Slow Food Saddleback News

Chestnuts, walnuts and more

With the chestnut picking season lasting just over a month (23 March to 28 April) Slow Food Saddleback has organised a visit to Sassafras Nuts  on Sunday 7 April.

The owners of this farm have a background in environmental science and ecosystem management and the nut production is focused on low chemical use and soil building practices such as mulching and the use of organic fertilisers. Good Slow Food principles!

Sassafras Nuts is set in idyllic natural surroundings and offers good picnic areas and amenities. But you will need to bring your own picnic chair or blanket, plates, cups, thermos etc as well as your food and drink for morning tea and lunch.

The plan is to gather over a  morning tea at 10:30 (see information re car pooling below) in preparation for an explanatory talk about the chestnut and walnut farm.

We’ll then start harvesting chestnuts and our host, Richard, will get the charcoal brassier fired up and will help us with preparing and roasting our chestnuts. You need to pay for the chestnuts that you pick – $7/kg. 

We’ll finish the day with a BYO picnic lunch.

Sassafras is located at an elevation of 750 metres and in autumn can be cooler and wetter than the  Illawarra region. It is advisable to bring weather proof coats and shoes as well as gloves for picking chestnuts. Pets are not permitted. 

Venue:           Sassafras Nuts, 4281 Braidwood Road, Sassafras.
                           About 1 hour from Gerringong, along sealed roads.

Directions: Take the Princes Hwy south to Nowra, turn right into Kalandar St, then Albatross Rd. Turn right into Braidwood Road (which takes you past HMAS Albatross) and proceed to Sassafras (about 45km from Nowra).  

Car pooling: Please contact us if you’d like to car pool, and let us know if you can assist with driving, or if you are seeking a lift.  

Further information:

                                              Barbara Khalifa   0419 498 072

Bookings (essential):https:/ BBNAN 
Cost:                                    There is no entry charge.

Additional Fermentation Workshop

Due to the popularity of this workshop Slow Food is offering an extra session in the afternoon this coming Saturday (9 March). Students (must be over 16) are offered a subsidized rate of $5.

The Fermentation Workshop is lead by local Naturopathic Herbalist, Marilyn O’Dowd, who will share her passion for and expertise in fermentation.

You’ll learn about fermented foods, probiotics, how fermented foods provide friendly micro-organisms for good gut health and why this is important for eliminating toxins and improving digestion.

The workshop will include making kimchi, sauerkraut, cultured butter, pickled vegetables, fermented drinks and sourdough.

You’ll be able to take some goodies home so please bring:

  • 2 large glass jars about 1 or 2 litres (if possible)
  • 3 glass jars about 500ml
  • a sharp knife or cabbage slicer
  • blunt-ended rolling pin or kraut crusher if you have one
  • cutting board, apron and notebook

It is important to wear closed shoes as the workshop is being held in a commercial kitchen area.

A light lunch will be served at 12:30 for both the morning and afternoon workshop groups.


Date:           Saturday 9 March 2019
Time:           12:30 pm – 4:00pm
Venue:         Gerringong Town Hall
Cost:             Members $30, Non-members $40

Further information: Barb Khalifa  ph: 0419 498 072

STUDENTS (must be over 16):  $5 
This subsidized price is not available through trybooking. Please email your name and a mobile phone number to and we will get in touch to confirm your place.

A really good day

Kiama turned on its best for the Slow Food start-of-the-year picnic in Bonaira Native Garden on Sunday.

The garden looked a picture thanks to Council doing a full mow of the grassed areas on Friday. Picnic tables were set up under one of the large trees and a gentle breeze was welcome on this clear sunny day. Apart from a couple of locals wandering down to Kendall’s beach we had the reserve to ourselves and were able to enjoy the peace and quiet of this little known green space in the heart of Kiama.

As always, everyone had made an effort to contribute something a bit special to the three course bring-and-share picnic but Libby’s gluten-free tart, created almost entirely from home grown eggs and vegetables, won the unofficial Best Slow Food Dish award. You’ll find a couple of recipes from the day in our recipe section.

