Once a year day …

… and it’s time for the Granny Smith Festival at Eastwood. This festival is named in honour of … you guessed it! … Granny Smith of apple fame. It’s not all that long ago that Eastwood and Epping were covered in small farm holdings, including orchards. Granny Smith noticed a different apple on her tree, presumably a mutation or a hybrid and the Granny Smith Apple was born. For those of you who are not familiar with this apple, it has green skin, is crisp and tartish in taste – my mother always called it a “cooking apple”, but I remember loving to eat them fresh when I was a child. Somehow, over the years, apples seemed to lose their flavour or texture and it’s not an apple I’d eat fresh by choice now.

So festival time is marked by street closures, a large street parade, dozens of the usual street stalls, five stages around the shopping centre and oval, barbecues, fairy floss, show rides – and a lot of people – and some sort of “bake-off” involving apples, Grannies of course!).

Usually I’m there at the crack of dawn, helping set up the stall for the Friends of The Shack. The Shack is the local youth outreach centre and it receives no recurrent funding from any government department relying on grants, donations and fund raising for its survival. But today, I was rostered on in the middle of the day. It was quite cold and soooo windy. We nearly blew away several times. We seemed to sell a lot of things – it’s amazing how many people want to buy scarves and beanies when it’s unseasonally cold. I usually take orchid “pups” along – an epiphyte whose name I don’t know, but a beautiful orchid. It looks rather like this. But it’s hard work selling them for a few dollars by the time I explain to people how to grow them – then re-explain it – then confirm that they can buy sphagnum moss locally – then re-explain how to attach them to a tree or post – then …. you get the picture. Next year I’ll have to remember to print some information off to hand out with each sale. In our old house I used to attach them to pieces of wood some months before the festival, but we have nowhere suitable to do that in our new place – we don’t have a wood-heap anymore, for starters, but the main problem is finding a shady spot for them in the hot months. My “mother orchid” is 40 or 50 years old and it was spectacular when I could hang it under a tree. I thought I was going to lose it at the new place because of the sun, but since I’ve buried it in the corner of two walls and behind a camellia and a climbing geranium. it is beginning to look more like its old self.

Tomorrow is another “once a year day” – the Cherryhills sale – and very surprisingly 🙂 I have decided to go, despite the fact that I need no more knitting yarn!!

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