Fresh Eyes

November 26, 2017

The ticking clock beside me is a useful measure of my speed in ordering my thoughts into a coherent whole.  It checks my tendency towards distraction, and encourages my weekly discipline of using Sunday’s closing moments as a space for reflection.


Sometimes, though, it is a privilege to step away from the clock and deadlines, and the tendency to see achievement as an arrow’s trajectory: in my case, the dream of following the quickest, most direct path from nascent idea to shiny, completed product.




This weekend, we travelled to our nearby seaside town of Robe, a gorgeous little fishing village that was home to the Bungandidj people (People of the Reeds) for over 30,000 years.



The indigenous population thrived on the diverse nutrition offered by the varied coastal environment, and I was so happy when local restauranteur Tom Tilbury agreed to take me for a walk along this beautiful inlet landscape today.   Tom frequently forages for indigenous ingredients for his menus, and together we found a range of exquisite plants that I have been walking past, unseeing, for years.  Together, we will work to develop a range of seasonings for my popcorn that use some of these beautiful flavours and carry the 'taste' of this region to consumers further afield.




One of the most exciting discoveries was under the forest floor, not more than 100m from the inlet sand.  During spring, a mass of white native garlic flowers cover the ground.  The flowers and leaves are all edible, but during summer, after they have died down to a protective mulch layer, it is possible to brush the dirt aside to reveal the tiny native garlic corms. 




These subtle pearl-like shapes are so beautiful, but I can’t help comparing them to the natural exuberance of the exotic garlic that currently dons its own party hat in my garden!




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