Paleo Meetup Fun: Farm Tour at Hinterland Feijoas

C360_2016-03-20-13-04-55-797

Time for some fun on the farm!

As hosts of the Sunshine Coast Paleo Lifestyle Meetup Group one of our goals is to connect consumers to quality local producers and to help generate education and awareness around healthy farming practices and consumption of healthy foods. One of the ways we do this is by holding Farm Tour meetups.

From beef to fruit, whatever great local produce we can find in the region that’s paleo-friendly and where the producers are happy to let us on their property for a look around.. we make it happen!

Last Sunday we held a really unique farm tour meetup.. at the Hinterland Feijoas farm! Situated in Belli Park, among the rolling green hills of the Kenilworth area in the Mary Valley, Sally and Peter Hookey grow organic feijoa fruit on their beautiful property and sell their produce, along with jams, chutneys etc at their farm fate.

feijoa

“Feeej.. what now?!” we hear you say!

Pronounced “fee-joah” this neat little fruit is in the guava family, is really high in Vitamin C and antioxidants, is super versatile to use and tastes delicious!

C360_2016-03-20-14-01-05-568

Rows of feijoas

We were lucky enough to have a private tour of the farm to learn more about this seemingly-strange and hard-to-find fruit, starting with Sally telling us all about the feijoa fruit, where they originated from, why they decided to grow them and what they do with their produce. Then Peter walked us around the orchard explaining how the fruit is grown and all the farming practices involved.

sally

Sally educating us on this unique fruit. Photo by Montage Moments http://www.facebook.com/mons.montage.moments/?fref=ts

C360_2016-03-20-13-32-28-701

Clint just wants to chomp on this giant feijoa but it’s too old to be good eating

 

C360_2016-03-20-13-32-39-779

It’s an interesting fruit to touch and smell

C360_2016-03-20-13-59-55-369

Off we go to see the actual fruiting trees

C360_2016-03-20-14-02-40-628

Fruit a plenty on this tree

C360_2016-03-20-14-07-07-593

Peter explaining how they prune back the trees, when and why in order to get the most out of them

C360_2016-03-20-14-29-22-650

Even the kids got into it

 

C360_2016-03-20-14-01-33-249

It sure is an interesting fruit to grow and our members listened carefully to Peter explaining the processes involved

It was terrific to spend time in the fresh air, getting lots of sunshine, surrounded by like-minded people and learning new things.

Not only did we get to tour the farm, we were allowed to have a picnic there as well, and what better spot and views could we possibly ask for?!

C360_2016-03-20-15-13-31-435

Perfect picnic spot

C360_2016-03-23-07-29-19-856

Tara and Andrew get comfy on the lounge while Aimee catches up with Sally

C360_2016-03-20-15-13-40-181

Plenty of yummy food for everyone

C360_2016-03-20-14-57-49-608

Ladies lunching!

C360_2016-03-20-14-57-13-747

Paleo Choc Mint Slice thanks to Alyce… yummo!

C360_2016-03-20-14-56-52-648

Spoilt with a heap of At One bars thanks to Tara and Andrew! http://www.facebook.com/AtOneFoods

C360_2016-03-20-14-56-31-775

Sweet potato pancakes and iced Hibiscus Thyme tea thanks to Monika and fluffy moist muffins make by Janelle

C360_2016-03-20-14-54-59-298

Paleo picnic food galore! What a feast!

C360_2016-03-20-13-04-50-565

Sampling the feijoa goodies and stocking up to take plenty home

C360_2016-03-20-15-13-20-245

Peter and Monika having a chin wag

C360_2016-03-20-13-09-03-035

Twinkle Toes entertained the kids (and big kids!)

C360_2016-03-20-14-04-25-681

As did the horse!

What a great meetup it was 🙂

We really appreciate the support of the farmers who let us roam their properties and bug them with questions!

And of course we love seeing meetup group members coming along and benefiting from these experiences. Also a big thanks to everyone for bringing such delicious foods along… what a feast we had!

