After my visit to Fat Pig Farm in April I was keeping my eye out for another class to book in for. A couples of weeks later I saw an Instagram post from Agrarian Kitchen talking about a class with the visiting Rebecca Sullivan, who has been hailed by Wish Magazine in The Australian as “The modern day Mrs Beeton”. I know her as @grannyskills on Instagram and love the way she uses natural ingredients to make a range of items from beauty products to cleaning and clothing items.
Sunday 10 June arrived and I headed to the full day class from 9am – 4pm and Rebecca showed us how to make our own natural items using ingredients from Agrarian’s farm and garden.
It was a frosty, well let’s be honest here, downright freezing morning down in Lachlan, with the temperature -2c when I arrived just before 9. The pigs were steaming in the paddock as the sun was just hitting them and defrosting the yard.
The cooking school is situated at the house of Rodney and Severine and is an old converted school. Its a beautiful old house with these glorious enormous windows in the kitchen that look out to the yard.
Once everyone arrived, we grabbed a basket and some secateurs and went for a walk around the 5 acre farm. They have a dam at the front with a heap of geese, chickens, goats and pigs as well as a very productive garden.
As we wondered through the garden we collected leaves from a range of different plants and trees for use on our scarves, totes and tea towel projects.
Once back inside the open fireplace was roaring away which enabled us to remove our puffers and adorn our aprons. We then moved onto making our compost scarf. We were given a length of unbleached white silk and laid out a collection of the leaves, flowers, petals and fruit that we were able to collect from the garden. We placed a rusty pole in the end, sprinkled with vinegar and then rolled up the scarf into a long sausage. Once we tied up the roll tightly, we placed the scarves in a steam oven and steamed them for 45 minutes. Once they came out of the oven they were hung on the clothes line and let all the leaves fall to the ground. The result was a gorgeous coloured scarf.
Whilst our scarves dried, we made and poured a scented candle, lip gloss and some toothpaste whilst we drank a spiced rose lassi.
We then created some soaps before heading into the dining room for lunch.
For lunch we enjoyed roast lamb, 2 salads, a chickpea stew all served with homemade bread and local Tassie wines. It concluded with poached quince with homemade vanilla, hazelnut and caramel icecream. A very memorable lunch.
After lunch we got out the chopping boards and hammers and worked on our petal tote bag and linen tea towel. We bashed the beetroot and cabbage leaves, rose petals and a range of other items from the garden and created incredible patterns on these items. These are likely going to be my favourite items to take away and most used once I’m back home.
We also made a linen sachet, Herbal Chest Rub, Blush & Herb Salt Scrub to complete our natural beauty products.
On the food side we made Ginger Pastilles, Rosehip and Apple Fruit Leather.
Rebecca was a very good host and teacher and shared a number of great stories about her learnings and River Cottage, where she had just returned from.
I bought each of her books as well as Rodney’s agrarian cookbook and look forward to recreating some new recipes.
It was a fantastic day with a lot of learnings and takeaways and I’m glad it’s also a long weekend as I have Monday to chill and catch up on a few things.