So long, Rose, and thanks for all the labneh…

Two good years. Two full Spring to Autumn seasons stacked with sourdough, rabbit ravioli and crazy beautiful desserts. And a quietly grounding presence for our entire farm crew, and for every student lucky enough to share a taste.

Tragic (no, really) though it is, I must share with you that Rose, the permachef whom we do love so, is off to seek the next chapter of her fortune. To design and run a new inner-city eatery in Brisbane, to be exact. I hope those Brisbanites figure out how good they’ve got it coming to them… 

Rose’s sourdough croissants. She didn’t have enough to do that day…

And on, and on. Fresh food, treated with love, cooked with care, and eaten with gusto by us all…

Rose probably wouldn’t want me to make a big deal about this. Every time we threw back our heads when dinner was served and yelled VIVA LA COCINERA (huzzah the cook) someone typically got threatened with a spoon. She’s like that.

But still it must be said. Even if only a little bit.

Milkwood Farm has been a rapidly evolving social enterprise which has careened in various new directions at a great rate of knots in the last two years (or that’s how it feels from the inside, anyway).

And in the middle of all the brainstorming and experimenting and trying and succeeding and failing and succeeding again has been Rose. Always. Quietly serving up yet another amazing meal, in the midst of all the crazy ideas and projects and woofers and interns and crew and piles of things that shouldn’t be on the servery. Again.

Rose has made many things apparent since she arrived at Milkwood Farm in the Spring of 2011. Most of all, that good, simple, nourishing food, cooked with love and served up in a timely fashion, is the key to a happy Milkwood Farm.

A good cook is intrinsic to an operation of our type in every way you can think of. The kitchen is the heart of our farm – it’s where all the harvest goes into, and where so very many meals, preserves and also lots of washing up comes out of.

Before Rose arrived, I was kinda the default cook of Milkwood, though we pretended to rotate throughout the crew. While I enjoyed catering for our early PDC and other courses, once the baby wouldn’t stay strapped to my back throughout, it got a bit tricky.

And then Milkwood started flowering and becoming something bigger than just Nick and I pedalling as hard as we could to make it all work. So cooking for everyone got a bit trickier again.

But we got by with a roster, itinerant input from a range lovely folk including shearers cooks (thanks Vicki) and best friends (thanks Sofie) until one day I cracked it and decided that next Spring we would get a cook during course season.

Rose with yet another batch of beetroot and radish sauerkraut…

Enter Rose. She can break down the carcass of a deer before breakfast and then make sourdough croissants for lunch (just to try them out, you know).

She’s the kind of girl who trots off up the hill with a basket to gather nettles, then adapts instantly to incorporate them alongside the surprise arrival of four just-hunted rabbits for dinner.

She’s the kind of girl who can make a full roast dinner for 40 hungry permaculture students, then make flower sprinkled desserts as well. And then do it all again tomorrow. And she can make 3 rows of pak choi into things other than, er, pak choi.

And the preserves. Ah, the preserves. How many tonnes of just-picked tomatoes this year did you turn into passata, Rose? Because that’s the thing with a garden-to-plate operation. Once the food starts ripening, you better be ready to deal with it. All of it. Now. And deal with it all Rose did – we now have passata to last us all till Christmas.

Ok you get it by now, I’m sure. She rocks. We’re so grateful to have known her and we feel blessed to have been a part of her life’s journey.

Rose, thank you. For your food, your centered presence, and your grace. Thanks for the love (and considerable patience) you’ve showed Ashar, always welcoming him into your kitchen and letting him help wherever you could. He’s a lucky kid to have had an auntie such as you around for two whole seasons of childhood…

So to paraphrase Mr Salatin; may your krauts all foam and your sprouts not. May your sourdough always rise and your goose-fat potatoes crisp up. May your children rise up and call you blessed. You’ve already made a better world than you found.

Any shout-outs of appreciation  for Miss Rosie Rose (remember, we’re all out of spoon range now), bring them on….

>> More posts about making and baking food at Milkwood

So what happens now? Well that’s the question. We’re putting the finishing touches on our ‘wanted: kick-ass farm cook/chef’ position description, and we’ll be putting it about shortly in readiness for our next Spring-Autumn season. If you know anyone suitably awesome (and available), be sure to tell them to get in touch

p.s. when Rose’s Brisbane joint opens, we’ll be sure to let y’all know.

