Thursday, September 30, 2010

Yet more spring

Stepping out

Helping with the mulching

Digging for China? No - it's their bathing pit.
"Keep an eye out while I wash"

Each tree is coming into blossom at a different time - which means that passersby are subjected to endless ooohs and aaahs as I wander around the orchard and discover new growth.





Can you see the spider inside 'er?
First lilac buds

Dwarf peach - intense vivid pink flowers

Thursday, September 23, 2010

We've been at the Show - Spudhunting

Spudhunters is an interactive educational activity for 4-10 year olds, held at the Royal Melbourne Show each year.  It is supported by a number of organisations, including the RASV, Spade to Blade Catering, Longgrass Projects, the Victorian Potato Industry and Slow Food Central Victoria.

Kids can

  • Dig for potatoes in  special "paddocks", marvel at all the sizes and shapes of spuds to be found and taste some tata tucker cooked right there on the spot.
  • Speak to the farmer who grows the food.
  • Take home a free bag with the potato you found.
  • Learn how to grow your own spuds at home.
  • Use the complimentary recipe sheet.
  • Check out the all new Couch Potato Lounge, watch a dvd and munch on some delicious chips.  All gratis.  How about that!
More info can be downloaded from here
Volunteers packing spud growing info
Prep before the hordes descend

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Spring is sprunging

These two are in strife - despite the breeder's protestations that they will NEVER pick buds/fruit - they have (b)eaten the daylights out of the goji berry plant and were caught today having a gay old time pecking the beautiful new buds on the evergreen blueberries.  Here we go again - fencing within fencing!  Despite the destruction, they are very funny.  I run yelling at them, they run away, wait 30 seconds and head back to whatever they were doing - you can see them smirking.

The intense pink is a beautiful sight.

Quinces were the first trees to bud.

Preparing the asparagus bed.  The plants are two years old and are Mary Washingtons (a standard variety, I read).

One of two spears already evident (the image of the other would probably be termed x-rated!)

Saturday, September 11, 2010


Gyoza and rice were on the menu for lunch today. Putting into practice one of the cooking lessons from Obu homestay. One night Hinako and I made 60 gyoza - well, we stuffed and stuck 60 gyoza, Chisato made the lovely vegetarian filling - silken tofu, garlic, ginger, garlic chives, mushrooms ...


Thursday, September 2, 2010


Japan, this summer has been experiencing massive heat and high humidity.  And I know because?  Because I've just returned from there. Except for the 29C overnight, 34-38C daytime, 50%+ humidity it was a very pleasant time.  Not as pleasant as spring 2008 - but then that was a special sakura time - cool and colorful.

We were in Obu to help celebrate the City of Obu's 40th anniversary. The City of Port Philip is Obu's sister city.  Days were spent exploring the town and its facilities - Ishegase Elementary School, Obu Fire Department, Enmeiji Temple ....

We stayed with host families - and that was great fun. Being a part of the family and joining in their activities.  I got to participate in two birthday parties - Momoko and Hinako have just turned 14.  They were born within days of each other and have been friends all their lives.

Recycling is in - for my host family, anyway.  Here are the girls making origami paper "boxes" from a old calendar.