collaboration, community, explore food, salad days

Making friends with salad

So the other day I ran an incursion at an early childhood centre based on the concept of ‘Seed to Salad Bowl’. The youngest ones rolled seeds around planted a few and nimble fingers plucked dill seed from the picnic rug. The next group up planted out their very own salad bowl in a salad spinner. For our final trick with the older kids in the centre,

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I chopped up tomatoes and cucumbers to show the seeds, passed around slices to try, slid the remaining slices into the bowl and stirred through leaves from the garden – stored in glass to keep them fresh. Asking around why they thought the salad leaves were in a glass jar & the winning answer ‘so people won’t steal them’.

To make our little salad extra snazzy, I dressed it with a little juice from a jar of home preserved lemons. Now this aroma and flavour is not for the feint hearted  – kind of slams into you. Well well – time to eat the salad and I’m so glad I wasn’t standing in between these kids and the salad. Arms lunging into the mix and salad was snorfled. The staff and I looked on with amazement, as these kids just couldn’t get enough.

Dressing on the salad of this morning – one of the younger ones hung back, not to have a chat, nor to play with the seeds, but to help me pack everything back into the bag of tricks – gold.

Salad made with friends.

collaboration, everyday, explore growing, homegrown, observe

Why we do what we do….

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Thanks you so much beautiful Kelly for your patience !

….I’ve been struggling to write a decent business plan of late, so whilst watering this morning, I came up with a brain dump of why all this important to me….

WHY WE DO WHAT WE DO……

Short answer – because I’m curious.

I want to see how seeds grow, what happens in the light, I love the play of water on the garden.

I don’t want to create more waste to be a problem and I like to know how (at least part) of my meal is grown.

I want to be outdoors and not too far from home.

I love seeing how soil comes to life when you feed it properly, when you get the layers of mulching right and the garden helps do your job. When opening a bed, there are so many worms partying and their little bodies glisten metallic shades in the sunlight.

I love it when it’s quiet enough to actually hear the bees and the winged life early in the morning.

I love being able to harvest something I’ve helped to grow, sharing with people in our local area & knowing that local businesses love supporting our adventure.

Having food in your lunch box knowing that it’s come from only meters away is pretty cool.

I’m in awe of all the amazing people I been fortunate enough to meet, being so generous with their time and skills and experiences helping me on the journey to growing food.

I love the passion these people have, it’s not just an occupation, it’s a way of being.

I love that I don’t have to dress up to go to work, it’s more about being sun smart and protecting yourself from the elements.

(Sometimes I start work in my pajamas and that’s ok)

It’s really cute hosting morning tea, feeding those volunteering with us, being able to reciprocate a little nourishment.

My respect for the humble salad has grown exponentially – what goes into a mix isn’t just leaves; it’s a whole kaleidoscope of energy and resources and people power. None of this matters if you don’t feed the soil and look after the lifeforce which make this possible.

It’s really awesome when work is pretty much equal parts play and productivity. How awesome when you can encourage people to play with their food, play outside and there’s a little incidental learning along the way.

 

 

 

everyday

Look after your Love

I’ve been doing a fair bit of learning lately. Learning mostly that it’s not a good idea to try to do everything all the time and sometimes there are people and events that are bigger than you.

There I was thinking that building my own business revolving around growing nutritious food and sharing this developing knowledge was huge and really important above other stuff.

Then my Dad had a stroke. The quicker the response for a stroke victim, the better the outcome. Ideally, seeking treatment within 4 hours is ideal. Dad has a significant event and didn’t receive help until 12 hours later. No one really knew what to expect. At first we thought he may not walk again and didn’t know how damaged he may have been. So I did a fair bit of long distance driving, there were many phone calls to attempt to stay in the loop and supporting family physically closer to Dad.

For further information about strokes (these suckers impact on 1 in 6 Australians – which is more than breast cancer and more than prostate cancer), How to respond and where to look for help check out the  Stroke Foundation . Needless to say the planting and workshop schedules went out the window.

Then my husbands dad went through a major medical drama too.

Throughout all of this, my husbands workload seemed to keep expanding before my eyes and then pop the icing on the cake with an unpaid second job of being an owner builder in his remaining waking hours (and some of the ones meant for sleeping too).

Then school holidays kick in. I love holidays, but I think my work productivity drops by at least 50%. You get up a few hours earlier to harvest and deliver to take your daughter to the city for the day, as public transport was facing ‘significant delays’. Not too bad in the scheme of things – just a constant juggle to see how stretchy those hours are and how much you can cram in.IMG_0534.jpgBut you know what ? Days are long, weeks tend not to be, kids aren’t kids for too long and parents aren’t going to be around forever.

So a few balls were dropped (try – disbanded) as I realigned my priorities to make more space for love.

School went back today and I was actually disappointed to see the end of our unstructured days and super loose weeks. I guess without work, you don’t appreciate the holidays, the gifts people give you by rocking up week after week to help you build your dream business. The curious and super supportive peeps who want to see your school volunteering ideas flourish. So at bottom of the day, make sure you look after yourself, appreciate those around you and give energy where you can.

…..3 months after my Dad’s stroke, he’s now a lot stronger and there’s a few steps being taken here and there. If he hadn’t been looking after himself with good food, exercise and good company (not to mention brilliant neighbours), his story may have had a far less positive outcome.

Enjoy what you’ve got, where you’re at and drink plenty of water in the crazy heat – just like the plants do 🙂