organic and biodynamic weekend

Saturday was mostly taken up with Yoke‘s ‘Wholegrain, Sprouted Wholegrain and Essene Sourdough’ workshop. A dozen of us ate and baked our way through:

  • wholemeal sourdough sandwich bread
  • multigrain sourdough bread (sweet and moist)
  • black rice sourdough ciabatta (very sweet and dramatic looking)
  • quinoa spelt sourdough bread (would look great with red quinoa)
  • light rye spelt sourdough bread
  • dark rye spelt bread
  • essene bread (we made wafers and decided these may have been early ryvita but much tastier)

Yoke demonstrated making a multigrain sourdough bread dough, which we got to take home to bake. Also, we had the choice of what dough to make ourselves to bake at home. I made a quinoa spelt sourdough bread with 50% cooked quinoa and 50% sprouted quinoa. Apart from being a bit big for my small loaf tin and the difficulty of getting it out, the crust was crisp and the bread was delicious. We had it with Borlotti Bean soup on Sunday.

Now I need a kitchen gadget, i.e. a juicer/grinder to pulverise the sprouted grains. Having seen Yoke’s Samson – it was so quiet and steady, I’ll wait until I can save up for something similar. However, apart from the essene bread and multigrain, I can bake the other breads from the workshop and perfect these. What is really great about them, is that they require a lot of starter. Great for the those days, when it is plentiful and raring to go.

Armed with sun hats and umbrellas, on Sunday we went up to the WA Biodynamic Festival at High Vale Biodynamic Orchard in Pickering Brook. It did rain while we took a tour of the orchard, but the weather was warm and we missed the very heavy downpour. The guide’s presentation was interesting and he answered many questions clearly and succinctly. A article written about biodynamic vs traditional farming was posted with a photographic display of the farm that explained that a biodynamic farmer’s enthusiasm for the health of the soil is what makes them different to traditional farmers that rely on products brought onto the farm.

One of the reasons we went to the Biodynamic Festival, is that they promised tasting of their core cider. It was worth the drive. Unfortunately, we could only taste it. Distribution is not happening until January next year. We’ll be watching out for it.

Over Saturday and Sunday, I emptied the worm factory tray ready to plant seedlings, and moved the compost bin for the first time. Also planted two lots of cucumbers (bush crop and burpless), sweet corn, basil, and red onions. I planted the seedlings in the worm castings, and spread the compost around the plants. The compost is very black and a nice crumbly texture, and very wormful. Hopefully the worms will find new homes before the neighbourhood magpies come on their rounds. There were so many snails, that I opted for the snail pellets. Not sure what the biodynamic or organic gardening technique is for snails. Strange as it may seem, I have found that they prefer my basil seedlings to beer. Perhaps they are not Australian snails 🙂

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