What began as a road trip across Australia, laid seed to the idea of a sourdough ‘micro’ bakery in country Victoria. Inspired by the many bakers, farmers, millers and friends we visited from various towns such as Langhorne Creek, the Blue Mountains, Gippsland and Launceston, the idea soon bloomed into real life.
Having seen on our travels how the local communities supported and appreciated the bakeries that we visited, it made us want to continue baking naturally leavened bread, try to assist in educating people on the benefits of buying from small scale producers and to do so in a place that values local produce and its natural surroundings.
Nick and I (Jackie) moved to Pomonal permanently in 2019, having already spent some years working at various bakeries in Melbourne and deciding a more country lifestyle would fit our ambitions and values.
The sourdough culture that was started at the beginning of our road trip and which, more quietly, endured the long drives, occasional missed feeds and extreme heat, is now used to make all the naturally leavened baked goods at Blue Wren Bakery. A unique keepsake of our holiday and journey.
Our bakery is a small scale production with the intention of making sourdough breads and sweets for the local community.
Making simple things but doing it well.
Although they are found further afield than just the Grampians or Pomonal, the blue wrens are a tiny and bouncy reminder of where we live. They also do wonders at cleaning up the crumbs tossed from our bread board each morning. If you’re after real bread made by hand and with local ingredients, just follow the crumbs.
Here are some of the key ideas we took away from our road trip, based on what we saw and heard at the bakeries and farms we visited.
Small pockets of inspiration we hang on our bakery thought wall.
‘“I’m a lazy farmer. I let nature do the work.”
Building the bridge: We need more all rounders to foster understanding between farmer, miller and baker’.’
‘Keep it local and be eco friendly where possible.’‘
‘Create processes that suit the ingredients and product to get the best tastes and flavours. Minimal inputs for maximum output.’‘Endeavour to keep learning.’
‘Have a dream. Then make it happen.’
‘Our goal is to look after the land for future generations too. We’re not interested in yield. We’re interested in the soil health. The rest will follow.’