Kefir starters and grains

kefir

You can make home-made kefir with goat, sheep or cows milk and select your own live cultures for fermentation. It is also possible to make kefir from coconut milks and filtered water (not tap). Kefir needs to incubate for 24 hours or more so that the fermenting bacteria consumes all of the lactose and is therefore easier to digest.

Kefir grains or starters

Sometimes you can get the grains for free on GAPS or SCD mailing lists or social networks. The following places sell kefir grains:

Equipment

The following equipment is needed:

  • 2 wide mouth glass jars
  • 2 glass bottles with caps
  • Nylon mesh strainer (better than metal for the grains)
  • Funnel
  • Wooden spoon
  • Unbleached cloth such as calico
  • Elastic band or string

FAQs

Getting started in Australian native stingless bees

Advantages of Australian Native Stingless Bees

The advantages of native stingless bees are that they do not sting and as a result, you need less equipment. The stingless bees help to pollinate the flowers in your garden, which is essential for many fruits and vegetables.

Native bees produce amazing tasting honey but only a small amount (less than 1 kg per hive per year). It’s considered a luxury.

There is no legal requirement to register hives of native bees in Australia.

Aussie native stingless bees are available around Brisbane from the following places:

Trigona carbonaria
(Common in southern Queensland and NSW)

Vince Ashe – Crows Nest (in logs)
Phone: 07 4698 1701

Peter Davenport – Elanora (in boxes)
Phone: 07 5533 9383

Tony Goodrich – Brisbane  (in boxes)
Also supplies OATH hive boxes
Phone: 07 3878 2322
Mobile: 0449 746 970

Kin Kin Native Bees  – Chris Fuller
Boxes with mainly Trigona carbonaria for $350 pick up.
Phone: 07 5485 4454
Email: info@nativebees.com.au
Website: www.nativebees.com.au

My City Garden – The Gap
A 3 tiered hive, tin lid, 2 x honey collection pots, 2 x straps, 2 x black stoppers and approx 5000 funky little bees for $425.
Phone: 0435 226 912
Email: info@mycitygarden.com.au
Website: http://mycitygarden.com.au/category/stingless-bee-hives/

Sugarbag – Tim Heard – Brisbane
Hives in boxes for $400, with $100 delivery.
Phone: 07 3844 4914
Email: tim@sugarbag.net
Website: http://www.sugarbag.net

Don Riding – Clear Mountain (in boxes)
Phone: 07 3298 5253
Email: d.riding@bigpond.net.au
Customer to pick up hives

John Waters, Bardon (in boxes)
Phone: 07 3870 8664
Email: yodaregen@fastmail.fm

Col Webb – Brassall (in logs & boxes)
Phone: 07 3201 7083
Email: coje1122@bigpond.net.au

Russell and Janine Zabel –  Hatton Vale (in boxes)
Phone: 0404 892 139
Email: bees@zabel.com.au
Website: http://www.zabel.com.au

Recommended Native Bee Books

Further Information

  • ANBees – an active forum for discussions on all sorts of Australian native bee topics
  • Aussie Bee – Australian Native Bee Research Centre
  • Bob the Beeman – rescues and relocates colonies of Native Stingless Bees

Where to buying seeds online in Australia

If you are new to buying seeds there are thousands of different varieties to choose from. You may like to consider:

Heirloom seeds have stood the test of time. Each time they are chosen from the best plants, so you progressively get seeds which suit the climate, give good yields and taste great. Modern hybrids are selected for looking good on a grocery store shelf and transporting long distances. For example, hybrid tomatoes often have thick skins. Hybrid plants may crop all at once, while heirloom seeds tend to crop over a longer period which makes them more suitable for the home grower.

There are a number of good places to buy heirloom and/or organic seeds in Australia:

List of heirloom and/or organic seeds in Australia

I was surprised to stumble across some heirloom seeds on eBay. You can also buy some seeds on Etsy, but the sellers are mostly American. I’ve not bought seeds from overseas as I imagine that Australian Customs would quickly quarantine them.

Seed Savers is another option.