Friday, July 17, 2015

The Lavender Farm

Kathryn Loveridge

Her father’s message played over and over again in her mind, like an awkward song stuck on repeat.  

‘Hi love, it’s Dad.  Mum and I need to talk to you about the farm, lavender sales aren’t what they used to be – we think it’s time we consider branching out.  Give us a call when you can, bye.’
By the time she’d heard the message it was too late to ring her parents back so instead she sat and worried about what her dad said and what it meant for her. 

Many scenarios ran through her head.  Would they sell up and move into town? Her mum had mentioned that the converted church in the nearby town of Kenton was for sale again, Mum had always loved that place with its white washed walls, cottage garden and artist’s studio out the back – it would be the perfect place for semi retirement.  Would they dig up the beautiful lavender plants and lease the land back to her uncle? Her dad’s brother had been against the lavender farm from day one and whenever the opportunity arose he commented that it was a waste of prime cropping land.  

After 2 cups of camomile tea to calm herself down she’d finally fallen asleep, but her dreams were full of childhood memories. Helping her parents tend to their thousands of lavender plants and sitting at her easel letting her paintbrush glide over the canvas at every opportunity. She had been lucky to grow up in such a beautiful part of Australia and the thought of losing it haunted her.

The sun had barely risen when Amelia woke - her first thought was of home and she needed to know what was going on. Her Dad would already be up feeding the cows in the feedlot next to their house before heading out to spend the day tending to the lavender crops.
She couldn’t sit around wondering any longer and decided to pack a bag and head home for the weekend. 

Avondale was normally a two-hour trip from Adelaide, but being daybreak on Thursday meant she could be there in an hour and a half and at the farm in time for a late breakfast. 

The familiar sights as she got closer to home always made her happy.  The crops turning from green to gold in places on one side of the highway signalled that the seasons were changing; the shimmering blue ocean stretching as far as the eye could see on the other side of the road was spellbinding and a reminder of many good times out on the boat.

She often bragged to her Uni friends of the raw beauty of Avondale. ‘The best of both worlds,’ she would say, ‘We have the beach at the front of our farm and the bush at the back.’ The girls who had come home to visit had agreed with envy that it was indeed one of the most beautiful places they had seen.

Her heart skipped a beat as she turned into the driveway of her childhood home – the crunch of the gravel a familiar sound which gave her comfort and the quaint bluestone cottage overlooking the pristine beach welcomed her like a hug from a long lost relative. 

She felt a pang of guilt when she realised that she hadn’t been home for months.  She came home every weekend after she finished school and moved to Adelaide to go to University. After a while it had cut back to monthly, now it had been three months since she’d been back. 

Her parents were crossing the yard to the workshop as she pulled up to the house – with the morning sun shining in their eyes it had taken a moment to register that it was their daughter home for a visit.
‘Amelia, what a surprise!’ her mother had dropped the basket she was carrying and ran over to hug her only child. ‘Oh how I’ve missed you Mil! It’s so good to see you.’

After hugs, a few tears and a big sloppy hello from Banjo the Labrador she followed her parents into the workshop, which also served as a tearoom, gallery and gift shop. This room had been her favourite place as a child. The glass French doors on the Western side had views of the ocean and the Eastern side had views of the pink and purple Lavender fields, both views equally beautiful in different ways. 

It had been her safe haven when she’d had a bad day at school and she had loved the excitement of creating lavender oil and soap and the thrill of people coming into their lovely little space to buy these things. It was also where her mother had nurtured her love of painting and taught her so many skills that had made her so passionate about art. 

She felt awful that she hadn’t been here for her parents when they needed her help. 

‘I got your message Dad,’ Amelia started, ‘that’s why I came home – before you made any rash decisions about selling up – or worse, letting Uncle Mark rip up our plants to crop it.’
That was all she managed before she burst in to tears.  Her father crossed the floor within seconds and scooped her up into a hug. 

‘Amelia, you let your imagination run wild! There is nothing to worry about. We’re not selling, or leasing – we are simply looking at other projects that will tie in with what we already have – especially if you are coming home next year love, we will need to expand!’

Amelia felt her face start to burn with embarrassment, this wasn’t the first time that she had jumped to conclusions and gotten upset. Her parents had always told her to never to assume anything until she had all of the facts and she felt silly that she’d assumed her dad’s message meant bad news.
Relief washed over her as she waited for her dad to explain. 

