Words and images by Georgia Blackie.
Jacinta Carmichael-Parissi co-owns and runs Lyttleton Stores, a magical multi-purpose space and community hub in Lawson, midway up the Blue Mountains, NSW. Opening their doors just over a year ago, Jacinta and her sister Adelina have made the core pair of stores, PanTree Produce, and Atelier, a boutique and gallery for independent artisan wares and art, an essential place that brings together growers and creatives beautifully.
Lyttleton Stores demonstrates the common thread of artisanal production, unifying the creativity necessary to sustainable farming and growing, and the practical handiwork of creative and artistic making. Lyttleton Stores also incorporates Preserve, a workshop space, the newly-built commercial-grade Kitchen, and the Garden, an organic veggie patch and orchard. This impressive business is also a little movement, and is hard to sum up in a paragraph!
We visited Jacinta to walk in her garden and chat about how she takes care of herself and the Earth - bringing you more winter wellness inspiration!
ALAS: What are your strategies for staying well in Winter?
J C-P: I have a few main ways of keeping well both physically and emotionally in Winter, all focused on honouring the season as it comes. Tea is the answer to all questions, and during Winter I prefer to drink herbal tea more than cold water to keep me hydrated. It is a great opportunity to enjoy the radiant warmth of a steaming cup as well as to include some immune-boosting herbs into a daily routine such as fresh ginger and turmeric, nettle, rosehip and lemon balm which are in abundance in the lead up to Winter. Nature aids our health seasonally by making available the plants and other foods that are rich in the nutrients we need most at a given time of year. Eating seasonally is important for many reasons, aside from health and wellbeing, eating this way also reduces the resources needed to grow and transport unseasonal produce to us during Winter. At Lyttleton Stores I stock seasonal produce, grown locally, and so right now leafy greens, mushrooms, brassicas, citrus, pumpkin and parsnips are just some of the delicious vegetables in the store. These are best enjoyed with small portions of slow roasted, sustainably-sourced meats and a glass of organic wine. The final thing that keeps me well in Winter is sleep! The longer nights are a perfect excuse for me to be curling up in my ALAS pjs with a book in front of the fire before catching up on rest.
ALAS: Can you suggest three small changes we should make to our day-to-day routine that will have a positive environmental impact?
J C-P: 1: Eating seasonally means you can reduce food miles and waste. For example, Winter fruit and vegetables are higher in nutrition so you need only eat small portions while still getting maximum nutrition. Winter produce is also hardier and lasts longer so there is less waste from food spoiling.
2: Composting your food scraps is an important way of reducing waste and methane gasses being emitted from landfill, and there are many places you can donate your food scraps for composting if you don’t have the set up yourself.
3: Say no to all single use disposable food containers and plastic wrapping; carry with you a cup, a tupperware container, a beeswax wrap, a spork and my favourite is a handy pocket knife. It may seem clunky at first but if you think about all the junk you save from landfill it is clear that being a little bit organised is well worth it for the planet.
ALAS: When you have time off, what are your favourite things to do to make it really count?
J C-P: My days off are almost always spent in nature, either on a friends’ farm or walking in the bush. I try to make time to enjoy sharing a meal with loved ones, either being cooked for at my local restaurants or cooking up a feast with friends and family.
ALAS: Can you recommend something that you think is generally underrated?
J C-P: Positive encouragement and support from friends and family is often taken for granted, but is one of the vital components of our project’s success, never forget to say aloud when you feel impressed or proud of someone’s efforts or achievements.