The BlueForest (Blueberries in the BlackForest) or When nothing goes right, go left.

   IMG_3542

This fellows shirt said it for me!(apologies I don’t remember your name….if ever you see this post, email me!) 

It’s taken me a while to pull this story together because some days are painful and ugly and Who wants to hear about that right?.  Even when I awoke that day  determined to be optimistic and cruisy, my effort does not stand up to the challenges of the day. A story about needing to go left. When the small things in life are not going right! And trying to maintain humour and gentleness amidst trials. The blessing is that all things pass and I’ve learnt to just hang in there, do what I can, drop what I can and tomorrow is new.

Many days ago now, We left Switzerland on another stinking hot day. Paused in Basel to busk (unsuccessfully), parking was very hard to find but we ended up near the river so kids and I could swim, by stalking a shady parking spot . The water was gratefully crisp enough! I heard later that even 15 years ago the Rhine was too polluted to swim, now it’s very popular with people dipping and floating along.

We where right by the historic bridge which is beautiful and in the distance could spot the spires of the cathedral and old city. It was strange to be looking at buildings with barely a gap between, facing the rivers edge. I guess the parks are elsewhere. I really wanted to go to the old Paper Mill museum but it was just too hot to walk around. I felt thwarted in my educational efforts and bizarre to come all this way and not be able to do more than keep sane and do nothing really. Have I mentioned yet my family calls me a grumpy polar bear when it’s hot? Hot hot. Im not averse to a bit of whinging about the heat… Really it’s such middle class western  luxury to have the options we do and I’m very grateful.

We pulled into Freiburg late that evening after a disappointing detour past Bad Bellingen (should’ve realised by the name!) bad means bath in German.  I was hoping for some natural place to bathe but it’s a turquoise pool set up. There’s a lot more happening in the Australian Bellingen! Lovely in winter I guess. 

Anyway, disorganised, tired and hot, past dinner time, we got busted for jumping on the tram without tickets! We didn’t want to miss it and wait longer to get to some dinner! They showed us how to function the in tram ticket machine and let us off thankfully! Ignorant travellers I guess. I get anxious in the face of authority and doing something wrong!

A treat to eat out in the old city. Mexican in Germany? Freiburg has a very pretty inner city and good vibes in the evening, lots of people about and delicious foodie smells.

Back to our hot van late to get some rest. Camping in a hot tin can is so difficult!Especially with tired hot kids in the city which does not cool down til dawn. Jesse saved the day by putting their bed outside under a tree and sleeping with them. We found a mobile home campground for 9euro a night near Bissier strasse park and ride. Cheap but noisy from the railway. Thank goodness for earplugs.  The next night was more pleasant at the Hirzberg Campground. It’s 1.2km from the enchanting old City centre. Also green and shady. It can be really tricky coming to a place you don’t know and looking for a place to stay. I ignored my intuition about going straight to the campground the first night unfortunately. 

The next day we met with friends who guided us to nearby lakes and the day was easier. There are a lot of man made lakes along the autobahns, dug out to make the road beds. Another late hot night in the city. Jesse Was busking and we walked in to meet him for dinner. Some moments I am thinking wow this is crazy! Cosmopolitan culture in Europe, dinner at 9 pm and some crazy gigantic ice cream and berry dessert! strolling old cities (600+ year old buildings) balmy summer nights, wonderful and romantic and different if only my inner mama voice could be quiet! My kids where in bed at a wholesome 7.30pm before we left Australia!  This life has such diverse moments. It’s challenging and reallY good also to let the restrictions drop a bit. ItS so temporary. Soon we will be back in home rhythms. I have little resilience for lack of sleep unfortunately. Blessings come though in the form of kind hearted folks and hilarious storytellers in the dark city streets.

From Freiburg we are invited to go berry picking and then swimming in a forest lake higher in the Black Forest mountains. 
Yes please. My days in the city where hot and bothered and I was stretched to breaking. But I hung in there! Not too many tears! Me, not the kids…. But As lily says, ‘it’s not really a holiday because we are doing everyday life. And why can’t we do more holidayish things anyway?’ Memory making.

 My spirit was so renewed by this afternoon tramping the woods and having the warmth of friends. Being outside is my greatest gift at present. Soaking in the different greens of the broad leafed woods and the unfamiliar bird calls and wind whispers and rock songs. It’s fresh and new still and the foreignness leaves me a little thrilled. I really am far far from home. If you have read Ronja by Astrid Lindgren you would see the grey dwarf holes in this wood and Ronja running about and giving her spring yell. 

this handy little rake catches the  blueberries for you, but be careful you don’t strip the leaves off also.    I loved this moment! The papas with their matching picnic baskets! Beautiful masculinity in motion    Cedar said he could stay here forever, well, until it snowed…   There where few berries left and small this season, despite that, the reward of gathering something deliciously tart and sweet from the woods filled me with happiness. It’s so simple.   Tiny finger staining treasures. A worthy hunt! I hear the wild blueberries in the US are enormous! I would like to experience picking there one day…
The lake water is stained amber by leaves and tannins I guess.  The trees surrounding shade the water green. Be brave it’s very cold below the surface! The skin feels soft and wonderful after swimming here.     I was excited to see this small orchid growing in the ditch as we left the forest. Another tiny wonder. 