We only had a small group come along on Sunday but they were all enthusiastic and keen to learn. From the feedback afterwards they all enjoyed the event and here’s what a couple of members shared with us…

“I hd a very enjoyable Farm Tour at Sally and Peter’s Hinterland Feijoas farm last Sunday. I learnt all about Feijoas, how the grow, what they need and what they can be used for. I got to taste the fresh fruit (tree ripened) which was delicious, as well as jams and chutneys. Peter also explained to us what it means to him to be a certified organic farmer, the requirements, certification process and his dreams for the future and the future for organic farmers. Our group concluded the tour with a shared Paleo picnic and great conversation. A lovely day out in the hinterland in Belli Park. Thanks for organising Aimee and Clint 🙂” ~Andrea

“I think it was great to get out and visit a fantastic little business like this. Passion, authenticity, respect for the Earth, and dedication to a quality product – that’s an inspiring thing to see. Not only that, but it was a beautiful location, fantastic weather and lovely people to share a picnic with too!” ~Andrew of At One Foods

We’re glad the meetup was enjoyed by our members! We had a great time too!

It was a low fruit yield this year for Sally and Peter, due to the past 2 dry years. So there was no fresh fruit for sale but we were fortunate enough to grab a container of feijoa pulp which we then turned into a delicious paleo crumble using some native bush foods and a green banana flour topping!

Check out the recipe…

Feijoa Plum Pine Crumble

PLUM PINE & FEIJOA CRUMBLE

Stewed fruit:

Add 1 cup feijoa pulp to a medium saucepan with 1/2 cup plum pines halved (or swap for regular plums), 2-3 tbsp raw honey and 1/2 tsp pure vanilla (powder, paste, as long as it’s 100% pure and organic). Bring to a simmer and, stirring often, allow to cook down for about 5 mins or until plums have softened completely. Taste the mixture and add more honey if needed. Once cooked to your liking, remove from the heat and spoon into serving cups or bowls.

Crumble topping:

In a small non-stick fry pan on low heat add 1 tbsp ghee, 3 tbsp desiccated coconut, 3 tbsp green banana flour (grab Natural Evolution products here) and 2 tbsp raw honey. Stir with a spoon to combine the mixture and continue to stir, keeping it moving so it doesn’t burn. You’re looking for a golden brown colour all through the mixture, with some lumps and chunks still there for texture and crunch. Once you’re happy with it, spoon the crumble over the stewed fruit in the bowls or cups and serve!

 

The world’s first Green Banana Flour recipe e-books are now available! Click HERE

 

You could even add Paleo ice cream to the top before serving (recipe in Paleo Kitchen Creations e-book here).. YUM!!

Talk to the guys at Witjuti Grub Bush Foods Nursery about native foods like Plum Pine!

Feijoa Plum Pine Crumble 3

Feijoa Plum Pine Crumble 2

 

Enjoy!

And we hope to see you at a meetup soon! Check here for our upcoming Paleo Lifestyle events and register for our newsletter so you never miss a thing 🙂

Clint & Aimee

Forest Therapy: using nature to heal the body and the mind

On Sunday we held our second Forest Therapy Workshop, this time in the Mapleton Falls National Park. It was just me, Aimee was still a bit unwell (yes, Forest Therapy probably would have helped!), and I met with 4 lovely ladies at 9am, all eager to go for a relaxing and rejuvenating walk through the bush.

 

4

I see a tree like this and of course I’m going to climb it!

 

What exactly is Forest Therapy anyway?

Forest bathing

Taking a walk in a forest, or “forest bathing” as it’s often called, can have some amazing effects on our mind and body. The scientifically proven benefits of Forest Therapy include:
• Lowers blood pressure
• Lowers pulse rate
• Reduces cortisol levels
• Increases vigour
• Reduces anger
• Reduces depression

 
From a personal experience making Shinrin-Yoku part of our weekly practice we’ve noticed:
• Deeper and clearer intuition
• Increased flow of energy
• Increased capacity to communicate with the land and its species
• Increased flow of life force
• Deepening of friendships
• Overall increase in sense of happiness

3

Remember to look up! The view upward to the canopy is something special

Miyazaki of China University said forests gratify the five senses by providing the sounds of birds, cool air, green leaves, the touch of trees, wild plants and grasses. “The atmosphere of forests makes people calm” he said. Based on studies on the effects of forests, the public and private sectors are now promoting forest therapy.

 

Stuck in the office and can’t get outside? Even looking at a picture of a forest has been linked to reducing blood pressure, stress and improving cognitive performance. So one tip is to bring up an image of a forest onto your computer screen every hour or so, look at it for a couple of minutes, focusing on relaxing your mind and body, breathing deeply and imagining yourself in that forest. Take note of how you feel afterwards 🙂

6

These old trees can make us healthier and happier

 

Because Aimee and I are big fans of this little-known therapy we hold workshops so we can invite others to experience and enjoy the benefits. I really enjoyed the workshop on Sunday; all the ladies seemed to as well and all have said really positive things since. Such as Amanda who gave this feedback…

 

“Refreshed, invigorated, regenerated and inspired is how I feel right now. A short wandering walk in the company of some pleasant folks which ended with some meditation beneath the green canopy. Like a balm for the mind, body and soul, it seems a little dose of forest therapy is just what I needed right now. Clint presented himself with thought and care and it was evident that he truly believes in what he does. Certainly worth the two-hour drive up from Brisbane. Thanks guys!”

