Leonie brushtail bush foods digging stinging nettle for lunch

Recently, I spent a morning with Leonie from Brushtail Bush foods. A Boolarra farm growing and suppling native Australian herbs to restaurants and wholesales, fresh and dried.

Walking around her property, which she farms with her partner Terry, there are rambling paddocks of Strawberry gum, native thyme, beds of rive mint and pepper berry. Living outside of town, Leonie and Terry live largely off what they produce and grow around them.

On this day, Leonie shared her recipe for yogurt bread with stinging nettle.

Stinging nettles, Urtica dioica, have stinging hairs on them called trichomes, which will irritate your skin if you touch them. I know I still have an itchy finger from this morning. You need to wear gloves when handling them and soak the stems in a bowl of boiling water before use. The boil water removing the stinging chemicals from the plant.

The soaking liquid can be used as a tea with honey. Leonie uses it in a hot bath. It is said to be useful for inflammation or skin ailments. Stinging nettles are known as the “cure-all” weed.

Yogurt bread with stinging nettle


500 g of self-raising flour

one teaspoon of salt

500g of Greek yogurt

extra flour for dusting

one bunch of Stan needles

Use gloves when handling because if you don’t, you will get stung.

  1. Remove the leaves from stinging nettle and soak them in a bowl of boiling water for a few minutes. Strain then chop finely
  2. Combine flour, salt, and yogurt with blanch stinging nettles. Mix to form a dough.
  3. Turn out on a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth. Divide dough into approximately 10 balls. Roll each ball of dough into a flat into a 1 cm thick disk.
  4. Placed on a tray cover with a damp tea towel to stop them from drying out.
  5. Heat a lightly greased griddle pan (or you can use a sandwich press) and cook until golden and risen.


A little while ago, I was lucky to share a meal with Nadine from Wattlebank park farm.  

Winter recipe at Jacican, Cooking School, with Wattlebank Park Farm

Nadine is the owner and operator, let just call her the farmer, of Wattlebank Park farm, located at St Clair, about halfway between Inverloch and Wonthaggi. A mixed farm of dairy, beef, pork, and lamb, Nadine produces a way range of meats and small goods that she sells through her farm gate butchers shop and at many of the local farmers' markets. In a collaboration with Prom Country Cheese, she produces a range of cow’s milk cheese. 

Wattlebank Park Farm roast pork

As you all know that I like to buy direct, where I can, from the farmer and as Wattlebank Park farm offers the whole range, it is one of my first go to shops for beef, pork, lamb and small goods. Nadine makes the best ‘Polish Sausage’ you have tasted. You can find her polish sausage atop many of the wood-fired pizzas, made and served locally.

Wattlebank Park farm roast beef

Not only is Nadine a farmer, and businesswomen, she is a fantastic cook. The day I visited, she was up earlier, stoking ‘Betty the Rayburn’ to slow roast my meal. Her delicious serving of slow cooked lamb, cooked through chicken, melting in the mouth beef and crackle, yes, the crackle crackled, roasted pork, made me want to return to the kitchen and cook up a winter roast feast!


You can find the full version of this article, along with Nadine's recipes in the Winter 2018 issue of Gippsland Country Life Style magazine

FAQs - Jacican Frequently Asked Questions

How do I book a Jacican cooking class or Walk Amongst the Weeds five-course lunch?

You can book all Jacican cooking classes or Walk Amongst the Weeds five-course lunches online at Jacican Cooking classes.

Is a Jacican cooking class a demonstration or hands-on?

All Jacican cooking classes are hands-on. You will learn to cook or preserve just like Jaci by doing. 

For the three to five hours of the cooking class, you will be up on your feet, moving about the kitchen.   

How many guests are there in a Jacican cooking class?

There are six guests in a Jacican cooking class and up to 12 guests at a Walk Amongst the Weeds five-course lunch. 

Can I book a private class at Jacican?

Yes, you can have a private cooking class at Jacican for four to six guests for any Jacican cooking class—macarons, lollies, preserving, pastry—or up to 12 guests for a private Walk Amongst the Weeds five-course lunch. 

If you would like a private cooking class or lunch, contact Jacican to arrange a date and time that works for you.

How much notice does Jacican need for a private cooking class or Walk Amongst the Weeds?

Jacican needs at least 72 hours notice for a private booking, as food for your cooking class or Walk Amongst the Weeds five-course lunch needs time to be prepared. 

Do we get breaks in a Jacican cooking class?

Of course you do. 

There are two bathrooms, and we have afternoon tea with your choice of hot beverage, cold drinks and snacks in all Jacican cooking classes.

Can Jacican cooking classes accommodate dietary requirements?

We hope you understand that you will not be the only person in a Jacican cooking class, and even though Jaci will take as much care as possible to meet dietary requirements, it may only sometimes be possible. 

Does Jacican take cash booking for cooking classes or Walk Amongst the Weeds lunches?

No, only online bookings with credit card payment are available for Jacican Cooking classes.

Your booking for a Jacican cooking class or Walk Amongst the Weeds five-course lunches is only confirmed once payment has been received.

Can I cancel my cooking class booking?

Yes, up until the date and time of your cooking class, no questions asked, with a full refund.

You will have to let us know by email or phone.  

What happens if I forget to turn up?

Jacican will endeavour to send a reminder to you 48 hours before your cooking class to remind you to turn up. 

Does Jacican have a range of take-home produce?

Yes, but it is only available for sale at Jacican in Mirboo North. 

Can I use cash at Jacican to buy Jacican produce?

Yes, and Eftpos.

Does Jacican cater for functions?

Jacican only hosts onsite skills-based cooking classes and Walk Amongst the Weeds five-course lunches, in Mirboo North, Gippsland. 

How many people can Jacican seat?

Even though Jacican is licensed to serve 18 guests, the business chooses to seat no more than 12 guests at any one time. 

Does Jacican serve alcohol?

Jacican has a full liquor licence serving by choice Gippsland beer, wine and spirits in-house only.  

Is Jacican NDIS registered?


Can I attend a Jacican cooking class as part of my NDIS plan?

That is entirely up to you, your NDIS plan and your service provider.

Can Jacican provide a guest with an ABN receipt?

Yes, if you require an ABN receipt outside of your booking receipt, contact Jacican. 

Walk amongst the weeds

jacican harvest lunch

Cooking Classes

jacican preserving cooking class

Private Classes

jacican pastry cooking class pasties

Acknowledgment of country

Hello, I’m Jaci Hicken, from the lands of the Brataualung clan, which is where I’ve spent most of my life.

I would like to acknowledge all of us here today to cook together and share a meal.

I love sharing my dream of growing the food this country has to offer and share it with you.

The traditional place that we come together today is on the lands Gunaikurnai people

And I’d like to pay my respects to our elders past, present, emerging leaders, along with all the young people in our community.

Visit Jacican
32 Giles Street, Mirboo North Victoria 3871
Contact Jacican
Telephone: (03) 5668 2475

Copyright @2020 Jacican.com.au  Privacy Policy | Security Policy | Shipping Policy | Terms of UseAccomodation | Sitemap