Homespun and Homegrown are running workshops this weekend at the Cootamundra Arts Centre for all those interested in Sourdough, Worm Farms and Lacto Fermenting.

Emma Bonkain is the founder of Homespun and Homegrown. She said, “The store came about when we moved to Coota in 2018 and I started Homespun and Homegrown on Facebook just to document our gardening journey with family and friends back home. From there it just snowballed.”

After finishing her Diploma in Permaculture, Emma has now converted her quarter acre block into permaculture gardens, where she grows, “as many veggies and fruit as possible.”

Emma’s first workshop is on Saturday at 10am, where everyone comes and gets hands-on experience making a loaf of sourdough bread.

“Everyone gets a sourdough starter kit to take home and we make sourdough pancakes, and sourdough focaccia and everyone just gets a bit of all round knowledge on what they can do with the sourdough that’s not just making loaves of bread,” said Emma.

Emma welcomes all skill levels down, she already has multiple beginners booked in and a couple of returning sourdough lovers who are looking to perfect their skills.

In the Worm Farm Workshop on Sunday at 10am, Emma says, “We’re going to go through different types of worm farms for different situations. Everyone gets a PVC worm tower to take home to put in their garden and a worm starter pack from our worm farm.”

“We talk about ways of using the worm castings and the leachate from the worms in the garden and how to set up your worm farm from scratch with the layering and things like that,” she continues.

Her third workshop this weekend is Lacto Fermenting on Sunday at 1pm, where Emma says, “Patrons can learn to make sauerkraut and lacto fermented carrots. Everyone gets to take two fermentation sets home with jars and weights and silicone airlocks on the top.”


“We also talk about how and why it’s beneficial for your gut and try a variety of other ferments like honey fermented garlic, fermented seeded mustard, and then we talk about problem solving, in case anything goes wrong once they’re home,” she continues.

For those who love local products, Emma’s online store sells a variety of hand made products such as sourdough, sourdough kits, low toxic natural deodorants, and salves.

“I’ve got a calendula salve which is really good for any sort of skin condition and I’ve got a Cayenne Pepper salve as well ,which is good for achy joints and muscles,” Emma said.

If you are keen to learn something new this weekend or perfect your sourdough skills, contact Emma and Homespun and Homegrown on her website or facebook page about her engaging workshops.

Ed Dodds