Pecha Kucha Night

Last night we went to the amazing craft markets at QE2 Square and did some christmas shopping, relaxed listening to music, caught up with friends and ate dinner there too.   The mayor turned on the lights on the giant christmas tree at the front of the park.  Entertainer Nicky Bomba played some funky tunes and got all the kids up dancing and singing so it was a fabulous start to our night.

Later that evening we went upstairs at the Lounge Tapas Bar and watched 8 different presentations by locals about what they are passionate about.

 

1.  Benj Binks talked about creating his documentary on Hip Hop in Mongolia. :  I enjoyed seeing the pictures of his trip and was interested to hear the stories about the people he met on his travels.  I'll have to give the doco a watch later.

2. Morgan Pinder talked about her fantasy clothing and sculptures based on the tales in Alice in Wonderland. She has a Facebook page for her creative start-up www.facebook.com/monkeysaidthemushroom

3. Nathan Heath talked about soil health and stressed the importance of soil and that we need to look after it for our own survival

4. Natalie Ord a local photographer showed us some of her works and talked about her adventures around the globe http://www.redbubble.com/people/nord

5. Margaret England talked about her found shearing shed object sculptures.  I saw her exhibition at the Albury Art Gallery recently.

6.  Bruce Pennay spoke about Bonegilla history and the immegrant settlements there and the peoples stories. 

 

7. Jay Rivett talked about his passion for artisan baking.  I love his bread and will have to get another loaf soon, yummo http://milawabakery.com.au/

 

8. Therese King talked about her experience with getting a Kidney Transplant and how important it is to donate organs.

 

Going to seed

I'm letting the plants that were in the garden when we arrived go to seed:

There's parsnips, dill, parsley, celery, lettuce, silver beet, carrots and onions that I'm letting go.  I think I should wrap ribbons around the ones I'm serious about collecting from in the future.

Asparagus

Our first asparagus spear:

Apparently we need to leave whatever grows to get a good return next year.

King Parrot

Ella feeding the beautiful king parrot that was hanging around in our back yard:

Local Foods

At our house warming my mother in law Jasmine gave me a guide to local foods for the Mt Alexander Shire.  Here's a copy online of the local foods guide it's very cool.   I figured the best course of action to see it happen in our region was to hand it to Jenny from WATCH (Wodonga & Albury Toward Climate Health (WATCH)).  It looks like people are interested in doing something like this in our region, so hopefully we'll have an update about it later on.

 

Local foods is one of the main reason's Jan and I moved to the Albury/Wodonga region.   We had many discussions over the months before we moved here about finding local markets. growing our own food, and buying local.    We are very lucky to have local food markets here in town.  One of the best ones is the bi weekly market on the Cause Way Hume Murray Food Bowl.

 

 

 

Spaghetti Squash Seedlings

I'm happy with the progress of my seedlings:

Spaghetti squash, sunflowers, warrigal greens, herbs, melons, pumpkins.

I did an experiment with the warrigal greens.  I heard that putting seeds in boiling water would make them sprout better, but that didn't work at all, none came up in the places where I did that.  The ones I soaked in tap water however worked well.

Chicken Tractor

Progress on our chicken tractor.   We're using the plans from the Simple Savings Chicken Tractor

Jan gluing together the piping

Pieces

Adding the bird wire at the party

The finished product.   I'll capture more once it's set up and in place with some chickens.

Making Pierogi

Our friend Ella was head chef on Saturday afternoon.  Ella directed us all in making pierogi.  Pierogi is a Polish dumpling.

^ Vickie closing the dumplings. [ Not a fabulous picture sorry ].

Ella created three fillings:  Chicken and sour kraut,  Mushroom and sour kraut and Potato and cottage cheese.  The 280 dumplings (Yes Ella counted!) were then boiled and served with fried onions and greek yogurt. YUM.

Pierogi is one of my favourite foods, They remind me of my time in Poland in 2009.  They were well received at our house warming and I snuck away some of each and froze them for later.

A big thankyou to Ella and to Marcin who made the dough and rolled it out (using our new pasta maker!!) and all the helpers who were involved in closing the dumplings.

 

House Warming

We had an epic 67 hour long house warming that went from Friday 5pm until Midday today (Monday).

Some of our guests set up tents in the paddock and my parents set up their caravan:

The event put all our resources to work.  Every pot and pan was used, every plate and bowl, every chair etc. We had guests from all over the place: Tamworth, Melbourne, Sydney.  We had many of the friends we've  made here over the two years and new friends from my courses.  We also had a few neighbours come over which was great.

Friday night was a quiet pizza night and everyone headed to bed early after travelling from Sydney or from the south.   Saturday was also quite lovely then preparing for people to arrive.  Saturday night was very hectic with about 40 guests, some just popping in others stayed all night.   It really was an amazing party with so many great foods (more about one special dish in another post).  We had about 10 cakes as well which were enjoyed all weekend.   Sunday we continued the fun with board games and some home projects.  Monday morning was very quiet with people leaving. Whew!

We received some fabulous gifts:  A rooster statue, hand made socks, a pasta maker, beautiful glasses, pretty green tea towels, a candle, an elastic strap and dri lube(?).  A lovely hand painted bottle.  Home made beers, home made marmalade, delicious olive oils, A curry plant in a gorgeous pot, a beautiful lavendar plant as well. A crystal farm, a dalai lama poster, some incense, a jigsaw puzzle, seed packets,  cat5 cable and some offers for help around the house.  A fowlers kit and jars, Lots of delicious looking wine and beers and special bottles of champagne. Not forgetting the gate that was built earlier in the month.   Sorry if I missed your gift, please remind me.  I was a bit frazzled with so much going on!! 

Thankyou to everyone who attended the party and for all the help everyone gave us during the long weekend.  Thankyou for all the amazing presents as well.  What a weekend!

Vertical Gardening

Our friend Miki posted this fascinating video about an open source project for Vertical Gardening.

I would like to do something similar but maybe with Aquaponics involved like this aquaponics and vertical gardening setup from milkwood.

Some more inspiration in pictures of vertical gardens

Also I found a lovely video called the  most beautiful aquaponics system

 

My intention is to build one of these systems using both ideas, maybe a fish tank to start with below.   Not sure where yet, so more to come I hope.

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