newsletter seedling in blackberry

A choice, a chance….

We’re down at our place in Fish Creek for the first time since July.

While we’ve been inside the ring of steel heavy winter rains have supercharged a blackberry patch at the bottom of the hill

I stand at its base – it towers over me like a big thorny green wall

I slash back the canes knowing that this will not be the end of it – to a blackberry bare earth is like a briar patch to Brer Rabbit (which is probably not the best metaphor)  

Anyway, something will have to be planted that will grow up and succeed it

I have trays of spotted and sugar gum seedlings that will, if we get some of that La Niña rain, eventually shade out this patch and perhaps one day provide timber and firewood.

After slashing, the trees go in and there on the side of this hill is a shin-high forest in waiting.

But until a canopy forms I can see many trips down here chipping out fresh blackberry shoots that appear between the young saplings.

The slashing and the planting are the “big jobs” but I know it will be the easy-to-ignore follow-up work that will be the difference between a forested hillside or the return of the great green thorny wall.

And as we come out of lockdown I feel the same will be true for many things.

When the pandemic came we rushed in record numbers to our local farmers and grocery makers pleading with them to feed us as we locked down.

Many were overwhelmed by our demands but they responded; planting more, growing more, harvesting more, baking more, employing extra hands, finding extra machinery and building extra sheds.  

Now lockdown is done and we are free to return to our old lives we have a choice, a chance.

We can go back to supermarket-normal and let weeds takeover again or we can nurture the relationships we have established and grow it into a forest.

Open Table chutney and dip workshops

Open Table latest and graterest

Fair Food customers have been paying forward fresh food boxes to local not-for-profit, Open Table’s food relief program. 

In three weeks you have paid forward what will equate to 2000 fresh cook-at-home produce packs that will go to people including temporary and student visaholders who have lost jobs and don’t qualify for Jobkeeper or Jobseeker support.

Giving, however, is a virtuous cycle and Alanna from Open Table is warmly inviting Fair Food customers to join her for two festive season cooking workshops.

Over two Sunday’s Alanna is holding her popular hands-on cooking workshops focusing on zero-waste cooking that make the most of what you have in your fridge and garden.

These workshops are on Zoom and run for around 60 minutes.  You’re welcome to cook along at home or simply join with a cuppa.

Tickets are free but after putting out the workd last week we only have a few spaces left.

BTW if the sessions fill up, there’s a waitlist you can put your name on.

Want to know more contact Alanna at workshops@open-table.org

You can find the pay-it-forward box here

Have a great week 

Chris

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