The Great Outdoors – Foraging and Shinrin-Yoku

My dearest Gary once said that I am at my most relaxed when I am outdoors.

A month or two back I was on a mission, that mission to find somewhere where I could forage for pine mushrooms.  This meant time out with a special friend, who, I must say, I’ve had a few adventures with.  Maggie is loads of fun and loves a bit of adventure, so a date and time was set.

On the day, I met Maggie at hers, transferred my baskets to her truck and we headed off, chatting, laughing, catching up and looking for a suitable place to forage.  Many plantations were off limits due to logging, but when we had almost given up, the last one on the list was logging free.  She parked the truck, we gathered our tools (baskets and knives, and entered the edge of the plantation.  As we collected our bounty of mushrooms and pine cones we both found ourselves becoming more and more relaxed in our surrounds, wandering off in different directions, and coming together again, this led us to chatting about forest bathing and the benefits afforded by such a simple pastime.

I was a little surprised to hear that Maggie had never foraged for mushrooms and wasn’t game to try the ones that I had collected. But that was Ok, I brought them all home and cooked, pickled and dehydrated them, Mushroom Bourguinon anyone?

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Sisters in the Garden…

Back in March my sisters, Sonnie and Jan visited, you might say we were a little excited.

The day that they were to arrive, the phone started buzzing with text messages advising of their respective departures, Sonnie had a 2.5 hour drive, Jan had a 6 plus hour drive.  We received updates letting us know where they were, something that we do to make sure everyone is traveling safely.

Sonnie arrived first, with Jan arriving a few hours later.  Bags were taken to their rooms, cups of tea enjoyed, and the talking began.  The day they arrived there was to be a street parade, in existence since 1957, the aim of the Maffra Mardi Gras is to give community groups in Maffra, and throughout Wellington Shire, the opportunity to raise funds for their organisation.  Culminating in a family-friendly evening with a street parade, marching bands and floats, market and food stalls, entertainment for all ages and a lot of fun!  This years’ theme was “the circus” and local trucking companies provided the mobile platforms for local schools and community groups to join in the parade.

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it was quite a warm day, so with the parade scheduled for 6pm, it was perfect!   We found our place along the street, and we couldn’t wipe the smile from our faces.

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A Cake for Sonnie

My sister, Sonnie, has just turned 70.  She didn’t want to celebrate, just wanted to have a quite day…  But her family and friends had other ideas!

A message, out of the blue, from my nephew, Dave, put us all on notice.  There was to be a surprise celebration!  Oh the pressure of trying to not make her suspicious of the goings-on. Continue reading

When the garden gives you greens!

A wander around the garden can be so rewarding, and at the moment there is a fabulous supply of greens.  We have sprouting broccoli, asparagus, shallots, sorrel, chard/silverbeet, broad beans and broad bean shoots, pea shoots, fresh herbs (chives, mint (common and vietnamese), rosemary, parsley, oregano, and the tarragon is just waking up) and there are snow peas, so many snow peas!

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Shipwrecks of a Bygone Era

The stunning shoreline of the Ninety Mile Beach in Gippsland, Australia separates Bass Strait from the Gippsland Lakes, with the sandy beaches, edged by sand dunes, stretching for approximately 94 miles or 151 kilometers.  In years long past, this pristine stretch of  beach, uninterrupted by rocky headlands, provided no safe harbour for sail and steam vessels when storms and gale force winds hit, leaving the coastline scattered with many offshore wrecks and the occasional onshore wreck.

On a recent trip to the area we chose to head to one such onshore wreck, that of the barque ‘Trinculo’, where the skeleton of the wreck is still visible on the beach near the small coastal village of Golden Beach.

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