28 Comments

  1. carol spencer
    Posted May 1, 2013 at 6:16 am | Permalink | Reply

    Rose rocks the kitchen! Loved following her creations! All the best Rose in your new venture and thank you for inspiring us all:)

  2. Sharn
    Posted May 1, 2013 at 6:30 am | Permalink | Reply

    Viva la cocinara Nanna Rose, best of luck with your new venture and your knitting, I hope there is a hammock with a view with your name on it where you are heading to next. We here all seek to live seasonal and local – if you ever make a Milkwood recipe book it will make you a million to start up your venture…? Thanks for opening your kitchen caravan door and your heart, you are an amazing woman X

  3. Posted May 1, 2013 at 6:50 am | Permalink | Reply

    A beauty in more than name and stature Rose, you truly rock! What is Milkwood going to do without you?! Good luck whacking me all the way down here in Tassie and should we ever be mad enough to venture to Brissie what’s the name of Roses new enterprise? It would be amazing to be fed and satiated by the amazing Rose of Milkwood…you should buy a gorgeous rose and plant it for your own Rose :)

  4. Damian Harrison
    Posted May 1, 2013 at 7:09 am | Permalink | Reply

    Thanks Rose for the amazing food sweet, sour and savory, the sneaky wwoofer treats, wonderful inspiration and little lessons. You’re a pea shelling assasin and a bringer of kim chi! Good luck with your next adventures!

  5. Raquel
    Posted May 1, 2013 at 7:33 am | Permalink | Reply

    Oh how much I remember each one of those morning/afternoon/lunch breaks during our PDC!! Cookies, cakes, crostatas, savoury muffins, peach with ricotta, endless salads, casseroles, zucchini frittatas, stuffed zucchini, zucchini with everything and amazing (hence it was zucchini season!), KIMCHI, jams, fruit compote, yoghurt, sourdough…..it was an amazing food journey, and PDC of course! Thank you Rose for showing me your sacred caravan kitchen and sharing a couple of your recipes. You are awesome!

  6. fraseroldmillroad
    Posted May 1, 2013 at 7:51 am | Permalink | Reply

    A person like Rose makes her own luck so instead I’ll wish her all the best of health, good company and fine days. The world needs more Roses

  7. andrea
    Posted May 1, 2013 at 7:56 am | Permalink | Reply

    Hopefully a recipe book is in Roses future how often I have looked at her creations and tried to figure out how they were put together. Master Chef she would win hands down if anyone bothered to put together a homestead version..hmm. another pathway?

  8. Gay English
    Posted May 1, 2013 at 8:03 am | Permalink | Reply

    I live in Brisbane so need to know when Rose opens her awesome eatery!!

  9. Posted May 1, 2013 at 9:10 am | Permalink | Reply

    What a beautiful lady that’s talents and expertise are endless! Rose you are an inspiration and I have been lucky enough to have tasted some of your amazing delights! Thank you and good luck in your new adventures! They will love you :)

  10. Gianna
    Posted May 1, 2013 at 9:19 am | Permalink | Reply

    Oh Rose… what can I say. We miss you!!! And we are very happy for your next adventure… Just to let you know, our bread intake has fallen dramatically. The reason? My machine bread is pathetic compared with your yummy sourdough. Big kiss! And thanks again jijiji

  11. Riss
    Posted May 1, 2013 at 9:22 am | Permalink | Reply

    Best of luck with the next exciting chapter, Rose! Anyone who has ever had any contact with you knows that you are a success at whatever you’d care to turn your hands to. You have been an absolute godsend for KB, so on behalf of the Bradley Cartel, I thank you. Mum and I catered for one three-day workshop in the early days – and were completely stuffed by the end of it – so we really do appreciate both your skills and fortitude.

  12. Posted May 1, 2013 at 9:59 am | Permalink | Reply

    Rose’s culinary skills will go down a treat in Brisbane! I’m sure she will never be starved for a customer.

  13. Robyn Harris
    Posted May 1, 2013 at 11:45 am | Permalink | Reply

    Yes, Rose, bless her. So very appreciated. <3

  14. Bronwyn
    Posted May 1, 2013 at 12:44 pm | Permalink | Reply

    HOORRAAAAAY ……. can’t wait, what a coup for Brisbane lol !!! Please let us know where/win Rose is up and running for business !!

