets recap.

Materials needed to build your no-dig garden bed

You only need a few materials to start no-dig gardening.  And remember you can do this anywhere.  If you only have concrete around your home, you can build a garden!

Materials in no particular order:
ƒNewspaper, hay, lucerne hay (lucerne hay contains nitrogen, one of the main plant nutrients), straw (obtained from the hardware store or nursery)

compost, which can be made at home or purchased .  If purchased I recommend asking for certified organic compost.
If you have poor soil like us I recommend adding a really good fertilizer such as blood and bone or dynamic lifter.  This will help improve the soil fertility.

Seaweed.  Head down to your local beaches and forage for some seaweed.  In Tasmania you are allowed to take 100kg per person per day.  Please check your local area

You can also add as one of your layers chook, sheep or cow poo.  Again I do recommend sourcing from an organic supplier who stocks free range and grass fed animals.  This will help to avoid any residual chemicals and antibiotics. Remember what the animal eats is passed onto us through the food chain.

And the exciting bit

Fruit and vegetables you can grow in a no-dig garden

Everything!  How exciting that you can grow any fruit and vegetables in a no-dig garden.  I hope that you will give this a go.  Growing food is one of the simpliest and joyous things to do and I hope that you will have fun creating your own food garden.  Please share your photos with me on Facebook or Instagram and if you liked this article I would love it if you would share it.  My goal is to inspire over one million people to grow their own food.

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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

 

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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

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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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