Saturday, June 19, 2010


I have been dumped by text, by the university. My gardego (gardening ego) has taken a blow from the learned land of researchers.
The backyard 'study' is suspended for now and would I like to leave my number with them for future potential?
They suggested we might get together another time.
Have you heard that one before?
'The Tropical Backyard: Nature and Culture relations in FNQ (Far North Queensland)' study is no more.
So I will dust off my gardego and life goes on.

There is soooo much news since my last post, I am tripping over myself.

There is a flowscape of chilli's, an abundance of lemons(plump from the wet season rains), a young, budding pineapple, a teenager called Jasmine, trips away to the Daintree and our rapidly drying lanscape.
There is the upcoming winter solstice, transplanting of seedlings into grown-up lands and pumpkin-leaf-tip recipes.
 There may even be an answer to the mystery of the cane toads of the plant world, those warty-orange-viney-things.

The young pumpkin nutured by mother nature was cooked and eaten in the honorary company of my wonderful friend, Nell. Her recipe for pumpkin soup is legendary and has traveled the country.
Over the years the fundamentals remain the same but I have tweaked it somewhat to suit the tropical environment. I use coconut cream instead of cream and jap pumpkin instead of butternut. I don't bother with the potatoes either, although it's a great way to either 'use some up' or make the soup go further to feed more mouths......

I read a book written on pumpkins by an Australian author, possibly Jackie French, who raved so much about the versitality of the Jap pumpkin, I have not had a butternut since I was convict-ed to England.
(More on my England experiences with pumpkins at a later date).
After the author stated butternuts as being a dry relation in the pumpkin family, I have mostly avoided hanging out with them.

Leaving nature to grow these jap pumpkins certainly paid off.
I only tipped out the compost bin which made me 4 pumpkins richer, (now only 3).

What a divine flavour and texture she was.

What a wonderful gift.


Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Chased by Fame

Today, I agreed to be involved in a James Cook University (JCU) study looking at ways we live in the tropics, even what we do in our back yards! (not a good metaphor) 

An anthropologist and a geographer are seeking answers to questions much time do we spend 'out the back' and how we perceive it.

I couldn't believe my luck! They are doing a study of what I am doing on my blogspot!
I reported yesterday, Living on a Postcard went to the UK and today, it is being pursued by the local university. Sigh. Life is never going to be the same.

Fancy picking me! I will be giving them my blogspot address so they can experience a little pumpkin madness too.

I will suggest that they are covered by Workplace Health and Safety. It would be too easy to head-buttingly collide with one of these surprise pumpkins hanging in the canopy.

Found one of these surprises on the ground yesterday so I have brought it inside and put it in a real dark place, a canvas-lined potato bag, waiting for the vine bits to fall off..... 

The other two photos are the surprises I found in the garden today. The purple trumpet-flower is on a plant I regularly pull out as a weed (oops). 
If I hadn't neglected it, there would have been no flower! 
It is a stranger, so I don't know her name? Someone out there does......please tell us....

The yellowy-orange one looks like the cane toad of the plant world. It is a climber and I suspect it may even be native. Will someone enlighten the blog please?

Merry pumpkining