Australia Day Public Holiday Hours 2019

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Australia Day Public Holiday Hours 2019
23rd January, 2019

The Co-op main shop will be open on Monday 28th Jan from 10-3 for the Australia Day public holiday.

Opening hours on Sat 26th and sunday 27 will be as normal.

Too cool for school
17th January, 2019

Delicious lunchbox ideas
Back to school and work needn’t mean boring sandwiches. Check out these yummy lunch ideas from Danielle O’Donoghue.

Wraps

In the heat of summer large amounts of bread becomes less attractive. These 3 wrap ideas make lighter alternatives to hold tasty nutritious fillings. They are all gluten-free and some even grain free altogether.

Lettuce Leaf Wraps

Using the leaves of lettuce, Ice berg or Cos work well, makes a great alternative to bread for wrapping up tasty ingredients.

Protein Wraps

INGREDIENTS:

4 eggs

20g sesame seeds ground fine

20g sunflower seeds ground fine

lg pinch sea salt

¼ tsp sumac

60g tapioca flour

6 tsp coconut oil or ghee

METHOD:

Whisk all the ingredients except the fat together in a large bowl, adding 2 Tblsp of water.

In a medium size non-stick (a well seasoned cast iron one is my favourite) pan, heat 1 tsp of oil or ghee, tip the pan to coat the frying surface.

Pour in ¼ cup of the batter and tilt the pan around to spread the batter evenly over the surface.

Cook over medium heat for till lightly golden on the underside, about 1-2 mins.

Flip and cook on the other side till it looks the same, around 30 seconds.

Remove from pan and set aside.

Repeat with the remaining batter and fat.

Sourdough Buckwheat Wraps

INGREDIENTS:

2 cups buckwheat flour

2 L luke warm water

(Acidic medium of choice 1 tsp lemon juice, applecider vinegar, or  Tblsp whey)

2 eggs

pinch salt

1/4 -3/4 cup extra water as needed

coconut oil  or ghee for cooking

METHOD:

Culturing your buckwheat flour

Soak the 2 cups of buckwheat flour in a glass or ceramic bowl with the luke warm water and acid medium. Give the flour a good whisk to make sure you break up any lumps. This also exposes the mixture to airborne yeasts. It should be a very runny and smooth batter. Cover the bowl with a clean tea towel and leave to sit overnight or 5-6 hours in a warm place.

After fermenting/culturing the flour will have settled to the bottom of the bowl, pour off the dirty viscous water, using a spoon for the last bit so you don’t loose your batter down the sink! This process neutralizes the anti-nutrients in the flour.

Making the crepe batter

Add the eggs, maple, vanilla and salt and whisk into a smooth pourable batter. Add extra water as necessary to achieve desired consistency. Don’t be afraid to make it quite runny.

Transfer the batter to a pouring jug.

Heat a small amount of coconut oil in a well seasoned cast iron or non stick pan. Often the first crepe doesn’t work – it’s called “one for the pan” after that the pan should be ready to make delicious crepes.

Pour about half a cup of batter into the heated pan.

Swirl the pan to spread the batter.

Once bubbly and becoming solid on the top side, flip your crepe, and cook the other side.

A couple of minutes each side is plenty.

Filling Ideas

Hummous, Pesto, Tahini sauce, Avocado, Tomato, Grated or finely sliced carrot, red onion finely sliced, Capsicum finely sliced, Toasted seeds, Baby spinach, Rocket, Pitted olives, Salmon or tuna, Chicken, Cheese, Sprouts, Hard boiled egg, Lettuce.

 

Grow your own
17th January, 2019

Get set for barrow loads of inspiration on the 2019 Blue Mountains Edible Garden Trail.

It’s only a few weeks until the Edible Garden Trail 2019 kicks off across the mountains.

Over 45 gardens including back and front yards, commercial, community and school gardens will be open to the pubic to showcase the various ways we are growing food, resilience and community.

It’s a great chance to get inspired to start your own vegie patch, learn new tricks and tips, and share advice with fellow green thumbs.

Check out our website instagram and facebook page for all the information and purchase your tickets online.

Environment news

Get behind the Colong Foundation’s fight to save the wild rivers of the Blue Mountains National Park.

Give a Dam is the grassroots community campaign to stop the destruction of the Blue Mountains National Park and the over development in western Sydney from the raising of Warragamba Dam wall.

According to the Colong Foundation for Wilderness, “raising the Warragamba Dam wall is a developer-driven proposal that will make it easier to build on flood-prone land in western Sydney – against the wishes of local communities.

“Raising the dam wall would also destroy 65 kilometres of wilderness rivers and inundate 4,700 hectares of the world heritage listed Blue Mountains National Park.”

