Life in rural Queensland has been a delightful string of interesting encounters for me, and this weekend was no different.
My friend Lina, who moved to Australia from her home in Mauritius, had Bear and I over for an absolutely scrumptious Mauritian feast. I absolutely swooned over dal fritters, warm flat bread, chicken potato curry, spicy tomato dip, green mango pickle, lime pickle, and spiced pumpkin. Soon we’ll have her out to our place and introduce her to Danish food. It’s so lovely to share our cultures with each other and talk for hours as we swapped stories and experiences of life in our adopted homeland.
Saturday morning introduced me to more lovely people as I attended my first garden swap in the town of Clifton.
It is a wonderful event hosted by my friend Kathy, and the premise is simple: bring what you grow, make, bake and swap it with what others bring.
How I loved it!
Tables were laden with beautiful produce – carrots, cabbages, apples, onions, lemons, and herbs – as well as plants, baked goods, and homemade preserves – passionfruit curd, pickled chilies, and preserved limes.
It was so fun to peruse the offerings, sniffing fragrant herbs like rosemary, coriander, and yarrow, and debating whether to choose bags of sheep manure for my gardens or gorgeous little quails.
I brought wood-burned items and loaves of homemade spelt bread to swap. In exchange I received all sorts of good things: fresh and preserved limes, Polish red cabbage sauerkraut, sugar sweet carrots, and seedlings for silverbeet, Vietnamese mint, lavender, and feverfew. So fun!!
Here’s one of my loaves of spelt bread cooling on the veranda.
The best part of the gathering was meeting so many lovely people as we clustered around sharing a potluck lunch.
We dined on orange and fennel salad, quiche vivid with turmeric, curried eggs, and coconut cake drenched with lime syrup.
I brought a lemony quinoa salad studded with baby green peas and feta cheese and tasted my way through the delicious things brought by the others.
We sipped coffee and visited for ages, sharing stories of our lives on various farms and homesteads in the area. I met sheep farmers and veggie growers, chicken-raisers and succulent devotees, fermented vegetable masters and great folks who can’t grow a thing but love supporting those who do.
I returned home inspired and excited, renewed in my love of growing and making and, most of all, connecting with lovely human beings.
What would you like to bring home from a garden swap? xo
*new post* A Garden Swap and Lemony Quinoa Salad http://www.ramblingtart.com/2015/06/22/a-garden-swap-and-lemony-quinoa-salad/
Lemony Quinoa Salad
2 cups cooked tri-color quinoa, cooled
1 cup baby green peas
1/2 cup grated Feta cheese
fresh parsley, chopped
1 large lime, juiced
2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp Dijon mustard
salt and pepper to taste
Combine first four ingredients in medium bowl.
In small bowl, whisk together lime juice, olive oil, mustard, salt, and pepper until emulsified.
Pour dressing over ingredients and toss gently to coat.
Serve cold or at room temperature.