Jean Davy’s farm in North Haven is home to a wide variety organic vegetables, herbs and native bush foods for her business ‘ Health in a Bag’. She also packages an array of products such as muffin and cake mixes and runs a catering business.
> You started Health in a Bag making hand-milled base packet mixes for cakes, pies and pastries for people with allergies. Tell us about the mixes and how you got started?
I have a farm at North Haven called the Amber Healing Farm, where I pack the mixes, teach cookery and service clients with an array of healing techniques. The gardens are uniquely gorgeous, with a 65 metre medicine wheel packed full of organic vegetables and herbs. A native bush food garden, a Celtic log garden surrounded by day lilies and the garden surrounds are enhanced by artworks from a local artist. We serve morning and afternoon teas out beside the river. Bookings are essential.
I am now studying my degree in nutritional medicine. After having a successful healthy, allergy free, wholefood organic café on the Northern Beaches of Sydney, I decided that I would like to create the business in a different way.
After moving to beautiful North Haven, I could no longer service my clients in Sydney, as they were still wanting cakes, pies etc. I needed to find a way to help them but in a way that they were able to access product when they required it. So I decided to start putting my recipes into base packet mixes.
The mixes had to be organic and wheat, gluten, dairy, egg, nut, corn, sesame, and seafood free, with no preservatives or chemicals. I had to find businesses that could help me with those allergens not present. That part of the process has been huge. But with help from some amazing business owners, I have managed to have a small supply chain with people who really care about food. The packets consist of cakes and slices, pastries, and now pattie mixes.
> You use whole and specially sourced products for the mixes. Tell us about these products and how they help people with allergies?
They aren’t your usual packets. The pastries, cakes and slices are made from vegetables, seeds, and seaweeds and contain hand-milled flours, herbs and spices organically grown with NO transfats.
I source as much of my produce from Australia as I can, not only because of the food miles that impacts on the planet, but I get to speak to owners of the businesses who grow the produce. That’s why I love the Farmers’ Markets. It’s important to know where your food comes from and better still to be able to speak with the farmer who grows it. In nutritional food medicine there are two sayings that I would like to share with you: NUTRITION STARTS IN THE SOIL and as Hippocrates said: LET FOOD BE THY MEDICINE.
No truer words have been spoken about health, and yet so long ago. As you can see, I care about food. I believe every chef should study nutrition. People have a right to eat well.
> Because your mixes are ‘bases’, you have included variations on your website, tips and suggestions. How did you come up with these, and do you find it encourages people with allergies to try new recipes?
I believe my strengths lie in the creation of food. So my intention is to have each packet mix varied in 20 different ways. A lot of these recipes come from just playing around with ingredients. In my cookery classes there are NEVER any mistakes, JUST PORT HOLES OF DISCOVERY. Cooking is exciting and fun.
Just a few examples of changes to my mixes are chocolate mud into chocolate tofu apple cake – unbelievably delicious! Ginger mud cake into ginger lemon pumpkin cake and Omega 3 carrot cake into Balinese sweet potato cake. These are just a few.
Pastries include boiled tapioca, nettle and alfalfa, carrot and flaxseed, pumpkin and turmeric, whole brown rice, white bean, spinach, beetroot and carrot and many more.
Extra ingredients that are needed for Health in a Bag mixes can be mostly sourced at the Farmers’ Markets.
> You also offer a catering service. Tell us about this?
Our Catering company is called ALL TOGETHER GREEN. It has developed as a word of mouth business. It is about all facets of the business working with the planet and growing without chemicals using environmentally friendly ways in business practices that are passed down through each area of the business.
I devise individual menus for clients based on whole foods, always nutritionally based, mostly grown in their own gardens or the gardens of neighbours and friends – even using their own flowers for the bridal parties, using local florists to put them together.
For most of our events, clients choose their own home, or if they have the event somewhere else, they grow or use local fresh produce. I am amazed at the wonderful array of produce our clients grow and what we have in our region. This makes my job exciting and easy.
We produce all our event fare from fresh local produce. The Farmers’ Markets are a great way to enable us to create some amazing food.
All Together Green did the Bago Vineyards Stomping of the Grapes at their Vineyard on Valentine’s Day, and we really enjoyed participating in this wonderful local event.
> Where can people find out more about your mixes and services, and where they can be purchased?
For more information and to view our services, please visit our website at www.peacewithallergies.com.au or email firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 6559 7863.
> Thank you Jean.