If you’d like to get involved you can attend a campaign event or volunteer training day. A special screening of a documentary made by the Colong Foundation will be held on February 16 at The Springwood Hub and February 19 at Mt Vic Flicks.

For more information go to giveadam.org.au. And don’t forget you can talk about the wild rivers campaign over a coffee with Greg Davis from Wilderness Coffee Project at the Co-op most Saturday mornings.

Brew a Batch review
17th January, 2019

Brew your own
Home brew just got a little easier with the release of Brew a Batch by Christopher Sidwa writes Maddison Pitt.

If you’re just starting to brew or want to move past the supermarket kits, Christopher Sidwa provides a very handy 101 in his book ‘Brew a Batch’.
The book starts out by explaining different beer styles, the raw ingredients that make beer and what you’ll need to brew your own batch. Christopher reminds us to keep it simple and local when it comes to home brewing.

Before you invest in expensive gear, I recommend borrowing what you can from friends or buying second hand, such as a bottle capper and reusing old glass beer bottles instead of buying new ones.

Christopher also suggests making your own fermentation bucket out of a re-purposed
plastic bucket with a lid. Don’t forget to thoroughly sanitise everything that will come into contact with your soon to be beer!

Before you start making the wort, read the instructions thoroughly so you have an idea as to what’s about to happen. Keep your ‘Brew A Batch’ book at the ready and follow through the easy to read step-by-step instructions and check in with the pictures provided. Allow yourself plenty of time to enjoy this brewing process.

A handy tip from the book; ’Magic Trick #4 – after enjoying your home brew, rinse your bottle out with water to remove the sediment, making them easier to sanitise for your next brew.’

An easy and informative read for the DIY beer enthusiast.

If you’re interested in starting your own brew, Hop and Grain Brew Store in Marrickville provide great starter kits and a wide array of hops, yeast, malts and other grains to experiment with.

Get ready to pop a frothy of your own in a few weeks time!

Brew a Batch is published by Murdoch Books RRP $39.99.

Back to school (and work)
Gear up with all the latest food and beverage storage containers in store now.

Eco kids

Send them back to school with all the non-plastic eco-lunchbox essentials. We’ve got a large selection of Keep Leaf and 4 My Earth reusable sandwich and food wraps in various sizes. A huge range of Cheeki stainless steel water bottles and lunch boxes. More food storage containers from Ever Eco, U-Konserve and Green Essentials including square and rectangular divided lunchboxes, bento and tiffin-style rectangular and round lunchboxes and stackable, nesting, mini and small round snack boxes. For thirsty kids there’s Earthlust, Klean Kanteen and Kid Kanteen water bottles and stylish and practical Ever Eco and Cheeki insulated smoothie tumblers and straws. In soft lunch bags we have 4 My Earth, U-Konserve and Keep Leaf insulated bags and totes and reusable bamboo cutlery by Ever Eco, U-Konserve and Rechusable.

And who said kids get to have all the fun. Our Commuter Pack will have you travelling in eco-friendly style on that long trek to the city for work or uni. Keep calm and caffeinated with the original glass Keep Cups, insulated stainless steel beverage cups and smoothie tumblers plus choose from the grown up range of lunch boxes, water bottles and lunch totes.

Shelf talk

Good news for the New Year is that we have secured a good quantity of Jasmine, Brown Basmati and White Basmati Rice which have been out of stock for a while.

Unfortunately, there’s no prospect of the Gluten Free staple Hulled Millet. Apparently following crop failures Australian farmers have not replanted this crop, likewise Puffed Millet is also currently unavailable.

Look out for some Paleo wraps from Ancient Harvest and Paleo breads from Venerdi. We’ve tried some samples and they certainly are tasty.

Also if you can’t see what you want please ask one our or friendly staff members. And although you may not necessarily see me in the shop I work Monday to Thursday and I’m always happy to help you with your enquiries.

Mike Patterson, Stock Coordinator

Fresh as

There’s lots of fabulous summer fruit and vegies coming in now!

Fruit – a variety of gorgeous berries available this week – we have blackberries, blueberries and strawberries in stock. Lots of exceptionally good cherries from Tasmania coming in too, and Farmer Hayden’s giant peaches from South Australia have been the yummiest peaches we’ve ever had. We also now have red (Flame) and white (Menindee) seedless grapes coming in.

Vegies – gorgeous multi-coloured carrots (orange, yellow, purple) available again and multiple varieties of eggplant (round, snow white and Angelina varieties).

Local fruit & veg supply is often intermittent but we had a large number of local cucumbers and zucchini coming in. Michael Hurst has been bringing in beautiful lettuce heads, but with this heat wave they probably won’t last long.