‘People want more from a farmgate experience these days Mil. The soaps and oil just don’t sell like they used to so we need to expand our range.  Mum has already started making bread and cakes to sell on the weekends but we need something that is more consistent.’

He paused to look up at his wife, wanting clarification that he was explaining things properly and she gave him a supportive nod and smile so he continued.

‘People love the excess fruit and veg that we sell, and the  bunches of fresh lavender, but we need something even more consistent – which we think we have found.’

 The sound of her mother’s mobile interrupted their conversation.

‘I’ll just take this outside,’ she said, whichannoyed Amelia slightly.  It wasn’t like her mum to ignore someone to answer her mobile and she had so many questions that would now have to wait. 

Her dad waited until his wife left the room and continued ‘We have a meeting this morning with a prospective new partner Mil. That is probably him on the phone now, such a polite young man, he’s always ringing even if he’s only going to be a few minutes late. Your mum and I have learned a lot from him and we are excited at what it means for the future of this place.’ 

Her dad sounded as excited as he had when they had taken a leap of faith and given up wheat and barley crops to start a lavender farm and the memory made Amelia smile. 

‘He can help us step it up a level and he’s a lovely young guy, about your age - single too and your mother says he has the greenest eyes she’s ever seen.’  Amelia raised her eyebrows. Was this plan for the future, some sort of farmer wants a son in law project? 

‘Sorry to get distracted love, back to the business plan. His name is Sam and he is an apiarist. He has taught us a lot about bees and how beneficial they are to lavender pollination so we have placed some hives in the lavender fields around the house and the bees love it!’

‘By taking him on as partner we will be able to sell the honey in the gift shop.  You should taste the lavender honey, it is spectacular! Sam will also collect the beeswax which we can then use to make lavender candles. It is a huge step forward Mil – and we hope you will be as excited as your Mum and I are.’

Voices interrupted her train of thought and she realised that her mother had re – entered the room and that she wasn’t alone. Amelia turned to see a tall handsome stranger and found herself staring into the greenest eyes she had ever seen. 

‘You must be Sam’ she stammered, hoping that her face didn’t giveaway how flustered she felt.  Perhaps branching out wasn’t going to be so bad after all...

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Look what is popping up in Kadina!

Something exciting has been going on in an empty shop in Kadina and today the doors opened for the first Kernewek Lowender Pop up Shop. A group of local women are all showcasing their beautiful products.There really is something for everyone -  homewares, jewellery, hair accessories, clothing, wall art, decor and local party plan representatives and more.

Tickera businesswomen Carolyn Bussenschutt of 'Bussy Bees' put the word out a few months ago asking other local home based businesses if they would like to be involved in a pop up shop, after telephone calls and numerous emails May finally rolled around and an excited group of vendors have transformed an empty shop into a mini market. 

Bright and colourful hair accessories by mother daughter duo Josie & Carrie (Craft by Button), beautiful wares from Bussy Bees, stunning wall art by Mango Ink and clothing by Style QC and Blank Canvas. You can also place orders with The Body Shop, Lorraine Lea Linen and Melauca. Later in the week Seek & Style will be popping in with their absolutely gorgeous range of cushions, prints and other decor. 

I am excited to be dipping my toes into the workforce for a week selling my hand painted jewellery as well as Phoenix cards, and I am thrilled to be able to share products from two of my favourite South Australian businesses -  Fairydust Stylish Stationery prints (LOVE!!) and LillyMOO Makings accessories.

There is so much on this week for the Kernewek, leading up to the parade & fair in Moonta on Friday and the parade & Village Green Fair on Saturday in Kadina and the cavalcade of cars on Sunday. 

We hope to see you pop in to visit our Pop Up! 

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Great food and coffee on the Copper Coast and Yorke Peninsula

After seeing a blog post recently about great coffee in Adelaide, I thought I'd out my own list together of great food and coffee in my local area, just in time for the Kernewek Lowender if you are visiting for that!


Kadina has lots of great places to eat & drink and you can get anything from healthy salads, rolls, pasties, risotto or pub fare.

For great coffee pop in to see Shane & Zella on the corner of Digby and Graves Street (opposite the town hall). It might be one of the smallest cafes in town but it has so much character and atmosphere and there are so many vintage books and photos to look at while you are waiting. 

Raw Eleven on Taylor Street is another favourite of mine, their food is sensational, great coffee and healthy sweet treats galore. The atmosphere is great and the furniture looks fantastic. My favourite food is the Snickers slice - YUM! 

