2023 February – Issue 08

Happy month of love from your Valley Hub family.

Your February e-newsletter is brimful of faces you know sharing stories you might not. From love and romance, to life, loss, and all things in between. If you're enjoying The Valley Hub e-newsletter, make sure you head on over to our socials @thevalleyhub_nv and show us some love!

From Country

Love of Country - Unkya Local Aboriginal Land Council

Ocean Dreaming
Ocean Dreaming

Unkya Local Aboriginal Land Council Cultural Eco Tours in the spotlight:

Unkya LALC Cultural Eco Tours are an Aboriginal Tourism company on the Mid North Coast of NSW. They offer two authentic Aboriginal experiences operating out of Scotts Head and Gaagal Wanggaan (South Beach) National Park sharing and promoting the unique Gumbaynggirr spirituality and culture.

The Gurruuja Juun (Whale Tail) Tour is a 1.5 hour leisurely stroll along Little Beach and Scotts Head Headland. Sink your toes in the sand, gaze at the ocean and listen to the guides enchant you with the creation story of the ocean and how the first wave was made. See and learn about the traditional fish trap and hunting methods.

The Gaagal Wanggaan National Park Tour consists of a 3.5 hour pristine bush and beach walk through 11 different eco systems within the National Park.Take a deep breathe and relax, get back to nature while their guides share their dreaming stories and of the cultural landscape surrounding you.

On both tours you can taste and feel the traditional foods, participate in traditional Gumbaynggirr ceremonies, identify native plant species and learn about medicines and their holistic uses, engage in the Gumbaynggirr language.

More information here: https://unkya.com/

Celebrating love of country 

Valley Feature

For the Love of Loaves

Deb and her loaves
Deb and her loaves

My Name is Debbie Green and I moved to the valley sixteen years ago. Growing up in Nelson Bay I thought I lived in the country, turns out I definitely didn’t.

It’s been a steep learning curve running a farm and raising kids, forever in the kitchen feeding our family of six. My husband Mick Green was born and bred here in Utungun and we agreed we couldn’t choose a more idyllic place to raise our family. His passion is Regenerative farming and we often talk about the similarities of soil microbes and sourdough microbes. Surprisingly we are on similar paths albeit one inside and one outside.

As our kids were becoming more self-sufficient, I looked at how I could continue to connect with and support them as they grow. I dreamt of having time to live a more sustainable lifestyle in line with our family values. A life of wandering around my veggie patch, picking the evening meal by what we grow.No matter how old our kids are, there is always the connection of wanting yummy food from our kitchen, preferably not made by dad.

I have made it my passion to learn to cook from scratch, use minimal chemicals in the home, and be there for my kids whether they want me or not. Coming from quite a creative background as a hairdresser and bookkeeper for our family farm, I craved using my hands. After trying pottery but missing access to a kiln, I soon found similarities with kneading the bread shaping, and scoring, plus, I got to eat my art!

In my dreamscape I envisioned bread cooling on the counter as my kids come home from school, alongside something simmering on the stove, most days this is exactly what I look at! I gave it a red-hot crack making bread the traditional way with ingredients I bought at our local grocer but found all the unnecessary ingredients overwhelming (and expensive)!
I wanted to be minimal.

Enter covid lockdown where everyone seemed to be making sourdough whilst home-schooling. This quickly dried up the yeast and most other ingredients.Luckily I still had my access to flour. So, I started to grow my own starter which is a bit like a paste you use for paper mâché’. I was excited but nervous, tried and failed quite a few times.

I joined sourdough Facebook groups and my youtube playlist featured page after page of sourdough tips. I became obsessed! My first true sourdough loaf in hindsight was an eyesore. A flat misshapen loaf of something. But I beamed with pride and took photos of my newest prodigy. I was hooked. It’s a passion and the more I study the less I know. What I do know, connecting myself to the food I feed my family and friends has given me, and hopefully them, a joy I could never compare.