Sonya Byron, Fruit & Veg Coordinator

2018 Festive Season Opening Hours
12th December, 2018

Other than the dates below we will be opening for our usual trading hours.

The Co-op will be closed on:

Tuesday 25th December, Christmas Day

Wednesday 26th December, Boxing Day

Tuesday 1st January, New Year’s Day

 

Fruit & vegetable deliveries will be as follows:

Monday 24th December

Thursday 27th December

Monday 31st December

Wednesday 2nd January

Friday 4th January

 

Fridge goods:

Last delivery before Xmas Wednesday 19th December

First delivery after Xmas Wednesday 9th January

Jannei Goat’s milk: –

Last delivery before Xmas Tuesday 18th December

First delivery after Xmas Tuesday 8th January

 

Bread deliveries:

Ancient Grains, Naturis and Vitality –

Last delivery before Xmas Tuesday 18th December

First delivery after Xmas Tuesday 8th January

Black Cockatoo bread deliveries as usual (Thursday & Saturday)

 

Wishing you all a tasty Christmas and a safe and happy new year!

 

Reducing food waste
21st November, 2018

Dietician and mindfulness practitioner, Sallyanne Pisk, shares her tips for reducing food waste.

Eight per cent of the greenhouse gases produced internationally come from food waste. This is why reducing waste is so important. It also means that if we stopped wasting food there would be enough food to feed everyone.

Tips to reduce food related waste

Food containers

  • Use your own reusable non-plastic water bottle.This is good for the environment and your health.
  • Use your own reusable non-plastic coffee/tea mug.
  • Use your own containers. These can be used for unpackaged meat, poultry, seafood and deli items.
  • Try alternative food wraps such as silicon zip lock bags and muslin coated wax wraps.
  • Store larger quantities of food in glass or stainless-steel storage containers.
  • Recycled glass jars can be used for smaller food items such as ½ onion, tomato or lemon.
  • When storing a cut avocado, retain the peel to cover the cut section of the fruit. Then store the avocado inside an airtight container.

Shopping

  • Plan your meals for the week.
  • Buy only the quantities of perishable foods that you need for the week, based on your meal plan.
  • Make a shopping list as something in your refrigerator, freezer or pantry runs out. And only buy what is on the list!
  • Look for firm fresh fruit and vegetables.
  • In season local food is fresher and will keep longer.
  • Shop at a food co-operative or local market where food is fresh, mostly local and free of packaging.

To read the rest of this article and more great tips and advice from Sallyanne go to her blog here and catch up with Sallyanne in store on Wellness Wednesdays.

 

Grow your own
21st November, 2018

Small space gardening

Design and planting tips and tricks for maximizing your small garden from Steve Fleischmann.

Recently I have been asked about growing in small areas and growing in pots. A great question because so many people have small gardens and a few well-placed pots can help make unused corners of the garden become more productive and attractive.

Design is an important consideration here. Like many things, we don’t necessarily notice something well designed, we just enjoy its functionality. However, when something is poorly designed it can be really frustrating. Having your potted garden in a handy spot, that you both like and spend time in, means you are far more likely to water the garden, notice when plants are ready t harvest and generally enjoy the space.  Similarly, with a small garden, design it so that it draws you in – put a seat in the middle of it or plant aromatic herbs you can step on/brush past. Consider aspect and hierarchy. Most edibles need six hours of sunlight, and try to plant tall plants at the back of a bed and low sprawling ones at the front.

Map out the areas around the house that get the required sunlight and start thinking and researching what can be planted in these areas. If the sunniest spot is in the most remote/far removed area of the garden, don’t despair, plant something like oregano because it comes from rocky hillsides that are really dry, it can (usually) cope pretty well with some neglect, and it’s delicious as a fresh herb.

Pathways are also important. Ironically we tend to prefer curved pathways, but tend to walk straight from A to B. So designing a path through even the smallest of gardens can be a major design feat. Before you move a single shovel load, observe how you and others use the space. It is far easier to build to your habits than changing your habits to suit your build. Straight lines can be softened by herbs that tumble over the edge of a garden bed onto the path – making a straight line seem curved.  Furthermore, it can be good to have an “aim” at the end of a pathway – a herb and flower bed, a fruit tree in a pot, a water feature, a bench seat or something else that draws you into the garden.

From my own experience the hardest thing about growing in pots is the water issue. In Australia’s extreme heat of summer pots can dry out very quickly and that can spell disaster for many plants. A couple of solutions to this is to use saucer trays at the bottom of the pot, experience has shown me that they make all the world of difference. Another option is a wicking pot. Essentially this is a plant pot with a water reservoir in the bottom.

