Nestled in north-east Victoria in the town of Ovens is the Australian Pumpkin Seed Company. Against a backdrop of beautiful mountains, Sharan and Jay Rivett grow pumpkins, harvest their seeds, and create beautiful oils.
The pumpkins are different from the ones you would find in your local greengrocer. These pumpkins are Styrian, from an agricultural region of Slovenia. The pumpkin flesh itself isn’t very flavoursome, but the pumpkins are instead filled with hundreds of nutritious seeds. The pumpkin seeds are milled, producing an oil yield of 35%, which is rich in fatty acids.
This rich pumpkin seed oil can be found in the spicy Christmas exclusives Cinders Shower Gel and Cinders Naked Shower Gel.
How did the traditionally Slovenian pumpkin seed oil find a home in rural Victoria? The pumpkins originated in the Americas, but have since been grown in Europe for hundreds of years. Sharan’s father is Slovenian, and she grew up on his farm. Her father brought his pumpkin farming techniques to Australia, and Sharan took up the mantle by forming the Australian Pumpkin Seed Company in Ovens with Jay, where they not only mill the seeds into oil, but also make them into vegan chocolate!
In addition to growing pumpkin seeds, Sharan and Jay run the Artisan Oil Mill, a social enterprise where farmers can have their produce turned into artisanal oils. Farmers from all around Australia send produce such as hazelnuts, walnuts and apricot kernels to be milled into high quality oils.
As the only supplier of pumpkin seed oil in Australia, Sharan and Jay’s company has expanded, and their oils can be found in health food shops and markets around the country, as well as in the LUSH Christmas range.