And thanks goodness we where off to visit dear friends after this. The last challenge of travelling in the unknown was done and from here on we are sheltered by good friends until we fly home. Phew. We did it.

Advertisements

des glaneuses {the pecan harvest}

IMG_0004in the fields the pecan trees drop their bountiful treasure

the cockatoos swing overhead and the ticks lurk below shadows

a basket of size or make, soon spills brown eggs to hatch small brown birds

the queen nut and her babies are captured lovingly

while children bounce, frolic, nest and throw.

oh to covet a fireside nut crushing eve

and invent our own fairytales

this kinship and little people wriggles

jaffles in moonlight and the bright silhouettes sway

the foragers filled and the gypsies sleep by the coals in mandarin cloaks

IMG_0008IMG_0018IMG_0014IMG_0023 IMG_0024 IMG_0011 IMG_0019 IMG_0027 IMG_0029 IMG_0031 IMG_0036 IMG_0042 IMG_0044 IMG_0048 IMG_0056 IMG_0057 IMG_0058

IMG_0060

*

nut tree nut tree

there is treasure hidden in your leaves

nut tree nut tree

drop your gifts down to me

*
IMG_0068IMG_0062 IMG_0064

IMG_0082thanking thee dear friends.

and Miss F for the capture of me in the frames above.

pumpkin and pecan pie anyone?

pecan ice cream?

pecan truffles?

pecan and cinnamon cake?

pecan and mushroom soup?

pecan pecan hecan mecan?

xx

did you like my nutty poetree? and my nutty daughter?

because you are what you eat!!

more on foraging here.

 

Meals on Wheels

A grand part of this adventurous lifestyle is the diversification of our diet.

The beauteous, bountiful, delight of flavoursome flavours and seasonal sensations….

What we eat and when we eat and where we are at the time, becomes significant in our days and our memories.

Meals shared, simple or imaginative become one of the threads woven into our travels.

“remember the first cherries of the season, fat and almost black, on that 42’c day, edging closer to Melbourne with bushfire smoke in the breeze and a trail of cherry pips behind us like Hansel and Gretel…”

There is simply more time to apply to our meals, and where and how we procure them {usually}

Sometimes we gather our own.

Often we go grower direct at farmers markets or roadside stalls or community gardens or your garden…

we may invite our hosts, our neighbours, strangers or friends…

I am patient enough to include the children in the preparation when they are interested.

I am relaxed enough to leave the pancake making to Lily and not fret about the floury kiss she leaves.

We often times eat outdoors which brings it’s own magic to dining.

Splendid sky shows or animal shows, scents or sand or sweet water trickling, the diversity of our surrounds keeps us amused as we are cosied up in our own dining room watching the world.

Places are noted by what we ate or found there.

Mealtimes become a simple time of togetherness and sharing.

we may sing or say a blessing while holding hands or we may dig in

we may play apples and onions, a game in which each shares the apple {high point} and onion {challenge} of their day

we may not talk at all or there may be silliness and giggles, playing with food creatively or coaxing children to eat what they aren’t interested in. there may be sadness or stillness, tiredness or crying, tantrums and food on the floor, abandoned plates or plates licked clean, cosy inside, crammed inside, on the ground mat, in someone else’s home, in a carpark, by the sea the creek or the sand, we may be in the park or in your garden, it’s not like the rhythm of our table at home, but in it all there is a rhythm and hum of family time wherever we are sharing food and the making of memories.

sometimes it’s the gratitude of cooking in a kitchen provided by a generous friend, the joy of baking in ovens and hot water on tap and the warmth of friendship around the table

thankyou to all of you out in the world who support our journey, it means so much to me xx

some glimpses…

Oatlands, salmon pasta, each of us making our plate uniquely and organic Callington mill woodfired bread.