Additionally, pots need to be watered. I know, I know a no-brainer really, but hey, it has to be said because we have all forgotten to water the pots and had plants die. Having a watering can or hose handy (and by handy I mean between the house and the thing that needs watering!) will mean the job is more likely to get done.

The next serious consideration is plant choice. And this is a big topic regardless of the size of your garden. Some edibles are simply not worth growing in small gardens – I’m thinking of things like corn or even tomatoes (I know some will disagree with me on this!) because they take up a lot of space, take a long time to fruit and the season is relatively short. On the other hand, a mix of lettuces, mizuna, chives and parsley in a big pot can give you cut and come again leafy greens for ages in a short period of time. Many seed companies sell Mesclun mixes and these are great for small gardens and pot growing.  A potful of parsley will provide you with far more food over a growing season than a couple of corn plants. Other veg to try in small gardens include space-saver varieties of cucumber, zucchini, melons and pumpkins.

Finally, going back to design, but with a firm eye on plant choice, think vertical space. Grow up walls, create tepees or other trellis structures. Beans, peas and other vining plants love growing up support, look great, can hide ugly parts of the garden and are really productive.

Happy growing!

Steve will be hosting a gardening workshop at the Katoomba Community Garden Friday 23rd November see event for details.

The 12 Herbs of Christmas workshop

Learn how to make your own herbal remedies in this hands-on workshop conducted by Herbalist and Educator, Nick Read, and the Co-op’s student Naturopath, Sonya Byron.

Teas, tinctures, tissanes, tonics and topical preparations are covered in this insightful and entertaining workshop featuring the 12 herbs of Christmas: Calendula, Chamomile, Echinacea, Elderberry, Garlic, Ginger, Lemon Balm, Lavender, Licorice, Marshmallow, Peppermint, Thyme plus a bonus number 13: Yarrow!

Our last herbal workshop sold out quickly so don’t delay, book today.

When: Sunday 9th December, 2-4pm

Where: Blue Mountains Food Co-op

How much: $30

Workshop fee includes refreshments, all ingredients and take home samples.

To book click here.

Workshop facilitators

Nick Read – Herbalist and Educator

My personal belief systems have forged my herbal practice into a fusion and synergy of ‘old meets new’. I have a strong interest in combining the traditional and spiritual use of herbs with the more recent evidence based research methods. I thoroughly enjoy educating and empowering people in the practical and functional use of herbs. Medicines and preparations that can be easily sourced and utilised for themselves and their families health and wellbeing. After having my own practice I gravitated towards education, having worked at Flordis as a product educator and then teaching Herbal Medicine Manufacturing and Botany based subjects at a tertiary level. My qualifications include: Advanced Diploma of Western Herbal Medicine, Bachelor of Health Science.

Sonya Byron – Naturopathy student

Sonya is a final year naturopathy student at the Australasian College of Natural Therapies in Sydney. As the owner/operator of an organic farm for several years, she developed a passion for growing and using herbs in her daily life. She strongly believes that herbal medicine is the people’s medicine, and loves to empower people with the knowledge and skills to make their own simple herbal preparations for the benefit of their own and their family’s health and wellbeing.

Wild weeds wrap

A group of 25 enthusiastic foragers joined The Weedy One himself, Mr Diego Bonetto, for a walk on the wild side at the Katoomba Community Gardens on Saturday November 10.

Accompanied by Blue Mountains Food Co-op Manager, Halin Nieuwenhuyse, the eager weed hunters identified a plethora of edible and medicinal plants including the following:

Chickweed> food + medicine Stellaria media

Cleavers> food + medicine Galium_aparine

Dandelion> food + medicine  Taraxacum officinale 

Dock> food Rumex_crispus

Farmer’s friend> food + medicine Bidens_pilosa

Flatweed>  food Hypochaeris spp 

Fleabane> insect repellant Conyza canadensis 

Native geranium> bush medicine https://www.anbg.gov.au/apu/plants/gerasola.html

Plantain> medicine Plantago lanceolata

Purple top> flower Verbena_bonariensisPrickly lettuce> food + medicine Lactuca_serriola

Scotch thistle/perennial thistle> food cirsium-vulgare

Sowthistle> food Sowthistle -Sonchus spp

White clover> food Trifolium_repens

Wild brasssica> food Brassica Spp.

This image shows the edible and medicinal weeds the group found and identified.

For information on Diego’s workshops click here and stay tuned for an autumn 2019 foraging expedition hosted by the Co-op.

Diego’s Resources

A good link for edible plants is Plant for a future

The link to the mapping system we are creating is wildfood.in

The link to the local stories by Aunty Fran is here>https://dharawalstories.com/

Two good books:

 

 

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