Those who hadn’t previously discovered Bonaira were quite delighted with the venue and were keen to take a walk through the garden before heading home.

Great location, great food and great company. All in all a really good day.

Fermented Foods Workshop

Local Naturopathic Herbalist, Marilyn O’Dowd, is leading a fermentation workshop at the Gerringong Town Hall on Saturday 9 March starting at 9:00am.

In this hands-on workshop Marilyn will share her passion for fermentation. You’ll learn about fermented foods and probiotics,  how fermented foods provide friendly micro-organisms for good gut health and why this is important for eliminating toxins and improving digestion.

The workshop will include making kimchi, sauerkraut, cultured butter, pickled vegetables, fermented drinks and sourdough.

You will be able to take some goodies home so you are asked to bring:

  • 2 large jars – about 2 litres
  • 3 smaller jars – about 500ml
  • a sharp knife or cabbage slice
  • a blunt-ended rolling pin or kraut crusher if you harve one
  • cutting board, apron and notebook

It is important to wear closed shoes as the workshop is being held in  a commercial kitchen area.

Following the workshop a light lunch will be served.


Date:             Saturday 9 March 2019
Time:             9:00 am sharp
Venue:          Gerringong Town Hall
Cost:              Members $30, Non-members $40
                           by Wednesday 6 March

Further information: Barbara Khallifa 0419 498 072
or email

Thanks to Kiama Council for sponsoring this event.

Slow Food Snail of Approval Illawarra to Jervis Bay

Slow Food Berry to JB and Slow Food Saddleback are introducing their inaugural year of the Snail of Approval in 2019. 

Slow Food
Snail of Approval
Illawarra to Jervis Bay

The Slow Food movement seeks a world in which all people can access and enjoy food that is good for them, good for those who grow it and good for the planet as a whole.
Slow Food aims to inspire GOOD, CLEAN and FAIR food for everyone.

GOOD – seasonal food of good quality which is flavoursome and healthy.
CLEAN – food that is produced in ways which preserve biodiversity and does no harm to the environment.
FAIR – conditions and pay for producers and staff and still be a fair price for consumers.

Local Slow Food Committees wish to recognise local food producers, artisans, retail outlets and restaurants that promote the Slow Food message of good, clean and fair food, and the protection of biodiversity on the South Coast of NSW.
This will allow customers, friends and supporters of good food and produce to see that those awarded a Snail of Approval are special farmers or retailers supporting healthy and seasonal choices through accessible and responsible local food production and supply.

Locals that meet the prerequisites above are asked to self nominate and our Committee will then be in touch as soon as possible to complete the procedure.

Nominations will close on Friday 15 March 2019, and Snail of Approval recipients will be recognised at an event at Kiama Markets on 3 April.

Snail of Approval decals and a Certificate of Approval will be provided for you to use, together with publicity on your and our websites, and at all Slow Food events.

To apply please click the SNAIL OF APPROVAL heading at the top of this page and fill in the application form.

For more information, contact:

Celia Wade – Slow Food Saddleback, at
Kate Khoury – Slow Food Berry 2 JB, at

Start of year picnic 2019

Here are some more details about our annual start of year picnic to be held in the Bonaira Native Garden in Kiama on Sunday 17 February.

This well-kept secret is the perfect place to share a picnic, explore the native garden or stroll across the AFL/ cricket ground to Kendalls Beach for a dip.

The ‘jungle’ is a great place for kids to explore but occasionally at this time of year you might see a snake – so covered shoes are a good idea.

The picnic area is shaded by two large trees and we’ll have a couple of picnic tables to stage the ‘Bring and Share’ feast. You’ll need to bring your own chair or picnic blanket. It’s a short, flat stroll along the bicycle path from the parking area behind the Bridge Club and the AFL clubhouse where toilet facilities are available.

The annual picnic is an informal event to bring people together to meet and chat and plan for the year’s activities. Carolyn has offered to co-ordinate dishes and would welcome you letting her know –  what you plan to bring so that we don’t end up all bringing the same dish! Cold treats are the order of the day as BBQs are not available.