For traditional Cornish pasties there are four bakeries in town:

Cornish Bakehouse, 25 Graves St
Cousin Jacks, 24 Taylor St
Chappys Place, Graves St
O'Laughlins, Goyder St


I have two favourites in Moonta, firstly Nook & Nourish. There is so much to love about this little place, the atmosphere, the furniture, the food is divine and Kristen and her staff are all so lovely. They have vegan Cornish pasties too - win! Their coffee is sensational and you will want to pop in everyday of your visit just so you can try everything! 

I also love Henry on George, which as the name suggests is on the corner of Henry & George streets. The atmosphere is great, the rustic furniture gorgeous and their sweets cabinet - DROOL!!!

Bakeries for Cornish Pasties :
Nicks Bakery, George St
The Cornish Kitchen, Ellen St


If you have time to explore the peninsula there are two great spots in Maitland, Vintage Country Reflections, great coffee and so many vintage finds!

Tindi Tindi tables across the road also has lovely food, coffee and gifts. 


The newest place to open in our area - Meraki Sole - GORGEOUS!! You will need time to check out all of the stunning gifts, the coffee is delicious and the food looks amazing! 

We are truly so, so lucky to have so many gorgeous eateries in the area, there are bakeries, cafes, pubs, and restaurants, you will find something to suit everyone in the family!

Enjoy your stay on the Copper Coast and drive safely xx

Thursday, August 14, 2014

The Thermo Wars

I read a lot of blogs by Mums and articles that I see posted on facebook, some make me laugh, some make me smile and some make me cringe.  It's not always the article that stirs up the most emotions, for me it is the comments! 
I am astounded at what I read somedays - particularly when grown women - usually grown women STRANGERS - feel they have to right to write rude, offensive and sometimes silly comments. Now don't get me wrong, I am all for free speech and having the right to have your own opinion, I feel blessed most days that I live in Australia and that I can freely share my opinion on politics, religion, education - without fearing my life or landing in jail - there are women in other countries that aren't that lucky. 
This blig post isn't about conflicting opinions on politics, religion or education though.  This blog post is about conflicting opinions on, wait for it - a kitchen appliance.  
Yes, you read right - grown women are arguing, teasing, scoffing and belittling with other grown women about a kitchen appliance - not just any kitchen appliance, a Thermomix, as pictured below.


I have a thermomix, I've had it for almost 2 years and I love it.  I use it most days - usually multiple times a day (but it probably doesn't win the title of most used appliance in our house - I have 3 boys, I think the kettle still takes that title ) I'm not defending my reasons to buy one, and I'm not trying to convert non-owners - but I am sharing with you my journey from someone who can be quoted as saying "OMG why would I spend $2000 on a BLENDER!! That costs more than my FRIDGE!!" Yes that was me that said that, more than once, yet two years later here I am. 
I don't care what appliances you have in your kitchen, I don't care what sort of car you drive, I don't care what you wear. I like people for their personality - not for their possessions.  I won't judge you if you don't have a thermomix, so don't judge me for having one. 
Two years ago, I started noticing the links between certain foods and my kids behaviour issues - some food sent them crazy so it led me in to researching & reading information about additive free eating  slowly changing our diets so that we cut out artifical flavours, colours, enhancers etc. It was HARD! I was spending hours in the kitchen preparing things in the kitchen - now don't get me wrong - I LOVE cooking and I had always made cakes & biscuits from scratch for the boys, but now things had changed - I had cut out about 90% of what I used to buy for school lunchboxes (plain chips & plain crackers were pretty much the only things I was still buying at that stage) so now I was making bars, custards, yoghurts, jellies, bread & muffins from scratch too and even though I love cooking, like I said , I have 3 boys, so there is other washing & cleaning that needs to be done, as well as homework, tea, sports practice - 4 hours in the kitchen per day baking just isn't realistic - even for a stay at home Mum. 
Thermomix kept popping up over & over again in different facebook groups - so I started doing my research online. (Feeling a little silly because of my previous 'waste of money' comments).  Admittedly I actually started my inital research looking in to cheaper versions but after reading A LOT I decided that thermomix was going to offer me the best value & be more reliable.  (This is just my opinion by the way - other people might prefer their own thermal cooker - there are a lot out there!)  So, feeling a little sheepish, I got in touch with a friend who was a thermo consultant - feeling sheepish because she had once witnessed my 'It's a waste of money' comment. My demo was booked but I'd  we'd already decided before the demo that we were buying it before the demo. 
I have to admit I could take or leave the demo, it's nice to have friends over and it is nice to have all of the delicious food cooked for you (I LOVE the garlic and herb dip) but I don't really cook a lot of the things that they make during the demo and I (personally) feel that demos could be personalised a little more depending on what the person is looking for - some people aren't interested in risotto & sorbet.  If I did a demo I'd show people how to make their own water crackers (so many flavour variations using fresh or dried vegetables & herbs) to go with the fabbo dip we'd make, I'd make cordial to go with our SodaStream soda water & lemon slices, I'd make bread (2 varieties, flat bread and sour dough) I'd make soup to serve with the bread and a mince concoction which is a fave in our house - it's a little bit taco mince, a little bit pasta sauce - YUM - to serve with the flat bread. We'd make ricotta pancakes for dessert which we would serve with berries and yoghurt.  We'd make some bliss balls as well pesto and lemon butter using spinach, basil and lemons from my garden for everyone to take home. So you'd better skip morning tea that day as there will be lots to eat!
All jokes aside,my thermo has made additive free living so much easier (along with some great Australian books/websites such as Fed Up, Additive Free Pantry and Cut out the Crap).
If you come to my house your food may have been prepared in the thermo but *GASP* I still use my slow cooker, stick mixer, stove and oven (heck I even make things with a wooden spoon and a bowl) - I don't like how my thermo grates cheese so I still grate cheese by hand using my 20 year old grater that I claimed when I moved out of home!! 
I do love my thermomix and I make so many things in it (Icecream, dip, cordial, crackers, bolognaise sauce, pasta, bechamel sauce, gravies, yoghurt, custard, breads & flatbreads, soups, stock, lemon butter, pesto, pavlova, cake, biscuits, sushi, the list goes on) and my friends all know that anytime they want to make something or see how it works they are welcome to come over and test it out, they also know I am still Kathryn - not some weirdo that has developed a new personality because of an appliance!


