Welcome to Geoff Jansz Farm.
In this space, we hope to share our philosophies, ideas and methods for creating a beautiful garden from which we can harvest wholesome produce year round, and from our home grown bounty prepare some amazing food. We’ll capture it all on phones, digital cameras, videos – whatever we have at hand to show you how it’s done!
How about a quick history of the Bowral farm. We need to travel back in time way back to 1994, when Clinton and Yeltsin agreed to not blow one another up, but David Kang used a starting pistol to blow up Prince Charles in Sydney, when Alexander Downer commenced his awful reign as opposition leader and when Christopher Skase found a last minute loophole and dodged the extradition from Spain. What a year we lived in…
We lived a year in Hawthorn, a suburb of Melbourne, away from our extended families in NSW but close to my new job hosting Channel 9’s “What’s Cooking” program. Great year, great house, great suburb – but we missed life in the country. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a Melbophile; both daughters live there now. Sport, restaurants and artistic expression are acknowledged and celebrated internationally, and my Melbourne friends are genuine and lifelong. But seriously, how long can one survive without turning a pile of compost! We needed proper eggs and our own fruit. So, Natasha and Olivia were strapped into the child seats and it was off to “Farms for Sale” at Woodend and Red Hill. Rural enough to run a working farm, and close enough for Dad to come home every night. Beautiful properties were going for a song in the early 90s and we were ready to hitch our wagon to a mortgage. Then, bang! Our second epiphany: who’s going to babysit?! Keep driving… 1000km north to our home turf, Bowral.
The farm hunting resumed as normal, except Natasha and Olivia were scribbling on Val’s and Christine’s walls, not the real estate agents. Our mantra: north facing slope, must have bore water, must have rural zoning for cooking schools and food production. The other stuff was a given – proper schools, shops and amenities.
Elysian Park was for sale; it had everything we wanted except the price tag. However, in the blink of an eye we had the keys to the front door, and the bank manager – my family jewels in the palm of his hand.
Welcome to Geoff Jansz Food.
No matter how you approach food and cooking, I’d like you to have a scan through this site. If you’re a keen amateur, a professional in a small outlet or part of a giant restaurant brigade, a parent with the desire to nurture your children or a parent hoping only to avoid malnutrition and having the state confiscate your children, a dinner party queen/king, vegetarian, vegan, or whatever… Whether you’re interested in different ways to grow foods or not – organic, traditional, hydroponic, permaculture, raised beds, urban plots, in national parks watching out for helicopters (well, maybe not this one) read on… Although we’re building a strong recipe base, this website is very much about an adventure. Not just mine, but the countless wild, inspirational, mad, funny, serious characters with whom I’ve broken bread and the odd barstool. All over food.
To me food should be all about enjoyment, however if you’re inclined to dig a little, every mouthful contains a myriad of stories, of truths and possibilities. Some agriculture, some history, some culture. There’s creativity, possibly healing, elements of surprise, matters of ethics, hopefully love and adventure. I’m going to share what I see and why. Quite often, putting things into context allows me to enjoy more fully the food and the company; however other times, “pass the sauce, I’m famished”!
So, the message? Only take what you want from this site, what suits your needs and mood at the time. Treat me like the good friend to whom you never have to explain your lack of contact, it’s cool with me. Turn up when you’re inclined, cherry pick from my recipes and tips, help yourself to my hard earned insights and take all the bloody credit! Sorry, the prozac wore off.
Anyway, just have a quick look before you relegate me to spam; we might just become friends.
Don’t forget to also join our community on the Geoff Jansz Farm Facebook page to watch this journey as we Sow, Grow – Prepare, Share the Geoff Jansz Farm.
I hope you will now or eventually, read through my recipes and my rantings about what I think is the important stuff, but then go on to cook the way it makes you feel… hopefully inspired. Be playful, experiment, trust your instincts and be prepared to share your flops and triumphs with kind-hearted, enthusiastic friends who will give you stick and praise in equal, good natured measure. Avoid cooking with know-it-alls and food snobs; they will kill your risk taking and anyway, they have so missed the point of cooking (and all artforms), which is supposed to bring people together, not divide. However, when you absolutely need to get a successful meal on the table, use my quantities, temperatures, times and techniques… It killed me to measure them for you. But ultimately, they’re just training wheels on the road to your own freewheelin’ ride in the kitchen… Haha! Corny, but it stays.
When it comes to writing and presenting recipes, I don’t see why everybody chooses a style and format and strictly adheres to it. My producers and publishers probably felt safer that way. But don’t you wake up feeling different every day? I’m going to cook, write, take photos, videos and spel werds according to how I feel on the day… Please don’t think I’m schizophrenic (although we might be), but just go with my “dear diary” like recipe inclusions, so I don’t have to make up a persona and pretend to be that person everyday. Doing that will eventually drive me away from writing…
Embedded in every one of my recipes is a treasured principle of cooking. I love these principles and keep my antennae up for them everywhere… Cooking with ethnic families, the world’s greatest chefs, my kids, in books, the internet, and most rewarding of all, experimenting. Understanding principles sets up the platform for personalising recipes. It will surely prove to be one of the pillars in your cooking too. Be on the hunt!