The Farm Community is an inspiring book about how real change can happen when people come together. Find stories, recipes, and simple steps to living more sustainably, whether in the city, the suburbs or the countryside, collected through the connections that owners Emma and Tom Lane, and their purveyors and organic growers have created on The Farm in Byron Bay: a working farm with a deep passion for real food and wellbeing at its heart.
Take a bite out of The Farm community’s life and sustainable style with this delightful sampling of recipes courtesy of Emma and Tom Lane and their friends.
King prawn skewers with papaya nam jim
By Nick and Simone Hatherly, Newrybar Fruit Farm
Emma: Newrybar Fruit Farm supplies The Farm with our citrus needs. Owner and farmer Nick Hatherly and his wife, Simone, grow oranges, lemons, limes, mandarins, and grapefruit – among other things – on their own little cornucopia, tucked away near the historical village of Newrybar just 13 km south of The Farm. The farm gate has a roadside stall where locals can collect goodies fresh from the farm. Since The Farm opened, we have seen Nick almost daily, as he delivers his citrus to Three Blue Ducks. You can recognise his delivery van by its ‘LIMES’ number plate.
24 large green king prawns (shrimp)*
olive oil, for drizzling
bunch of coriander (with roots intact), leaves picked, to serve
lime wedges, to serve
Papaya Nam Jim
2 garlic cloves
2 coriander roots, finely chopped
1 large green chilli, seeded and chopped
1 large red chilli, seeded and chopped
20 ml fish sauce
40 ml lime juice
3 shallots, finely chopped
2 tablespoons grated palm sugar
¼ papaya, seeded and finely chopped
First, make the nam jim. This can be prepared a couple of hours in advance.
Crush the garlic and coriander root in a mortar and pestle. Add the chilli and keep pounding. The more you pound, the hotter the nam jim!
Transfer to a large bowl and add the fish sauce, lime juice, shallots and palm sugar. Stir until the sugar is completely dissolved. Add the papaya and toss to combine.
Soak the wooden skewers for about 10 minutes in cold water so they don’t burn on the grill or barbecue.
Remove the shells from the bodies of the prawns, leaving the tails intact.
De-vein the prawns and thread them onto the skewers lengthways (one prawn per skewer). Sprinkle each of the prawn skewers with sea salt and drizzle with oil.
Grill the skewers on a very hot barbecue chargrill plate or grill for 2 minutes on each side or until cooked.
Serve the skewers on a large plate with fresh lime wedges and coriander leaves. Drizzle over the papaya nam jim or serve it on the side as a dipping sauce.
By Kimberly Amos, River Hawk Ranch
Kimberly: I generally ‘throw’ food together for our family of boys. All ingredients in this recipe are from The Produce Store at The Farm. We like to prepare the frittata in the kitchen and then eat it down at the river by the open fire on our property.
½ head cauliflower, broken into florets
1 tablespoon coconut oil
1 onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 chorizo, chopped*
160 g marinated goat’s cheese
handful of coarsely chopped parsley
salad, to serve
sourdough, to serve
small handful of shaved parmesan, to garnish
Preheat the oven to 200°C.
Fill a saucepan with water and add the cauliflower florets. Bring to the boil and cook for 5–6 minutes, until the cauliflower is semi-soft. Remove from the heat and drain the cauliflower florets. Set aside.
Place a cast-iron skillet or ovenproof frying pan over low heat and warm the coconut oil. Add the onion, garlic, and chorizo and cook until the onion is translucent.
In a bowl, lightly whisk the eggs, goat’s cheese, and parsley. Add the chorizo mix and break in the cauliflower florets.
Pour the mixture back into the skillet and cook over low heat for a couple of minutes to set the bottom of the frittata before placing the skillet in the oven for about 10 minutes, or until the eggs are set.
Allow the skillet to cool for a few minutes and carry to the campfire.
Set the table, toss the salad and tear apart the fresh sourdough.
Place the frittata skillet on the sizzling hot coals to warm until ready to serve with a sprinkle of shaved parmesan.
Flower, basil, tomato and buffalo mozzarella salad
By Emma Lane, The Farm
Emma: Basil and tomato are great companion plants, and I always add a little basil to my tomato salads. It’s amazing how nature works – what grows well together often tastes delicious together too.
4 large red beefsteak tomatoes (or any fresh tomatoes you have)
bunch of basil
3 large balls mozzarella cheese, approx. 150–200 g each
handful of whole cherry tomatoes (yellow varieties or any smaller varieties you may have)
splash of olive oil
squeeze of lemon juice
handful of edible flowers
Cut the large tomatoes roughly into quarters.
Thinly slice a handful of the larger basil leaves. Keep the sweeter, smaller leaves whole.
Roughly tear the buffalo mozzarella up into smaller pieces.
Add the chopped tomatoes, chopped basil, small basil leaves and smaller tomatoes to a bowl. Gently mix together with your hands.
Add a decent splash of oil and a good squeeze of lemon juice. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Transfer the salad to a flat serving dish and sprinkle with the edible flowers.
My favourite edible flowers are pansies, lavender and nasturtiums, but you can use any you can get your hands on. Just make sure they have not been sprayed with chemicals.
Honey and macadamia cheesecake
By Alanda Young, Flow Hive at The Farm
Alanda: I always try to cook using ingredients that inspire and surround me, and because I’m usually around bees, desserts are a common occurrence. I created this recipe by combining a few of my favourite things: honey, cheesecake, and macadamias.
100 g butter, melted, plus extra for greasing
350 g gingernut biscuits
500 g cream cheese, softened
175 g honey
300 ml thickened cream
70 g raw macadamia nuts, chopped, plus extra to garnish
honeycomb, to garnish
edible flowers, to garnish
Grease and line a 20 cm springform cake tin.
Break the gingernut biscuits with your hands into the bowl of a food processor.
Process the biscuit pieces until they are finely chopped.
Add the melted butter to the biscuit crumbs and process until combined.
Press the biscuit and butter mixture into the bottom of the springform tin to form the base of your cheesecake. Place the tin in the freezer for 20 minutes to allow the base to set.
Meanwhile, thoroughly wash and dry the food processor bowl.
Chop the cream cheese into cubes and add to the food processor bowl with the honey, then process until smooth. Add the cream to the cream cheese and honey mixture and continue processing until thick. Stir in the chopped macadamia nuts.
Remove the base from the freezer. Spread the cheesecake filling evenly on top.
Cover with plastic wrap and place in the freezer overnight, or until firm.
Around 15 minutes before serving, remove from the freezer to soften at room temperature. Serve the cheesecake with fresh honeycomb, edible flowers, and extra chopped macadamia nuts. Store any leftover cheesecake in the freezer.
This is an edited extract from The Farm Community by Tom and Emma Lane published by Hardie Grant Books AUD $39.99 / NZD $45.00 and is available where all good books are sold.