Category Archives: excursion

Weeds: Guardians of the soil

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weeds: guardians of the soil by Joseph A. Cocannouer

that is a link to a free pdf copy from the Soil and Health Library. it is out of print now but I splashed out at abebooks and bought myself a secondhand hardback copy the other day after someone lent me theirs on the annual Astrotas weed walk.
weeds coveri have yet to find a modern equivalent, and as the soil health librarian, Steve Solomon, an expat american who now lives in Tasmania says;
” The wisest student learns from the originators of a body of knowledge because those who later follow in the founders’ footsteps are not trailblazers of equivalent depth. This is especially true of the writings from many post WWII academics and professors who mainly write because they must publish . . . or perish. Even when the earliest works in a field contain errors because their authors lacked some bit of data or had a fact wrong, their books still contain enormous wisdom. If nothing else, study of older books lets us discover that the conditions that prevail today aren’t the way things always were—whilst on some levels, some things hardly ever change at all. ” Australians may order/contribute electronic copies of out of print books on soil and health from him (including the weed book but the other link is quicker and is a nicely presented copy).
I love weeds 🙂 They do not try to kill me the way our cultivated plants do – i do not know why that is, touchwood. Perhaps it is because i have had a leaky gut and until now have not eaten them.
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Gluten Free Baking Class

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Gluten Free Baking Class

10-1 Sat October 12th Penguin Highschool with Robin Ellenberger from Skyranch. Due to insurance woes we have had to move this back to Robin’s Bakehouse in Travellers Rest near Launceston. The venue is much smaller so only two at a time max. but then you have more attention from Robin so that’s better eh? You will arrange a time thats mutually suitable.

Learn to make three of her breads perfectly, and see demos of pastry and a delicious shortbread. Also previewing her new pumpernikel bread recipe! Each person will bake and take home three products of their choice.

Cost $75 members ( parent/child couple or lone adult ) Child must be primary school aged 8-13 and fully supervised. Only six places available! Non Members $10 surcharge.Payable at time of booking.

Please email your details including phone number when enquiring.  Bring Apron teatowels notebook pen and  containers for your goodies.

Astro GF Brownies

A jar of homemade gluten-free brownie mix makes a perfect gift for gluten-free family and friends. This recipe is easy to make and the brownies are soft and delicious!

from http://glutenfreecooking.about.com/od/dessertsandsweets/r/Gluten-Free-Brownie-Mix-Recipe.htm

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Total Time: 35 minutes

Yield: 12 -16 brownies

Ingredients:

  • Dry Mix: (Makes enough to fill 500ml jar and prepared, fills one 8×8 inch pan)
  • 1/2 cup gluten-free SR flour blend (woolworth’s Macro brand)
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder ( Loving Earth Raw Cacao )
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup raw cane sugar ( for stickier brownies add 2 more tablespoons of sugar )
  • Add to dry mix:
  • 80 g (1/2 cup) softened unsalted butter*
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup walnuts (or nuts of your choice) soaked overnight and chopped coarsely – optional

Preparation:

Preheat oven to 180° C

Grease an 8×8-inch square baking pan and line the bottom with baking paper.

To prepare dry mix:Combine dry ingredients in a bowl.

To prepare brownie batter: Butter must be very soft – place in the oven briefly in an oven proof jug, or use the microwave (med 30 secs does a good job for me). Mix soft butter with vanilla essence and eggs with a metal fork.
Bake in preheated oven for about 25 minutes. Watch cooking time carefully. When a toothpick inserted into center of baking dish comes out clean brownies are done. Don’t overbake or brownies will be hard! Cool in the pan on a rack for 5 mins before running a knife around the edge to loosen from the sides of the pan. Wait 10 minutes more before turning out onto a cutting board and cutting (3×4 for 12 oblong brownies or 4×4 for 16 squares).

Reminder: Always make sure your work surfaces, utensils, pans and tools are free of gluten. Always read product labels. Manufacturers can change product formulations without notice. When in doubt, do not buy or use a product before contacting the manufacturer for verification that the product is free of gluten.

Fungi foray

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The first slippery jacks of the year are up – but it’s been quite dry so the season may not be brilliant. No saffies (saffron milkcaps)  yet 😦 Still we had a nice picnic scouting for mushrooms for next saturday’s meeting, although it would have been better without the wasps TIP: do not bring sausages for a sizzle at this time of year . They left our mushrooms alone though! Apparently they are hunting meat for their young right now. Earlier in the year they are after fruit. Shucks – all out of step with the firebans!

The Oberon visitor’s center in NSW still publishes a guide to these mushrooms http://www.oberonaustralia.com.au/visitor-information/things-to-see-do/mushroom-picking/

and while on the subject of NSW mushroom foragers – the same day Bella and her Youth food movement crew hauled a bumper crop of saffies for the Guerilla Dinner from what is obviously a far better managed resource than the cut and burn approach of Forestry Tas (although unfortunately Belangalo State Forest is also famous for backpacker murders which really puts a damper on the whole idea of tromping about the woods doesn’t it?) http://www.youthfoodmovement.org.au/foraging-for-the-fruits-of-nsw/

In early may 4 – 5th there will be a fungi workshop in the Tarkine with the mycology boffins focusing on native species getting their research in before more tasmanian destruction of forest 😦

https://www.fungimap.org.au/index.php/events/survey-workshop-tarkine

December 2012 Wild Weed Walk 2 with Allan WIlton

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A big thank you to Allan and Colleen for hosting a blockbuster end to the Astrotas calendar. Welcomed some new members and Nilah had the good sense to add a singalong to round it off.

Thanks also to Trevor for taking the photos which we will use to create an ebook for our member’s reference at some stage as well as decorate this website. In the meantime I will point you to an excellent article on one of the weeds identified and discussed by Allan our december astrotas wild food walk – Ribwort, plantain – growing worldwide Use for cuts, bruises, scrapes and stings , it’s even safe for cats topically applied – temporarily stains skin/fur a tea colour. I got stung by a jackjumper on the toe over xmas and the kitteh got another rash so I had a chance to test this. Messy but effective, cheap and available when the vet /chemist/doctor is shut! After I made the poultice wrapped with a little gladwrap – for the cat’s rash i bandaged over the wrap with a gauze as well then removed when the sting has subsided or it’s dried too much about 30 mins .

Create a Natural Herbal First Aid Kit With Wild Plantain.

May 2012 – Seaweed Safari

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