If the weather turns ‘not picnic style’ we can retreat to Rhonni and Paul’s place at the Reid Street end of the park.

We hope to see you there for this relaxed and social day. New or prospective Slow Food members are particularly welcome. If you need further information please contact Michael at

Date:        Sunday 17 February at 12:30pm
Venue:    Bonaira Native Garden, Girrawheen Avenue, Kiama
Bring:      Chair or picnic rug
Parking: Behind the Bridge Club  (OK to park on the grass)
Cost:        $10 (children free) to be donated to a local Slow Food cause

Change of Date for Picnic

The ‘Welcome to the Year’ picnic has been rescheduled to a bit later in February. The picnic will held in the Bonaira Native Garden in Kiama on Sunday 17 February.

It will be a bring and share event – all cold food. The section of Bonaira we have reserved has plenty of shade and is a short, flat walk from the AFL/ Bridge Club parking area. Kendalls Beach is just a few minutes walk away. Thanks to Kiama Council for waiving the fee. More detailed information will be posted in the next week or so.

Christmas Donation

A Bomaderry-based group  that provides  food to over 150  people in their community every week was the recipient of a $500 Christmas donation from Slow Food Saddleback. The cheque was presented by Michael and Beverley Blythe on behalf of Slow Food.

Michael and Beverley Blythe from Slow Food Saddleback presenting a cheque to Salt Care’s Mitch Hudson.
A large group enjoyed the free Christmas lunch put on by Salt Care.

As well as providing a hot lunch, tea and coffee, groceries and clothing all free of charge each Thursday through their Saltbox program, Salt Care enables time for building great friendships.

The group also runs food preparation and cooking workshops for people who do not have these skills.

Terra Madre Day Lunch

Slow Food Saddleback was well represented at the 2018 Terra Madre Day lunch hosted by Canberra Capital & Country Convivium  on Sunday 9 December.

Kaye and Paul at the lunch

Five couples made the trip down to Braidwood to enjoy the lunch at the historic Mona Farm – Celia and Des, Vicki and Murray, Gabriella and Raynor, Paul and Kaye, and Rhonni and Paul.

The lunch was preceded by a tour of the magnificent gardens and homestead which feature a collection of modern Australian and international art and sculpture. Well worth checking out the website if you are planning a trip to the Canberra region!

The rose garden at Mona

The long table lunch showcased the region’s wine and food products sourced, wherever possible, from ‘good, clean and fair’ local producers and yet again demonstrated that the Slow Food approach produces stunning results.


Year round gardening

It can be done! With the climate we enjoy on the South Coast and a passion for self-sufficiency, your veggie garden can provide all the vegetables you need year-round. David (the enthusiastic grower)

David giving a tour of his garden.

and Judy (the creative cook), with help from Liz and Helen and Slow Food committee members, demonstrated at the final Slow Food Saddleback event for the year that a backyard garden can provide far more than the basics – it can produce a gourmet feast.

Fingerfood and assorted dips served before the main meal used vegetables that are sourced from the Ball’s garden at various times of the year. These included a beetroot dip, radishes served with creamed butter and salt, an aubergine dip, Persian herb frittata, butternut and tahini spread, muhammara and tortilla.

Judy puts the finishing touches to her vegetable dishes.

The dips were served with Turkish bread home made at Wollongong’s popular Turkish Paradise restaurant (have you tried the mushrooms?) and dropped off in Berry by proprietor Michael’s daughter (no wasted food miles here!)

For the main course, vegetables picked fresh from the garden and cooked in the wood fired pizza oven complemented pork sourced from Foxground and cooked to perfection by Des and Helen.

Oven roasted potatoes, cumin-coriander roast carrots (these went very quickly) and wilted pak choy were served with a green salad with shaved fennel and leek, and a beetroot, silverbeet and lentil salad. Liz’s pickled rhubarb went brilliantly with the pork.

Judy’s herb infused icecreams (lemon and basil, lemongrass and coconut) served with rosewater rhubarb and Barb’s frozen home grown bananas completed the meal. A fitting finale to a great year of Slow Food events.

