Thursday, March 6, 2014

Back on my bike in a food way

Life will always take us on unexpected journeys and so it is for me.  Six years after shutting the doors on Jasmine Greens cafe, here I am re-opening Jasmine Greens mark ii, just a block away from the original cafe.  Heeding the encouragement  from my local community, past customers and friends, I have successfully tendered a business plan to Gosford City Council to set-up shop in a brand new purpose-built space in the beautifully re-vitalised Umina Oval and Playground, the Peninsula Recreation Precinct.  It's an opportunity to bring my learnings from running the last cafe, coupled with the experiences I have had over the past six years, to hopefully build a truly sustainable and vibrant food destination and community hub.  To be working back in my local community is a really exciting and settling prospect.  To be providing training and employment opportunities for staff is also really exciting. I hope to update you on the cafe's set-up and general progress through this blog, a little more frequently than I have updated this blog over the past few years.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Back on my bike

I'm riding to work for the first time in over 6 years! And a year after breaking 4 ribs. It's been a week and I'm very proud to have achieved 6 days in a row on my single speed. Today I pushed my boundaries a little further and cycled from empire bay to woy woy. My legs are paying for it and as I write this from my seat on the long train ride home, I'm psyching myself up for the 7 or do km ride from the station to my car. Commuting with bike has it's challenges. Other commuters don't seem to like me very much especially on tangara trains with no designated bike space. The old smelly trains are better with hooks in some carriages for bikes, bit they are so smelly. Hoping to secure a bike locker at woybwoy next week. Here's to being back on the bike!

Monday, January 3, 2011

spring harvest

nectarines were a plenty on our fruit salad tree this spring. the mint went wild with all the rain, so did the sorrel, kale potatoes, beans, peas and parsley.  our plums and peaches didn't fruit and while my lemon flowered profusely, fruit never came.
growing food take a few more tricks than i've managed to muster, but the rain has certainly sent the garden into a busy growth spurt.

after spending the winter months in Orange reporting on rural topics for the ABC, i have an increased awe for the people who grow the food we eat.  so much hangs on the whims of the weather, be it too dry or too wet, getting perfect conditions to grow a perfect crop is near on impossible.

herbs are my crop of choice, you can neglect them and they survive most of the time.  we've started a small kitchen garden in the front yard, right outside our kitchen, further away from the bush turkey nest in the back yard, its fared pretty well without a fully enclosed garden cage.  cherry tomatoes and basil are in full swing artichokes are flowering their bright flame mauve and the thyme hangs in, despite being trampled by busy little feet running past on a regular basis.

broad bean salad fresh from the garden, peeled, blanched and dressed in olive oil, salt, lemon juice and fresh parsley.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

roof and walls to boot!

After weeks of rain, John finally managed to get our roof on and stop the rain.  I hope we haven't triggered more drought.  It's rained every week John has been working on our house, making things very slow. Roof's up and the sky is blue.

Inside our new bedroom, lined with Charlie's signature ply, exposed recycled hardwood framing will provide shelves for our precious objects.

crimson grapes and red delicious apples

Hazy Jane made it to our shopping collective pack and pick up last week.  Here's her box of goodies.

It was so lovely to see her with baby and husband in tow.

We were short delivered on yellow zucchinis and tomatoes, but what we did get was absolutely beautiful and (red) delicious!

Bogged down and totally loving P&C admin for now...

It's only been two weeks and already the P&C seems to be taking all my time.  I think I'm just so excited to have a new avenue to use my skills in community organising. 
It wasn't until a week after I'd been elected President of our P&C that I realised what the P&C was all about - I've been in a working mum vacuum for the past three years of Gully's school life, but with River and Gully both at school, I wanted to be more engaged in the direction of the school this  year. So, here goes!
Reading the 2010 P&C Handbook and the latest P&C magazine on train on my way to uni last week, it dawned on me - we're a lobby group, campaigning for free, quality, non secular public education. It's that simple.
One week in and I've met with over 8 P&C executive members, past and present, to quizz them on their priorities and legacy; done a full day's work in the school canteen; hung outside the school in the rain on Saturday night, to personally inform parents of a cancelled fundraising event; published an information flyer for our school parents and staff about the role of the P&C and put together a survey on survey monkey for staff, parents and keen students to fill in - to inform our new P&C 'business plan'.
I so hope this process attracts an active parent community for our lovely, tiny school..
Certainly feel like I'm jumping in, but also feel really comfortable using my skills in a positive and hopefully community empowering way.

You can visit to view our P&C survey.

Monday, March 1, 2010

blue bower

we visited Sim and Matt in the Blue Mountains a few weeks ago.  they've just purchased a block of land and are embarking on the grand adventure of building their home.  This blue bower was nestled in their garden - see how the Bower Bird has shaped the grass - so beautiful!