Shedhouse Farm

What one food producer sees as waste, Mick and Cassie Real see as top ingredients for fermented or dehydrated food products. They established the Shedhouse Farm label two and a half years ago at Homeleigh where they live on 18 acres.

An ever-increasing range of pickles, rubs and brews is emerging from the Shedhouse Farm where Mick passionately strives for sustainability. He sources local organic harvest and by-products from food processing to minimise food miles. The Shedhouse Farm tag line is ‘Real food, low travel’ and the goal is no-waste processing.

For example, Mick salvages the residue remaining after producers press pecans for oil. The ‘waste’ is full of protein and carbohydrate which Mick dehydrates and grinds to a powder used in two products.

First he makes cold brewed coffee left to drip for 10-12 hours, then adds pecan powder. The result is a delicious pecan-infused iced coffee without milk or sugar; vegan friendly. The remaining coffee grounds are dehydrated and combined with pecan powder, smoked habanero chilli and some South Australian salt to produce a punchy rub for meats, fish or vegetables.

Shedhouse Farm pickles are fermented using solely brine. This gives a flavour profile more similar to the original vegetable than using vinegar. With Silver Slicer cucumbers from a friend’s farm, Mick makes sandwich pickles with the best cucumbers, usually fermented for about two months.

The remaining cucumbers are fermented with dill seeds and chilli. The liquid is used as a drink, tonic or mixer. The solids are dehydrated and ground into Chilly Dilly pickle salt.

The ingenious Shedhouse Farm products can be purchased online, at a few local retailers and at the Rotary Kyogle Bazaar. And there are plans for fermentation workshops to help “preserve preservation” says Mick.