Personal Profile: I started caring more about food growing systems and their effects, first on my family’s health and then on the health of the planet, back in the 1980’s. The more I learned about so-called “conventional farming”, the more I realised that the use of the word “conventional” was a farce. The introduction of chemicals to agriculture only began in the 1950’s, after the development of chemical warfare. Previously, for 10,000 years, humans had farmed organically. I decided to eat foods only grown organically, wherever possible.
When I moved to Cygnet, Tasmania, I could not buy many of the organic ingredients I had enjoyed in Adelaide, South Australia. So, as I also needed to make some money, I thought this would make a nice business to compliment the shops of Cygnet and supply all around me with pure, healthy foods. I researched every corner of the internet and found that most of what I sought was not available anywhere in Tasmania. I contacted the various people whose products I had bought for so many years in Adelaide and launched “The Garden Shed and Pantry” in 2011.
I stock mostly organic, Australian products which I source direct from the farmer (for example dried apricots) or maker (for example pasta). I do not buy organic products from overseas if it is grown in Australia. Currently most of the non-Australian products I sell are also non-organic and consist of spices and dates. I cannot find a bulk supplier of top grade, organic spices. Next year I hope to have the first Australian, organic dates from a farm near Alice Springs but he has sold out for this year!
Please follow the link to my price lists here. My prices are very competitive and everything I sell is fresh. I order weekly and believe that a lot of the health problems people have are due to rancid, poor quality foods sold on supermarket shelves as health foods. I believe in minimum processing of all foods that I eat and therefore sell. All my grain products are milled the day I order them so have their maximum nutritional benefits.
I also like to grow a lot of my food and I run not just cooking workshops in my kitchen but also gardening workshops in my garden. I help out at the Cygnet Community Garden and I started a seed saving group called SeedSaveUs. The local paper, The Classifieds, runs a double page garden column once a month and I have been writing this for a year or so now. The Garden Shed side of the business consists of locally grown vegetable seeds, gardening books and tools, seedlings, advice and food-gardening workshops.
My stall at The Cygnet Market has now taken over the stage and there I display some of everything from my little shop, which is in a room off my kitchen. I endeavour to continue to add more wonderful, Australian, organic products whenever I find them online through my constant research.
You can read more about the things that matter to me on my blog, Vegetable Vagabond.
Studies: BA (Adelaide) in Japanese and French languages
Awards: Best 2 children in the entire world!
Markets: Always at the Cygnet Market and the annual Middleton Country Fair.
The Garden Shed: locally grown vegetable seeds and seedlings, gardening books and tools, advice and food-gardening workshops.
The Pantry: Organic, Australian wholefoods, direct from the farmer or maker, to me. I also offer free recipes and help with dietary needs etc. I stock an extensive range of low GI foods, and gluten-free and/or wheat-free ingredients and I can help with suggesting how you can use them in your diet. I keep an ever-expanding number of cooking and food-related books.
Musicians: I love the artists who sing at the Cygnet Market.