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Kimberley Guide, Issue #001 -- The mangoes did it ...
December 17, 2007
>>>What's Happening In The Kimberley?<<<
In this issue:
o Update: The mangoes did it...
The next issue of this newsletter will arrive in the new year. So, before anything else, let me wish you a wonderful Christmas and a great start for 2008. I hope you're taking some time off!
Those eagerly awaiting the free version of the Kimberley guide will be disappointed with me. You will have to wait a little bit longer. (I will get it to you early January. Guaranteed.)
What's my excuse? Well, I blame the mangoes. Western Australia's mango season got in the way!
November is the time the mangoes ripen across the Kimberley. Mangoes are delicious, and like everybody else I love them. But they do have one big draw back: they are only available once a year, and when they ripen, they do so all at once.
So for five weeks I've been buried under an avalanche of them. Instead of writing, I have been picking and packing, and peeling and slicing, and freezing and drying... Just like everybody else in the region.
But now all our cupboards, fridges and freezers are full to the brim, and life is slowly returning to normal. Phew.
By the way, we do all that only for you! That's right. During the dry season we sell all those dried and frozen mangoes to the tourists!
As an aside: did you hear what Nicole Kidman said on Sunday, when asked about the filming of the new Baz Luhrmann movie "Australia"? (Part of it was filmed here.)
She said working on "Australia" had been one of the most enjoyable experiences of her life. "Camping out in Kununurra, I mean I would never have gotten to do that."
There you go. Visit us and live like a film star. It will be one of the most enjoyable experiences of your life!
The Ord River Irrigation Area is Western Australia's fruit bowl. Melons, mangoes, citrus, bananas, pawpaws... You name it, we grow it here in Kununurra.
We can, thanks to the Ord Dam at Lake Argyle.
Kununurra has a year round supply of water, and the valley is a sea of green. The tropical lushness comes as a surprise. It is a welcome contrast to the harsh and dry wilderness that surrounds it.
You would expect that in an area that grows so much fresh produce the fruit and vegetables in the shops would be plentiful, delicious, fresh and cheap. And you would be wrong.
Supermarket chains do not buy locally. You get the same stuff here that you get in Perth, only ours is a lot older, because it needs to be trucked up here first. Crazy, isn't it?
If you want FRESH fruit and vegetables, try Paddy's Market. Paddy's Market is held every Saturday in the dry season, from 8-12am in Whitegum Park. Several of the growers sell their produce here.
One couple, Christopher and Diane, has an impressive range of fruit, vegetables, herbs and spices. How about freshly squeezed grapefruit juice, not by the glass, but by the 2 litre bottle? And try their delicious salad mixes! And the dried and frozen mango, of course...
You will recognise their stall. It's the one with the long line of people waiting. Be early!
Once you have secured your supply of fruit and vegetables look for "Boabs in the Kimberley".
Denise and Peter are the only commercial growers of boab root in the world.
You didn't know you could eat boab root? You can, and it is delicious. Crisp and juicy, a bit like water chestnuts, just better. Gourmet chefs around Australia love it! Try the free tasters at the markets.
You can use boab root with a dip as an entree, in salads, in stir fries, but I think it's best in sweets. Mmmmmm. Denise makes the world's best cookies and slices and chocolate fudge. It's to die for.
Try the dark fudge, the white chocolate and macadamia cookies, and the coconut/mango slices. Those are my absolute favourites. Denise and Peter give away free recipe booklets as well.
So if you're in Kununurra over the weekend, pay them a visit.
Our agricultural quarantine is a confusing issue.
You do know about the agricultural quarantine, don't you? If not, read up on it.
Knowing about it will save you throwing out a heap of perfectly good fruit and vegetables.
So where's the confusion?
When I talk to travellers I often suggest they load up on fresh foods at the markets. Or that they buy a stash of baby boabs, boab root lasts for weeks. Or I may offer my visitors to take a few bags of fruit from my own garden. (Mangoes, anyone?)
And nearly always I get the answer: "But we can't. The quarantine..."
People, you can not bring any fruit or vegetables INTO Western Australia or INTO the Ord River Irrigation Area. But you can take as much as you like away from here! So load up on quality fresh fruit and vegetables while you can. It will be a while before you get another chance!
And that's it for today. I am hungry after writing about the boab fudge, and also, if I mention mangoes one more time I probably lose my mind...
More from the Kimberley next year!
(c) 2005-2007, Birgit Bradtke. All rights reserved. The Kimberley Guide is published by Birgit Bradtke in Kunuurra, WA 6743, Australia. Reproduction of any material from this newsletter without written permission is prohibited.
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