Death By Tomato and Rural Aid

Most Aussies would have heard of the charitable organisation Rural Aid. Established in 2015 in the middle of a drought Rural Aid became known for raising funds to send road trains loaded with bales of hay (the Buy A Bale Campaign) to areas right across the nation in order to keep animals alive.

To this day Rural Aid continues to “provide critical support including water, fodder (hay), financial and counselling assistance to help farmers (primary producers) who endure drought, flood and bushfires”. Oh, and add mouse plagues to the list.

One of my favourite initiatives is the creation of the Farm Army whereby volunteers assist farmers with tasks such as building fences, farm sitting or simply by lending a hand. I ‘de love to participate in this program though I am too much like my father: my  practical and manual skills make me as useful as an ashtray on a motor bike!

Rural Aid are calling out for help in connecting the City to Country communities this Christmas. They are requesting that children make a Christmas card for a farmer, including a personal message, to remind our farmers that we value their contribution.

Here are the Instructions:

To help Rural Aid distribute them as quickly as possible, participants need to follow these steps:

  1. The cards cannot be larger than 120mm x 170mm. You could fold a bigger card down to that size but this is the MAXIMUM size we will be sending on.
  2. Do not put your cards in an individual envelope. Instead, place all of them in a bigger envelope and mail them to Rural Aid at PO Box 1342, Sunnybank Hills QLD 4109
  3. Rural Aid will have thousands of envelopes here ready to put your card in and send onto an Aussie farmer.
  4. Please ensure that all cards have a personal message written inside, and are not blank.

All cards must be at Rural Aid’s Brisbane office no later than November 17th, 2021.

So take the screens away from the Little People and set up a craft station : coloured pens, glitter, streamers, whatever it takes. If I had Little People at home I’de be rewarding them with a grazing platter with carrot, celery sticks, cheese, and olives reminding them about where our food comes from. But then my kids would tell you I’m a nag…

Not tomatoes though. I grow tomatoes. My six tomato plants are killing me. Eating them every night for three weeks so far I’m sure there is a kidney stone in the offering.

Pardon the lack of styling. Useless, I told you.

* When we used to travel as a family I was forever pointing out things to the children to keep them amused: changing topography and vegetation, landmarks and historic sites.Geez Louise, did they get the poops or what. Twenty years later, and now sitting in the back seat of the car, all I get is “Mo, do you know who is buried in that cemetery ?” or “look at that Canola field”.

A Scone, Anyone?

Is there anything better than a freshly cooked scone and a hot cup of tea? 

Don’t look at me: couldn’t cook a scone if my life depended on it. But if you happen to sample a scone cooked by one those magnificent cooks from the CWA with their secret recipes, the answer is No, No, and No!

The Country Women’s Association of Australia, or CWA, is the largest women’s organisation with 1855 branches across the country. Its aims are to improve the conditions for country women and children and to try to make life better for women and their families, especially those women living in rural and remote Australia. The organisation is self-funded, nonpartisan and nonsectarian.

One of their popular fundraises over the years has been to publish a book of recipes from within their ranks. Honestly, every female over fifty would have a well worn copy of a CWA Cookbook in the cupboards. No cause for shame – embrace it…..

First formed in 1922, the CWA during the Depression helped those in need with food and clothing parcels. During World War II, they provided meals for the troops in rural areas and made camouflage nets and knitted balaclavas and socks. More recently, they offer rural women a network, scholarships for education, as well as assisting with practical support during times of drought, fire and flood.

Date and Ginger Scones

A visit to the CWA tea room at the Royal Easter Show in Sydney has been a Must Do for more than 70 years. More important than the Grand Parade, the Farm Animals and the Show Bags, a Devonshire Tea was always the first port of call ( before the blokes headed off for a beer at the * Cattleman’s Bar, family commitments having been met).  In recent years the CWA would raise approx $150,000 from the sale of about 50,000 scones, tea, coffee and products made by members each year.

With this years Show cancelled the CWA have come up with a new initiative whereby you can purchase a virtual scone or a virtual Devonshire Tea. Go here :

Who said you couldn’t teach old dogs new tricks?

*Also renowned as a pick up spot after 6pm, but you didn’t hear that from me.

Note: Thank you Cat Balou for keeping me updated about the CWA scones. I haven’t forgotten that you shouted Devonshire Tea at the CWA Tea Rooms the last time we attended the EKKA ( Brisbane Show).

Bats And Bouquets ( & Alice Cooper)

Rural Aid was founded in 2015 to provide support programs to rural Australia. Their grassroots beginning touched a nerve with the Australian public with the Buy a Bale campaign which saw the distribution of fodder, fuel vouchers and hampers delivered to rural communities.

Rural Aid have recently advised that in January 2020 they delivered 463 domestic water orders across Australia. Water requests have since slowed down due to rain, though hay is still in short supply with the drought. They delivered 4234 bales of hay on 104 trucks to 262 farmers to 25 locations, with multiple deliveries within these areas in January. So far in February, they have delivered hay to 38 locations to 159 farmers, with some being multiple deliveries within these areas.

Thank you, Rural Aid, for your accountability and transparency.

Makes a change, though I refuse to make any further comment on the current dog fight happening over the hundreds of millions of dollars in bushfire donations – other than I told you so.

So a girlfriend with a crafty bent attended a Workshop over the weekend to learn how to crotchet pouches and sacks to assist injured wildlife. The money she paid for the three hour course was donated to a wildlife organisation and she is now busy crocheting birds nests. Apparently, the needs of koalas, wallabies and possums have changed – it’s all about releasing them back to an area with plentiful feed and shelter which is now proving the problem.

The emphasis is now on birdlife injured or homeless because of the fires: owls, curlews, magpies, kookaburras, and cockatoos etc.

To fellow blogger, Gee Jen, who recently knocked the complacency out of me – thank you. Though my skill set does not include knitting needles nor crochet hooks, I can most certainly make a decent pot of tea. An afternoon of bird nest creation coming this way soon……

Curlew with chicks

NOTE: I just gotta say that I sat through last weekends 10 hour Fire Fight concert on the tele to raise further funds, and OMG, hasn’t 72 year old Alice Cooper still got it!