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GUT HEALTH with Hayley Holzheimer

Gut Health with Hayley Holzheimer

A big thanks to Hayley Holzheimer for a very interesting presentation at our February meeting on GUT HEALTH.

Since embarking on a mainly plant based diet with the occasional meat meal, Hayley has managed a significant weight reduction.  Hayley is a therapist in Gut Heath and outlined the effects of processed foods, chemicals and toxins that cause issues in the Digestive System. This starts at the mouth and ends at the anus, a distance of about nine meters. 

Importantly, Hayley does not recommend drinking fluids immediately before or after meals.  These fluids dilute the digestive juices which compromises optimal digestion.  When we chew food, the mass mixes with saliva containing the enzyme amylase to form a bolus which goes down the oesophagus and into the stomach.  Here muscles mix the bolus with gastric acid to form chyme which passes on into the duodenum where it is further mixed with pancreatic enzymes.  Digestion is assisted by teeth and the muscles of mastication (chewing), contractions of peristalsis and segmentation.  Mucus in the stomach and gastric acid are essential for digestion. 

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When chyme is broken down into chyle (digested fats) in the small intestine it is absorbed into the lymphatic system. The small intestine is where most food digestion takes place.  Water and some minerals are reabsorbed into the blood in the colon (large intestine) where the environment is slightly acidic.  The digestive waste products are defecated.  Other organs and components of digestion include the pancreas, liver, gall bladder, tongue, salivary glands and epiglottis.


Water is vital to our bodies and we require two and a half to three litres of hydration to flush our system. The gut is a microbiome of bacteria and gut flora.  Antibiotics kill off the good gut bacteria.  Good quality probiotics containing live bacteria should be included into our regular diet.  Probiotics are contained in yogurt, apple cider vinegar, kefir, sauerkraut, tempeh, kimchi, miso, and kombucha.   Organic fruit and vegetables not only taste better they provide the nutrients from a nurtured soil.

Dietary fibre hastens the transit through the digestive system.  Not all fibre is prebiotic.  Prebiotics provide food for our good bacteria   and are found in: vegetables - (cabbage, green peas, snow peas, asparagus, beetroot, fennel bulb, sweet corn, savoury, spring onion, onion, leek, garlic, shallot, Jerusalem artichoke and chicory) : legumes – (chickpeas, lentils, red kidney beans, baked beans and soybeans) : fruit – (custard applies, nectarines, white peaches, persimmons, tamarillo, watermelon, rambutan, grapefruit, pomegranate, dried fruit like dates and figs) : grains and nuts (barley, rye couscous, wheat bran, oats, cashews and pistachio nuts) : other – (human breast milk).

Flatulence is a sign that gut microflora are active.

The body ph. can be altered from acidic to alkaline by ingesting blackstrap molasses and bicarbonate soda.  Consuming a little Organic wine often is beneficial to health.  Our bodies hold toxicity and parasites.  Colonics provide an opportunity to flush out the system and decrease inflammation and constipation.

The take home message is: EAT LIVE FOOD to promote good bacterial growth in our bodies.

Composting for your Garden - By Kay de Gunst


Composting Facts:

Compost added to soil can reduce moisture loss by up to 73% and improves the soil structure.    Compost turns waste into food for soil organisms and nutrients for plants. Anything that has previously been living, including vegetable matter and prunings, can be composted but avoid bones and meat because they can attract vermin.


Making compost is like making lasagne; you need lots of thin layers of material.  You are relying on worms, insects, fungi, bacteria and other tiny organisms to break everything down.   Arranging your compost as thin layers of materials allows organisms to more easily work their way through the mix.


What to Compost:

A huge variety of organic waste can be recycled onto your compost heap. The secrets of good composting are that a percentage of high carbon materials such as straw, paper, mulched wood and twigs, dead leaves, sawdust, chipped wood waste, hay and a smaller percentage of high nitrogen materials such as animal manure, grass clippings, green weeds, vegetable waste, blood and bone are used.


Materials to be composed should be moistened so that by squeezing a sample, only a few drops of water are released.   If the compost material is too wet, the system will not work.   Mashing and chopping up tough material will help it compost down. 

You will need:

Nitrogen-rich organic material (grass clippings, animal manures, green waste)

Small particles (chip ingredients by hand or use a mower or shredder)

Moisture (the materials should feel like a damp sponge)

What to Plant 

Below is a list of plantings suitable for our area this next month.  

  • Seeds to be planted directly into your prepared ground:

Asian Vegetables; French Beans / Snake Beans; Beetroot; Cabbage; Carrots; Cauliflower; Leeks; Lettuce; Marrow; Mustard Greens; Onions; Parsnips; Potatoes; Radish; Shallots; Silverbeet; Squash; Sweet Corn; Sweet Potatoes;


  • Seeds to be planted into seedling trays:

Cabbage; Chilli;  Capsicum; Cauliflower; Celery; Lettuce; Silverbeet; Tomatoes.

  • Strawberries:  Prepare sites for runners to be planted out later this month.



The club has a seed bank library consisting of seeds from our member’s gardens.   Club members have the opportunity to swap or select organic seeds for their own home garden use.   Look for it at the meeting; it is on a table against the wall opposite the entrance.




Growing abundant food in hot drought conditions -  by Pam Burgess


The level in the dam is going down, looking really sad now. We have been praying for rain for months. We do not live in Far North Qld, maybe the message got garbled. Anyway, with most things starting to look pale green & crispy instead of luscious & vibrantly green, shade has become the most important tool in my garden, after water.