7

Take a deep breath and breathe in the beauty

 

The workshop was just $6 which included an info sheet for everyone, a can of coconut water from a local supplier, and the total profit went to charity! Until the end of June we’re supporting the Red Cross Australia Nepal Region Earthquake Appeal and so far we’ve given them over $30 which isn’t much but hopefully it’ll help in some way.

2

Me barefoot and balancing (as usual!) and one of my guests enjoying the surrounds

And hopefully the attendees on Sunday can now use Forest Therapy to improve their health and happiness well into the future. We’re so lucky here on the Sunshine Coast to have a variety of forest, dotted all over the region, to take advantage of.

1

The nice view over the Sunshine Coast hinterland

And the bonus? Forest Therapy is FREE! Sure beats popping a pill doesn’t it!

 

If you’d like to find out about our next Forest Therapy Workshop so you can come along, just register for our Primal E-News newsletter so you don’t miss out!

Now go find a forest and get some therapy 🙂

Clint

 

5 Things I’m Grateful For:

1. Facing the Flinch – something I’m new to and really enjoying

2. Getting people moving

3. Family and friends

4. Winter Solstice has passed! Longer days, yay!

5. Forest time

 

Drive out to the country, come home with local bush tucker to try!

Last week I saw a couple of Facebook posts showing photos of Bunya Nuts being opened and eaten. I knew they were native to this region, and I really wanted to get one! Part of the paleo lifestyle to us is eating local foods when possible; living more sustainably. A step past that is eating foods that are native to our area and foraged for in the wild.

So my mission was to find and try a bunya nut!

10885186_10152511209511269_5931421043194990327_n

dirt roads often lead to paradise

On Saturday afternoon we headed to the country to meet with a bush tucker man. As we made our way further into the hills towards his house, driving along dirt roads, we spotted 3 bunya nuts on the road ahead of us. Of course I told Clint to stop the car so I could grab one. I wasn’t greedy, I just picked one up. It was huge! And spiky, and heavy.. these things only form at the very top of bunya trees, so if one so happened to fall on your head while standing below you’d certainly know about it. Or, maybe not, cos there’s a good chance it’d knock you out pretty quickly, or worse…!

10858408_10152511209841269_4388427838690002984_n

Bunya nuts on the ground. Notice they’re larger than a man’s boot!

So we drove off with a giant, green, spiky, round thing rolling around in the tray of the ute and arrived at our destination.

While we chatted to the local bush tucker fella we were lucky enough to be given a few native foods including a type of bush lime which look similar to regular limes but are sticky on the outside, and not juicy when opened, plus some finger limes, and aniseed leaves straight from the tree. More goodies to experiment with in the kitchen!

DSC_6570

finger lime tree

DSC_6578

fresh finger limes

1907933_10152511209911269_346756973632723617_n

Aniseed tree

 

 

Next we drove to a nearby creek so he could show us more of the area and on the way we spotted a few more bunya nuts on the ground. Our guide suggested we grab them so they get used, as the feral deer and pigs would get stuck into them anyway, so we placed an opened nut and a whole nut in the tray along with another whole one and off we went.

It was a great afternoon chatting to an incredibly knowledgeable bloke and spending time out in the country. I could easily do that every weekend actually!

When we got home that evening I got straight to playing with the haul of bunya nuts. I grabbed the open one and saw how easy it was to extract the individual seeds. I had some idea what to do with them, thanks to advice from our new friend, but to have a better understanding I Google’d “how to cook bunya nuts” and came across a few pages with images and clear instructions.

DSC_6606

Ok so now what?!

 

bunya

Getting stuck into them now, de-seeding, and trying not to make a huge mess!

IMG_20150128_094129

Seeds removed from 2 nuts and 4 containers are filled with foliage!

