This year I decided would be a little different for me. I would follow what made my heart sing and take a road that is less about control and more about creative living.
Since taking on the I quit sugar program a couple of times I’ve become quite interested in fermenting and its benefits for gut health.
I’d been following Fiona on Instagram for a while and had been dreaming of visiting her gorgeous farm and learning from this incredible lady of the sustainable food revolution.
It was a delicious, inspired day.
We took took the 2 hour drive down from Sydney and were a little early. Enough time to grab a coffee and take a little wander on Werri beach in Gerringong, a splendid slow start.
I’m a little shy with new people, I needn’t have been. Adam and Fiona are beautiful, welcoming hosts and it didn’t take long to feel at home. There’s a real sense of community and something special on Buena Vista farm. The ‘real’ kind of vibes.
We started with chatter over coffee and cake alongside Fiona’s stunning medicinal herb garden and sat under the bunting. Perfect really.
After morning tea we were treated to the first of our farm tours. Adam introduced us to the world of sustainable, free range, pastured chicken farming and told jokes along the way.
Something shifts when you can make a connection with what’s on the shelf in the shop and where it comes from.
It was quite transformative. I’ve definitely become more of an ‘eat less meat to be able to spend more and buy from a sustainable farmer’ kind of person.
It’s not always possible for us but it is the ideal and more awareness leads to more action for me.
How about if this was part of the school curriculum?!
The free ranging egg suppliers, aaah – a life goal there, it’ll be a while off for us but dreams are good things to have.
The farm piggies with the million dollar views.
The goats for the cheese, is there anything more heavenly?
After some interesting discussion about the goodness of ferments, both of the food and drink variety and some chat about how to maintain our own SCOBY’s, it was onto the krauting!
It was super fun to get our kraut on and surprisingly easy. We could squeeze and squash and ask questions along the way and seriously…how stunning is the colour of organic cabbage?
We made ourselves a jar of kraut and a jar of cucumber pickles to take home to share (or not) yum yum.
We were spoilt tasting the dairy and water kefir’s as well as kombucha produced right there lovingly on the farm.
I can’t not share the farm lunch…home made sourdough, handmade herb butter and labneh, homegrown chicken sausage roll, tomato chilli jam, the freshest of salads from the garden, all the homemade krauts and my favourite, the kimchi.
Oh, and the raspberry kefir to drink, no words left.
Dessert, equally as delicious. Rhubarb, custard, spelt crumble and circa 1968 honey, yes really!
I tried to recreate this dish a week later, didn’t even compare.
Honestly, I’d do courses just for the lunch. Every single mouthful was savoured…can’t wait for the farm cafe to open.
More farm touring and the secret isles of the organic market garden were discovered. Farmed by Linda at growfarmforage and sold at the Kiama farmers market…which, I wish was my local. We all stood in wonder and awe, quite literally, jaws on the ground.
No kidding there’s a coffee grove too, planted by Fiona’s dad. What’s not to love about your own home grown coffee supply? And just another excellent place to play hide and seek.
My sister and I left ready, excited and willing to take care of the prized SCOBY’s and kefir grains we had been given by Fiona.
Not long after the kitchen became a fermenting workshop!
A little comfrey was also taken home and replanted into my garden.
Even though we moved last week and it’s no longer my garden, I love that there’s a little bit of Buena Vista growing there.
It was an incredible day, more than just learning to ferment.
A special, magical day that made my heart sing and left me just a little more creative in thought and practice.
A short course run by a maker I think much better than buying something new, it lasts.