Tonight on the blog we meet Lauran and Henriette Damen of Kindred Organics Tasmania. The first organic growers of quinoa in Australia, Lauran, Hanriette and their son Peter first planted quinoa on their 237-hectare property at Kindred, in northern Tasmania 12 years ago. Over time their crop has grown to include hemp, spelt, buckwheat, oats and linseed and many of their products can be found in our online store. Their story is amazing and their reason for farming even better. Thanks for sharing your story with our community Kindred Organics.
1. Tell us a bit about yourself and your business.
Kindred Organics is a family-owned and operated business, based in the prime agricultural region of North-West Tasmania. The rich fertile red soil, abundance of water and seasonal sunshine allows us to grow organic nutrient-rich whole foods, working with nature instead of fighting against it. Kindred Organics is the first organic grower of quinoa in Australia. We also grow hemp, spelt, buckwheat, oats and linseed.
2. Why did you decide you wanted your produce or products to be organic?
We wanted to produce a healthy, natural alternative to today’s abundance of highly processed foods. Our journey to become certified organic began with a composting system and grew over the years until we achieved 100% certified organic status.
3. Where do you source your ingredients from?
All our products are 100% Australian, organically certified, grown, stored, processed and packaged on our farm in Kindred, Tasmania.
4. What is a typical day like for you?
Our days are long, with organic farming being more labour-intensive than conventional farming. We start at 6 or 7am each day and work until about 9pm. My husband Lauran focuses on seed cleaning, repairs and maintenance and our son Peter runs the farm – planting, irrigating, harvesting and looking after the crops. I take care of the packing and orders, and all three of us look after our herd of organic grass-fed beef cattle. Organic farming is very seasonal, so spring is our busiest time, followed by autumn and summer. In winter, the work slows down a bit.
5. What do you wish more people knew about organics?
We believe natural food, grown as it was for thousands of years, is a good alternative to foods grown with chemicals. Some research has found organic food may have higher levels of antioxidants and vitamins than conventionally-grown food. The theory is that without pesticides and fertilisers, organic food has to produce its own protective compounds. People should also know some chemicals used in conventional farming can wipe out important species like beneficial bacteria and earthworms, for example.
6. What is your favourite organic product and why?
It’s difficult to choose a favourite – my top three would be quinoa, buckwheat and hemp. They are all extremely healthy, nutrient-dense and naturally gluten-free foods that are versatile and usable in almost any meal. We also produce quinoa flour and buckwheat flour, offering a healthier and gluten-free alternative for baking. While people have been eating hemp seeds in a number of other countries for some time now, it is a relatively new phenomenon in Australia. They have a nut-like taste and can be used raw, sprinkled on cereals, yoghurt or salads, or used in baking breads, cakes and biscuits.
7. What’s your favourite meal to cook?
Simple is best – quinoa and vegetables from our garden, flavoured with a bit of spice and stock.
8. Please share your social media channels with our audience.