Check out the Gallery page for more pictures – click on each thumbnail to see the whole photo. Recipes can be viewed in the recipe section.

AGM 2018 Minutes

Minutes of Slow Food Saddleback Annual General Meeting
Wednesday 17 October, 2018
5.30pm Silica Restaurant, Manning St Kiama, NSW

Celia Wade, Michael Blythe, Beverley Blythe, Judith Ball, Liz Churcher, Carolyn Evans, David Evans, Barb Khalifa, Omar Khalifa, Rhonni  Garven, Jan Watson, Laurie Watson, Des Wittingslow, Jan Gluth, Geoff Webb, Helen Attwater, Vicki Steele.

Rainer and Gabriella Zuch, Paul and Kaye Turnbull, Mary Anderson, David Ball.

Celia Wade (Chair) declared the meeting open at 5.35pm and welcomed those attending.  Apologies were noted.

Minutes from 2017 AGM

Celia presented the minutes of the 2017 AGM. No matters were arising from these minutes.
Moved: That the minutes of the 2017 AGM be accepted as presented.
Proposed: Liz Churcher.  Seconded: Carolyn Evans. Motion carried.

Leader’s Report
Celia Wade presented her summary of the year’s  events.
In her summary Celia:
• Welcomed and thanked committee members and other volunteers for their support and enthusiasm.
• Highlighted that the last 12 months have been very active for Slow Food Saddleback.
• Thanked retiring committee members Liz Churcher and Helen Attwater for their significant contributions to the committee.
• Thanked Rhonni Garven for her excellent work on the SFS website.
• Thanked Jan Hampshire for her great work on the Facebook page.
• Highlighted the progress made along with Slow Food Berry to Jervis Bay on the Snail of Approval (artwork circulated).
• Announced that SFS has received funding from Kiama Council to run a fermentation workshop in the coming year.
• Noted that Slow Food Shoalhaven is changing its name to Slow Food South Coast.

Financial Report
Treasurer Michael Blythe presented the financial statements, noting that the statements run from 5 July 2017 to 31 July 2018 (dates adjusted to ensure expenses and revenues for events were included within the same year).

As at the 17 October, the number of memberships is 51 (with many of these being couples).
TryBooking has made payments for events much easier to capture and Michael would like the use of TryBooking to continue.

A question was raised about the proportion of the membership payment that goes to Slow Food International in Italy. The exact amount varies by membership type (amount) but in the example of a $90 membership it seems that $60 of that goes to Slow Food International in Italy, $15 to Slow Food Australia and $15 to Slow Food Saddleback.

Moved: That the Financial Statements be accepted as presented.
Proposed: Celia Wade. Seconded: David Evans. Motion Carried.

Appointment of New Committee

Geoff Webb (Returning Officer) took the chair and declared all committee positions vacant.

The number of nominations matched the number of positions. Geoff declared all nominees duly appointed. The Office Bearers for the coming year are:
Leader: Celia Wade
Treasurer and Ticket Secretary: Michael Blythe
Secretary: Barbara Khalifa
Committee Members: Carolyn Evans, Judith Ball, Rhonni  Garven and Ros  Markezic.

General Business

As leader for the coming year, Celia Wade announced coming events:

• 24 November will be Eating from the Garden Year Round at the garden of Judith and David Ball.
• Regional Terra Madre Day: 2018 Terra Madre lunch will be hosted by the Slow Food Canberra and Country Convivium on Sunday 9 December at the Woolshed at Mona Farm. Ark of Taste products Galloway beef and Monaro purple garlic will feature on the menu. Details will be posted on our website.
• Cheese Challenge in February. Kangaroo Valley Cheesemakers  will attempt a world record cheese tasting event on 16 February 2019. Cheese will be donated by  Bodalla, Bega and South Coast Cheese. Target is 700+

Attendees were invited to put forward suggestions for future events:
• Helen Attwater suggested a workshop on Knife Skills.
• Coordination is also sought with neighbouring Slow Food groups.

