Sunday, 25 May 2008

TO BARRY'S AND BEYOND

It was an absolutely perfect day today for a drive down to Pt. Elliott to Beach Organics and a tour of Barry's 10 acres, minutes from the sea.We spent 2 hours with Barry and I was particularly interested in the story of how he came to be selling small-producer Indonesian spices, salts and peppers, blended to appeal to certain up-market buyers such as restaurateurs and gourmet cafes. After travelling there in the 1970's he came home feeling he wanted to do something to help the poorer people of Indonesia and considered becoming a volunteer of some sort but years went by, as they do. A few years ago he revisited some rural areas there and decided to help the people by importing their beautiful and often unique spices into Australia, buying direct from the individual growers.This business is growing and he is supplying some quite special ingredients to top-class restaurants all over Australia as well as selling small amounts to people at the Willunga farmers' Market and to us today. I bought some fermented cacao beans, which can be eaten like chocolates but with a sharpness and delicious lingering flavour. Here is Barry with his barrow, some of his spices and the view of the sea, between the trees..
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Barry grows a limited range of vegetables as he says people just won't buy things that are a bit different. He uses his chooks effectively as workers as well as egg-layers and has mobile electric fencing to keep out foxes. He rotates his vegetables all over the place; for example, currently he has broad beans planted between rows of fruit trees. He is also revegetating the area with native, local plants and takes good care of his land.
Thanks Barry and see you at the Willunga Farmers' Market soon.
Then we drove down the way a bit to this tranquil waterway for a picnic. It was so beautiful to see and hear running water again after so much dryness during the last year. Roger fired up the choofer to boil the billy for tea and we all shared the food we had grown and cooked. The reflections of the bushland in the water were stunning and, standing there alone, I absorbed the colours of the light on the water, the lush green of the fresh growth and the tranquility of the atmosphere like a  sponge that had at last been rehydrated and given life again.
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We then headed off to see Meg's 44 acres nearby and had a lovely walk across the paddocks and the creek-bed to the site chosen for the house and, more importantly, for the vegie garden! They are revegetating the waterway and taking a lot of trouble to restore the land to its natural beauty. The 3 kangaroos in the bottom right photo came by to see what we were doing. image 
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The site for the future vegetable garden.
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I have put more of the photos here.Some are mine, some are Maggie and Bob's.
  Check out those reflections! 
It was great to drive through the Adelaide hills and down to Port Elliott when everything looks so fantastic. I think everyone enjoyed the day; I certainly did and it was nice to spend time with the 15 of our members who came today.

3 comments:

Inanna said...

What a lovely day you had. I don't have a blog, but you can see pictures of our tiny Colorado garden on Pages 1 & 2 (if you can wade thru all the toddler pictures ;-) in spring here:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/39703025@N00/

Since these photoes, we have peas, zucchini, patty pan squash, spinach, carrots, collard greens and jarrahdale pumpkin sprouting up. I'm doing all of our herbs and veggies in pots because our cats use the ground as a litter box >:-(. Everything did great in pots last year except the Black Beauty zucchini. It was dying a horrible death, so I uprooted it and threw it into the compost heap. Several weeks later, I had a ginormous zucchini...the biggest I'd ever grown! I'll start her in pots again this year, but have the compost heap planned as a back up.

Ian said...

Hi Kate,
I came to comment on your blog but after reading those comments I'm going to talk to her instead.

Innana, writing like that you really should get yourself a blog! I thoroughly enjoyed reading about your zucchini on the compost heap.

Never mind Kate, you'll get a comment next time!

Ian

Maggie said...

It was a great day, so much to see and think about. We very lucky people to have all this abundance of products, skills and knowledge to share with each other.Click on the photos link to see more.
Best lunch in Adelaide again!