Tuesday I visited one of our seedsavers members,Ting and her garden. Ting is from Taiwan and it is so interesting to talk with her and learn how different food and culture can be, first hand. I gave Ting 2 taro plants.... I don't have a clue about taro..... but they have been very nice looking in my water garden. She knows all about taro.... which is why I gave them to her, after all. But she doesn't have a feel for using some things we all eat, like tomatoes, olives and beetroot. We can learn so much from each other in these ways and make for a richer life for all of us.
This pumpkin is still flowering and in full health in the middle of winter. Sure it is in an ideal warm position but this shows how crazy our weather has become.
Ting told me how most Taiwanese grow some rice, even if it is a tiny bit, out of respect for this grain which is their food staple and comes in so many varieties. So Ting wondered what it was that we hold in such high regard..... the staple of Australia or even of South Australia.... and so she has sown some grains. She has wheat and oats and barley I think.... because it is such a strong custom for her to do this. I told her no-one respects their food like that here.... so many people just stuff food in and never think.
Ting also understands her body and wants to learn more about Chinese herbs etc. I said that people, on the whole, don't do that in Australian society. People just go to the doctor if they don't feel well and that eating your way to health is, to most, a weird thing to do! She found this hard to believe and thought she was not understanding me. But yes, Ting, you understood me right.....and I don't understand it either. But if you read this blog often you will know my thoughts on that subject already!
This wonderful solar oven is used as a little green house in winter and is so warm and well insulated.
I have never seen so many olives on one tree and Ting said if anyone wants some please to come and help themselves.... The branches are hanging down to the ground and so easy to pick. Just send an email to this blog and I will pass it on to Ting. Pease do.... it would be terrible to see them go to waste.
It was fascinating talking with Ting and she is so friendly and lovely. Her garden is filled with wonderful things, like the little bundles of sticks which are prunings from the fruit trees, tied up with pieces of old bike tyre tubes, which she has laid along as an edging to one of the beds.
To see this and more photos, click here.
Thanks so much Ting for inviting me to your garden and for your hospitality and for teaching me a little about your culture.