Meeting closed at 6.10pm.

Terra Madre Day Lunch

The 2018 Terra Madre lunch will be hosted by the Slow Food Canberra and Country Convivium on Sunday 9 December.

The venue is the Woolshed at Mona Farm ( on the outskirts of Braidwood. 

Prior to the lunch at 1:00 pm there is an optional, no extra cost, tour of Mona Farm hosted by Farm Manager, Suzanne and commencing at 12 noon.

The lunch will be served in the Slow Food ‘long table’ tradition and will include shared producers’ platters, locally produced meats and vegetables, and dessert. Ark of Taste products Galloway beef and Monaro purple garlic will feature on the menu and a selection of local wines, beers, cider and fruit-based soft drinks will be included.

A vegetarian option will be available – please advise any dietary requirements at the time of booking.

Date & Time:   Sunday 9 December 2018  1:00 pm (12 noon for tour)
Cost:                    Members $70 ; Non-members $85;
                                Children under 12 no charge.
                                Indicate which membership you hold when booking.
Bookings:           by Friday 23 November to Account details will be provided on acceptance of booking with payments to be made by Friday 30 November.

Jazz at Pyree

Slow Food Berry to JB have teamed up with Shoalhaven Jazz to present Captain Bob’s Station House Seven at the Red Shed at Pyree on Saturday 17 November starting at 7:00pm.

Take your own BYO picnic or pre-order a New Orleans style hamper to enjoy before putting on your dancing shoes and dancing the night away.

Bookings: Jenny on 0426 615 948 or



Mahbrook Organics sold

We had a hint of it before the AGM and it is now confirmed that we will no longer be able to purchase Mahbrook Organics produce locally. 

Illness forced the sale of the family business and  the new owners will no longer be selling produce at the Kiama Farmers Market, but will send everything they grow direct to Flemington.

Chris and Mary have been at the Wednesday Kiama market every week since its inception and their certified organic goodies will be much missed.

Year-round fruit and veggie gardening


The November Slow Food event provides an opportunity to learn from two of our home grown produce garden gurus and to enjoy the fruits (and vegetables) of their labours.

The evening starts with a tour of David’s much loved and highly productive backyard garden, information on how you can keep your garden productive throughout the year and a Q & A session with David and fellow passionate gardener Michael.

We will then share a delicious meal prepared by Slow Food members featuring seasonal produce from the garden accompanied by fresh pork from Foxground. We’ll be eating outside as usual and the fabulous wood fired oven will be put to use.

Date:           Saturday 24 November
Time:           4:00 pm for an early dinner
Venue:        10 King Street, Berry
Cost:             Members $60, Non-members $70 (BYO beverages)
Bookings:  Try Booking

Afternoon workshop

For those eager to learn more, David and Michael will each run a small group workshop prior to the dinner event on planting and rearing seedlings, and preparing and caring for soil. The workshop will take about 3 hours.

Date, Venue and Bookings as above
Time:      12 noon
Cost:       $25 (including refreshments)

Join the world record cheese tasting attempt

Put it in your diary!  4pm Saturday 16 February 2019. 

The Kangaroo Valley Cheesemakers (they of the fantastic cheese-making workshops) have set themselves the challenge of putting Kangaroo Valley on the international cheesemaking map.
To do this they’re looking for volunteers to help set a new world record for the World’s Largest Cheese Tasting event.

The current record was set by Western Australia’s Margaret River Dairy Company in February this year when 560 people came together to simultaneously taste three different types of cheese.

The Kangaroo Valley cheesemakers are aiming to set a new record of 700 tasters during next year’s Kangaroo Valley Agricultural and Horticultural Show.

Sounds like lots of fun and it won’t cost you anything apart from the normal Show entry fee. The Show is always a great day out with  lots of different events and activities for young and old. To be counted as a cheese taster you’ll be required to taste three different cheeses from local cheese making companies – one hard, one semi-hard and one soft.

So put it in the diary, tell your friends and help put our local cheesemakers on the map!

You can register your interest at