  15. Posted May 1, 2013 at 5:33 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Have loved following your adventures in the kitchen and being inspired by your approach to cooking. Rose and Milkwood, you’ve played a role in shaping the cook I want to be. All the best for your new venture, I’m sure Milkwood will keep us informed and when’s your “inner-city eatery” is ready, I’ll brave my Brissy relatives and risk a trip up North. And if I may, I hope you might consider holding cooking classes, preserving classes, self-sufficiency classes… Can’t wait to try your new place and have an excuse to travel to Brisbane.

  16. Anne Newberry
    Posted May 1, 2013 at 8:08 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Thanks Milkwood crew for looking after our beautiful Rosa, we are extremely excited to have her back home to start her next culinary adventure. xo

  17. celia
    Posted May 1, 2013 at 10:41 pm | Permalink | Reply

    I am completely in awe of your soulful cooking Rose! Thank you so much for sharing your caravan with an aging wwoofer! Your grace and kindness really touched me.
    It was wonderful to see you in Hobart tonight at Nick’s talk (and hear the knitting and crocheting is still happening!) I look forward to seeing more of you this week. Much love Rose! xx

  18. deniz
    Posted May 1, 2013 at 11:48 pm | Permalink | Reply

    You had us drooling from the other end of the world Rose! If ever in Brisbane I sure will like to get my teeth into whatever you made that day. May the best of everything find you in your new venture and beyond. :)

  19. Mark F
    Posted May 2, 2013 at 7:32 am | Permalink | Reply

    What a star! I’m not far from Bris-vegas – keep us posted about the new eatery. Mark xx

  20. Hannah Cooper
    Posted May 2, 2013 at 7:37 am | Permalink | Reply

    Absolutely love your food, & loving doing the PDC with you in Hobart RIGHT NOW (or rather, at 9am)

  21. Trish Fallon
    Posted May 3, 2013 at 6:30 pm | Permalink | Reply

    The end of an ERA! Rose you and an absolute inspiration and eventhough I only spent a couple of short weeks with you at Milkwood, I am blessed to have experienced your cooking and generally basked in your awesomeness.Beaut words Kirsten, well said, each and every sentence resonates with accuracy for the gift that is, Rose and her cooking… Good luck Rose, although we know you won’t need it!

  22. Posted May 4, 2013 at 8:52 pm | Permalink | Reply

    I´ve never even visited the non-virtual Milkwood yet I’ll miss hearing about Rose too! Good luck on your next adventures!

  23. Posted May 8, 2013 at 11:23 am | Permalink | Reply

    Does anyone know where Rose’s new business will be in Brisbane?
    We wanna eat!

  24. Posted May 8, 2013 at 1:50 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Thank you Rose! I’m so grateful to have had the good fortune of sampling your divine cooking. I will miss hearing about and seeing all that deliciousness that you poured out of the Milkwood kitchen! Best of luck on your new adventure and please let us know where you are so we can visit!

  25. Pierre
    Posted May 8, 2013 at 1:55 pm | Permalink | Reply

    So long Rose, I can’t add much to what’s already been said. Your cooking rocks, three days of it last year March was enough to convince this fella! Best of luck with your new venture. Cheers, Pierre

  26. Posted May 9, 2013 at 10:12 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Food’s at the heart of why we do this permaculture stuff… we grow and plant and compost and try do things in the best way for the planet but at the end of the day we’re doing it all to feed ourselves…. And you do it better than most Rose. Some of my most enduring memories of the 2 weeks I spent at Milkwood are of the anticipation and deep satisfaction that came from the food produced amazingly from your caravan kitchen. VIVA LA COCINERA, VIVA LA ROSE!

  27. Tabitha Noonan
    Posted May 11, 2013 at 2:22 pm | Permalink | Reply

    A lovely, lovely lady is Rose. I loved connecting with her at the Intro to Permaculture course and was totally chuffed when she attempted to rearrange her schedule to cater our wedding. A blessing of sucess upon your new kitchen, Rose and I hope to see your face again one day soon! Tabitha. x

  28. Christine Corner Broombee Organics
    Posted May 11, 2013 at 4:03 pm | Permalink | Reply

    To the lovely wild rose, your smile and loving spirit were infectious and your food delicious! Good luck in your adventures x

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