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Plant Based Eating Workshop (Gluten Free/ Dairy Free) with Asher Andrews

By | Nutrition | No Comments

Several years ago, Simple Living Toowoomba hosted a Gluten and Dairy Free eating workshop. It was really popular and informative, particularly in talking about some of the symptoms of gluten intolerance and celiac disease, as I’d just been diagnosed with thyroid autoimmune disease and was reacting to gluten every time I consumed it.

BUT, although we saw a quick cooking demo and chatted about how to shop for GF/DF foods (reading ingredient labels etc), the focus was on avoiding those two food types, not so much promoting the sourcing and eating of more healthy, unprocessed foods so that the allergies might actually reverse and people’s guts be healed.

Next month at Simple Living, we have a workshop that takes GF/DF eating to the next level. Asher Andrews, chef and former owner of the Little Seed Restaurant, is coming to share his knowledge and experience with plant based cooking…using local, fresh and whole foods with as little processing and refinement as possible. And all this is gluten and dairy free, but the focus is more on the abundance of nutrient dense foods that you CAN eat, and how to prepare them, rather than just avoiding foods with gluten and dairy.

Date:    9 March
Time:    1-3pm
What:   Asher – My food ethos has always been about using the best quality produce sourced as local as possible and treated with respect. In 2016 it was this same ethos which eventually led to my wife and I changing our lifestyle and our restaurant to be completely plant-based vegan realising a plant-based lifestyle is both healing for the body, soul and the environment.

Ethics and social consciousness is what drew me down this path but then I also quickly realised plant-based eating was not only more healthy but opened up a whole new world of creativity, flavour and excitement for cooking for me. I want to empower people by showing just how simple, fun and beneficial cooking plant-based can be.

I focus on as much as possible using local, organic and nutrient dense produce and cook without processed oils, gluten or refined/processed foods with kitchen practices that promote reducing food waste and composting.

Where: Range Christian Fellowship, 15 Blake St, Toowoomba.
Cost:    $10
RSVP:   6 March to simplelivingtoowoomba@gmail.com or phone Michele on 0423858059
As usual please feel free to bring along any handmade goods or excess homegrown produce you would like to share with those attending the workshops.

For Those Who are Looking for Farm Work (Why we’re not hiring)

By | Market Garden | No Comments

Requests for work on our farm are becoming quite regular! Sometimes it’s backpackers turning up on our doorstep asking if there’s work available, but more often it’s people calling to introduce themselves and see if there’s any work going here. Many times it’s from people who are genuinely interested in working on an organic farm, and it’s great to see the interest out there and that people are being proactive looking for employment….

But, I don’t think it’s clear from our website (how most job seeking people find us) that we are a very small, family run market garden. The market garden is actually only about 1 acre in size and not generating enough work (or income) to support employees. Rick sometimes even works full time engineering hours on top of the farming, because the market garden is not often a full time job…and because he gets a lot of help from the children and I 🙂

Rick takes care of crop planning, garden bed prep, mineral applications and sowing. The children do a lot of weeding and some harvesting, and I take care of all the sales/orders, packing, a lot of the correspondence and most of the harvesting. And the great thing about this, is that we know what’s going on, right from seed to sales and can provide a higher level of customer service because of that. I remember reading in a market gardening book how beneficial it is, for example, for the farmer to be the one selling his produce at a market, and not just an employee. When people are shopping at a farmers market, it’s generally because they care about where their food came from, how it was grown, etc. And they often want information about the more unusual varieties, how they might use/cook certain produce and the like. The farmer and his family know these things, but a seasonal or temporary worker probably doesn’t.

So, the fact that there’s not enough work here for an employee is the main reason we don’t hire, and the other is that although the market garden provides enough income to keep us going, it’s not enough to warrant paying an employee. We laughed last year at tax time when we discovered our taxable income is technically below the Australian poverty line! We certainly never feel poor, and the massive tax deductions involved with the first few years of setting up a business had a lot to do with the tiny taxable income, but you get the point…it’s not worth hiring anyone when we’re this small!

If you are reading this and you are looking for work in the Toowoomba area on an organic farm, you could try Birchgrove Farm. They specialise in the best chicken eggs you can get in our district (even growing organic produce to feed to the chickens!) and they also sell various beautiful organic greens at the Sunday PCYC markets. I know they were setting up worker accommodation on site, so obviously they hire from time to time. I hope those of you looking for work can find it, but I just wanted to mention on our website here, that we’re not hiring (might save some of you the trip out here to ask!)

Summer Abundance Bulk Buys

By | Farm Gate Stall | No Comments

Summer Abundance Bulk Buys

5kg Beetroot $20

5kg Tomatoes $20

3kg Zucchini $10

3kg Cucumber $15

These deals will not be listed on the web store (as they often disappear fast and we can’t keep up with making all the website changes!) and are only available while stocks last, so either request them in the comments box when you make an online order, or request via email: racheal@birdsongmarketgarden.com.au