 

 

The seeds are rock hard so a common way to prepare them is to boil for 45 mins to an hour. This allows the pointy end of the casing to split open and also the flesh inside to soften. I’ve since found boiling for an hour or more is best, after my first attempt of only around 45 mins meant I was using a pair of pliers from Clint’s new toolbox to cut the skin off, peeling it back with my fingers, and leaving me with very sore fingers indeed! That was a mission! Luckily boiling for over an hour makes the peeling process a lot easier.

IMG_20150128_094210

Boiling the seeds for an hour or more

Once the seeds have cooled a little I use a sharp knife to cut down where the split is toward the larger end of the seed then I can scrape out the yellow bit running along the middle of the flesh (which is apparently toxic) and also the flesh itself. Throw the shell away and you’re left with a soft yellowy-brown flesh that tastes like nutty potato! It’s actually really mourish, and totally not what you’d expect the flavour and texture to be when you first see the nut in it’s whole state.

IMG_20150128_113502

Seeds are cool enough to handle and a sharp knife is needed

 

IMG_20150128_113405

Seeds opened and flesh removed

The flesh can then be eaten as is, warm or cold, or it can be mashed or even made into pesto. I made mash blended with ghee and Himalayan salt. DEEELISH!

IMG_20150128_113327

The good bit!

 

It’s a very starchy food so the mash is a little ‘gluey’ but after two lots of it I haven’t felt any heaviness in my stomach like I would with sweet potato or potato, and it’s very filling for a long time without causing the carb crash.

IMG_20150128_113303

Bunya Mash! A little lumpy, definitely not the same as potato, but really tasty anyway

 

Apparently the seeds sweeten more when they’ve been left in the fridge for a couple of months and they also freeze well. So I have a bag of them in the freezer to use for a Paleo Weekend Camping Retreat event in April this year, because they’ll be out of season then and I want to show people this interesting and unique food during the event!

What did we do with the other bush tucker foods we gathered that day?

Well the round limes were used in paleo Panna Cotta but the first experiment wasn’t successful, maybe due to the type of coconut milk used, so I’ll try another brand I actually prefer using and see how that turns out.

The finger limes are still yet to be used but I’d like to do a slow cooked lime and honey chicken.

The aniseed leaves are currently drying out to be crushed and stored for tea.

How would I sum up our new bush tucker gathering and cooking experience?

Well.. there’s definitely a kind of satisfaction and gratification that comes with finding food, doing what needs to be done to make it edible, then cooking and eating it. Finding native food, out where it naturally grows, in the wild, with absolutely no alteration from a human hand or machine is really special. I think though you’d need to experience it personally to really understand.

It’s not only nourishing in a physical sense – eating wild, unprocessed and non-toxic foods – but also in an emotional and spiritual sense; a feeling of being more connected to nature and the earth by taking something directly from it, eating it, being nourished by it and appreciating where it came from.

Especially when a bunya nut falls from only a very tall and old tree, that’s a special thing!

If we had to go through this process with everything we ate, in this day and age, we’d all certainly have a much greater appreciation for our food. Farmers are amazing. And so were our ancestors who hunted and gathered for survival.

Going into a shop and buying food already harvested, shipped, processed and packaged just isn’t the same. There’s no connection between us and where that food came from. And I think that’s a huge problem in the world these days. Meeting a farmer and seeing where our food comes from is one thing (and a very positive thing at that!) but actually finding your own food in the wild is a totally unique and special experience.

forest-wallpaper-1680x1050-066

Into the wilderness

 

Unfortunately it’s not something we can easily do in this day and age, even if more of us wanted to. The land around us is mostly owned by the government. Well, they say it’s ‘public land’, the national parks and state forests, but the public are so limited as to how they can actually use it. So it’s really not our land anymore, sadly.

Any time Clint and I can forage in the wild is a time we are truly grateful to have. I hope we get to experience this more in the future. And I hope people all over the world get to experience this often. We can dream anyway!

Thanks for reading about our recent bush tucker adventure! We’d love to hear about the wild and native plants and foods you gather and use, so feel free to tell us!

Aimee

5 things I’m grateful for:

1. trying and enjoying bush tucker like bunya nuts

2. days spent in the country

3. the rain today giving life to my garden

4. all the amazing events we have planned this year

5. good people in our life

 

 

Our almost-totally-paleo meetup group camping trip!

One of our fave things is camping. We love it. We’d pack up and be permanent campers if we could! We have our dream 4×4/roof-top tent set up in our minds and it’s a very nice sight! And we’d love nothing more than to spend our days traveling all around Australia and exploring this amazing country.

