Friday, September 10, 2010

herbs and the value of people

Kate has flown off to Brissy and it was rather interesting going to the little airport... only on Flinders would you end up meeting and chatting to 4 sets of people (I think there were 3 people there we did not talk to or know) when seeing off a friend. It was an interesting view of the dynamics of what makes the island work. It is its community. It is a very fragile social environment and is actually enormously dependent on the general goodwill and 'mate-ship' of a relatively small number of people. Any society has its share of bludgers who put in as little as possible. Shrug. Those we have with us always. It's the others that matter, and the island is lucky to have a good few of them - but unlike the city, that's a fairly small and very finite resource. The Doctors and their son, who have managed to bind into the community, were on the plane out. So was the vet. So were some of the island's small population of children. The knock ons to three of the community things we belong to just from that handful are dire. The children are leaving and that is dreadful for the school, the others, to my relief, will be back. But it does remind you that this is an island, an isolated place on the edge. People have value, the way that they do not in the city, or even the mainland.

We went and made 'tea' AKA lunch for a sick friend (yet another person the island simply has no replacement for), and then took up an invitation from Peter to come see their place - which is off grid, powered by a wind-turbine we can see from here. Dave spent the afternoon being hopelessly envious of the tools. Sigh. We're a long way up from nothing (like when we started) but a long long way from where I need to be. Their house on the hill is beautiful - made of solid double-tongued cedar... from Canada. Ah well. One day. I will say that their wind-turbine is quite loud. That hadn't occured to me. And then they gave us some rosemary plants which I hope will establish. We've now got rosemary, sage, thyme, mint, oregano, lavender, parsley (moss curled and italian) tarragon and fennel growing. Obviously we still need basil and a bay tree, but fresh herbs are making strides. Garlic chives might be another experiment. The tomatoes are growing from seed in my study, but I have had no other major seed-growing experiments come up yet, but you can see spring is stirring.


  1. Barb: I have a huge bay-tree, and I've successfully air-layered it in the past. I can do it again. Takes a few months, but you get a nice, healthy sapling.

    I also have very healthy Vietnamese Mint, which is brilliant with fish. I'll bring some of that when we come a-visiting.

  2. Inquiring minds want to know - how do your fish-with-mint? And a Tas adapted bay tree would be delightful! Look forward to seeing you.