The larger Poinciana, Banana, White Cedar & Palm trees as well as the bamboos are offering respite to all things green in their sphere of influence, grass is still lush, herbs & green leafies are all still producing well, and the ginger & turmeric are growing extremely well. (Providing the goannas don't get their snouts & claws in underneath.)


But what about the sunny zones? Well, we had to become more inventive out there, so what did we do? For starters Pete found some old frames that used to protect trees from horses, they got hauled up to the orchard, a heavy layer of mulch was applied over well fed & well watered soil surrounding newly transplanted Jackfruit & Jaboticaba trees. I then scavenged a few good-looking dried palm fronds, cut them in half & tied them to the top of the metal frames, et voila --- light shade during the worst of the days heat.  By adding comfrey plants around the edges, extra nutrients will be mined from the sub soil, bought to the surface into their leaves, giving me a very convenient chop & drop way of feeding my young trees in passing. The comfrey enjoyed the extra shade too.


What about the veggie patch? Yes, we have an English style patch in the 2nd orchard, in the sun. So, when almost all of the plants had done their dash, out they came to become ground cover mulch under the Pomegranate tree. The bed got a good dose of well rotted cow manure, a millmud dump mulch & soil mix, plenty of water, then a 6" to 8" layer of sorghum mulch. I then decided to plant according to the moon phases, so on week one of the new moon I opened up the mulch just far enough to create a planting space & in went the green leafy seeds (Bok Choy, Perpetual Spinach, Sunflowers, Millet, Cow Peas, Spring Onions, Chinese greens, Brussel Sprouts).


Week 2 of the new moon, heading up to full moon I have planted anything that fruits, like corn, runner beans, more leafy greens, a few zucchini seedlings are looking ready to transplant too & some flowers for the bees. I have some beetroot seeds just poking through the surface in their pots, perhaps I will transplant them next week, or else I will have to nurture them for 5 weeks.

So here are a few photos of life out at Bucca Haven, where there is always something to eat in the garden. All year round.

Composting for your Garden
What to Plant
Growing abundant food in hot drought conditions
Alpaca Day

Alpaca Day at Angela Samways


I went there on 17th of March. It was well worthwhile. Lots of patting, goods for sale and lots of information.  You could even buy one for $500 or $700 for a pregnant female. The wool is amazingly soft and lovely. Bags of poo for $4 with a 2-litre bottle of poo tea thrown in. The poo does not need to be composted or aged because it is so well digested and there is no smell.  It is good for all the garden including natives because of low phosphorus.


Did you know that some Alpacas (and it is quite common) will ignore able bodied people and go straight up to someone in a wheel chair or on crutches? I thought that was pretty special.  Sorry no photos. I forgot my phone.       Greer.

Bundy Flavours

It will be on Saturday, 6th July, 2019 from 7 am – 2 pm.


Bundy Flavours is an event run by Bundaberg Regional Council to showcase local produce.  The event is held in the western end of Alexandra Park in Quay Street - the site adjoins the Tallon Bridge. 

Setting up is from 5.30 am. We usually start setting up at 6 am. Vehicles must be off the site by 7 am.


Following the huge success of 2018, and with the enthusiastic support at our February meeting, three stalls are proposed by BOGI this year.  There is one condition though. We need two members per stall to organise the stall as we need to spread the load. It is not a big job and Maureen and Peter will guide you and organise things that common to all three. The stalls are:



Stall 1: Seedling give-away with backdrop of named, edible display plants

For the seedling give-away stall, a large number of plastic drinking cups have been obtained and these can be used for growing the seedlings in.  These will be available at the March Meeting, so please take as many as you want, as lots more are available.  Holes have already been put in the bottom of the cups for drainage.  If you want, you can use a water-proof pen to write the names of the plants on the outside of the plastic cups.

We will need a seedling drop-off site in town where people can drop-off their seedlings a day or two before the event and some named edible display plants as a backdrop.



Stall 2:  Food stall giving away small samples of healthy salads and healthy drinks

If you are interested in the Food Stall, Bundaberg Regional Council prefers at least one person on site at all times to have a Food Safety Certificate.  Apparently, this free course can be done on-line through the Council website (just click on the Services tab). This was a very successful stall last year and Peter and Pam Burgess can provide guidance with this stall.



Stall 3:  Children’s Activity stall (NB - there is no official requirement to have a Blue Card to help or run this event).

Bundaberg Regional Council requires suitably themed food related activities for the duration of the event. Council provides:

Bundy Sugar colouring sheets (TBC) (should we decide to use them).

5 x plastic trestle tables

12 x chairs

6x6m marquee with sides x 3


Council will set up the marquee and tables on Friday afternoon so items can be taken to this marquee (usually near the river bank) between 10 am and 2 pm on Friday and left there as there will be security over Friday night.  Set up is from 5 am and vehicles need to be offsite by 6.30 am.


To get things moving, we need to know what help people can provide, so at our March Meeting there will be a sheet of paper on each table asking people what they are prepared to do to make this event successful.  Please fill in as many details as you can regarding which stalls you can help with either on the day or behind the scenes such as growing seedlings and/or plants for tasting.  We will need some fold up tables and possibly a marquee with 3 sides and a floor for the food stall.

The details on these sheets will be collated after the meeting so that timely planning can begin for the three stalls.


Please talk to Peter van Beek or Maureen Schmitt for more details. 

Bundy Flavours
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