1.MUST VISIT: It’s warm and frisky outside and everyone has a bounce in their step. It’s Ekka time. Ekka is Brisbane’s Royal Show. I’m here amongst the rides, showbags, and cowboy boots to talk about small space gardening on the Garden Platform of the Horticultural Pavilion. A little time before my session for a quick trip down memory lane…
2.MUST SHOP Just down the road is the Northey Street City Farm which is a wonderful permaculture model for city folk.
Hundreds come here on the weekend to enjoy the green space, to stock up on gardening supplies and get some ideas about how to grow fresh produce at home.
|The farm has been ravaged by two floods in the past few years and is slowly being rehabilitated by dedicated volunteers|
3. MUST EAT- The Euro
This is what I’ve been looking forward to. So much praise has been heaped on this Brisbane restaurant. Can the hype match the expectation? The Euro shares the kitchen with its upmarket sister Urbane.
……. with the Laneway bar upstairs spinning cool tunes and serving beers, wines and cocktails with global influences.
The wine list takes you round the world and back with an eclectic selection of mid-range and high end options. We selected a pinot gris from Alsace which was fruity and complex. Very drinkable.
onion and goats cheese souffle with black garlic powder. The souffle was a puff of cheesy air perfectly balanced with the sharpness of the sweet onions and the extraordinary texture and earthy allure of the garlic dust. A destination dish for sure.
4. MUST STAY- The Emporium
The Emporium is in Fortitude Valley just around the corner from Ekka so very convenient for show-goers. Don’t misread it’s sparklyexterior – there’s a high level of service and an eye for detail behind those glossy good looks.
The rooms come close to being my perfect hotel room. And I’ve stayed in a few during my time. A bed you want to take home, a rich warm decor of creams and chocolates, a sensational shower with strong pressure and a tempting breakfast menu.
5. MUST DRIVE
It’s time to head to the airport. Luckily I’ve booked my Prius hybrid taxi. It doesn’t negate the carbon emissions from my flight but a girl has to start somewhere.
My balcony farming adventures just got a little bit more exciting. I’m trialling a worm farm from Tumbleweed. Tumbleweed’s worm farms come in different sizes depending on your space restrictions. This unit is called the ‘Worm Cafe’ and fits snuggly next to the BBQ in a shaded section of my balcony.
The tray system on legs is made from recycled plastic from car batteries and all the packaging is designed to be composted by your worms so no waste!
And then it’s just a matter of putting on the lid and leaving your worms for a week to get used to their new home. Worms love to eat fruit and vegetable peelings, egg shells, and even hair and toe nail clippings.They don’t eat meat, cheese and fats and don’t like acidic vegies like garlic and onions in large quantities. I’m looking forward to tempting their taste buds with my delectable kitchen scraps.
Steve is not the first practitioner of ‘guerilla gardening’ but with the additions of his miniature props, his pot-hole gardens are grabbing attention around the world.
Forty years later balcony gardening has mostly cured me. I quickly discovered without these industrious little pollinators nothing was going to grow in my garden.
And then more reading and research made me realise how dire things were for bees with the Varoa destructor mite and Colony Collapse Disorder seriously threatening the future of bees colonies around the world.And the scariest statistic – we are so reliant on bees to pollinate our commercial crops that if bees died out the human race would follow two years later!
Enter the Sydney Bee Club – a wonderful initiative of Doug from Sydney’s the Urban Beehive. Doug establishes hives all over urban Sydney… on roofs, in back yards, behind restaurants. Urban hives will assist with pollination and protect the diversity of wild bee populations.
Last week the Sydney Bee Club met at the Lord Roberts pub in East Sydney for an extraordinary evening of honey tasting. The flavour of honey is affected by the type of nectar bees collect and the seasons. Some honeys were pitch black and smokey and treacly. Others were clear and light and floral. My favourite was a honey from Double Bay. Delish.
With our new hive of 10,000 bees settling into their new home on the roof of the Wayside Chapel I’m looking forward to discovering more about the humble bee.