I think it's time for sisters to stick together - to not fight on social media, to respect other peoples opinion, even if it is different to yours & TO NOT CARE WHAT OTHER PEOPLE HAVE IN THEIR KITCHEN!! Be the type of person that your child can look up to, be kind, compassionate, understading and don't judge others for what they have or don't have. 
If we all worried more about ourselves, and learnt to be grateful for what we have rather than get in a tizz about what others have I am sure the world would be a better place! 


Kathryn xx

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Apple bars

I have finally got these apple bars right! They look and taste similar to store bought ones but don't have all of the preservatives. Obviously the shelf life won't be as long as packaged ones but my kids like them so much I don't think they'll last the week anyway! 

There are so many other fillings you could do too - apricot, apple and berry, apple and custard, pear just to name a few! I keep mine in the fridge.

Thermomix version 

Apple bars


155g butter or nuttelex
1 cup plain flour
1 cup SR flour
1 tspn vanilla extract 
1/3 cup caster sugar 
1 tablespoon milk if needed 

Cream butter and sugar for 15  - 20 seconds speed 4.
Add remaining ingredients except milk and mix 6 seconds speed 6. Scrape sided and repeat if necessary.
Add milk and knead for 1 minute to bring it together completely.
Roll out on floured thermomat - it needs to be about 5mm in thickness. Cut rough edges off to leave a large rectangle. Cut lengthways - I did mine about 2.5 for large bars and 1.5 for the small ones. 

Apple filling

Peel, core and chop 5 - 6 apples place in thermo bowl with 1/2 mc of water and 1 tspn sugar (optional) cook for 10 mins  50 deg speed 3. After 10 minutes mix at speed 8 or 9 until completely smooth. Pour into thermo server. In a small jug make a paste with 2 tspns arrowroot and 2-3 tspns boiling water - stir until completely smooth and then stir into your apple mix. Leave to cool and thicken in fridge.

Spoon small amounts of mixture down the centre of your prepared rectangles and fold sides in to cover apple mix.  Pastry is fragile so you'll need to be careful in this step - I found my flat cake spatula handy here to lift pastry from thermo mat. Cut into the size bars you want and carefully transfer - fold side down - to lined oven tray.

Cook at 180 degrees  for 15 minutes.

Apple bars


155g butter or nuttelex
1 cup plain flour
1 cup SR flour
1 tspn vanilla extract 
1/3 cup caster sugar 
1 tablespoon milk if needed 

Cream butter and sugar for  2 minutes.
Add remaining ingredients and mix until completely combined.
Roll out on floured board  - it needs to be about 5mm in thickness. Cut rough edges off to leave a large rectangle. Cut lengthways - I did mine about 2.5 for large bars and 1.5 for the small ones. 

