Tag Archives: ranches


~ Blodgett, Oregon

Review by Leaf McGowan/Thomas Baurley, Technogypsie Productions ~

I really wish I had taken detailed notes on the history of Vegantopia. I just assumed when I was ready to write this article I could pick the brains of the founder and creator of Vegantopia later. But we all know how that goes. I believe he purchased the land and built the house in the 80’s or 90’s. There may have been remnant creations or foundations earlier as he did tell tales of certain musicians contributing wood to the stage down below. The house itself was a one-two bedroom downstairs (if you count the terrarium he has a bedroom setup in) with its own bathroom and kitchen. Then the two door garage in an industrial sized warehouse converted barn that could host two large diesel trucks, but currently empty with a fashion walkway and a performance stage, and a food trailer which housed the kitchen of the ranch’s name “Vegantopia”.

Upstairs is a three bedroom house with kitchen, living room, dining room area, three rooms (we used one for our son’s room, the other an office, and the final a master bedroom), a bathroom with a claw-foot iron tub. Fireplace, deck, and two stairwells – one to the deck, the other from the garage. The side of the house hosted an awned storage bay with stacks of firewood for the winter. An organic garden, a gypsy wagon/vardo for a guesthouse with its own sink, bed/loft, table, chairs, and stove. Solar panels to power up the house and a disintegrating hut that was once a workshop. A creek running through the property with a foot bridge over it, an apple orchard, hiking trails, and a faerie ritual circle up in the woods. It was a magical place. I don’t remember if it was 8 or 16 acres of land.

Vegantopia was the name given to the place by its founder Markey Stuart. Markey created a tempeh kitchen where here he concocted his magical creations of a variety of tempeh that was sold to grocery stories ranging from Ashland, Oregon to Portland with most of the sales in Corvallis and Eugene.

There is little on the web about him or Vegantopia. You can find mention of his infamous Tempeh and soymilk he produced in issues of FA times, vol 32, issues 1 and 4.

They referred to Mark Stuart as a long tie Co-op owner and mastermind behind Vegantopia. He sold his local 6 soymilk made from organic soybeans that they described as impeccably pristine clean food as a basic wholesome soymilk packaged in reusable glass canning jars. We had the pleasure of being gifted it there while we co-habitated the land. We rented the top house and the vardo while Markey lived in the smaller unit down below.

The Vegantopia Tempeh was the most famous creation of the kitchen – fresh, tender, nutritious cakes made of soybeans, garbanzo beans, or quinoa fermented with extra high mycelia content from organic ingredients and packaged in cellophane instead of plastic. Eaten raw or cooked its a favorite of all local vegetarians and vegans.

As Mark Stuart was selling off his empire, we had plans to purchase the land and home from him, including the tempeh trailer but we were unable to come up with the funds by the time he was ready to move on (which was rather quickly) so it was sold to another amazing family that was a perfect fit for the land and home.

An amazing secret magical paradise. Vegantopia has woven its own web.

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Lammas Celebration and tree planting ceremony over Cian’s umbilical cord, Oregon, USA. Planting of lavender, and underneath a baby persimmons tree. Thursday, August 1, 2013. (c) 2013: Photo by Leaf McGowan, Thomas Baurley. More information, copy of photo, to purchase, or to obtain permission to reprint visit http://www.technogypsie.com/photography/. To follow the adventures, go to http://www.technogypsie.com/chronicles/ or travel tales http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/. This blog, see http://www.technogypsie.com/chronicles/?p=41999.

Continue reading Vegantopia


Tuggeranong Homestead

Tuggeranong Homestead

* Tuggeranong, Canberra,
Australia Capital Territory, Australia * http://www.tuggeranonghomestead.com.au/ *

My last day in Tuggeranong just outside of Canberra, before packing up for the plane to Brisbane, we ventured down the street to get a peek at the Tuggeranong Homestead. Unfortunately, due to being Easter weekend, I didn’t get a chance to visit this heritage property of the Australian Capital Territory. My host tells me its interesting. It is an extensive, heritage-listed rural property that is commonly used for events, concerts, outings, weddings, and conferences. It is set in the Australian bush with a country-side ambiance for the events held there. It featueres a full commercial kitchen, homestead rooms, outbuildings, outdoor spaces, and catering. The first landowners of Tuggeranong was Peter Murdoch, the aide-de-camp of Thomas Brisbane, who was given 2,000 acres in 1827. After he left, John McLaren from Glasgow settled this land in 1828 calling it “Janevale” as a cattle station managed by William Wright. The property was sold in 1835 to Thomas Macquoid, Sheriff of the Supreme Court. After his death, it was sold to Andrew Cunningham of Lanyon, also from Scotland in 1845 wherre he raised sheep. After his death in 1887, it was passed on to his sons James and Andrew Jackson Cunningham. The first homestead on this land was known as the “Waniassa House”, originally built by the Macquoids from 1836 to 1841. At this time, it consisted of 5 rooms. James Cunningham expanded and re-built the homestead in 1908 where it carried the name of “Tuggeranong Homestead” and is the current building that exists today. Through history it was expanded on upwards 23 rooms, a underground cellar, acetylene gas, electric bells throughout the buildings, hot and cold water running through. It became a center for social and sporting activities in the area. After Andrew Cunningham’s death in 1913, the family relocated to Lanyon, and the property was taken over by the Commonwealth Government to be used as a military arsenal. After this, it was abandoned in 1919, later to be taken over by the staff of war historian Charles Bean who used the property in the research for his books of the Official History of Australia in the War of 1914-1918. It was then leased and farmed by Timothy McCormack from 1927-1976. Much of the original property was taken over by Canberra suburbs, but the homestead and site today took 65 acres under preservation.

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