Stock up on cooking, gardening and camping needs before the Long Weekend, June 11th-13th, 2022
March 06, 2022

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Raspberry and Chocolate Tart to mark online store 10th anniversary

Raspberry and Chocolate Tart, Odgers and McClelland Exchange Stores

Friends generously dropped in homegrown raspberries and, in addition to eating them fresh, I made Raspberry and Chocolate Tart. This is the perfect sense of occasion tart to acknowledge the March 10th anniversary of our Odgers and McClelland Exchange Stores online store. In that time we've learnt a lot, worked on improving our photography, and continued to expand what we offer, helping customers across Australia (and sometimes New Zealand) grow food, preserve the harvest, and cook from scratch. To recognise this milestone, for the month of March we will donate 10 per cent of our online sales to flood relief for people impacted by the NSW and Queensland east coast low. Hopefully our donation will go towards helping families get back on their feet after such a blow.

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January 04, 2022

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Liverpool Plains Sunflower Trail

The Plains Sunflower Trail, Odgers and McClelland Exchange Stores

It’s 6.45am when I arrive at the gate of “Windy Station” on the Liverpool Plains in north west New South Wales, and Clare Lee is flipping over the signage to ‘Open’ on the first event of the first ever The Plains Sunflower Trail 2022. Clare is president of The Plains agritourism group, a collaboration of seven farmers and business owners excited about bringing attention to the food and fibre grown in their region. For the next month there is a program of eleven events including open days, a paddock long table dinner, yoga, boutique market, creative courses and pick-your-own sunflowers in mature crops at five locations across an area of about 100 square kilometres from Willow Tree and Wallabadah in the east to Premer in the west. I am the first customer and there are still logistics to organise. With potentially thousands of visitors expected in the next week, this is a military style operation with to-do lists, traffic cones and temporary fencing protecting pedestrians, and most importantly printed sunflowers on star pickets leading us to the 140-hectare paddock of “sunnies”.

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December 02, 2021

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Land Rover conversion tested at Barrington

Landrover conversion tested at Barrington

It’s hard to believe the difference two bits of plywood can make. I slept the sleep of angels on a warm level surface, out of the wind, and at first light there was no need to even get out of the swag to brew coffee or cook porridge on the Trangia. Even the sometimes elusive Barrington trout felt the difference, taking flies with such enthusiasm I lost count of fish taken over eight hours of rock hopping.

 

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December 02, 2021

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Preserved Plum Clafoutis

Plum Clafoutis, Odgers and McClelland Exchange Stores

We have a delicious convergence of plums starting to ripen on our tree, and bottles of preserved plums still on our pantry shelf from last summer. When I spotted chef Analiese Gregory's recipe for Clafoutis I thought it was a perfect way to use some of our plums. With the festive season upon us this could be the recipe to have on hand to make the most of summer stonefruit or berries when gathering with friends and family.

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October 30, 2021

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Christmas wreath making

Odgers and McClelland Exchange Stores Christmas Wreath

Our 12-year-old son has been asking if we can put up the Christmas tree at home since August! Blame COVID-19 lockdown or home schooling, his sense of seasonal timing was shot. While the Christmas tree is still in the shed we're getting in the Christmas spirit, making a large Christmas wreath in our warehouse for the shop window. The inspiration is the six metre tall holly tree next to the Nundle Court House Museum. From its height and the number of suckers at its base the holly tree has been there for a long time and there was ample foliage to trim. Thankfully I brought gloves and secateurs because the holly foliage has spikes. We're too early for red berries, but there are green berries to add to the visual appeal.

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October 30, 2021

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Sweet addition to our small farm

Odgers and McClelland Exchange Stores bees

After thinking, reading and talking about having bees for years we finally collected our first hive from Dad, who has kept bees for just over 40 years. He started with one hive in our suburban backyard in about 1980, peaking at 35 hives on small acreage, and is now back to a couple of hives. Our new hive is happily placed near our vegetable garden and fruit trees. Dad estimates we have added about 5,000 head of livestock to our property. The bees have been happily working the brassicas, poppies, acers and plums. We're so excited to add this new element to our block and imagine the bees bringing environmental benefits to our neighbours' gardens, as well as beautiful local honey.

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July 23, 2021

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Chocolate Coconut Crunch Slice

Chocolate Coconut Crunch Slice

Of all the recipes at our disposal it is Chocolate Coconut Crunch Slice that our youngest asks to take back to boarding school with him. I don't know if it's the chocolate, the coconut or the crunch that appeals to him. Maybe it's the combination of all three. If you'd like to bake this classic slice for your family here is the recipe (from Peggy Johnston, Heirloom Recipes, Country Style, May 2017).

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June 10, 2021

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Michael Mobbs to launch Nundle Community Garden at winter solstice lunch

Upper Peel Landcare Group Winter Solstice Lunch and Community Garden Launch

Upper Peel Landcare Group (UPLG) will host Off-Grid Guy, Michael Mobbs, for a Winter Solstice Lunch and Library Garden Launch on Sunday, June 20th, 2021 from 11am-2pm. Environmental lawyer and sustainability writer, Michael Mobbs, will share his decades of experience of off-grid sustainable living and community food growing and recycling, as well as a hands-on ‘cool seat’ workshop making a combination bench/compost bin. Michael’s off-grid home at Chippendale, known as the ‘Sustainable House,’ was the hub for many community- based sustainability activities, including suburb-wide composting and community gardens on road verges. Nundle Community Garden is the first major project for the recently re-formed Upper Peel Landcare Group. The project is being run in partnership with Tamworth Regional Council and Tamworth Regional Landcare Association.

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June 10, 2021

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Beetroot chocolate brownies

Beetroot Chocolate Brownies, Odgers and McClelland Exchange Stores

Ruby pink mounded beetroot tops emerging out of the soil are a reminder to cook with the last of the beetroot in the vegetable garden. Duncan planted rows of beetroot, knowing the success of last year's pickling and the bonus of adding pickled beetroot to winter salads. Then there's roasted beetroot soup, which is so handy to have in the fridge to warm and pack in a vacuum flask for a work lunch, or to have in a mug for afternoon team. Using the beet leaves has been a revelation. Simply wash the leaves, slice finely, stems and all, and simmer in a little diced onion and stock for a versatile side or added greens to toasties. There's now just one row left, the last planted, but we'll need to let them grow a little bigger before deciding how to use them. The recipe for Beetroot Chocolate Brownies appeals because brownies are a favourite in our house, easy to pack for school lunches, or to slice for snacks or dessert at home. Last autumn our family rediscovered Beetroot Chocolate Cake, and Beetroot Chocolate Brownies are a close cousin. Cornersmith's cookbook 'Use it All' by Alex Elliot-Howery and Jaimee Edwards has become a constant kitchen companion with an abundance of ideas for using the autumn fruit and vegetable harvest. I encourage you to try this flourless brownie recipe, with the addition of nutritious and textured grated beetroot.

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March 28, 2021

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Hanging Rock artwork celebrates 10 years of collaboration

Hanging Rock artwork celebrates 10 years of collaboration

To celebrate its 10 th anniversary Nundle Business Tourism and Marketing Group Inc (NBTMG) launched a Nundle and Hanging Rock NSW art print and postcard inspired by vintage travel posters. NBTMG Inc was formed in November 2010 for Nundle and Hanging Rock business owners and Destination Tamworth to collaboratively promote the area for tourism. The group has 25 members representing 22 businesses and organisations covering accommodation, dining, and retail. The A3 art prints are $19.95, and the postcards are $4.95, available in store and online. Income from the sale of prints and postcards will go back into the community group to fund future marketing.

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