The Carbone family came to our rescue last week when Tom (chef at a 5-star Qld restaurant), his partner Gaby and his Mum, Rosie put together a spectacular lunch from our garden beds for our hot & hungry members.
Meanwhile, our new members, Andy Carbone, Candice, Banjo & Tex joined us in the midday sun, weeding & re-mulching our side path. Looks great, in time for the Grow Cook Eat festival in March.
Sue and David Campin spent a hot couple of hours mulching our impressive mountain of detritus ready for our next-compost making activity.
“Grow Cook Eat” is on again. Come and join us as we celebrate local food production.
There will be market stalls, cooking demonstrations, food growing demonstrations, lots of fun activities for the kids and wood fired pizzas with fresh garden produce.
Find us all on The Greens -cnr Railway & Spring Sts. Moss Vale
10am – 3pm,
Sunday March 18th.
This was the second breadmaking workshop we have run for the community, but this time the emphasis was on sourdough. Elissa took us through the theory and process behind sourdough starter and breadmaking. Ian had been busy cranking up our community-sized pizza oven in preparation for the baking.
The sourdough was made and kneaded then left to prove for a couple of hours (it was a reasonably cool day). In the meantime, we rolled out our sourdough pizza bases and prepared the toppings which all of the participants had contributed. Then into our wood-fired pizza oven they went, and after a brief hiccup getting the temperature right, the pizzas were cooked and consumed.
The bread dough was punched down and quickly kneaded for the final time then placed in bread tins or on metal trays to prove again – this time in the back of Elissa’s warm car to speed up the rising. Much chatting and information sharing went on during the proving period. Unfortunately some of our participants had to head off, so they took their bread dough home to bake. The stayers put their bread into the oven and it seemed to be cooked in no time at all.
It came out looking scrumptious. We tasted some that Elissa had baked and it was delicious.
We took home a small portion of starter for us to feed each day until we tried our hands at home baking sourdough bread.
I have twice baked sourdough bread since from Elissa’s starter and was pleasantly surprised at how easy it is. You just need to be at home for a good part of the day. You can get on with other things whilst your bread rises.
We will probably run another breadmaking workshop in early 2018, and will post the date in the new year.
The theme our Community Garden team chose to present at this year’s event to over 5 schools out of the 40 schools in the shire who attended was Seed to Seed: The Cycle of Life.
Kathi and I brought along all sorts of seeds, from poppy seed size to avocado pip to demonstrate the diversity of Nature and its endeavours to provide the next generation of plants. Also starring were the insects that help with pollination of the flowers into seeds – insects such as the introduced bumble bee along with our native stingless bees and all manner of critters including birds who are attracted to the colour, nectar and perfume displayed by the advertising arm of plants: flowers.
Five school groups interacted with us to learn together about the amazing partnership between plants, insects and birds in the quest for our ecology to sustain and continue.
Long time permaculture teacher and practitioner, Debra Hebbard Keyes, travelled down from Grafton to demonstrate how we can use garden materials to construct baskets. In this case, we had at our disposal, picked from our community garden as well as local Highland gardens, strappy leaves of red hot poker, lomandra, fairies fishing rods, daffodils & jonquils and NZ flax.
The low hum of chatter ceased as participants got into a meditative state and wove small baskets using garden leaves, raffia and string to make cords that will come together into the final item.
Judging by the response from participants, a good time was had by all and I suspect this may just be the beginning of a new hobby for some of them.
We think we will be running another basket weaving workshop in 2018 so watch this space!