Wednesday, April 28, 2010


Just look at the island bench in my kitchen this morning. I know it is a bit untidy, but it is full of good things to eat!

Matt has dropped off our weekly box of veges, and the greens are just so amazing – all sorts of wonderful green leafy things, including kale, a range of spinach and chard and silver beet, a bag of salad greens, and a beautiful bunch of basils.

There were also beans, zucchini, red cabbage, cucumber, spring onions, and for the first time, a beautiful huge fennel bulb. And look at those big eggs, from his free range chooks who enjoy all those vegetable leftovers and trimmings from the garden!

You can see some of the last of this year’s persimmon crop – what a beautiful shade of orange! And they have never tasted so good.

We got some avocadoes from the Rectory this week – our own trees seem to be having a rest year this year.

About the only imported thing is the big bag of garlic – because that, plus onions, ginger and potatoes, are the only fresh stuff we are allowed to import!

Just imagine – all our fresh foods are locally grown, and come to us by a truly direct route – no miles of travelling, and they are picked ripe. Food tastes so good here!

There was even a bunch of flowers in the vege delivery this morning! It all felt a bit like a celebration!

Norfolk Island is on the verge of a wonderful revolution, where I believe we are going to show the world how to get it right in caring for our soil and water, and undo all the damage that has been done in the past by overuse of pesticides and fertilisers, and inappropriate land management. We have some intertnational experts on our side, and some enthusiastic young people who are prepared to lead the way, with the support of some oldies. I mean people like Greg, shown here, who at 91 still spends his day in an extensive vegetable garden, and is fit, healthy and active.

Watercress and other delights growing at Matt's "BiggFresh" garden.

Last night Bernie and I were at a function where Major-General Michael Jeffery spoke to us. Since retiring as Australia’s Governor-General, he has taken on a number of causes, but one of the main ones is to steer a movement back to doing things the right way with our precious land and resources. He said we have been focussing too much on our waterways, and have not thought enough about the water that is falling onto our soils – where is that going? If we treat our soils right, they will hold on to that water, so they can continue to produce even in periods of drought.

When I spoke to him afterwards, Major-General Jeffery agreed that we have to “unlearn” so much and return to what our forefathers knew about caring for the land. He said he is keen to point out the success stories and not dwell on the mistakes of the past. And there are plenty of success stories – just look at what our own Matt is doing out at Steele’s Point.

Here is what Matt calls his "Wawaha" vegetables - cut and come again greens that have traditionally been sold to restaurants as garnishes. Now they are popular with everyone, because you get a great variety of colour and flavour and nutrition in one pack. "Wawaha" is a Norfolk word meaning "putting on airs and graces"

Growing organically no longer means putting up with inferior quality and appearance. Look at this giant watermelon grown by Matt out at Simon's Water - in the dry weather! He is saving it for seed.

Matt tells me it is all about succession planting, and variety – gone are the days of mono-culture. Funnily enough. Major-General Jeffery said last night that in Britain, you will not find a Group One Racing horse that has not grazed in pastures where there is a variety of a minimum of eighty different grasses and other pasturage plants!

This morning on television, an expert was being interviewed who claimed that one of the key factors in longevity was eating an extensive variety of foods.

I was brought up on the idea that no meal was complete without the trio of red/orange, green and white on the plate, along with a good protein food. Well, nowadays, I frequently count 7, 8 or 9 vegetables/fruits on our plates at dinner time. And when they are combined in a salad or soup/stew, there may often be more.

We are truly blessed here on Norfolk Island. 

1 comment:

Anonymous said...


I love reading the stories about your life on Norfolk. Please don't forget to post links to the new blogs your friends are setting up. Just as long as they don't mind.

Deidre- Albury NSW

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