Our town

Our small writers' group in town has a wonderful writer. Tonight I have been reading the manuscript of a book set in 14th century Paris, told through the eyes of a pet cat. I am gripped! Best thing I have read for some time. We meet once a month in the snug of a local pub and we've been meeting for almost a year now. Apart from my garden notes and occasional rants here on this blog, the only other writing I do besides writing shopping lists is something for writers' group each month. This month I have started a story about our family life here on the wet west coast for Favourite Handyman's niece who turns five next month. I'm not usually moved to write for children (cooking, cleaning, taxiing and reading for children being more than enough), but I did want to make a non-consumerist gift which would introduce Isabella to the life of the two small cousins she has never met.

I have got more to read that promises much. Today I found Tristram Stuart's book Waste: Uncovering the Global Food Scandal at the library. I do love a good food politics book and I especially love to find a recent one at the library. The photographs alone are poweful.

Progress with our local primary school food garden has been so slow that I am embarassed. The obstacle of needing to jackhammer out the old concrete sandpit and before even that to check the proximity of pipes (waiting on this bit now) before we can even lay in some soil has hindered me to the point that nothing has happened all year. But today I chatted with the keenest teacher and we are going to get some food growing in pots very soon. I can't bear for it to be spring and us not get something happening. Last year we had a potato growing competition. This year we are currently thinking of growing salad greens and harvesting them as part of a school shared healthy lunch. The school did a lovely shared lunch at the beginning of this year but plot to plate would be even better.

The New Zealand Gardener magazine has it's gardener of the year competition regional finalists in the current issue. Stan from the health food shop here in our small town is the West Coast finalist. Stan is a quirky fellow with a passion for roses. He is also a great resource with his stock and knowledge in his health shop. It's pretty exciting knowing a finalist.

As usual, community projects involve lots of raffles. I've been buying hockey raffle tickets aplenty lately, to support our young hockey players in their national tournament coming up. This afternoon I bought a camp raffle out at Jonesy's butchery. I always buy camp raffles for the lowest decile schools, no matter how piffling the prizes. My son's school has a relatively privileged intake and many grandparents and ex-pupils around to buy up generously. Not so every school.


Corrine said…
oooh those books sound cool. I haven't read a decent book in ages. The food waste one is something dear to my heart since I became a compost convert...
It took well over a year for our primary school to get the garden going as well, and actually it had to be parent driven as the teachers simply don't have the time. I like the sound of the potato competition. We have had both sunflower growing competitions (They suffered from lack of water in the summer holidays) and pumpkin growing competitions - our season is a bit too short to get really good pumpkins happening, but it was fun. I'm also eying up the mushroom growing website that has a section for schools...you can see how well they grow on things like phone books or toilet paper rolls,not much space needed for those. I'll see if I can find the website for you.
Love the plot to plate idea...sugar snap peas would be great for that and I'm sure they can grow in pots. What about trying those upside down tomatoes in hanging baskets?

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