My whole life changed when my friend Joey introduced me to Transition Farm 18 months ago. I met farmers Peter and Robin, and their bright, gorgeous family, and from November 2013 to July 2014 I farmed and learnt and put my hands in soil one day a week. Indeed I learnt how to grow vegetables, as I predicted, but it spread deeper than that. My knowledge of, and respect for, our health and the earth grew, and I discovered the power (and importance) of our ability as humans to make good choices for our bodies and the planet. Working in an environment of air and fertility and life left me brighter and more connected, connected to everything – everything good, everything I want to be connected to in my life. Including gingerbread skillet cake.
I made some really special friends at the farm, too. Friends who think about the world and live in ways that I like to think about the world and live. It has been life changing, in the most sincerely nourishing way. And while I’m no longer learning at Transition Farm, Ben and I still receive a weekly vegetable box of colourful, textured and thoughtful produce to feed our growing family. Read here to learn more about their community supported agriculture program, but note that it’s only for locals. If you are after something in your area you’ll have to hunt down some good farmers. It’s worth investigating.
Recently, Peter and Robin were interviewed for a short video series. The site who created these pieces, Palate, captured the farm so perfectly. It’s really a stunning visual, and I encourage you to watch it. You’ll receive a lovely snapshot into Transition Farm and gain a greater understanding as to why my life has changed since stepping foot on their soil.
VIDEO ONE: Transition
VIDEO TWO: Thoughts & Passata
Last Sunday I decided to make a carrot dip for lunch, using a bunch of multi-coloured lovelies. It’s similar to my roasted carrot, ginger and cumin dip in method, though slightly different in flavour, so I thought I’d share the recipe today. We served it with farm produce, of course – perpetual gator (my favourite kind of spinach!), radish, capsicum and tomatoes. Plus some tuna and toasted pinenuts. Wednesday is usually a day I talk about breakfast, but today I’m up in the city gallivanting around with meetings and things, so it’s salad and carrot dip for you. I’ve packed my umbrella. Autumn has arrived in Melbourne!
Roasted Carrot Dip
This dip is essentially the same as my other roasted carrot dip, but without the fresh ginger and in place of cumin I have used thyme. Also, the bulk of the carrots were the beautiful dark purple variety, which made the dip less sweet and gave it more of an earthy, beetroot feel.
~800g Carrots, mixed (dark purple, yellow, orange – or one variety only, it’s up to you)
1 large clove Garlic (or two smaller ones, just avoid the teeny ones as they’ll burn too quickly)
1 tablespoon fresh Lemon Juice
2 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil, plus more for the roasting pan
1 tablespoon Natural yoghurt
1 & 1/2 teaspoons dried thyme
Sea Salt and freshly cracked Black Pepper, to taste
1. Preheat your oven to 200 degrees Celsius. Chop your carrots into 3cm chunks and in half lengthways, then place in a roasting pan lined with baking paper. Add the garlic clove (skin on) and a generous glug of olive oil. Season with sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper and roast for 20 minutes, before removing from the oven to toss the carrots. Check the garlic at this point, if it’s very soft and browning, remove it and set aside to cool. If not, leave it in for another 10 minutes (garlic cooking time depends on its size/freshness, etc). Return the carrots to the oven roast until tender (maybe another 10 or so minutes). Remove them from the oven and allow to cool slightly.
2. Add the cooled roasted carrots and garlic clove (skin discarded) to a food processor with the lemon juice, extra virgin olive oil, yoghurt and thyme. Blitz until smooth (though I often leave mine a bit chunky), taste and adjust seasoning as desired. Add more yoghurt lemon/oil/salt, etc as desired.
3. Serve with flax crackers, on toast with a poached egg, alongside grilled fish and meats or dolloped in salads like we did here. Store leftovers in an airtight container with a layer of extra virign olive oil on top and consume within a couple of days.