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Eating Local - The Vintage Pickle, Kate Raymont

Johanna Bell

Everyone, we would like you to meet Kate Raymont..

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Kate is a true Eat Local ambassador, who champions local produce through her event catering and boutique deli on Main Street, Tamborine Mountain.

For the past 8 years, Kate has worked alongside local Scenic Rim producers, learning a lot about the delicious ingredients she uses.  In 2012, Kate catered the very first Eat Local Week dinner for 250 guests at Aratula - she sourced all ingredients from the Scenic Rim and served up a three course feast!

Lunch at The Vintage Pickle.  Image via @goldcoastfoodandwinetours

Lunch at The Vintage Pickle.  Image via @goldcoastfoodandwinetours

The look, smell and taste of a platter of Kate's food will delight.  What's even better though, is before you dig in (or whilst you are digging in!), Kate can enlighten you to the "who", "what", "where" and "how"s of every ingredient.  There's nothing more satisfying than eating delicious, fresh food AND knowing exactly where it has come from and who has produced it. 

Eat Local!

Eat Local!

Kate opened The Vintage Pickle in October 2016, combining her love of local, quality ingredients and event catering into a beautiful boutique deli.

"Supporting local producers means supporting the local community, who in turn, support me.  It's a full circle and it makes perfect sense, economically and ethically.  Personally, I am very proud to have a space in which to champion local produce and it is very important to me to tell the producers' stories alongside my own." - Kate Raymont.

Image via O'Reilly's Canungra Valley Vineyards

Image via O'Reilly's Canungra Valley Vineyards

Kate has also been a strong supporter for Allamburra Organics and you'll find our googy eggs sitting pretty in the fridge at The Vintage Pickle!

Next time you're on the mountain, pop in to The Vintage Pickle and check it out for yourself...

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The Vintage Pickle.  Shop 4, 15-17 Main Street, Tamborine Mountain.

Eating Local - Gillian Bell

Johanna Bell

This is the first of our 'Eating Local' series, where we want to put a spotlight on beautiful people who are doing amazing things within the local food / certified organic / sustainable farming community.

 

Gillian Bell is not your average cake maker..

Based in Brisbane, Gillian has a reputation for creating truly magical wedding cakes, which now sees her travelling the world baking.  Gill's cakes champion local ingredients, which are all individually sourced by herself and all contribute their own component to a unique story that is being conveyed through the cake.

Photo credit: Instagram - @emmawilletts22 @camlafarm @gillianbellcake

Photo credit: Instagram - @emmawilletts22 @camlafarm @gillianbellcake

Gill has been a great supporter of Allamburra Organics and many other local farmers.  Since the very beginning of Allamburra's farming journey, Gill has incorporated our fresh products (particularly eggs!) into her recipes when baking locally.  Her pure excitement over fresh, local, certified organic products as well as her genuine interest in good farming practices (like many of you have) is what motivates us to do what we do.

Photo credit: Instagram - @gillianbellcake

Photo credit: Instagram - @gillianbellcake

When Gill bakes internationally - which she does quite a lot now (New York, France, Japan..!) - all she takes with her is a few basic essentials (#haswhiskwilltravel).  She spends a good amount of time settling in to the area, meeting growers and sourcing the finest quality ingredients.  Along with the wedding couple's input, this is what helps her shape the cake that she will be baking.  

#haswhiskwilltravel

#haswhiskwilltravel

We don't think we can quite portray Gill's true magic in words, so please follow her on Facebook and Instagram (@gillianbellcake) to see the magic in pictures.

We'll leave you with an extract from Gill herself about what she does and why she chooses organic:

Every cake I bake has a story to tell – of the dairy farmer up at dawn to send me fresh, creamy milk and butter, the happy chickens scratching in the morning mist laying beautiful golden eggs, the wheat farmer eating breakfast knowing he has a long, hot day of harvesting stretching out before him, drawing on a lifetime of experience that tells him the grain is ripe.  Now it is my turn – to call on my lifelong love of baking, and with these wonderful ingredients, bake them into the most special cake of a couple’s lives.  

Baking for me is a deeply sensory experience that evokes the narrative of our lives, redolent of culture and history. I choose to use organic, locally sourced produce in my cakes because I know the remarkable difference in quality and taste and it is important to me that my cakes taste delicious as well as look beautiful. I also want to support our farmers and producers who farm sustainably and to pay them a fair price for their efforts so they can continue doing what they do best. This way, I can tell couples where every ingredient in their wedding cake comes from and about the producers in our community who have played their part in the story of their cake.

Photo credit: Instagram - @gillianbellcake

Photo credit: Instagram - @gillianbellcake

The Autumn moult is here

Johanna Bell

Between March and May, we come back from the nesting boxes with a little less eggs than usual.  This is because our chooks are going through their seasonal moult.  It all happens with the onset of cooler weather in Autumn..

The chooks will shed their old feathers in order to replace them with beautiful, shiny new ones that will keep them fluffy and warm through the winter.  Feathers are 80-85% protein and so, it takes a lot of energy for a chicken to go through this process.  In order for them to grow their new feathers, their egg production decreases or even temporarily stops.  This time also allows their organs to have a rest from producing an egg everyday, so they will be rejuvenated and invigorated for egg laying once the moult is over.  A natural moult can take up to 6-12 weeks for a chicken to complete and you can usually expect the chickens to start laying physically bigger eggs once it's finished.  

As moulting is a completely natural process, we let our chooks have as much time as they need and ensure that their living conditions are just right.  This includes access to sunshine and fresh air, which our chickens already get every day out in our paddocks.  But we can also ensure that they are getting plenty of protein into them.  Some of the best sources of protein for chickens include scrambled eggs (our babies absolutely love getting treated to eggs for breakfast, which we often do for them), mealworms and pumpkin seeds.

Unfortunately though, it is not like this for many chickens in the egg laying industry..

Commercial egg farms often practice 'forced moulting' which aims to reduce costs, increase profits and optimise facilities (Faitarone et al. 2008) of the farm by forcing the bird's reproduction system to rest for a shorter period of time than what would naturally occur (Ramos et al. 1999).  Basically, it is a planned and scheduled technique to make the natural moult process quicker and therefore get the birds laying bigger eggs, more often.  This allows the commercial farm to force as many eggs from the chickens as possible, within the year or so that the chickens will be kept.  There are a few methods in which forced moulting is induced in commercial layers.  These include, the use of drugs; altering and reducing the nutrients in feed; artificial light suspension; and most commonly, feed and water withdrawal (ie. fasting/starving the chickens) (Faitarone et al. 2008).   :(

 

Thank you all for your patience during our moult, we know everyone is eagerly anticipating more eggs.  Rest assured, after this natural moult, our girls will be rejuvenated and ready to go!