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Sunday, June 15, 2014

Chef Sean Carter asked me: Merri Bee , what are you on about?

Bee and Stewart (Merri Bee Organic Farm) recently leapt at the  invitation to join fabulous chef Sean Carter, Muster Bar & Grill, on the From Paddock to Plate stage at the Nannup Flower & Garden Festival 2014, with favorite  radio personality Louise Fitzroy (now engaged in promoting fresh produce with her  Paddock to Plate initiative).

Bee will appear on Friday 15 August, 11:35am – 12:20pm. Sean will be cooking a shoulder of  pastured pork  and some scrumptious herbs and veges straight from Merri Bee Organic Farm  .His idea for the dish sounds amazing: "a fennel & black pepper rubbed rolled pork shoulder with confit fennel, wilted kale and thyme infused roasted shallots" And a pork jus! And we all get a taste at the end!
Stew will be serving up  meals all weekend, maybe not so fancy but it is hard to go wrong with ingredients straight from nature, so look out for the  yellow Organic food van.
 Says Bee "Sean asked us what we are up to . As I often wonder just what I am doing in life I  had to think about our mission. So here it is:
Merri Bee Organic farm  honours the living systems of planet Earth. We want to rebuild the soil and  provide  families with real, natural, healthy food, We want to teach people how to do this in their yards and grow a lot more of their own food. We can't afford to suffer  the green-washed, health-washed,  toxic, low taste- and- nutrient ”food” in piles of gaily coloured  packaging from a health or environmental  aspect and lets face facts, all processed food contains GMOs and it only comes to us via the dwindling supply of fossil fuel.
 It is agribusiness which has largely  brought about the  mass extinction event currently taking place on Earth.   This is the 6th in our planet's 4.5 billion year history, and this time it is not caused by volcanic activity  or meteor impact , but by humans eating.
 Frankly, many farmers are brainwashed by chemical companies to believe synthetic fertilizer and chemical inputs are essential.  Tons of toxins are entering the landscape  causing  of not only massive biodiversity loss, but also CC (climate change) as eve soil microbes are killed. Farmers are both the unwitting perpetrators  and the first  victims of  CC. Farmer suicides in Australia numbered one every 4 days in 2009. In the past 5 years 4,000 of Western Australia’s 10,000 farmers have walked off their land . In addition, the “food” from conventional systems  is the cause of  unprecedented malaise and apathy in the human population.
the pigs are in here,  really
 How amazing then that farmers turn out to be THE ones who could single handedly save our Earth!  Farmers control vast areas of land and as such control our climate. By fostering instead of killing soil microbes, farmers alone can sequester  our carbon emissions  back to the Earth. Farmers  teaming with microbes are our only hope:

A curly tail means a happy pig. 
 For further info on the power of soil to soak up atmospheric carbon and methane see

We believe Permaculture can heal the ecosystems which drive climate  and our health .  Our dream is to help increase this  eco-literacy in the community.
We  teach the skills and techniques of permaculture and supply seeds to grow  food forests which will re-cloth the earth with green plants ASAP .

 That organics becomes mainstream is a matter of survival now. But real food doesn't come cheap, and we have become accustomed to spending  less on food and more on doctors and hospitals than ever before.

Grown in super rich compost, Merri Bee Organic plants ( and the animals who eat those plants)  contain every known and unknown nutrient, and come complete with an array of  beneficial microbes so essential but missing from modern agricultural soils and produce.  The same sets of beneficial  organisms  populate the soil and our intestines when we eat these plants.  They out-compete pathogens and protect us from disease. Just as a healthy plant does not put out the stress signals  which attract pest and disease, (making   pesticides  obselete),so pharmacueticals become obselete for organic gardeners and consumers.

 The products of a permaculture grow exponentially as the system matures. Although in its infancy at 30 years old, we have some exciting new food and drink discoveries from our permaculture to share with Sean, Louise and you all  on Friday August 15. Yours in  glowing health , happiness and hopes for a brighter future "

 Bee and Stew.

carob syrup ....discovery of the week

Do you ever fret that sugar is so energy intensive that we should not eat it, even if it was healthy? And we are  learning how very unhealthy is the high fructose corn syrup sweetener. This fructose is found in -well ,just about every processed food , especially fizzy drinks . The fructose corn stuff is GM,(  as is the soy that is also in every processed food) . High fructose corn syrup  is not recognized by the body as a food, but as  a toxin. Dr Robert Lustig , pediatric endocrinologist,  tells us this and many things in his speech "The bitter Truth about Sugar" which has had nearly 5 million views!! His latest offering "Fat Chance  Fructose 2.0"  is also very interesting

So I am pleased to report that we just made carob syrup for the first time, and  it is surprisingly nice!   The carob bean is something like 78 % sugar .Traditional recipes call for 5 kgs of carob beans and 4 kgs of sugar, but I am quite happy with the carob on its own. The tree is dioecious ( and here spell check can’t help me)  It means there are male and female trees. It takes about 20  years to find out who is who and the females to start bearing .The bad news  is, only one in 10 is a female. On the bright side they are all handsome evergreen trees and  wow, do the females  ever crank out the carob pods!  If you are a clever clogs you can successfully graft  most of your trees with female scions. Might give it a go one day with no expectation of success.
These trees can handle any  amount of heat and drought once established. Carob pods are very sweet and mineral rich and a great stock food, but for me they are a tad fibrous. I call them a fibrous mars bar.  But lo! Carob syrup  can be rendered out of the pods . It fits in wonderfully with Mediteranean permaculture, because the pods ripen in May and can be collected and stored easily. Come June you will probably have a wood stove going , burning the latest tree that fell down on a fence to heat the home and boost your solar hot water. You just break  up the carob pods in your hands while talking on the phone ( its not messy), then soak this in a pot  for a day, then boil for an hour or 2, strain out the juice and put it back on the stove. Reserve the dregs for the pigs  to cheer them up on a cold, miserable day. With the fire going   the juice  evaporates down  overnight to a yummy syrup.It doesnt seem to need stirring. 
If you put cream with it and some roasted nuts,  it is heavenly. I think a new  winter tradition has just begun at our place.  All ingredients could come from any half decent WA permaculture , so  being a locavore doesn’t have to mean being skinny . At our place chestnuts, macadamias, walnuts and pecans fall from the trees in late May. The fuerte avocado is on in June/July and could be mashed and mixed in to extend what I can only describe as  a super healthy version of “nutella”. 

If you are sad to be missing out on processed food because you don’t want to support GM corn and soy plantations, I salute you.  Smile now because  you can grow carobs , you can milk a jersey cow! We are going to be all right!
One of the 4 jersey heifers born this year on the farm.

 Local, organic,  superfood carob syrup is easily done and  no doubt can be bottled.  Now is the perfect  time to plant a heap of carob seeds and start a carob forest.  We can post you seeds for $3.50 a packet .