I started to read the dough instead of a strict recipe and Began to understand that sourdough is much more than ingredients.For starters, the “starter” (pardon the pun) is wild yeast and beneficial bacteria that you harvest from your own space. Meaning your starter (the beneficial microbes that you use instead of “yeast”) is like a fingerprint. No two are the same! It evolves and reacts to its environment. If that’s not mind blowing enough- add to it flour, water, and a pinch of Himalayan salt and you have this loaf that springs up from nowhere. Not a number or colour added in sight. This aligned with my desire to feed my Family beneficial healthy food, homemade with love.

A couple of people asked if I was able to make them a loaf (and this is when they were sad little frisbees!) I saw a real need to go back to basics, connect with food, and to the people that eat it. I just go with the flow and let this hobby/ obsession grow organically, alongside me being with my family- I figured if it works in with us, I’ll give it a go!

Having 4 kids I’m forever at School drop-offs and picks up so I have incorporated sourdough letter box drops and meet-up points on my way to and from school. I’m using fuel anyway so if I can multi-task that ticks another box.You’ll often see me stopping to and fro on a Wednesday, Friday and Saturday from Utungun, Taylors Arm, Macksville and a few letterboxes in between! I also help manage an Airbnb down the road and you guessed it- it’s on my route anyway so they also get a loaf!

Being a stay-at-home mum, I find it so important to connect with the community, these are the families that will support us when we are down, up, and in between. And likewise, us for them. The best way to make a new friend is through food, smiles, and love. That is sourdough! Connecting people one loaf at a time

Deb`s Hot Tip: As I’m a home baker I have a limited amount I can bake so my cut-off for orders is 8 am the day before delivery- this allows for a long ferment and I bake your loaf within a few hours of delivery. Although it’s sometimes still hot, try and resist cutting into your loaf until completely cool!

You’ll Find me on Instagram @deb.e.green Come and say Hi!!

Our stories

Love - By Sarah Jae Miles.

Photo by Sarah Jae Miles
Photo by Sarah Jae Miles

What is love? Love is a funny thing.

It seems to me that it is the anchor and amplifier of all of our emotions. That without the presence of love, nothing else could exist, not anger or despair, nor happiness or joy. It is ever-changing, a sneaky shapeshifter. Love is also enduring if it doesn’t morph into something else.

It’s like when I was young and in love for the very first time. It was a quick, strong, blinding love like no other. A love that I thought couldn’t ever possibly go away. I’d never feel the same type of love again, but it was an unreliable love. Eventually, he and I grew apart, he started to irritate me and suddenly I couldn’t stand to be near him, see him. I thought I hated him.

How did love so easily turn into hate? Is hate really separate from love? I’m not sure.I think that maybe, anger, sadness, depression, and hatred are actually symptoms of love.”There’s a thin line between love and hate.” Love IS hate and hate is love. Can one exist without the other?

We all know that society revolves around love, right? Love of others, love of family, love of life, love of money, love of notoriety, love of power, love of self, love of nature. But while love is good, it can also be evil. It’s pure and tainted. Love will carry you and cast you away. It is birth and death, eternal and final.
Love is every emotion amplified and no other emotion would exist without love.

I recently lost my mother. I lost my mother’s love. The love she would give to me day in, day out, for any minute reason. An unconditional love full of pride. Any mother knows the love I’m speaking of. “They” say there is no greater love like that of a mother and her child. What makes it so different? A love never felt before? New love? Visceral love, from the gut, not the head or the heart. It seems irrational.

When we lose a loved one, we experience grief. We grieve because we can no longer give our love to the person we are grieving like we once could. We grieve the loss of the love given to us from that person. Love, however, is still present, just in a different form, right? That sneaky shapeshifter love. Grief could not exist without love. Love (greif) is the hole filled with absence.

I couldn’t ever live without love, even when it’s shapeshifted into some other uncomfortable emotion. Because we know the best of love is a drug, a breath of fresh air, we thrive on it. The love we want more than anything is the ‘spinning under the sunshine in a field full of flowers with rainbows overhead’ love.

The love I love best, is the strong, stable, unconditional love. The love that transcends time and space. The love that always lurks in the background, giving you no choice but to feel it, surrender to it. A well-known love. This is the love I feel for my husband, who was my friend first, for many years. I loved him even before I recognized it as love, and I know now that this love trumps my first love. It’s reliable love.

