There are some amazingly interesting and wonderful people in Tasmania. It really is like another country, rather than another state of Australia. I am struggling to explain concisely what it is that makes it seem this way but it has to do with a history of isolation and necessity being the mother of invention and self-sufficiency.
Up north in the Tamar Valley are a couple of blokes passionate about beans, who have been trialling varieties from all over the world in an attempt to find those which will produce well in the cool climate of Tasmania. Currently they grow over 100 varieties!! The purpose is to make them available for home gardeners to grow and people to cook and eat. One of the newsletters went into the health reasons for eating beans of different colours. What these blokes know about beans is staggering.
Every month they write a newsletter about what they have been doing and when we might be able to buy the new seeds they are producing in quantities big enough to sell to home gardeners. I find it all incredibly inspiring. I have spoken on the phone to the man who runs the nursery and one day I will go and meet them. It reminds me of somewhere I went in France where a man did a similar thing with pumpkin varieties…. but the name of the place has slipped my mind now.
They do all sorts of research into other vegetables too, always with the home gardener in mind.
Tasmania, actually, is not dissimilar to France in the way that it has remained totally itself and has not been over-run by agri-business or any other big business but is full of small enterprises and individuals making the most of what they have in their area. I love this way of life dearly and would not now want to live anywhere different.
Here is the latest newsletter from Inspiration Seeds.
Here is another newsletter concentrating on the health and vitality of beans, fresh and dried.
Life is good.