Archive for May, 2010


I am enjoying the simplicity of the

Law of Biogenesis at present

Collecting the macadamia nuts

Planting them

And watching them grow

It’s a feeling of wealth

Beyond measure

To collect seeds and know for certain

That they may grow

Seeds in the garden

Blowing into bok choy forests

Rocket salad

Tomatoes and coriander

Lettuce be indeed

A currency of zucchinis to trade

For a dozen eggs

And some milk

The joys of simplicity

I wonder if one day I can pay the car rego

With a bag full of purple king beans?

(c)cal mackinnon

dust storm on a footbridge

i have a favourite potato variety, the pink eye, i fell in love with pink eye potatoes when i lived in tasmania. i like them steamed with olive oil and salt. i only know a few varieties of potato but there are many, apparently there were once hundreds of varieties of the humble potato, that grew in all different sorts of conditions and in all sorts of places in a variety of different colours.

I am currently reading Barbara Kingsolver’s book ‘Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, one year of seasonal eating’. heres a brilliant quote that speaks of losing countless varieties of plant species and how important it is to maintain diversity.

” According to Vandana Shiva, humans have eaten some 80,000 plant species in our history. After recent precipitous changes, three-quarters of all human food now comes from just 8 species, with the field quickly narrowing down to genetically modified corn, soy and canola. ”

“An enormous factor in this loss has been the new idea of plant varieties as patentable properties. Monsanto, Syngenta, DuPont, Mitsui, Aventis and Dow-now control 98% of the worlds seed sales”

having learned all this, i am more committed than ever to grow heirloom seeds, save them, share them, and grow them. to eat locally grown non GM foods and support local food growers as much as i can. see my links panel for Eden Seeds, if you are needing to purchase any seed.

its getting really cold here now and i am looking after the veges and fruit trees so that when the warmer time arrives there are some much awaited paw paw and tahitian limes to eat. i have wrapped the paw paw up making a mini green house for it and mulched the dutch cream potatoes and the fruit tree bases in warm straw slippers. there is also some new additions to the hen house, three new leghorns and a duck called Harvey who grew up with the chooks and is a little confused as to his being a duck or a chook, but he has a beautiful bouffant, so he came home. they all seem to be settling in well with the other chooks we already had, so fingers crossed

harvey and the girls settling in

some warmth for the paw paw

pink eyes-pink straw?

dutch creams in slippers


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sense of place is so important, to really get to know yourself within your surroundings. dig your hands into the soil, walk, eat the produce grown from that place, savour local honey and watch the sun come and go each day. these things feed the soul. slow down and smell a rose.

in the Lamington National Park in QLD there is a remnant from another time, the Antarctic Beech tree. the stand left in the forest at Lamington is dated between 2000-5000 years old. the walk to the Beech trees is amongst my favourite in the forest, its really slow down time, tree time.

the image i took this morning is not of beech trees, they are white cedar trees, whilst sitting in my studio this morning the light drew me outside, and i noticed the trees are in seed at the moment. any tree appreciation i enjoy. i will include some photos of Beech trees when next I walk to Tullawallul, but for today its the Cedars! here is some writing about the Beech trees to enjoy

Ode to Beech Trees

Deep in cathedral green

Where golden shafts enter an underground world

through invisible canopy skylights,

Are the circles of Beech

Engaged in their delicate 2,000 year dance.

Nothofagus Moorei –

They are remnants of ancient Gondwana

when Australia, Antarctica and South America were one

and this country was cool and wet –

a more temperate time.

Now these slender beauties

who glide silently above boulders and noisy humans,

are beginning to bake in a world that’s hotter, drier.

Global warming is incompatible with their temperance and grace.

What are we to do – mere humans –

When deep-time is broken

and ancient heartwood shatters

under the weight of wayward feet?

Beech maidens will dance to the end of their time

in this underworld womb of mottled green.

No horizons or views

But today, in the forest’s oceanic silence

we exchange our breath and pray for life.

© Sally MacKinnon

July 24 2008

tree sunrise

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inspiring writers

‘sometimes long afterwards, it’s possible to look back and see the beginning of things, the point at which you had already plunged in, but at the time, you only thought you were testing the water with your toe’

helen garner, from ‘monkey grip’

watego's beach byron bay

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in your absence

missing entity

one would assume

the air would be lighter

(c)nicole crosswell

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native ginger seeds collected from early morning walk

‘tree speak’

the frankincense tree grows in a rocky desert, flourishing in harshness, bleeding dry tangy resin

my house often resembles an opium den, smoky and dimly lit, but this is a tree not from my everyday

i am a Wangerriburra white invader, learning to speak tree, tree as my second language, tree as my first language

trees everywhere everywhere i look and breathe, trees as everyday language. i have become a resin collector, i disappear for hours on end most days with my dog Mavis, looking for tree blood, where brush cutters, lawn mowers or koala claws have wounded a tree, so it bleeds much like we do, to heal itself, sweet and dry red and sickly, heart on its sleeve, heart on its skin, bleeding hearts for all to see who can see, for all who can speak and see

for the trees

i look for tree blood to burn on my charcoal, scribbly flooded and hoop, to heal, for we are a nation of failing hearts, broken hearts, for none can breathe without the trees

bleeding hearts, flame tree, privet and camphor laurel

im learning to speak tree, learning to speak, learning to see

learning to speak a new language

learning to be


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just harvested grapefruit

not long now for some broadbeans

the last of the yellow zucchini

eden seeds green mix

just something random

herby salad

squeaky clean Triclosan

we walk on the outside, the inside, together, in a room full of swirling words. A room of sea foam and scuffed driftwood, we meet from brushbox, to Ironbark, kangaroo apple to casuarina. Whistle laughing wind, at the honeyed valley gorge, mountain flame tree red, white bird screeching. Crack the hard shell of the brown nut, white fleshy meat, words real and raw, hard and soft, here now, to timeless adaptations, and new ways of evolution. (c) calmackinnon

local local

A shopping trip yesterday for some rice and chickpeas, starting at mrs flannery’s. they had no rice! and the chickpeas were at least australian but they weren’t sure from where. tricky. when you start trying to find local stuff, its a lot harder than i thought. i think the best bet is really local farmers markets. i know we are too late for tomatoes and bottling them, so i have planted some pots in the upstairs room as its warm in winter and gets sun, fingers crossed there may be some toms for salad through winter.

the zucchini is in its last moments, they have been brilliant this summer and we made a yummy chutney, with the green zebra tomatoes, and stacks of coriander. Eden Seeds up here on Beechmont has a salad mix that  always provides the most interesting and colourful array of greens. waiting patiently for some broadbeans and the second planting of snow and sugar snap peas are just starting to pop up.

the herby salad is thrilling! there is a mushroom plant in the front yard that is really tasty, check em out if you haven’t already, some lemon balm, more cinnamon basil, mint, rocket and coriander. Last Mothers day, there was a festival called ‘Art in the olives’. a brilliant local day full of workshops and stalls. there was a couple there with infused australian olive oil, Coolana Olives is the name of the oil. we bought the chilli and lime variety and use it as a salad dressing with our limes. it is getting really cold at night now but the days are warm and clear.

close or close?

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a pattern, a scribbly gum and a longing to sew it all together


text as imagery? small insect trails as art? the minutest of animals and the largest of humans, all in a dance, all trying to fit together in a complex set of systems.

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