Wednesday, 30 December 2009



I went over to the shop here at Balgowan to get some milk the other day and as usual started talking to the couple who run it. I needed some wholemeal flour to make bread and Sue said she could get some for me from the shop at Maitland on her way in tomorrow if I liked.

"Thanks, that'd be great" I said and asked Alex if he could think of anything else we needed. We came up with garlic, lemons and salt.

"No worries" said Sue "I have fresh garlic in my garden and lemons on my trees....I'll bring you some".

From the other side of the shop Brenton piped up " I helped harvest 120,000 tonnes of salt this year, from Price and Ceduna. Saxa salt.... that's what you get in the supermarket.... comes from there." We have driven past the Price salt farms between Balgowan and Adelaide our whole lives and never realised that it ends up in South Australian supermarkets, as Saxa table salt and that the sea salt comes from the Great Australian Ceduna.... where the shop owner works in the off season.... how interesting!

Shelves are full of salts these days..... from every sea on earth and many salt lakes and rivers too.....and people swear by Maldon or Celtic etc but I am all for finding the most uncontaminated and I am sure there would be none less polluted than salt from the Great Australian Bight on the Southern Ocean, thousands of kilometres from any cities, with nothing between there and the Antarctic! And to think that Brenton has helped "farm" it gives it another connection.

So, of the 5 things I needed to buy, 2 come from the garden of the shop owners, 1 from only a few kilometres up the road and since the Yorke Peninsula is a major wheat-growing region of Australia, chances are that the flour they get for me comes from this area too. The milk is Golden North, processed in Laura, less than 100kms away. Nice gives me a sense of belonging.... but I have to wait until tomorrow afternoon to get them.... you might call this Slow Shopping! Well, I can't complain, I bought the last litre of their milk and that will mean we can have coffee in the morning.



So much of our lives these days is focused on change. Technology offers us tantalising little enticements and inch by inch our demands follow. Look at all the things we can and do put on our blogs now, even though we are a bunch of vegetable gardeners and greenies! People seek new destinations for holidays, new ways to get excitement, new foods to eat and plants to grow and so it goes on and on. Every now and then it is nice when you come across something that has stayed the same. Our shack has stayed the same since we bought it about 17 years ago.... it needed to have things fixed when we got it and they still need fixing! The scenes in these photos have not changed either.... many local farmers still launch their boats from the beach, using old tractors, and leave the concrete boat ramp to those who come from further away, towing their boats with a car.


Update: Yes they did bring me the lemons and 2 big heads of garlic from their garden and wouldn't take money for them either.....they forgot the flour.... but did get the salt.... it's a funny life.


chaiselongue said...

What a wonderful shop! And the salt story is interesting. We've just got back from a trip to the Camargue where we saw the salt pans and piles of salt. We always buy Camargue salt because it's local. Everything else we buy (except coffee - a necessary treat!) comes from within 100 kms. Buying local means better taste and quality as well as better for the planet.

John L said...

Our coffee is grown in Byron Bay. That's about as close as we can get. Google "High Trees".

Kate said...

Very interesting, thanks John. I have found it and will read it and maybe write about it and even buy some coffee! I like strong, rich coffee ... like men.... but sadly they are in short supply!

Kate said...

I would love to go to the Camargue, Teleri. I saw a lovely tv show about it recently.

John L said...

Short supply? Coffee or men?