I know most of posts seem to revolve around the market lately but it is such a huge part of my life right now, it's hard to think about anything else.
Last Saturday, we unveiled the Minnie Mouse Gangster Feathered Serpent Diamond Grill tent installation. Where NY artist Daphane Park transformed the stalls into the most amazing Quetzalcoatl inspired creature. It looks so amazing and festive, and was a creation that pulled in the talents of so many local welders, die castors, powder coaters, ceramists and crafts people to complete. It really is quite magical.
Over in the corner, my role has been to curate the workshops that we are running each week. So far we have covered "how to" topics like sourdough starters, portioning a rabbit, cool climate wines and edible weeds. This week we have traditional bread shaping, pasta making and next week I am super excited to have a backyard biodiesel workshop. Can you imagine making your own petrol? I'm keen to get my scything mates to do a workshop too, just not sure what they could cut...there's not a blade of grass out of place on the MONA grounds.
Yves the lovely bee keeper spoke in his gorgeous French accent about backyard beekeeping. I learnt that if I raise my hives a foot off the ground, the bees will start working around two hours earlier. With a workforce of 50 000, that's 700 000 extra work hours a week. That's a lot of honey!
I still have a few more workshop slots to fill. So do you have any ideas? What would like to see and learn about in a 30 minute workshop?
If there is one thing I've been giving my garden plenty of this summer, it is neglect. A crippling bout of hay fever, coupled with a new job, has meant that really I haven't spent any time in the garden at all. But you know what? Despite my indifference, the vegetable patch is thriving. The hard yakka of planting, mulching, weeding and feeding in early spring has meant that yes, whilst there's LOADS of weeds, there is also loads to eat. Potatoes, tomatoes, zucchini, cucumbers, basil, lettuces and chives are just some of the foods we're eating right now. The tomatillos whilst not ready yet, are going nuts. The apples trees are groaning with fruit and well, the blackberries are rambling and wild and sweet, if not painfully prickly. Amazing! Imagine what I could do if I put some effort in!
The greenhouse, hasn't been a complete success, there are some tomatoes and chilies happily fruiting away in there, but the weeds are so tall and so vigorous that I can barely get inside. Over the winter I'll have to start again, build some raised beds and fill them with clean soil. Those pasture grasses that come up all over the garden (we're surrounded by cow paddocks), chosen to withstand heavy cattle grazing, love it in the green house and I'm no match for their tenacity. But you know, we'll just keep going, and that's the secret to this gardening caper.
I miss spending time in my garden, and I could certainly use some motivation, (like this Turkey's great post) along with a good dose of antihistamines to get me outside. So today I splurged on two long-coveted books by one of my favourite writers. Twelve hundred odd pages of inspiring gardening and kitchen prose, the first volume on vegetables, the second on fruit. I shall relish every page.
Mmmm, my garden may to have to endure a little more neglect...
The not so smalls went back to school this week, brown as berries with sun bleached hair. Now I find myself child free for 5 days of the week! And while I do miss them during the day, I think they were well and truly ready to go back, see their friends and get on with the important job of learning.
Today I'll be printing labels, making more jam with those luscious fat and juicy late summer peaches, and getting ready for the market tomorrow.
Despite my lack of updates in this space, I am a very prolific Instagram (@hugoandelsa) user, and seem to be more there than here. Is it just me I wonder, but is the Iphone killing blogging?