IMG_0291 IMG_0302 IMG_0310

Circus Festival, 4 kg organic Blueberries picked ourselves and as big a grapes {well small grapes}

IMG_0331 IMG_0334 IMG_0335 blueberrys

Cockle Creek, cockles found with our toes and served with risotto, tomato mussels and watching Jesse slurp palm sized oystersIMG_0017 IMG_0019

Hobart playground, 4kg sweetest apricots, 1 kg silvanberries, 1kg blackberries, 1 kg cherries, and oh more blueberries… mmmmm

IMG_0228

Hobart dock front, fresh bread and eggs, kale and tomatoes and basil fresh from market while the others are in bed still, hands cold from the chill morning wind

porridge porridge lots of porridge {and stirred with my new Huon Pine Spurtle to replace my hand lathed NZ pear wood  spurtle from 2008}

Niyahitiny’s, pancakes and pancakes and pancakes and hot potato chips salty with rosemary and fresh garden salads and also berry sago coconut pudding

IMG_0520 IMG_0243 IMG_0246and let’s not forget the yumminess of vanilla icecreams in mini cones with fresh rasberries mashed into it found on the way there…

IMG_0239 IMG_0237

Cloudy Bay, abalone and fish and 40 strawberries

IMG_0721

Ferry off Bruny Island, $50 of cheeses and fresh bread warm from the oven

each cheese round has it’s ‘birthday’ inscribed on it
IMG_0371 IMG_0370IMG_0373 IMG_0372 IMG_0374 IMG_0375

Liffey Falls, picnic with Lily in the middle of the river on a wide rock, nori rolls and dried fruit

Tasmazia, popcorn in the middle of the hexagon maze, flopping in the sunshine feeling glorious
IMG_0648

Cygnet, savory pancakes with punchy Swiss style goats cheese

IMG_0619 IMG_0640

Port Huon, more pancakes with blueberries watching the sunset over sailing boats and golden hills and then an invitation to go sailing on Thursday afternoons if we return…

IMG_1102 IMG_1104

Hobart Italian Street fiesta, huddled in the shade with fresh pizza and the italian chatter over our heads

IMG_0857

Warburton, raw zucchini pasta salad with all ingredients picked from the public gardens except olives and cheese

IMG_0569 IMG_0588

Little Peninsula, bean tortillas, the benches are all rotted out and wet so we all perch on the table, it’s really messy and the kids have their feet on the table and love it…

IMG_0554 IMG_0557

Dancing Ground Festival,400 people, happy queues for wholesome catering under a glowing red tent, kids and parents to the front!

endless delicious meals in the grandparents kitchen, sitting on the stools playing ‘whats your favorite pottery’ with Lily

many meals in our welcoming friends homes and gardens

many meals quietly and unremarkably pass by also…

hmm reflecting on this above, it’s an awful lot of fruit, pancakes, cheese and bread… varied diet?

{absolutely, I just don’t photograph the steamed veg and rice meals and other as they are all too familiar …}

are you hungry now?

is food central in your family connection?

do you grow/make/forage your own?

do you have a lovely foodie memory with us?

xx

peace and mung beans

Right now…

Orchard fresh apples
Royal Gala & Jonathons
Sweet heady perfume in the air

20130302-120629.jpg

20130302-120638.jpg

20130302-120645.jpg

20130302-120651.jpg

20130302-120703.jpg

20130302-120709.jpg
We leave with 8kg for $10
Planning an apple crumble in a friends oven tonight…
Are you getting new season apples where you are?
Xxx

Oatlands

On our travels up and down the Midland Highway

we pass through Oatlands

an historical village set about an hour North of Hobart

we are lured by fresh Organic Stoneground Woodfired Sourdough bread

IMG_0050 IMG_0039 IMG_0049 IMG_0058 IMG_0046 IMG_0057

glimpses in the bakery

glimpses in the bakery

IMG_0040 IMG_0052

mmmm that ticks all the bread boxes doesn’t it

and not to mention local grains milled in the recently restored mill!

IMG_1022 IMG_1018 IMG_1025

Lily and I dress in vintage clothing and go on a date to peruse the gardens, heritage buildings and main street

IMG_1024 IMG_1023 IMG_1021 IMG_1020

beautiful dry stone walls abound in this area

beautiful dry stone walls abound in this area

IMG_1016

 

we play and pose for each other and giggle alot and smell roses and lavender hedges and accidently knock an unripe apple down

There is a free camping spot on the lake front {where you can glimpse Thylacine on the far bank}

and there are many birds and topiary hedges to prune…IMG_1015 IMG_1009 IMG_0021 IMG_0014 IMG_0016 IMG_0036 IMG_0029

 

or you can park up next to the playground which boasts a giant didgeridoo tree with

whimsical native animal carvings and you can pick wild tiny tart plums….

IMG_1013 IMG_1010we feast on giant cherries and smile alot

and are blessed with spectacular broad sky sunsets

IMG_0061

giant cherries grow round ere...

giant cherries grow round ere…

IMG_1012

 

where did she go?

Excuse me

Have you seen January?

