Mock Orange Blossom, a Philadephus, truely grows so easily from a little cutting. I love them in a vase + often decorate cakes with a beautiful little sprig. Outside our daughter's window we have a wonderful bush which gives off a heavenly scent. The plant has saponins in the leaves and flowers which make it an effective mild lather for your hands. You can plant near the tap in the garden and use to wash your hands! Make sure next time you are out on our farm you take some home to get growing. The best time for this is now in April, but Ive tried my luck + had success at other times of the year too.
And now the recipe ......
Miss Smith's Gluten Free Chocolate Cake
Day before add tablespoon of kefir grains to 2 cups of cream. Before serving your cake, the following day, sieve kefir grains from cream + beat cream until thick. Chill as preferered.
1 + 1/3 c water
Soak + rinse quinoa.
Bring to boil reduce heat + then simmer for 10 minutes. Allow to sit for ten minutes also.
3/4c butter, melted + cooled.
4 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla
Blend these ingredients together, add quinoa. Blend until smooth.
1 c cocoa powder
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
In a bowl add the dry + wet ingredients, , stir well + pour into cake tin.
Bake at 150c for a least 1hr, sometimes 15mins longer.
Dust with cocoa when cool + top with a sprig of your favourite bloom.
Hello Aiesha! Where are you from + what have you been up to?
I come from New Zealand farming stock but my own journey with local food and farming started when I was hanging out with Carlo Petrini's slow food movement students in Northern Italy.
Last year I took the plunge and quit my job in Public Health to farm full time, because it felt like the most meaningful thing I could be doing and I enjoyed the sense of satisfaction it gave me at the end of a big day. My pursuit of becoming an organic market gardener has led me to visit some of the worlds most cutting edge rooftop gardens, local food initiatives and productive farms. Last year I spent a month farming with Jean-Martin Fortier and his incredible team at La Ferme des Quatre-Temps which was a pivital experience both in terms of my learning and decision to become a farmer.
What brought you to Roebuck Farm?
Jodi Roebuck has a world-wide reputation for best practice and innovation in market gardening and integrated systems using animals for sustainable land management and building soil fertility. Now that I'm back home in the Southern Hemisphere, I'm looking to build relationships with the farmers that are doing great things in my own corner of the globe so I decided to dedicate some time to coming and learning from what Tanya and Jodi are doing at Roebuck farm.
What has been most valuable during your stay here?
Jodi's precision in bed prep, composting and seed raising has been great to see in operation. Farming at Roebuck farm I have achieved greater consistency than I have ever had in seeding beds and seed raising due to the attention that is placed on getting the soil right and the control of moisture.
Next possible steps?
I am looking for a business partner and land to lease to begin my own market garden in Victoria where I currently live or in New Zealand.
At Roebuck Farm we offer Custom Training + get to meet inspired + energetic people from all over the world. The exchange is fantastic, we are very grateful for all they contribute + are excited about paying them a visit in their own home towns one day
Where are you from + what have you been up to?
I am from Madrid, Spain. I hold a degree in Psychology and I have worked in that field for a few years. However, my passion for plants obligated me to leave my full time psychology job and focus on gardening. I´ve been growing vegetables for the last ten years. In 2011 I decided to begin my own enterprise, making vegetable gardens for families in the outskirts of Madrid, and taking care of them. This experience helped me a lot in understanding how different plants grow, how different varieties or cultivars perform, different bed preparation techniques, and other usefull aspects of growing food.
What brought you to Roebuck Farm?
In 2017 I realised that making vegetables gardens for other people was not as interesting as could be focusing on a single garden. I found that market gardening would be a good answer. I wanted to create my own market garden and make a living from growing food. One day, doing some research in Internet I watched a video from Curtis Stone in Roebuck Farm. I saw then the beautiful tidiness of the beds, the healthy looking of the greens, some interesting hand tools and the way that Jodi ¨dances¨ with the rake shaping his beds. That was enough for me to understand that spending time in Roebuck Farm could be a usefull investment in my education.
What has been most valuable during your stay here?
First thing that comes to my mind and that I really found instructive in Roebuck Farm is ergonomics. In my own experience, farmers or gardeners are not always thinking in this important aspect of their daily activities, and thats why so many people in this field ends with long term injuries. How to use your body in a clever way, avoiding harmful positions, and how to take advantage of your hard work using motion to build health. Jodi´s practical lessons on ergonomics are of high value. Second, tools. I have used in the farm several tools that allow the small grower to speed up his production in order to be more competitive. Jang seeder, Tilther or the Quick greens harvester are some examples. It was very interesting to experiment with this and other tools, and now I feel more capable of deciding which of them will fit into my own future production. Third, the ¨high value crops" potential. Greens, microgreens, some kinds of roots, cucumbers... for the small grower is of high value understanding profitability in order to making a good living. In the farm I could move forward in this features and learn some useful maths. Something I didnt expect to learn was grazing, mainly because I thought that grazing was the same everywhere... big mistake. I came across this regenerative grazing and discovered how much can be done with a good understanding of the animals, the grasses, the soil, the manure... How herbivors can be managed in a kind and soil regenerative way is also an important takeaway from the farm. One thing I really enjoyed was the amazing library of the farm. I feel I learned a lot from my night readings. A perfect complement to the practice. Finally, but not less important, one must mention that Jodi, Tanya and their nice daughters are such an hospitable family that I really felt like home during this internship.
