Schulz Organic Dairy Returnable Milk Bottles

Schulz Organic Dairy have now produced the glass returnable, refundable milk bottle it got crowd funding for. The new glass bottles will replace the old ones introduced to farmers markets to test customer responses and will be rolled out to retail outlets on April 12. At present the list of retail outlets is confined to specialist wholefoods stores and David Jones Food Halls in the CBD and Malvern. It would be great to see the supermarkets (IGA) currently stocking Schulz Organic Dairy milk to also come on board with glass. I hope Schulz’s aim to get rid of plastic milk containers will spur consumers and other producers to reject plastic in favour of returnables. For more information on stockist and FAQs check the Schulz Organic Dairy website.

Schulz Organic Dairy A Glass Act

Koko Black New Australian Flavour

In a brilliant move Koko Black has partnered with chef, Dan Hunter (Brae; ex Royal Mail, Dunkeld) to produce some extraordinary chocolates with a distinctly new Australian flavour. Aniseed myrtle, lemon myrtle, macadamia, finger lime, whipstick wattle, spotted gum honey, Davidson plum and the rather surprising, green ant, feature in individual pralines or chocolate bars. This might be viewed purely as a marketing response to Koko Black’s popularity with international tourists but by engaging Dan Hunter and taking a serious exploratory approach the result is delicious chocolates rather than just something gimmicky. The unique flavours of Australia do make these chocolates excellent gifts for friends and relatives from abroad but I really enjoyed them and would also buy them for myself as a special treat. I was particularly impressed with the clean flavours, without overt sweetness. In contrast to the current trend of salt enhanced sweets, Hunter’s salted macadamia chocolate showed restraint, allowing the macadamia nut to take centre stage with just a hint of the savory and the sugar staying well back. Well done Koko Black and the packaging is as elegant as always.

9 piece gift box $29; 80 g block $13.50

Lion’s Mane

Would you put something called lion’s mane on your dinner menu? It may look like a large ball of fluff or a lion’s mane but in reality it is quite a meaty textured mushroom. Lion’s mane is one of the new gourmet mushroom varieties available around Melbourne farmers’ markets, along with coloured oyster mushrooms, nameko, shimeji, shiitaki and king mushrooms. I was very intrigued to find the lion’s mane mushroom at the Melbourne Gourmet Mushroom stall at Gasworks on Saturday. Lion’s mane is very high in antioxidants and much is made of its disease averting capabilities but vegans also love the texture which lends itself to meat or fish substitution in various recipes. Think fritters and fish or crab cakes. It is supposed to have a slight flavour of lobster but having recently enjoyed Portland lobster over the summer I found the resemblance a bit too subtle for my taste. However, I did enjoy the adventure of cooking something totally new that was locally and sustainably produced and in all likelihood will be a food on plates in a resource-constrained future. I started with the keep it simple approach and just sauteed thick slices slowly in olive oil and fresh thyme until it was tender and golden and served it with confit cherry tomatoes and salad.

It was very pleasant but with no obvious mushroom flavour and no, it wasn’t a bit furry. A bit like a mass produced chicken breast I think a lion’s mane mushroom is a chef’s delight, lending itself to added flavours and chefy tricks. I plan to maintain my explorations with lion’s mane and other exotic mushrooms and will keep you posted. These exotics are grown in the Melbourne suburb of Reservoir, so local that food miles hardly count, and are freshly harvested a couple of hours before they appear at market stalls. $5 for 100 grams.

Backyard Beekeeping

Backyard beekeeping seems to be all the rage at the moment, with an ABC TV program promoting the idea, jars of Backyard Honey a now familiar site in upmarket food stores around Melbourne and people generally in a buzz about bees and their importance to our lives. Backyard beekeeping may not be on your to do list but if you have got the veggie patch, compost bins and worm farms under control then why not consider another dimension to your garden plot with your very own bee hive. Backyard beekeeping is a skill set that needs a bit of guidance from experts and what better way to start on this fascinating journey than with an introductory course at Think Thornbury. Their short introductory beekeeping workshop is running on Tuesday 19 February at 6:00pm, 800 High St., Thornbury and costs $47. Even if backyard beekeeping is not your thing consider what you can do to attract bees to your garden by planting appropriate flowering plants and who knows you might be rewarded by a neighbour with hive.

This backyard beekeeping workshop is part of the National Sustainable Living Festival 1-28 February. Check their website for other food related workshops and talks that may be of interest; there is a lot happening.

Schulz Organic Dairy A Glass Act

Schulz Organic Dairy has been working hard and so too its many followers in achieving an initial crowd funding target of $48,000 to expand its new milk in glass bottle operation to 3,000 bottles. The aim is to produce customised, easy to process glass milk bottles with glass printed labels, extend distribution to major retailers and eventually phase out the plastic milk bottle. Having achieved their initial funding target they say they are now 100%  committed to going further and producing 10,000 bottles. 10,000 bottle equates to 20-tonne of plastic saved from entering the waste system per year if Simon Schulz and his supporters can make it to $144,000. If you want to make a pledge and be a significant part of the DRINK | RETURN | REFILL | REPEAT movement visit

Simon says Australians use and dispose of the equivalent of 2.5 billion 1L plastic bottles of milk used and discarded in Australia each year. That’s enough 1L plastic bottles that if we were to lie them down end to end they would circle Australia 1.75 times EVERY MONTH!

I think Schulz’s milk bottle venture could become a movement for change. Before you say bottles are too heavy, hard to pour, inconvenient blah, blah, blah.  I bet you have no problem carrying, pouring from and recycling bottles of wine. After all milk in glass bottles isn’t a new concept.

To help us eliminate plastic, check out our crowdfunding campaign via the link below!Sharing is caring, so please share this link with your networks so they too can be part of the solution!

Posted by Schulz Organic Dairy on Wednesday, August 1, 2018