The cheek-aching smiles, the butterflies, and giggles. These are the joys and peace that love brings with it. We wait for it and find it when we least expect it, because love is deciding of its own presence. Love has a mind of its own. Love is not discerning. I don’t chase love anymore. I’ve learnt how to recognize it, accepting its many forms and I embrace them all.

What is love?
It’s more than we can ever know.

-Sarah Jae Miles

*Photo by Sarah. Reach out to Sarah at:

Love your local

I love you - Jillian Ashley at Shoretrack

Jillian Ashley and the crew at ShoreTrack

I have a funny story about saying I love you that has changed the way our team expresses the care we have for each other: including our young people and staff.

Four of our ShoreTrack team were meeting with a collaborator online a few weeks ago. There were three very important representatives from that organisation who we were meeting for the first time, and we had a great meeting regarding our collaboration.

At the end of the meeting we were saying our goodbyes and how we were excited to get started and just before hanging up I said ‘Love you’.
One of our team said ‘Did you just say love you?’ I had to admit that I meant to say ‘love working with you’ but it didn’t come out that way….. everyone had a great laugh and I was wondering what the other team thought.

Surprisingly, both teams really embraced the Love you farewell. It’s a bit of a laugh but for our team and the young people we work with, it is an important aspect of knowing you are cared for, that you are special and we are a strong team.

When I leave work now I often say Love you and get it back in return and I do believe they mean it, cause I do.

-Jillian Ashley – ShoreTrack

Catch up with Shoretrack at:

Spotlight on

Valentines Day Delights

It's a sweet life...

Bree from A Sweet Life
Bree from A Sweet Life

A Sweet Life brings traditionally made sweets and cakes to the Nambucca Valley offering specialty cakes, petite sweets, and gift boxes for all occasions.
Why not spoil your loved one with a sweet treat for Valentine`s Day.

Bree from A Sweet Life
Bree from A Sweet Life

Find Bree at:

Inside knowledge

Locals on Love.

We asked locals what love means to them, the answers might surprise you.

Jas and Matt

“To be in a relationship in love means being able to work as a team, be understanding of each other`s feelings, and to be each other`s best friend. Love is having each other`s backs through thick and thin and not being able to imagine spending your life with anyone else, or wanting to”.
– Jas Vickers

Djaali and his cow Jinda-moo
Djaali and his cow Jinda-moo

“Love is: Djaali and his cow Jinda-moo. Raised from two days old, her mum couldn’t take care of her. She is now six”.
-Laura Graham

“If you have someone who loves you at your best and still loves you at your worst, then you have found real love”.
-Kim Piper – Marriage Celebrant

What's on in the Valley

Here are a handful of events and programs coming up in January 2023 and beyond.

Feb 2023: Highlight events

An exciting new event is coming to the Valley this March! From laneway cricket to shouting out some Farnsy with your next-door neighbour, throw your support towards this fun big day out for the community. Head to https://www.macksvillelanewayfestival.com.au to receive your program.

Macksville Laneway Festival
Macksville Laneway Festival

For more information about the above events or for a list of what else is happening around the Nambucca Valley head to The Valley Hubs calendar of events. You can also request to add upcoming events here.

Let the games begin

Set your brain to our monthly trivia quest.

The answers will be shared next month – let us know how you fared.

FEBRUARY Questions

1.Hallmark began offering Valentine`s Day cards in what year?
2.Which hormone is considered the “love hormone”?
3.Which state grows the most roses?
4.Sixty Nine percent of roses sent are what color?
5.What culturally new holiday is celebrated on February 13th to celebrate non-romantic relationships?
6.According to legend, “from your valentine” originates from what?
7.Valentine’s Day is believed to have roots in the ancient Roman festival of Lupercalia. This festival is a celebration of what?

Valley publications

Stay in touch with other Valley publications available.

The Valley Hub acknowledges Gumbaynggirr country, the Ancestors, Elders and Traditional Custodians of the Valley in which we live and work. We thank them for their care of country through time and acknowledge and respect their continuing connection to land, waters and culture.

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