I seem to have misplaced her

While i

Neglected the blog/boggle

Spent a lot of time in the moment

Travelled as far south as we could go

IMG_1061

Caught the sky from the bridge

IMG_1071 IMG_1049

IMG_1045

fished unsuccessfully

Fossicked for shellfish and feasted

IMG_0306 IMG_0324 IMG_0331 IMG_0338 IMG_0012 IMG_0017 IMG_0019

she sang

cockles and mussels alive alive oh…

Wondered about the history of the place

Now called Cockle Creek

IMG_0303

Abundance food and wildlife

Whispers of grand old trees

IMG_0136

And strong people watching

Wails of whales as they where massacred in the bay

IMG_0256 IMG_0257

A sad sad history to learn about

From humorous informative rangers

Learnt about our magnificent giants of the sea

And how to rescue a beached one or many

{remember, call for help, keep warm,  don’t breath in their blowhole, pilot whales are the most commonly beached in Tasmania, put a stick in the ground infront of live ones, keep their tails to the sea until you are ready to release them all at the same time, shade them}

felt impressed that my girl has this appreciation for whales and dolphins, experience and knowledge for the rest of her life now

felt on the right path of life

IMG_0266

IMG_0288 IMG_0281

Took a classic portrait of men and bones

IMG_0291

had a whale of a time!

IMG_0326 three month old southern right whale lifesize sculpture!

Enjoyed the sea air and the shelter from it

IMG_1051

i Got cold but

Jesse finally took the plunge

IMG_0346

while Lily had a nature drawing sessionIMG_0341 IMG_0348

I lounged in triggerplant bliss

My head amongst a million pink helpers

the medicine of rejuvenation and restoration

IMG_0045 triggerplant

Met young old friends

And had a date up a giant tree

IMG_0101
IMG_0120 IMG_0113IMG_0124

Lily had a lock on

Then we

Grudgingly left

Coaxed on by a berry  good carrot

Drove north

While I processed a myriad of thoughts emotions and responses

And gave thanks for a time of respite

Amidst the chaos of full days

Mostly joyful

With berry/cherry stained lips

Noticed the tiredness.depression link

And went to bed

xxx

 

the law of des glaneuses

pink cloverin the field

under the gaze of the mountains

the beauty of the mountains

in the deep verdant grass and flowers

lies our stinky bounty

the treasure we hunt

with joy and exclamations of success

the biggest clove ever woody

there in the garlic field

after the harvesters have been

and tirelessly pulled tonnes of perfect garlic heads

IMG_4421 IMG_4423

we are free to forage

delightful abundance

food for free

IMG_4432 IMG_4435 IMG_4434 IMG_4436

following the legal art of gleaning in France

as our french guests have enightened me

we gather

a years supply of pungent organic garlic

grown 300m from where we sleep

blessed are we

more paper bag uses

when hands are put to work

and a little effort and a group of willing children

it’s fun for us all

and then a mad dash home hysterical

high on garlic fumes

the rain chasing us

thankyou to the growers abundance!thankyou to the growers who water mulch weed harvest and share this beautiful crop

xxx

Mullumbimby community gardens

IMG_4691

amidst the forest of edible green

little hands and big hands alike are foraging

a tomato wrapped in sweet basil

and popped and spurted between sharp teeeth

a joyous exploration of tasting leaves and  petals

pure vitality and nourishment

flavours piquant and bright

a chile which made me cry

a haven of play for my tired little ones

a carpet of lush green to flop onto in mama exhaustion

a quiet place for us to be together

nurtured by vibrant life

the rustle and whisper of food growing

glorious food

abundant food for all!

gratitude

IMG_4633
IMG_4635 IMG_4639 IMG_4642 IMG_4647 IMG_4648 IMG_4649 IMG_4631IMG_4650 IMG_4651 IMG_4654 IMG_4655 IMG_4656
IMG_4659 IMG_4662 IMG_4657IMG_4664 IMG_4670 IMG_4676 IMG_4677 IMG_4678 IMG_4679 IMG_4634IMG_4680 IMG_4681 IMG_4683 IMG_4685

i’ve said it before and i will happily say it again and again

Mullumbimby Community gardens are fantastic

and if you can go there you are sure to be inspired

and feel happy simply by being with all the good growth

and feel connected with the ladybirds and the caterpillars

and come away well fed body and soul…

IMG_4690

gardening with a paper bag

 

 

a weekend holiday

some happy hours in the northbank community gardens

children wandering and gathering

mama weeding and dreaming of how her seedlings bought today will grow

{and realising i won’t be here to see them grow}

but enjoying my gardening all the same…

flavoursome leaves and a few asparagus stalks

chicken friends and chicken squawks

blossoms and seeds

ladybirds and weeds

chickens want holding

and a little paper bag folding

peace, rhymes, being together outside on a tired day

 

 

this garden is an amazing resource for the community

abounding gratitude to the committed crew who keep it growing well

and accessible to us all*