Apple filling

Peel, core and chop 5 - 6 apples place saucepan with about 1/3 cup water and 1 tspn sugar (optional) cook until soft. Mash or use a hand mixer to get smooth. In a small jug make a paste with 2 tspns arrowroot and 2-3 tspns boiling water - stir until completely smooth and then stir into your apple mix. Leave to cool and thicken in fridge.

Spoon small amounts of mixture down the centre of your prepared rectangles and fold sides in to cover apple mix.  Pastry is fragile so you'll need to be careful in this step - I found my flat cake spatula handy here to lift pastry from thermo mat. Cut into the size bars you want and carefully transfer - fold side down - to lined oven tray.

Cook at 180 degrees  for 15 minutes.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Local Christmas shopping guide

Every Christmas I try to do as much of my shopping as I can in small businesses in my local area, what I can't get locally I buy online from other small South Australian businesses.  This year I have picked up some amazing things and I can't wait to share them with my family on Christmas Day!

These are some of the fabulous businesses I have purchased from and their details.  Some are no longer taking custom orders but keep them in mind for future reference :) 

Mango Ink

Purdie has some amazing things, Mango Art, Mango MOO jewellery as well as custom prints!


LillyMOO Makings - one of my absolute favourite SA businesses.  Kirstyn has something for everyone from children to adults.  I love her style and I love the way she puts things together.  Truly a stand out in the handmade jewellery industry! 

Find them on facebook 'LillyMOO Makings'

Geraldton Hill Toffee

If you haven't tried Geraldton Hill Toffee yet, you don't know what you are missing! I've had to leave my order until the week before Christmas pick up because if it's in the house it'll get eaten!! Lynn does such an amazing job it looks great and tastes great!

Belly Bottom

Absolutely love Belly Bottom and I have bought some bloomers which are the perfect thing to put with a Pink Apple headband and singlet for a baby gift!

Something super cute from KooKoo Kidz for the newest member of out extended family (a girl !!! It is a change buying pink and purple ;) ) You will always find something unique from Katie-Lee!

Over the Fence Beauty

I am absolutely in love with Over the Fence Beauty candles! Especially French Pear and Coconut & Lime.  I bought some candles to give my sisters and sister inlaw earlier in the year but they were so delicious that I used them and had to buy more!

4 Little Babushkas. 

I always love Sarahs hair accessories for something different to what I make and I bought the perfect one to match a dress that I am giving a baby girl in our family for Christmas!

Find them on facebook '4 Little Babushkas'

So many beautiful photos to choose from to give our family of our wedding. Love Black Sheep Photography!

Some necklaces custom made by me!

And just in case Brett has to work and can't get to the shops I've bought myself something from Fable Co for the boys to give me

I absolutely love their stuff - so many gorgeous things! 

find them on facebook 'Fable Co' or email

If you are looking for some great stocking fillers, check out your local Newsagency and Post Office - they have some great books and gifts for the whole family! 

I can't wait for Christmas - I absolutely love it! 

Kathryn xx

Friday, October 18, 2013

One dress - so many ways!

I love dresses like these and I think everyone needs one of them in their wardrobe! I am the sort of person who likes to wear plain colours most of the time & accessorise with bright shoes & necklaces - I have so many gorgeous dresses, this navy one (from Mix Apparel) is my favourite though. 
I've dressed this one up for weddings and dressed it down for BBQ's in both Summer & Winter (tights and a long sleeved top underneath for Winter)

By changing my necklace & shoes I can make it look completely different & easily go from day to night by adding leggings - so versatile! 

Favourite Necklaces:

Pink Apple necklaces are available to custom order (the wood ones & small resin are from PA Summer 2 - 3 years ago so will be slightly different :) ) 

To view LillyMoo Makings head to

Shiny Things of Black Springs:

Some of my favourite shoes to wear with it are these :

Top Row - Silver Walnut Ballet Flats (I bought mine from the Moonta Shoe Shop), Ivory Target canvas flats, Raspberry Pink Target Sandals.
Bottom Row - Coral Emerson Thongs (Big W - I LOVE the Emerson range - gorgeous, affordable & great quality clothing) Country Road gold thongs, Mint Target sandals.

Reading back through this blog makes me want to get dressed up & go out for lunch!! 

Happy Saturday everyone xx