My next step is developing my own market garden. I want to feed people while building fertility. Direct marketing to restaurants and other customers is my first thought. I dont have the place yet, but I think I have the knowledge and the passion to start right now. I really enjoy writing too, so I would like to use this tool in a practical way. Now is time to work.
Get your garden in optimum shape for the seasons ahead!
A WEEKEND PRACTICAL WITH JODI ROEBUCK IN HIS OWN GARDEN
2 DAY 'SPRING' BIOINTENSIVE WORKSHOP
14 & 15 OCTOBER 2017
Join Jodi Roebuck, Australasia’s leading Biointensive authority, on his own farm for 2 days of learning the Biointensive Growing system – an organic vegetable growing method designed to maximise harvest in small spaces.
This 2 day 'Spring' practical is suited for the beginner, to the serious backyard grower looking integrate time saving systems into their plot, homesteaders looking to maximise production of organic veg, and community projects looking for solutions in maximising nutrient dense food production with limited resources & space. ......read more
He is tapping into the increasing demand for local food, and the desire to know where the food has come from and who grew it.
Guest Blog post by James Samuel
Curtis Stone is a farmer, author, speaker and consultant. His area of expertise is in quick growing, high value annual vegetables for direct consumer market streams. His book, The Urban Farmer demonstrates organic intensive techniques with a focus on business and systems to streamline labour and production. He offers a new way to think about farming. One where quality of life and profitability coexist. Get a taste for Curtis and his generous sharing of information on his increasingly popular YouTube Channel.
Curtis’ farm, Green City Acres is located in Kelowna, BC, Canada and was established in 2010.
The Six Figure Farming NZ Tour - 2016
The Six Figure Farming NZ Tour took Curtis from Dunedin to Matakana delivering seven one-day workshops, to over 300 people. Jean-Martin Fortier joined Curtis for three two-day workshops and three public talks.
Those who came ranged from farmers wanting to diversify, market gardeners looking to get more serious about production and profitability, lifestyle block owners wanting to find small-scale intensive production opportunities, and growers and gardeners curious about how to start a farming operation without owning land.
The response to all of these events was tremendous. A Small Scale Intensive Market Gardening group was established on Facebook in advance of the tour. With 500 people on it now, the posts showing what people are doing by way of soil preparation, growing and harvesting have been an inspiration to follow. New questions are being posted regularly and people jump in to give each other a hand by generously sharing their own knowledge and experience.
The Six Figure Farming NZ Tour offered a big overview to show it’s possible to make a good living growing food, even without owning land.
Diving deep into detail
The 2017 four-day workshop with Curtis Stone, will dive deep into detail to show you the most efficient way to tackle each task on the farm. In the four days at Roebuck Farm, Curtis will cover everything from Nursery production to post harvest cleaning, from market streams to social media, and from land leasing to focus crops. Here's the workshop outline.
The host farm
Curtis' many years of experience in market gardening and teaching, will be beautifully complemented by Jodi Roebuck's experience and his growing plots at ROEBUCK FARM.
Jodi Roebuck is an international renowned Biointensive Gardening educator and Restoration Grazing consultant. The 2016/17 season marks his 18th year growing and selecting heritage vegetable seed. This year sees the expansion of the gardens with 37 new beds going in for vegetable production based on the work of peers Curtis Stone (The Urban Farmer) and Jean-Martin Fortier (The Market Gardener).
Jodi's commitment to Regenerative Agriculture has created relationships with many of the world's leading figures, shaping the direction of ROEBUCK FARM and influencing our students around the globe. The Restoration Grazing work is a complementary integral part of the business, and a passion of Jodi's that has led him to work with many graziers and educators in some of the world’s driest regions.
We are excited to be able to offer another practical workshop from our farm.
9am to 5pm. Sat 12th & Sun 13th November at ROEBUCK FARM
Our work combines the principles of Kay Baxter of Koanga Institute, John Jeavons author of ‘How to Grow More Vegetables’, Curtis Stone of ‘The Urban Farmer’ and Jean-Martin Fortier of ‘The Market Gardener’ and our 18 years working in this field. The principles are scalable from the urban backyard to the market garden.
BioIntensive is a method of growing as much organic food as possible in the smallest amount of space. The method draws upon a variety of intensive agricultural methods practiced thousands of years. The method was designed to provide food security for those who practice it, while continually building and developing the soil and conserving natural resources. The result is producing safe food year after year in the same small space.
Practiced in over 130 countries across the world this method can be produced by people in any climate where food can be grown, with limited resources.
Course Fee: $NZ350
Includes 2 Day workshop tuition, morning & afternoon tea.
This is a practical, hands on course covering:
INTENSIVE PLANTING/LIVING GROUND COVER
OPEN POLLINATED SEED
ACCESS TO LAND/LEASING/CUSTOM GRAZING – GARDENING
FERTILITY – capturing nutrients