Sunday, August 29, 2010

capturing a few moments at Mt Coot-tha...

... in a quiet corner of the Botanic Gardens a Mt Coot-tha around midday on Friday I did not pass a soul as I walked through a rainforested section of the gardens were sprinklers were playing in every direction and the sun was filtering through the overhead canopy making it such a cool, moist and quiet spot to wander after a very busy morning.

A spot that made me stop and gaze a while was this pond with lily pads and water flowing over some rocks into the pond. I took out my camera and clicked without worrying too much about angles and sunlight. And just now after downloading photos I'm reminded how for me the one's I might have thought quite poor actually have some redeeming with this one above which to my mind is delightfully almost painterly.

I found this place mesmerising...the water, light, lush green and sound of water. 

Earlier on Friday Morning I met up with teachers and students from Cannon Hill State School for a session with 3 different classes from Grade 2, 3 and 4. All these children are involved with the Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden Program which has been set up in their my presentation about the Homage to the Seed project and my art work was not an unfamiliar topic for these children. 
We had a wonderful morning... 3 classes came through and spent time with me and were excellent  participants in discussion about why seeds are so important and what part they play in our lives and. I brought in all kinds of things to show them and it was a lively morning that was over before I knew it.

We covered a lot of ground in a short time and it was inspiring to watch the light bulbs going off... children making connection between the materials I had brought in, what they have been learning and the importance of saving seeds. When the question came up about their favourite seed we all agreed most of us are very keen on chocolate...a seed they were off to see the tropical rainforest in the Geodesic Dome where there is a cacao tree.
I was delighted to hear they have been learning quite a bit about local indigenous culture from an aboriginal Elder who has been visiting their school. Many of the children were familiar with symbols in art as a result of these sessions with the Elder ... which made it much easier to explain the work I have been doing with cross-sections of rainforest fruits and other seedpod forms that are somewhat abstracted  and hold considerable symbolic resonance. 
This was an audience of switched on minds!

I was able to share the last packets of Select Organic seeds I had with the children to take back to their school garden. These were sent from the lovely people at Eden Seeds for the Open Studio Week in July.

Alf Finch
Alf Finch founder, in 1987, of Eden Seeds and now Select Organic.
I am pleased to be able to offer this selection of the world’s finest certified organic seeds”.

Old Traditional Open Pollinated Seeds,
No hybrids & No GMOs, No chemical treatment,
World's Finest Certified Organic Seeds
Australian Certified OrganicAustralian Quarantine and Inspection Service
We offer an extensive range of certified organic seeds, & many books as well. You can browse through our product catalogue & order online with our secure shopping-cart facility, or if you wish to phone or mail your order please see the details on our Contact Us page.

The other wonderful seed product I was able to share with the classes was also from the Studio Week. I was given a bag of these soap nuts by the people at and the co-convenor that week, Marilena, had been successfully using them for some time and could vouch for their success as a natural seed product that can replace the use of harsh washing detergents at home.

Soap Nuts - The magic of nature  -  (Sapindus Mukorossi)
How would you like a 100% natural cleaner that grows wild in the Himalayas and has been used for centuries in India, China and Nepal. It's even on supermarket shelves in Europe and it's cheaper than chemical alternatives.  They come direct from India.
Simply place a few of these amazing soap nuts into our small Wash bag and throw them in with your washing. They will leave your laundry clean and fresh for around 6 washes, no need for any other cleansers or fabric softeners. At around 10 cents per wash, why would you use anything else?

For more information about these amazing berries (click here)

or if you would like to try out some cleaning solution recipies (click here).

Soapnuts are 100%:
  • Pure and natural
  • Chemical free
  • Economical
  • Non allergenic (not a nut, really a berry)
  • Antibacterial, antimicrobial, antifungal
  • Biodegradable
  • Wild harvested (organic)     
  • Beneficial to grey-water and septic systems
  • Not tested on animals
  • Easy to use  ...... and most importantly, effective

So the children and teachers left with a sample of these to try out in the class room and perhaps at home in the teacher's case!


Altoon Sultan said...

The lush semi tropical views of the gardens are a delight! especially as we in the northern hemisphere begin to head towards the cold months.

and the children too: it's great to see their enthusiasm.

sophie munns said...

I imagine Altoon it would be quite appealling for you northerners at this time to take a walk here... this is our best time of year really. Its very, very livable...a little chilly at night...but so mild.
Being outside here is a great pleasure at the moment!
One must make the most if it! Before the heat comes!

The kids were fabulous ...and as you say... so enthusiastic!

Donna Heart said...

Hi Sophie - what a wonderful post, I enjoyed reading it very much. I thought you might like to know that when I was teaching (years ago!) in Halls Creek in the Kimberley, my students, parents, elders, linguist and I used to 'go bush' once a week. I learnt so much from these days out in country. One thing I was shown was how to wash our hands using the pods from the 'soap bush' this is used alot by the locals of the area. Unfortunately I don't know the species or scientific name of the bush, but I may be able to find out for you? Thought you might like to know we have an aussie equivalent natural soap too :)
x donna

sophie munns said...

Great to hear from you Donna!
How interesting....those 'go bush' days must have been pretty amazing! And what company!!
Funny you should mention this ...the kids on friday told me the elder who came to their school told them of a bush ...they reckoned it was the leaves that lathered up. They all proudly told me this and had clearly taken it on board.
Do let me know if you get that name...I can try asking a few people...
like to hear more abut those trips Donna!

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