Wednesday, July 29, 2009

way of the carrot

Have arrived home to a broken fridge and minimal fresh supplies. Missed the local markets yesterday, so bought some produce on the way through town, but it will be a scant week. How many ways can I prepare a raw carrot?

Monday, July 20, 2009

kap – si – kum

As the only vegans in the village, word is out that we are large consumers of leafy greens and fresh vegetables. An entrepreneurial neighbour arrives with organically grown capsicums and offers a free home delivery service. Zero food miles and direct payment to the nana that cultivates them in her backyard. You've got to love village life.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

what’s the wind doing?

A customary question and generally rhetorical. A greeting between watermen. A capricious element that warrants discussion. There are times I couldn’t give a poke what the wind is doing, however, today it is doing strange and wonderful things for the middle of July. Onshore, cool and a tiny bit of drizzle. Only two days ago it was howling offshore tradewinds – the usual pattern for the dry season – and now it is masquerading as an October morn.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

dangerous smoothies

The generator lives at the side of the house, jammed in with the left over timber, buckets, shovels and mops. It has a tendency to grow legs and walk when left in view, so we have wrapped it up like a present in one of Tom’s discarded paintings. We didn’t foresee our enthusiasm for green smoothies when designing the house, so an easily accessible generator shed wasn’t on the plan.

The usual regime is, I get the ingredients for the smoothie ready while Tom the “Genny Boy” cranks up the “fumigator.” This arvo I took charge of the pull cord, knocked the shovel, which knocked the sledgehammer, which fell onto my head. Ohh yeah, that hurts.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

lettuce rejoice

As the dry season progresses, the market produce available improves every week. Carrots are now in abundance, cauliflowers have increased from the size of a tea-cup to more recognisable bouquet, and joy upon joy, lettuce has appeared. Locals don’t know what to do with lettuce - it doesn’t take well to being boiled and mixed with rice, so what is the point of it? It is grown solely for the buleh market, by a couple of entrepreneurial farmers that had the nous to look over the fence into a buleh vege patch and ask for some seeds. The lettuce lady approaches us as soon as we arrive and we relieve her of her load. When it comes to rare commodities like lettuce, if you snooze, you lose, and at 10c per bunch there is no need for hesitation. Spiced up with a few leaves of rocket picked from a neighbour's garden, the simply joy of “fancy lettuce” is one to behold.

Monday, July 13, 2009

is plastic raw?

In a vigorous bid to help the blender along with its mixing job, I push the plastic swizzle stick that bit too far and smack – plastic chip smoothie! The ingredients are too precious to turf out, so I sift through and pick out the chunks, while Tom pieces the stick together like a jig-saw so we can see if any big bits are still missing. Luckily it was a raw cacao smoothie, so the white plastic is easy to find. Having seen an entire undigested balloon come out of a dog’s bum, we aren't too worried if a tiny speck or two finds its way through.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

baby benja born

A healthy new addition to the village, Disyon Besi, son of our P.A., Benja and his wife Anna. A few days ago Anna was lugging water and firewood, the birth a mere blip in proceedings. It is customary to give birth at home with the help of your mother and other female relatives. The father never participates, and a doctor is rarely on site. Most women I have asked say their labour is short - one to three hours - from first contractions to birth.

Infant mortality is reasonably high, and in my understanding often due to simple factors such as phlegm, which would be swiftly dealt with in a western medical facility. Anna and Benja have already lost two babies, so hopefully all goes well for little Disyon.

Friday, July 3, 2009

sowing the seeds of love

I had envisaged the garden as a verdant display of leafy greens by July, however I am only now getting around to sowing the seeds. Things move slower on island time. We don’t want to invest garden space and precious well water from into produce that is available at the markets, so have devoted the garden to “exotic” species including kale, silverbeet, marigold, coriander, cucumber, cos lettuce, rocket, buckwheat, dandelion, hibiscus, parsley, and basil. Grow babies, grow.
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