What’s in the garden?
In the mornings, we harvest the amount of veggies that we need to make breakfast, lunch and dinner for that day. We prefer to take veggies fresh from the garden each day rather than harvest a lot and store it in the fridge.
We’ve got strawberries ripening now.
What’s on the menu?
I made a big effort to take photos of our evening meals this week. We enjoyed vegetable curry, goat curry, goat stew, and pumpkin soup.
The vegetable curry is basically veggies fried in ginger, onion, garlic, and cumin, with chopped tomato and vegetable stock to make a sauce. All of the ingredients come from the farm except for the onion, garlic, cumin, salt and pepper. I used pumpkin, arrowroot, taro, carrot, beans, choko, and silverbeet. I love all the colour. We fried the veggies in lard that Etienne made and stored in jars in the fridge.
The goat curry pictured above was fantastic with fresh coriander from the garden.
Etienne makes great pumpkin soup, thick and creamy. This pumpkin soup was not up to his usual standard because he added a bit too much black radish and taro and he didn’t use any herbs or spices. It was nice but he’s made much better ones.
Etienne and I are enjoying our daily routines, spending time together. We’ve got similar views about most topics of discussion. Although, we definitely have different interests. Etienne loves to tell me about new discoveries that have been made in science and technology (yawn..where I’m more interested in news, politics and books . One thing that I love is that we both laugh at each other’s jokes!
Bee has settled into a share house in Melbourne with nice flatmates. She tells me she is loving city life, particularly spending time with her lovely friends.
Izzy is studying hard and working hard and socialising a lot. Last weekend she spent three days on the Gold Coast with a group of friends. They stayed in an amazing house beside a lake, where they went kayaking. She’s grabbing life by the horns in typical Izzy style.
Mullum Renew Fest
On 19th and 20th May, I was in Mullumbimby for the Renew Fest. The full title of the Festival is – Australia’s Festival of Ecological Renewal: Collaboration, Celebration, Action, Local Change, Global Impact. It totally lived up to it’s name. Basically, there were lots of presentations, panel discussions and jam sessions focusing on a new approach to living that benefits all people and our lovely planet. I saw a few presentations that revolved around the importance of building community through developing and maintaining healthy relationships and living a good, sustainable lifestyle. Another panel discussed how to revive Australia’s current version of democratic participation in a flawed political system where politicians are only concerned with short term goals and are heavily influenced by big business. One discussion, called Ethical Economics, talked about redefining the ‘economy’ and infusing it with higher values that reflect fairness for all people and environmental sustainability for the planet. Thus, creating an economy that works for people (rather than people working for the economy). There was a jam session about ‘consciously creating cultural fabric.’ One speaker in the session, talked about the need to celebrate and recognise differences without judging. Another speaker talked about human capital, organising ourselves within our communities to achieve goals that serve our local needs. Lots of the talks focused on how we can make local changes that will spread and hopefully become a global phenomenon.
By the end of the festival, I felt refreshed, joyous and empowered. I’ve coined the term ‘the lotus feeling’ and it’s characterised by a deep sense of peace, compassion and joy. I’m going to hang on to that feeling and make sure that it’s always present in my life. It doesn’t come from feeling special or owning things, it comes from sharing and giving and feeling a sense of belonging. Long ago, I read a book called A Purpose Driven Life in which the author believed that each and every person is important. Take out the Christianity, and he had a great message. He declared that “You were born for a reason. You’re life is important. You have important work to do.” So I say to you, dear readers, that if you feel like you are living in an environmentally destructive, individualistic, technology-driven, soulless culture. Then, you’ve found your purpose: change it!
I had a free ticket to the festival because I was helping my neighbour, Bec, with her market stall, Thready Set, Go. I took some of Etienne’s baskets to sell too. Lots of people stopped to admire them or to talk about how they were made but most of the patrons were the kind of people who make their own things so sales were very low. In fact, some of the stall holders didn’t even come close to covering their stall fee of $240 (which is not much when you consider that some festivals charge thousands of dollars in stall fees).
But, the highlight of the festival for me, was to meet some amazing people. In particular, we met an amazing pair, Derek and Jane, who had the market stall beside ours. Derek was aware that we were a bit stuck for accommodation because the camping situation at the festival was a bit difficult. He approached me and offered for us to camp at his place even though he didn’t know me and I didn’t know him. I talked to Bec and we accepted. I had no idea, at this stage, that he was such a wonderful human being. Derek and Jane opened their home and their hearts to us and it was lovely to have a wine with Derek and hear about his life journey from humble beginnings in England to his involvement in running parenting programs in disadvantaged communities in Australia. Derek and Jane have written several books on eco parenting. I’ve looked them up online because there might be people out there who are interested in “growing greener children” so their website is: http://www.ecoparenting.net/