But until that’s an option, we’ll settle for exploring the region we live in. And it certainly ain’t bad! The Sunny Coast is surrounded by varieties of scenery and camping options. Because we host the Sunshine Coast Paleo/Primal/Real Food Meetup Group we thought why not organise a meetup camping trip?! So we did!

Unfortunately out of all the members who initially said they were keen, very few could actually come the weekend we had to plan it for. But that’s ok, a few did come and it was a super fun weekend!

We headed to Kenilworth Homestead about an hour’s drive from the middle of the Sunny Coast. Clint and I took my mum along who hadn’t camped since she was a youngster. She was a bit apprehensive about it but she had a great time! We knew she’d enjoy a few days out in the country!

 

IMG_6852158520393

the view as we arrived at the camp ground

The other campers were .. a friend and her 2 boys, and a friend and workmate of Clint’s with her daughter. It was a great bunch of people; friendly, fun, open, not-afraid-of-nature which always helps when camping! The friend and her two kids hadn’t been camping before so it was great to share that new experience with them and they all seemed to have a really good time. So yay!

We’d decided to make it an almost-totally-paleo weekend, with the exception of beverages. Ie. alcohol! Clint and I enjoy drinking alcohol when we occasionally get to go camping and we knew mum would want to take some wine, while Clint’s colleague would have some alcoholic drinks with her too. So that was fine and we totally succeeded with the food side of things! Brekkie, lunch, dinner, snacks.. everything was paleo-friendly.

Here’s some pics of where we camped…

 

DSC_4160

campsite set up and ready to go

2014-09-13 06.04.43

mist over the hills

DSC_4179

sun and mist rise together in the morning

DSC_4183

the old homestead

DSC_4192

dew on the web

 

It wasn’t only cool to have a weekend away, eating good food but not having to worry about how ‘crappy’ (literally!) you’re going to feel the days following. It was also great to be spending time out in the country, with gorgeous sunrises, misty mountain views, the smell of fresh air, green grass to play on, creeks to explore in, no computer and TV to create distraction, gorgeous sunsets and the smell of a camp fire going.

<sigh> bliss!

We definitely enjoyed eating well and here’s some pics of what we took along and created that weekend…

2014-09-14 07.39.27

Clint gets the fire ready

2014-09-14 07.24.27

brekkie day 2: free-range bacon, pastured eggs, goat cheese and avocado

DSC_4215

local sweet and juicy pineapple, yum!

DSC_4201

brekkie day 1: paleo-friendly wraps with bacon, egg and avocado

IMG_20140914_182405

Egg-free wrap for Aimee’s mum, with tomato, bacon, avocado and goat cheese

DSC_4195

getting coals ready for tonight’s camp oven dinner

DSC_4164

love a crackling fire at night

DSC_4166

and camp oven meals! roast chicken in one and veggies in the other, yay!

 

So the food so far looks alright hey! For lunch on the second day we actually ate paleo sausages and jaffa panna cotta!! Why not?! You can do that when you’re camping!

DSC_4230

paleo sausages. so simple and so good

Apart from eating, which is obviously a great part of camping, there’s also plenty of time for fun, games, exploring, relaxing and we all did all of that!

DSC_4243

Clint pretending to throw Georgia in the creek

IMG_20140914_181716

Larissa taking time out to catch up on some reading

IMG_20140914_182153

Clint slacklining. There wasn’t two suitable trees nearby so the bullbar came in handy!

IMG_20140914_182016

Georgia practiced a lot and kept getting better and better

IMG_20140914_181914

Now Larissa’s turn!

2014-09-13 13.04.46

Exploring the creek nearby; skimming rocks, wading, walking… re-naturing!

IMG_20140914_145458

Beautiful flower on a fierce-looking thistle plant along the riverbed

 

IMG_20140914_150054

Just sitting, chilling, smiling.. how camping should be!

 

IMG_20140915_183534

Magical sunset ending a fun second day

We did try and not have our phones on us 24/7 so there’s not a photo of every meal we had but they were all definitely paleo-friendly and delicious. Nothing beats a camp oven roast, tea and coffee using a billy over the fire, bacon and eggs cooked on a gas stove, good company, beautiful scenery and being surrounded by nature.

When was the last time you went camping?

Have you ever attempted to do it paleo? If you haven’t yet but want to, now you know it’s definitely do-able.

Tell us about your paleo camping trips, we’d love to hear from you!

Clint & Aimee

 

5 things we’re grateful for today:

1. the rain on the garden

2. going camping

3. good friends

4. healing gelatin

5. each other