Ex­clu­sive ex­tract

Matt and Lentil Pur­brick started their jour­ney sell­ing pro­duce from their farm in Tah­bilk, Vic­to­ria to chefs, and then lo­cals, launch­ing their Grown & Gath­ered blog along the way. Their first book is full of nour­ish­ing recipes and ad­vice for growing your


Liv­ing the slow life with Mel­bourne blog­gers Grown & Gath­ered.

What is a ‘nat­u­ral’ diet? It is about pro­duce that has been grown, gath­ered and nur­tured with the sea­sons. It is about nu­tri­ent-rich foods that are great for your body and for na­ture, bring­ing the two into bal­ance. A nat­u­ral diet is one that works with what na­ture gives you. It means that you grow and eat a di­verse mix of plants, be­cause for the soil to be balanced you must grow a range of crops, in­clud­ing veg­eta­bles, trees, flow­ers, pulses and grains. It will be mainly plants, be­cause plants pro­duce more food per acre than an­i­mals, but for the soil to be balanced also re­quires a mix of an­i­mals, be­cause their ma­nures, the farm tasks they help with, and the spe­cific be­hav­iours they ex­press – graz­ing, root­ing, scratch­ing – all en­liven soil ac­tiv­ity and stim­u­late nat­u­ral growth. A nat­u­ral eater, util­is­ing what is around them, will as­sim­i­late these an­i­mal foods into their diet too. Fi­nally, when we place our­selves in na­ture, we ob­serve sea­sonal abun­dances, which, like the rest of na­ture, we re­spond to. So we hunt game and gather wild greens, fruits and fungi un­til bal­ance is re­stored. This be­comes our diet, a diet that is sea­sonal and full of whole­food in­gre­di­ents, mainly plants. It is in­ci­den­tally balanced, full of va­ri­ety, sus­tain­able and lo­cal.

Our re­gional diet con­sists of food made for shar­ing and cel­e­brat­ing ev­ery day: year-round sta­ples com­bined with fresh in­gre­di­ents from around us; pre­serves from sea­sons past; some­thing a lit­tle bit spe­cial we have sought or traded with a great per­son; a jar of some­thing fer­ment­ing on the bench; or a home­made stock ready to go. It’s the diet of our an­ces­tors and this is what food is all about.”

This is an edited ex­tract from Grown

& Gath­ered by Matt and Lentil Pubrick (Plum, RRP $45). Avail­able in stores na­tion­ally from Septem­ber 27, 2016. @grow­nandgath­ered @grown­ngath­ered

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