Before our guests arrive today, a few of us are making last minute preparations, popping up freshly washed flags, lighting fires watering seedlings, and generally making the place even more welcoming than it is every day anyway (and that’s quite welcoming!) Thanks for last minute engineering skills to Mitch for keeping the welcome flags flying at the entrance.
With a lovely modest opening from Ishta, she led us around our labyrinth, we walked genty through the heritage apple walk, our senses delighted by the waft of minty morning tea plucked from our zone one herbs outside the tea-shed door. Raffaella unveiled her chocolate and beetroot muffins, what a fantastic flavour combination! We polished off these along with donated baked treats from Hominy bakery all too quickly! The bustle and chatter continues as gardeners shared and sold plants including Meredith’s abundant daffodils, Lloyd’s culinary delights which everyone can grow in the mountains, mizuna, mibuna, hot and spicy garlic variety rocambole, as well as garden’s grown green globe artichokes, red kale and strawberries which are all part of local perennial gardens which feed mountains gardeners’ families.
Stoking the fire in the pizza oven.
Is it hot enough yet?
A brief history of the gardens and introduction to permaculture principles (thanks Sue!), one grand tour (go Lloyd!), two soups made with fresh local backyard permie grown south Katoomba jerusalem artichoke and spicy North Katoomba (Queensland Blue variety) pumpkin, countless flatbreads topped with home made hummus, yeasted pancakes, roasted chestnuts just collected from nearby Mount Irvine and Mount Tomah growers and more cups of tea later, we all do slow down just a little bit. Conversation leads in surprising directions over these mountains of locally grown food prepared with love (and more than a dash of geekery!)
Franklin demonstrates the art of sprouting, and shares amazing green juices he incorporates them into. Its ‘living food’!
Clearly not having enough signs saying “Permaculture Day” around the place, the question, ‘is this a monthly event?’ was asked more than once. No, I had to admit, it wasn’t. Gardening sessions are actually twice weekly, and everyone is welcome. While most sessions run with a smaller number of people and we’ll put the festival festoonery away again (eventually), there’s always a convivial atmosphere at the regular Friday and Sunday sessions. Come along any time, dive into work in the garden beds, prune a shrub, share plants, stories and skills, sketch a scene or just stay for a cuppa!
Warmest thanks to everyone for making this such a lovely International Permaculture Day.