Thursday, June 10, 2010

Tea and Seed Stories - reflections on WED 2010 in the Japanese Gardens at Mt Coot-tha

World Environment Day event - Mt Coot-tha

This table of seeds, plants and other items was set up by Bettina Palmer, one of the long term Volunteer guides at Brisbane Botanic Gardens to demonstrate the seeds to be found on site at the gardens. Helping also on the day was another wonderful volunteer Judy Grimshaw shown above with a group of visitors.

This was the setting for 'Tea and Seed Stories' at the Japanese Garden

Bettina was my excellent guide earlier this year when I was getting familiar with the Gardens - click on this earlier post to read about the tour she took me on one rainy day in March!


This is a close up (click to enlarge for viewing) of the jewellery that Bettina is wearing which is one of her designs. She has specially featured as many seeds or natural items as possible. The large red ones come from Brazil - I will need to ask her for the name of it. 
Below: are a series of items that were on the table primarily to engage children in the task of connecting seeds to the related food items. However being a Sunday many passers by stopped at this table and all eyes were on the pomegranate, cacao beans and chocolate, coffee beans and lotus pods in particular. I did a post on the cacao bean (seed actually) here in March as well. You can see it growing in the Geodesic Dome for Tropical plants.

In the centre of the table you may see the chocolate next to the cacao beans which are encase in a  white, furry substance.

banksia seedpods and blackbean seeds - I spy other seeds but can identify them from here.

bunya nuts and coffee beans

macadamias with biscuits made from them.

Bettina also kept many children very busy with paper and textas drawing the seeds on display whilst some parents joined me in the Japanese Tea House for the story circle dialogue. She had a seriously busy day along with Judy and I am very grateful for their time on Sunday. These two gorgeous sisters didn't mind sharing their work with us.

Below are a series of shots from the tea house in the break between sessions. We had a well attended early session and also later session - so numbers were ripe for good conversation and the telling of stories. A number of people have commented since on the fact we had an extraordinarily diverse crowd - diverse in backgrounds - cultural, professional and community-wise. This lead to very interesting cross-connections on the day and the enthusiasm by many to do something like this again!

We had a magnificent day all round - with lovely mild temperatures, sunshine and an outlook that was blissful. We could see some passers by looking quite longingly at our gathering in this tea house.
And quite a few impromptu visitors joined us which was lovely as we had put our posters around so it would be known new-comers were welcome to participate.

The story circle was an ideal way to meet new people and be briefly introduced to each others stories, the thinking behind them, and where we have come from. Each person was given this introduction below and the reference to the UN fact sheet on Biodiversity. Read this May blog post to see more.


Anonymous said...

Hey Sophie
I feel famous - all this photo exposure! - it was a fun day all round and thank you once again for allowing me to join in. As always one receives far more than one gives with these projects. We experienced everything from bewilderment to joy to disbelief and a genuine thirst for further curiosity. I was especially chuffed by the many adult visitors who stopped by to be challenged by our seed matching puzzle. Hope you enjoy the many artworks left for you by the younger participants
Bettina (the seed(y)lady).

sophie munns said...

Well you deserve some good exposure after Sunday's effort my seed(y) friend. Some one else used that term recently - endearingly Im pleased to say.
Now I am terribly pleased it was you two very experienced guides on the table of seeds and pods answering all those questions Bettina- it convinces me more of the population needs to see where things come from - as simple as that - if it leads to further understanding and who knows what!
I noticed the fair trade sticker on that chocolate - did everyone know about that? or ask?

Maybe another guided tour some time would be a good idea... with some ring ins ...!

keep making those necklaces wont you!

ps delighted to find your comment tonight... dont be a stranger!

Altoon Sultan said...

This looks like it was a wonderful event, Sophie, in a beautiful setting of the Japanese Garden. The kids are great! It's important work getting folks to understand the role of seeds in our lives.

sophie munns said...

Im very pleased to have gotten some photos before it really got underway on Sunday Altoon -its so disappointing when doing events where you have created a wonderful ambience only to forget to click the camera - the tea house was a little up the hill (just off the main path) - I could see Bettina and Judy having a steady stream of visitors for hours - children everywhere... whereas we were nursing our cups of tea and able to peacefully get on with the 2 different timetabled gatherings - a really worthwhile venture that was greatly enhanced by location and the sunny, warm day.
One darling little 3 yr old boy came along with his neatly packed cut-up capsicum (red peppers) in the middle of our circle dialogue and without speaking offered everyone some of his food.

Given what we were talking about it was somehow really fitting - there we are asking questins - critical questions about the future of food and here a 3 year old sharing his food with us with all the trust in the world.

Nice to have your visit Altoon... you were mentioned by the way - Denise who sent me the images which prompted you to share the milkweed images brought this up in the story circle... she was touched to hear from you on that post and by the way the blog had that connective aspect - global stories and interchange.

Leanne said...

Oh Sophie it's so great to hear your day went so well. Wonderful to see the photo's. I recognise some seeds in there that were great childhood *toys* of my own when exploring the neighbourhood.

sophie munns said...

great to hear from you Leanne...
We had a really perfect day...which just seemed to add to the rest!
Childhoosd toys...know what you mean by that... if you ever photograph that Illl have to post it here!

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