Farmhouse blog

Wild Yeasted Bread Baking Class

Wild Yeasted Bread Baking Class

I love to teach the Bake's Percentage. A simple set of parameters that allow you to free form the bread making process. The Baker's Percentage states that every ingredient is a % of the total flour amount. If I am making 3 loaves of bread and each loaf needs 700g of...

The best gift

The best gift

I met my first best gift in year ten. A girl called Sam. Then along the way I met other gifts, Kulja, Jane, Lise, Amber. All of them great listeners, open, vulnerable, authentic, real, and all of them made me feel needed. Twenty five years later they are still with me...

Sweet and wild: Sumptuous syrups from foraged flora

Sweet and wild: Sumptuous syrups from foraged flora

This was first published in Sanctuary Magazine Issue 64 You are probably familiar with fruit cordials; perhaps you even have a family recipe that comes out in time for summer. But did you know that delicious drinks can be made using wild floral infusions? Mara Ripani...

How to make home made pasta

How to make home made pasta

I started making my own pasta the moment I moved out of my family home. It was impossible not to. My mum always made it and therefore it was the normal thing to do. In shared households all over Melbourne I made pasta. In rental kitchens in Fitzroy, Kensington,...

Volunteers you are amazing!

Volunteers you are amazing!

We welcome volunteers from all over the world to ORTO. As well as local volunteers. I thrive on their visits and stories. I rejoice in the interactions and skills shared. I love teaching and the questions I receive keep me learning and motivated. I like finding ways...

How to make Lilac Cordial

How to make Lilac Cordial

I want to build culture away from supermarkets and consumerism and into gardens, forests and streams. The very talented Caroline who wears a knitted hat made by her and a woven poncho (underneath the long cardigan) also made by her, picking Lilacs with an expression I...

Braided Rag Rug class with Ilka White 

Braided Rag Rug class with Ilka White 

Ilka White came to teach us and brought skills she has honed for over thirty years. Her weaving and braiding skills, her technical and creative skills. All thrown together to create something from nothing, something from very little. Braided Rag Rug made by Ilka White...

What makes one sausage better than another?

What makes one sausage better than another?

What makes one sausage better than another? In most cases it is not an elaborate recipe handed down by an amazing cook nor the artisanal skills of a highly skilled butcher. What makes food taste great is simplicity itself! The kind of simplicity that is incredibly...

How to harvest and cook chestnuts 

How to harvest and cook chestnuts 

Harvesting, a meaningful way of spending quality time with others. Last week I invited people to attend a chestnut harvest, for it is autumn! and chestnuts are bountiful in this area (Daylesford, Victoria, Australia) thanks to the work of previous generations who...

Preserving for beginners March classes

Preserving for beginners March classes

We have two classes scheduled for this month on Principles of Preserving. Due to Covid a number of cancellations have occurred hence this post is to let you know that spots have become available. See the workshop tab for details and tickets. Hooray! Cherries ready for...

How to dry fruit

How to dry fruit

How to dry fruit Fruit drying is a rewarding way to preserve your summer harvest. Like many preserving techniques it is simple to do (one of the simplest) and the results are extremely satisfying. By the end of the season, your larder shelves will be adorned with...

How to create a passive solar house

How to create a passive solar house

This article was first published by Pip Magazine By understanding the principles that underpin passive heating design the building you create or retrofit will allow you to thrive, not just in the first few years but indefinitely. The most important principles are...

How to create a living fence

How to create a living fence

This article first appeared in Sanctuary Magazine, the 55th edition (with a few changes made here for my blog). A big thank you to editor Anna Cumming for commissioning this piece for I really love writing about the things I really love. Living fences: Using plants to...

Book Launch and Fruit Tree Grafting Workshop!

Book Launch and Fruit Tree Grafting Workshop!

With Author Jade Miles and Graftsman Charlie Showers at ORTO Farm, Blampied. An exciting event with these wonderful humans! From Black Barn Farm in Stanley, Victoria. Charlie and Jade at their Black Barn Farm fruit orchard. Jade’s recently published book “Future...

How to make cake using summer or winter fruit

How to make cake using summer or winter fruit

In the freezer are containers full of boysenberries, raspberries and strawberries. In the winter garden, rhubarb! Pudding like cake with summer boysenberries stored in our freezer. There is a cake recipe that I have adapted to make the most of my fruit harvest. This...

Cooking School

Cooking School

Family pasta and lunch event with pizzica folk dancing This photo captures a feeling...the very feeling that brought me here. A feeling of deep satisfaction and warmth. The same emotion I first felt 20 years ago when together with Lise and Sam two of my closest...

Preserving for beginners

Preserving for beginners

Preserving class Sunday 20th of June 2pm to 6pm at ORTO Farm, Blampied. I love foraging, I love growing and I want to make the very most of what I find and what I grow. Preserving for beginners offers all the skills needed to preserve the taste of summer, the cool of...

How to make soap

How to make soap

Lard and charcoal soap After five years of making soap I started to get that lovely feeling I get when I know that I have cultivated enough soap making skills to share those skills. This year I launched our first soap making classes. In each class we make two bars of...