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Permaculture & Orphaned Dorper Lambs Help Define Mandleman Manor

Queensland-based Mandleman Manor founder Lauren Bishop tells us all about the importance of zone planning and turning eggplants into brownies.

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by Phillip MlynarSeptember 16, 2021
PHOTO: Mandleman Manor

“Living off the land felt like a life we were both really drawn to,” says Lauren Bishop, who runs the start up permaculture-focused hobby farm Mandleman Manor in Queensland, Australia, alongside her partner, Tyler.

The roots of Mandleman Manor stem from conversations Lauren and Tyler had while engaged in a long distance relationship.

“We have both always shared a passion for sustainability and spoke at great length about our desire to live as sustainably as possible, in all aspects of our life,” Lauren recalls. “I was inspired to produce our own food after my weekly trips to the farmers market in the city, where I started to learn about the benefits of creating my own broths, fermenting and baking.”

We spoke to Lauren about turning eggplants into chocolate brownies and the importance of zone planning. We also found out about the farm’s resident Dorper lamb, Buttons.

The Importance of Permaculture

 

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Embracing best permaculture practices is key at Mandleman Manor. Lauren points to establishing and planning specific zones as an essential element of running the farm.

“The more accessible we make things, the more we will use them— it’s just human nature,” she explains. “Zone one, which is located around the house, has our greenhouse, water collectors, composting bays and kitchen garden, which homes our herbs and salad greens.

“Zone two, which is located only seconds from the house, homes our native bee hive and a wide variety of seasonal fruit and vegetables that require more space and less attention.”

Lauren adds that zone three hosts the barn yard where the animals dwell and graze. In the near future, Mandleman Manor will establish a new zone four for use as an orchard.


Read more: Pasture permaculture is a matter of good grazing.


This Year’s Crop Bounty

 

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When it comes to the Mandleman Manor’s most successful crops this year, Lauren names eggplant, sweet potato and zucchini at the top of the list.

“The excess eggplants I’ve been turning into chocolate brownies,” she says. “They are so decadent and moist.”

Beyond sweet treats, the zucchinis make their way into fritters and quiches, while sweet potatoes play great with truffle oil.

Getting Creative with Bountiful Produce

 

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Along with farming, Mandleman Manor also provides a meal planning service. In a bid to minimize waste when it comes to extra bountiful crops, Lauren advises that preservation just makes sense if you find yourself with an abundance of one particular vegetable.

“An example of this is chilies,” says Lauren. “We have serval different types of chilies which I use to make curry pastes, chili-infused oil, chili jam and dried chillies for garnishes, sauces, soups and stews.”

“When a harvest is extra successful and you are inundated with a specific fruit or veg, finding different ways to experience one ingredient can be an exciting process.”


Read more: Ready to start fermenting? These 10 tips will help!


Get to Know Buttons the Lamb

 

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One of the stars of Mandleman Manor’s Instagram account is a fetching lamb named Buttons. The little ruminant experienced a hardscrabble start to life.

“Buttons is a neglected Dorper lamb,” explains Lauren. “Like most orphan lambs, they can be very demanding. This can pose challenges when integrating them with other animals.

“Buttons has a beautiful nature and is very affectionate. And whilst I do miss having her by my side all the time, I thoroughly have enjoyed watching her fit in with the other animals seamlessly.”

Nurturing Nature

 

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Reflecting on the Mandleman Manor journey so far, Lauren says that nurturing animals and produce has felt immensely rewarding.

“We love knowing that the foods we consume have no artificial processing, chemicals, preservatives or harmful ingredients added,” she says. “We both share a love for creating meals that are handpicked and harvested from our garden.”

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