I was lucky enough to stumble across Matt and Lentil from Grown & Gathered through one of those crazy instagram moments where you end up 5 layers deep and not sure how you got there! I am so glad that I did. When I first came across them, this amazing couple had launched the Flower Exchange, a project that was all about trading their organic and farm grown flowers with the community for non-monetary goodness. How cool.
From there, they have kicked more goals with their latest project - the book. My fave book of the moment, full of delicious and beautifully photographed recipes, ideas around sustainable living, trading, eating, farming and so much more. The perfect Christmas gift and an awesome way to share ideas and how-to's for a better lifestyle and happier planet. You can order the book online here, or pick up your copy from Workshop 3101 in Kew, Melbourne.
Matt and Lentil, thanks so much for chatting with me and inspiring me (and many others) in the garden, kitchen and home. Now for some questions!
1. WE LOVE YOUR NEW BOOK, GROWN & GATHERED. HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE IT TO SOMEONE WHO MIGHT BE NEW TO YOUR COMMUNITY?
Ha! It's about all the things! The book is really a documentation of our life and approach to sustainable farming/living. It contains absolutely everything we have learnt in the last 7 years farming fruits, veggies, flowers and herbs, raising animals for meat, milk, eggs and honey, gathering wild foods, trading our abundances with our community without money and of course EATING IT ALL! It's full of detailed how-to guides for all of the above and has over 100 recipes including fermented and bottled preserves, sourdough breads and pasta, fresh breakfasts, fun things to share, beautiful salads, addictive main dishes and decadent desserts that are GOOD for you.
2. IF SOMEONE IS INTERESTED IN LIVING A LIFE WITH LESS WASTE AND ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT, WHAT WOULD BE YOUR TOP 3 TIPS?
Get to know where your food comes from is definitely number one. Get out there and meet your farmers at farmers markets, learn what's in season in your area, what's grown in your local area, and tap into that, and even start growing some of your own. Then, get to know where your food waste GOES. Start yourself and worm farm or find yourself a farmer who will take the waste to compost on farm. All that lovely fertility rotting in landfill - it's a crime! Third, buy the book :) there's so much in there to help people navigate the sustainability maze.
3. WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE MEAL OF THE MOMENT?
Great question. Anything with asparagus really - or broad beans. They are the king and queen of spring to us! Asparagus, broccoli, chilli and tuna crepes in the book are definitely a fave in our house right now.
4. I CAN IMAGINE THINGS CAN GET BUSY ON THE FARM, PARTICULARLY AT CERTAIN TIMES OF YEAR! WHAT DO YOU GUYS DO TO UNWIND, RELAX OR UNPLUG?
Sit down! We are so go, go, go for work, all we really want to do in a moment of peace is just sit and be with each other. The farm is a physically demanding thing, but everything that happens at our desks is just as demanding mentally. I think we could all do with a bit more simple quiet time, not looking at a screen, not even reading a book. Just sitting.
5. I COME ACROSS A LOT OF PEOPLE AND CLIENTS WHO FIND THE WORLD OF NUTRITION A LITTLE OVERWHELMING AND CONFUSING. HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR FOOD PHILOSOPHY?
The way we eat reflects absolutely the world we observe around us. We say "Eat a seasonal, regional diet. 90% plants, properly prepared," and it's a way of eating that more reflects the eating habits of our ancestors. Our garden is king so vegetables and fruits take up the most space on our plates. Then come grains and pulses (properly prepared - soaked/soured - to bring out their goodness), foraged foods, a little meat, eggs and dairy, and of course something sweet :) We're definitely not afraid of fat - unless you're talking margarine and we think that everything in moderation is a pretty great motto. Biodynamic or at least chemical free always.