Sunday, 1 June 2008

THE NATIVES AND THE FERALS HAVE A FEAST

What a great day. I would venture to say that it is the best day we, the Hills andimage Plains Seedsavers have had in our short 20 month history! Everyone must have been up early to produce the fabulous food - and what a range there was! But the first stop was Tumbeela Native Bushfoods at Verdun in the Adelaide Hills. Here we gathered on the covered verandah of the shed, looking out across the hills and were each given a biscuit and a cup of tea.The tea was a mix of 2 native leaves and the biscuit was wattleseed. Warren then put on what could only be described as a fabulous, friendly, informative and amusing 1/2 hour show and told us how he, who used to be a NZ teacher, moved with his wife and family to this piece of land about 20 years ago to do the whole mid-life hippy thing, with coloured sheep, wild children plus a full-time job. Eventually this evolved and image morphed into sourcing some native cuttings of plants from the tropics of Queensland to the cold south of Tasmania and having a go at growing them at Tumbeela, about half way between! Today Warren and his wife grow the beautiful Tasmanian Mountain Pepper tree, Lemon Myrtle, Riberry and a couple of trials of Aniseed Myrtle and Cinnamon Myrtle. imageEach one of these has its own aromas and tastes which, although likened to things we all know, are much broader in flavour and deserve to be in every Australian kitchen.

The thing I loved most about the whole hour and a half there was the hands-on approach and Warren encouraging us all to try everything - from the leaves straight off the trees, to the dried bush tomatoes, teas and the magnificent wattleseed icecream! And we all now have seedlings of our own, packets of this and that, including the fragrant lemon myrtle-infused honey and he has sealed in us the desire to know more about what is growing under our Australian noses, so to speak! We wish him all the best and I am sure we will all see him at the Stirling market and I can't wait for the bush tomato and riberry plants to arrive. I am hooked. Thanks Warren!

And we got to meet Vegie Gnome and Flower Gnome from Mad Gnomes and Neighbour Gnome too! In fact, Vegie Gnome did a much better job of recounting the visit to Tumbeela than me. Read it here.Blogs are great... make one fast and take it slow, with us!

image Next we headed down the hill a way, to my place where about 20 of us had a feral feast. I bought the un-farmed meat from Wild Oz at the Central Market on Friday - goat chops, pork chops, kangaroo sausages (with bush tomato and mountain pepper leaf!) all grown wild, as meat should be. image As well I smoked some Rainbow Trout in our little tin smoker and everyone brought stuff made from something in their gardens. Wow, what great food and such variety. Everything from Barb's vegie patties and Jills beetroot and carrot salad, to home made bread, and mandarin 'puddings with a syrup to die for! image There is no doubt about it - this group produces THE best food every single time we get together and always it is inspired by our gardens. What more could you want in life than that?!

I am so glad we have all found each other and I know that everyone else feels the same way. There is no substitute for the camaraderie of like-minded people especially when they are down-to-earth gardeners with a passion for growing food and sharing good times. imageI put on this photo of me that Roger took today because I want to thank you all - I am looking at everyone of you - and let the good times roll!

There wasn't much left at the end of the day! What satisfactory guests! And, you know what, they even tidied up at the end and saved us endless trips up to the kitchen. Two loads of washing and its all done and here I am, back on the blog!

(Tumbeela is in the process of updating their website but I have put the link, for future reference.)

6 comments:

Maggie said...

Fantastic day, thanks heaps everyone.
Ps The beetroot salad was made by Jill, I made the black eyed bean salad. See you soon.

gardengal said...

Wow Kate, you're like wonder-blogger or something.

I just sat down in front of the confuser and got as far as uploading some pickies ... I'll actually make the blog pages ... yawn! .. tomorrow.

Inanna said...

Tasmanian Mountain Pepper could be my favorite tree in all of Australia (after the Boab ;-). Sounds like another lovely day!

Veggie Gnome said...

We had a great time, thank you! It was also lovely to meet everybody in person. Unfortunately, we didn't have enough time to get to know and chat with everybody. Hopefully another time.

Ian said...

Wow, sounds like you guys had another great day. Thanks for a wonderful blog.

Veggie Gnome said...

Thanks for the compliment, Kate!
However, I only listed everything we tasted. That's all. I normally don't forget food and plants. :)