Benefits of olive oil (castile) soap

Benefits of Olive Oil Soap for your Skin

For centuries, olive oil has been used in skin preparations and soaps.  Manna Hill continues this long tradition by producing small batches of hand made olive oil (castile) soap.

Olive oil soap, moisturizers and nourishes your skin, penetrating deeply for maximum moisturization without clogging pores. Derived from nature, olive oil is pure and unadulterated. 

Some of the key benefits of using olive oil soap are listed below:-

Olive Oil Soap Is 100% Natural

Olive oil comes from the olive tree.… Continue reading

How to make biochar

Video demonstrating how we make biochar using the pit method. This is a very simple and quite effective method that anyone can utilise without special equipment or resources. Biochar is charcoal used as a soil amendment for both carbon sequestration and soil health benefits. Although it doesn’t ‘fertilise’ the soil it provides an environment for microorganism growth which in turn provides symbiotic support for trees, vegetables and grasses. Biochar is a stable solid, rich in carbon, and can endure in soil for thousands of years. Like most charcoal,… Continue reading

Dramatic loss of insect life

A recent study(1) undertaken by researchers from the University of Sydney and University of Queensland in conjunction with the China Academy of Agriculture Sciences has found that biodiversity of insects is threatened worldwide. This recent study reveals dramatic rates of decline that may lead to the extinction of 40% of the world’s insect species over the next few decades. Affected insect groups not only include specialists that occupy particular ecological niches, but also many common and generalist species including butterflies, ground beetles, ladybirds, dragonflies, stoneflies and wild bees.… Continue reading

How sustainable is our food system?

What if I offered you a $1 for every $10 that you gave me?  You’d tell me that I was dreaming, crazy, or worse!  But this is what we do with our food system.  Currently (actually based on some relatively old studies – it has certainly deteriorated further) for every 1 unit of energy we consume in our food it takes at least 10 units of fossil fuel energy to produce it.  Far from sustainable!  And the trend is definitely in the wrong… Continue reading


Most of the things that are killing us these days — whether it’s heart disease, diabetes, obesity, many, many cancers — are directly attributed to the way we’re eating. But how do we know what to eat? Seems like an absurdly simple question – but clearly the way we’re eating today isn’t working for us. I would like to introduce you to an approach that is truly nourishing and good for the soul! It is SOUL Food where SOUL stands for:- Seasonal, Organic, Unprocessed, Local. Not only… Continue reading

Maintaining your virginity: How to store your EVOO


EVOO or Extra Virgin Olive Oil is the highest quality olive oil.  It is defined as having a free fatty acid (FFA) concentration of less than 0.8%.  Unlike wine, olive oil starts to oxidize (go rancid) from the moment it is picked.  In fact if left too long on the tree or if olives are harvested by picking them off the ground after they have fallen from the tree (as historically has been done in parts of Europe) then the olives may have already started to go rancid before they have been crushed.

From harvest, the optimum quality is …

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What is sustainable farming?

At Manna Hill Estate we are focussed on “sustainable farming”.  In a number of cases I have been asked what this means – particularly as ‘sustainable’ seems to the latest catchcry to market all manner of things – including those that clearly are not sustainable!

In simplest terms “sustainable agriculture” is the production of food, fibre, or other plant or animal products using farming techniques that protect the environment, public health, human communities and animal welfare.  Generally sustainability rests on the principle that we must meet… Continue reading

Make your bread with olive oil

If you are like us and love your fresh home baked bread, organic extra virgin olive oil is a healthy substitute for butter in the recipe.


Whether you use a breadmaker or make it in the electric mixer with dough hooks, or whether its sourdough or traditional yeast bread, most recipes call for the addition of a generous amount of butter.  Being conscious of eating as healthily as we can, we always use olive oil instead.  The loaf seems to have a higher moisture content,… Continue reading

Do you know where your food comes from?


This week we picked our first ripe tomatoes for the season.  Each year this is a ceremonious occasion that marks the beginning of several months of eating plump, sweet, juicy and tasty tomatoes.  There is nothing quite like the flavour of home grown tomatoes.  Anyone who has raised their own, be it one bush in a pot in the sun, or rows of them in the vegetable garden, will testify as to the exquisite flavour when compared to the ‘cricket balls’ that are available… Continue reading

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