There’s no doubt that a whole bunch of us have become novice bakers in the COVID-19 lockdown. We’re buying up kilos of flour and baking to our little heart’s content in attempts to do something tactile, have a sense of accomplishment, and end up with some delicious carbs. Now’s the time to try your hand at that tarty loaf we all know and love, because an Aussie chef is mailing out dried sourdough starter to whoever wants it.

New York-based Aussie chef Xinyi Lim (who’s been stuck in Sydney in the lockdown) has kicked up her Start The Spread project over here in Aus, and is popping ziplock baggies of sourdough starter in the mail for keen bakers around the country.

Inspired by New York community-based project, Bread On Earth, Lim wants to start mapping the baking habits of people over here in Australia, as well.

That’s right mates, it’s time to level yourselves up from all that fucken damper you’re making in iso.

At first I, too, was like “well how can you send globs of that bubbly mother culture around the country? But Lim is all over that. She dries it out into wafer-thin strips of starter, almost like the bark you probably/most-definitely peeled off the paperbark tree as a kid.

It looks a bit like this, which is just impressive.

I’m so obsessed with these sourdough starter shards.

In the little care package of starter that she started by mailing out to a bunch of friends and strangers earlier this month, Lim pops in two sachets of dried starter (one for you, and one to be paid forward to a friend), a little booklet with some of her musings on the current isolation situation, as well as a handy guide on how to get your sourdough starter activated.

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Today I've been prepping packages of this dried starter to mail across Aus. In case you missed it, there is a movement to start the spread (of sourdough, not sickness) as we seek solidarity through alternative ways of connecting. The demand has been huge, which says something about our present need to reacquaint ourselves with fundamental means of sustenance and survival. Inspired by and in support of @bread_on_earth and her efforts to map the diffusion of this living culture. Moving this along in Aus too, so any data visualization ideas for this noob would be much appreciated 🙂 If you are in Australia and would like some sourdough starter, please send me an email to megafaunafood@gmail.com with your name and address. With each package, I'll be including 2 sachets of dried starter (one for you, another to mail on and share the love). I've also put together a booklet – because you know, ample time – containing instructions on how to bring your starter back to life (but not how to bake with it as I am no expert and you just wait and see what's down that rabbit hole) and some personal musings which you are welcome to ignore. It's now, more than ever, that we must nurture an abundance mindset, so I'm sending these out for free. However, if you have the means, a small donation to help cover shipping costs would be much appreciated. ????????????@smyth_myth for your sage words and powerful perspective – so glad to have met and baked alongside you back when I first landed wide-eyed in NY; @rosspaxman for helping me design a juicy guide; @cherrymoongeneralstore for supplying me with my first Aus starter, and indirectly, some much needed therapy. These are true local Inner Sydney lifeforms being cultivated here. ????

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There’s no doubt that her inbox has been bloody flooded with people looking to get their mitts on some starter, but you can try and nab yourself some by sending your name and address to Lim on her email – megafaunafood@gmail.com. The sourdough starter packs are free, but she’s asking for a small donation to cover shipping costs, if you can afford it.

Image: Instagram / @megafaunafood