The story so far

Tamara left Bunyip in April 2009 seeking what she needed to know for her permaculture future. She spent 9 months at her Aunt Catherine's farm in Arid South Australia, then 9 months at Bill and Lisa Mollison's farm in Tasmania. Now she's off on more adventures starting Moonrise School of Permaculture and teaching Permaculture Design Courses in the beautiful Dandenong Ranges near Melbourne. Ducky is there for the journey...

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Duck connections...

I've been waiting for the right time to do my first post. Last night was the new moon and I was thinking maybe tonight. So, this evening I went down to the restaurant at Boat Harbour in Tassie for dinner, there were guests at my place and guests at Sisters Creek and I thought I'd get a chance to write something. I booked my table and 15 minutes later rocked up, still in my work gear as I had been all the other times I'd had tea here. 

Normally I'd come down, investigate the rock pools for a few hours, watch the moon rise and then have a seafood chowder with garlic bread (I always get the same thing here, it works for me). On at least one previous occasion I'd brought ducky down for a drive and he sat in his box in the playground while I ate dinner directly above. Curiously, the staff at the restaurant had noticed.

So tonight I walked into the restaurant sans duck. He stayed in the car to have a nap. The menu here has heaps of duck and I tend to skip over it and pretend it isn't there. But tonight, over comes the waiter to give me the specials: Duck with this, duck with that, roasted duck, braised duck, murdered duck in at least 5 forms. I'm sitting there looking at him with a certain look I get on my face when waiters mention duck and I eventually say, actually I don't eat duck...
So he goes yeah, I wondered that because you brought your duck last time and a woman at the adjacent table says "oh, are you the duck woman?" I've heard this before, but not in Tassie and politely said "have we met?" It turns out that this woman had the same reaction to all the duck specials that I did since she has a couple of Khaki Campbells herself. The waiter had just finished telling her about this woman who comes in with a duck in a box when in I walk. What followed was the usual duck lovers conversation: what kind do you have, how cool they are, the rest. Halfway through this conversation a man at another table stands up and gives us both his card, he's an artist who specialises in animal portraits and lives in Upwey (where my parents live and Ducky's first home!) I've linked to his painting of a pacific black duck below. Anyway I finish dinner bring ducky over to say hello and write this blog!

Its been quite a good Duck and permaculture adventure type day. This morning ducky and I helped in the orchard at home - I was pulling back mulch and grass so my host could add her biodynamic compost she made last year and splash around her 500 prep this afternoon. Then ducky comes to work with me at Sisters Creek, he has his own pen with a lovely big swimming hole and can talk to the resident ducks (pictured above: he used to join them but one night he refused to come in off the dam and after 4 hours, pitch darkness and having made the decision not to try and swim over to him, I left him there. Good thing there are no foxes in Tassie - or not many - but there are Tassie Devils and Tiger Quolls who both enjoy duck dinner and I had a restless night of worry before finding him happy in the morning. Happy yes, grounded YES)

Right. Where was I? Ducky's pen. Lots of room, places to forage and an endless supply of bugs and snails and worms I take over to him. Today as I planted artichokes I collected the cockchaffer grubs for him. Later I collected the BIGGEST chestnuts but we kept them all - none for ducky :(

So, what a day, lots of duck adventures, duck people and permaculture. Now... whats for desert! ooh! Chocolate brownie with icecream. Very permaculture.