Everyday slow living in the Adelaide Hills of South Australia
20th April 2020
"I hope this little letter reminds you that it is okay to
embrace the season you are in now"
Today we meet Jordan, all the way from South Australia, she chats to us about why being seasonal and sustainable is important in her business, creating these incredible cakes, of which I am completely obsessed with... alongside looking at our lives in seasons and how they don't always match the world around us. I also love the idea that they are well and truly in Autumn and looking at Winter at this side of the world, just as we are heading into Summer here, sometimes taking a moment to appreciate that all parts of the world are in different seasons at different times can help add some perspective to life.
Hello, I’m Jordan and I am a baker, cook and teacher from the beautiful Adelaide Hills of South Australia. Through my business Thistle and Whey, I create bespoke celebration cakes using seasonal ingredients, sustainable practices and local produce. I also run food workshops and host seasonal dinners. I am really passionate about making food that is local, seasonal and good for the planet and inspiring others to do the same whilst reconnecting to the seasons and to nature.
I decided to start this business after years of working in the hospitality industry and really loving cooking and the joy of gathering people over food, but finding the waste and lack of support for local growers or seasonal, local produce (#notallrestaurants of course!) quite hard to deal with.
When my daughter was born I wanted to do something that would give me more time at home with her, something that I felt good about, and something that would inspire her. I wanted to finally do something that matched up with my ethics and core values. And so Thistle and Whey came into being.
Sustainable & Seasonal
Sustainability and seasonality are a huge part of my brand and the products I make, but they are also important in how I run the business too. “Sustainable” is, of course, a popular word these days but it is truly something that matters to me. Not only in the everyday decisions of my business (for example using only local produce, supporting small scale organic growers, choosing planet friendly packaging, avoiding plastic as much as possible) but also in the way I grow Thistle and Whey and in how I respond to challenges.
Growing a business from scratch is hard work (as I’m sure lots of you out there are well aware!). It is slow and sometimes frustrating and disheartening. But it is also freedom, creativity, joy and meaning. And I know that for me to grow something that will sustain me for years to come, that will grow with my family and our lives and change and adapt when it needs to, this growth needs to be slow. I don’t know what Thistle and Whey will look like in five years. But I know that if I spend the time and effort creating a strong foundation now, this business will withstand change and continue to serve me in the years to come. Sustainability, in all facets, is not often easy. But it is always important.
Seasons of Life
"There is beauty to be found in every season and
each is so very valuable in its own way."
Which is why I also look to the seasons – both outward to the natural world and the inward to the season I am in personally- while I build this sustainable business. There is beauty to be found in every season and each is so very valuable in its own way. We sometimes need the chance to slow down, bunker away and dream up new ideas, nurture ourselves by retreating from the world. Just as we sometimes need to be busy and passionate and out there sharing our message with the world. We each have winter, summer, autumn and spring times in our personal lives and I think it is really important to honour them all. Our personal seasons don’t necessarily need to match up with the natural seasons going on around us, but the natural world provides a good reminder that we can embrace where we are at now, and know that wherever that may be, it isn’t forever.
"what I do now is laying some
fabulous foundations for later..."
The season I am in now means running and growing a business whilst also being an almost full time carer for my two year old. And what that means is I could get very frustrated and impatient with how slow Thistle and Whey is growing, how little time I have to spend on the business and how little I am contributing financially to the household because of this. I could, and have on occasion, succumbed to the difficulties I’m sometimes faced with trying to juggle these two occupations. But it really helps me stay positive, focussed and excited about business to remember that my daughter won’t be two forever, and what I do now is laying some fabulous foundations for later, when I will have more time. This season shall pass, and I want to be able to look back (from a future where Thistle and Whey has my full attention and is thriving) and know that I made the most of my daughter’s early years.
I hope this little letter reminds you that it is okay to embrace the season you are in now, and to remember that slow, purposeful growth is a fantastic way to build something truly lasting.
And, lastly, I hope you are getting out and enjoying whatever season Mother Nature is embracing you with now! Here in South Australia the leaves are turning, the beautiful autumnal produce is starting to appear and mornings are fresh and crisp. I am thinking about lighting our wood heater for the first time tonight and as I sit at my desk and write this, I am wrapped in a large woollen scarf, gazing at the soft grey of the sky outside. They are all good and important, but I’m sure I’m not the only one who feels that autumn truly is a season that is easy to love.
It's so nice to meet you... We are so glad you've found our slow & seasonal lifestyle journal, grab yourself a cup of tea, perhaps a homemade biscuit or slice of cake from a local shop and lets dive in.
We are Mike & Emma, husband & wife, homebodys, although not ones to shy away from adventure, we created Vincent Living with a passion for traditional methods, beauty in imperfection and our planet.
We live by the sea in South Devon and find ourselves listening to the waves after long days creating, we love nothing more than a cosy night in with our little Cyprus rescue dog Lola.