THIS WEEK'S FEATURE ARTICLES
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Friends of Sandy Bay Rivulet Inc.
Naming an organisation or club is a good way to suggest the intent, purpose and character of the group or club. When I met some of the Friends of Sandy Bay Rivulet Inc. (FoSBR) at a meeting in Kingston in April, I discovered that was the case.
Kingborough Council hosted a platypus information session at the Council Chambers with Geoff Williams from the Australian Platypus Conservancy (APC) as presenter. Three members of FoSBR were attentive to what was said about the need to protect the habitat of the platypus, particularly by keeping waterways free of plastic and other rubbish.
Friends of Sandy Bay Rivulet (FoSBR) was formed in 2003,
incorporated in 2004, by residents concerned about protecting and restoring the values of the rivulet. I contacted member Peter Blackwell, who said: “FoSBR is concerned for the entire rivulet, from source to mouth. As Waterworks Landcare Group is active in the upper area, we concentrate our efforts below Lynton Avenue. However, it is difficult to do much below Sandy Bay Road, where the rivulet is largely a concrete channel, except at the mouth, where we have planted reeds for native fish to spawn. We have about 50 financial members and a mailing list of several hundred. We can always use more members, whether active or not, to spread the word, keep an eye on the rivulet, let councillors know what we want, and assist at some working bees. The Sandy Bay Rivulet is an important waterway, providing a wildlife corridor and, remarkably, habitat for at least five species of native fish. It rises in bushland on Mount Wellington, near Fern Tree, flowing past the Waterworks reservoirs, past Fitzroy Gardens, under Sandy Bay Road and into the Derwent Estuary at Marieville Esplanade.”
‘Friends of’ groups
Friends of Sandy Bay Rivulet (FoSBR) is part of the Landcare network, with over 200 members’ groups plus individuals. Community Landcare is a unique movement in which individuals and groups work together to improve the health of our natural and working landscapes. Landcare’s approach to environment and sustainability issues is ‘bottom up’, with the community taking ownership of the problem and being actively involved in the solutions. Landcare is the peak body that works to represent, support, strengthen and grow Tasmania’s Landcare movement. FoSBR is one of a group of 30 calling itself a ‘Friends of…’ group.
Back to the work of Friends of Sandy Bay Rivulet – Peter Blackwell again: “We are concerned about rubbish, particularly plastic blowing into the rivulet. We think the main source is wheelie bins blown over so their contents spill on the road. Wheelie bins should be fitted with a catch that only people and garbage trucks can open, so the rubbish that people have put in their bins doesn’t end up in the rivulet. Our primary mission is to have the council take responsibility for the rivulet by, where possible, acquiring the land adjacent to the rivulet, protecting native habitat and limiting inappropriate development.
The Hobart City Council adopted a plan for a Sandy Bay Rivulet Linear Park in 2013. This includes a walking track along suitable sections, but currently has no budget allocated to this.
FoSBR has planted many native trees, shrubs, grass tussocks, herbs and pig-face to provide habitat and protect the banks of the Rivulet. We care for these by watering new plantings, weeding and mulching. We hold educational events to help residents appreciate the values of the Rivulet.
The Sandy Bay Rivulet, a feeder stream for the Derwent Estuary, is an important feeding and breeding ground for native fish. Surveys have shown that each of the species are a permanent feature of the Rivulet, and that two of them breed in the reeds growing in the lower part of the rivulet, near Marieville Esplanade. We have also had reports of the Native Water Rats (Rakali) and platypus in the Rivulet. Rakali are regularly seen in the Marieville Esplanade area of the Derwent.
The biggest danger to the rivulet is unsympathetic development that removes riparian vegetation. Subdivision that increases roofed and paved areas accelerates runoff, increasing the speed and scale of floods and worsens droughts by preventing infiltration to the groundwater. Many rubbish items can kill or injure wildlife. For example, anything with a large enough hole can entangle platypus – even elastic hair ties. Smaller plastic items can be eaten, causing starvation, as they can’t be digested or passed.
This spring we plan to have renowned columnist Don Knowler point out the birds of the Waterworks Valley and also run an event where we see the insect life of the Rivulet.
To become involved, send enquiries, membership requests and other communications to the FoSBR secretary at email@example.com.
Music, music, music
The challenge for listeners this year from ABC Classic FM was to name ‘The music you can’t live without’. It is hard to realise that this is the 20th year this musical bonanza has been held.
Over the long weekend the whole 100 pieces were played – a delight for classical music lovers. But if you missed it there are numerous ways to hear it – online on your computer, tablet, phone or on CDs. How fortunate are we! We have so many ways of hearing music of the highest standard. And in historical terms this possibility is very recent. It started a line of research for me to find out how we got to where we are now if we want to listen to music – from phonograph to vinyl, tape and
I remember my mother telling me about her time working at EMI in Hayes, Middlesex, England in the 1930s. She worked in the area which held the complimentary copies of vinyl records for the artists who would sometimes come in to collect them personally. These included Sir Edward Elgar, Fats Waller, a young Yehudi Menuhin, and many others.
Then I found an interesting Australian connection – in 1907, “The Australian soprano Dame Nellie Melba – the Adele of the 1900s – lays the foundation stone of the Gramophone Company factory in Hayes. This trailblazing company not only builds gramophones – Captain Scott takes a pair to the Antarctic with him – but also releases records on its record label (HMV).”
I found a reference to the famous dog, HMV’s ‘Nipper’, which tells how in 1884 Mark Barraud, who had recorded his own voice on a cylinder phonograph, had found a stray fox terrier he called ‘Nipper’. After Mark died his artist brother, Francis Barraud, inherited ‘Nipper’ and when playing the phonograph said, “I often noticed how puzzled [the dog] was to make out where the voice came from” and he painted the dog, sitting by the trumpet of the machine. He later modified the picture, changing the machine from a cylinder type to one of the boxed machines which played flat records. His Master’s Voice. HMV’s logo was born and as they say, ‘the rest is history’. The dog ‘Nipper’ became instantly recognisable.
In the 1930s the Gramophone Company becomes EMI when “the Gramophone Company merges with its competitor Colombia. Hayes is no longer just a pressing plant; it is a global hotspot of technological innovation. The company’s in-house innovation department, the Central Research Laboratory (CRL), makes breakthroughs in high-definition TV and stereo sound. The world’s first stereo recording is of trains pulling in and out of Hayes station. During the Second World War, the CRL also pioneers airborne radar, saving thousands of lives.”
Amazing what you can find when you start researching! By 1970 things had changed again for this large company when vinyl sales gave way to the cassette player and of course things have continued to change. It is a mini example of what happens when industries find their reason for being no longer exists. Thus, whole factories become derelict after such a prestigious history. Like other places worldwide the effect on the town of Hayes was profound. The site is now called “The Old Vinyl Factory”. This place, which was at the forefront, and which once revolutionised the music industry, now has 642 homes on its footprint, providing much needed housing on the outskirts of London.
Wikipedia suggests, in a great article on the history of music, that Music is found in every known society, past and present. Music has been a part of human life since forever, and there are numerous records in history of people playing instruments and others listening.
It quotes Genesis 4.21 where Jubal is named as the “father of all such as handle the harp and pipe”. Back then of course you only heard that music if you were nearby. Today we can take music with us and listen to the great musicians from all ages whenever and wherever convenient for us.
And the top two pieces I voted for in the ‘The music you can’t live without’ were “The Lark Ascending” by Ralph Vaughan Williams written in 1914 and Mozart’s “Clarinet Concerto“ from 1791.
Recipe of the week
with Kirsten Bacon
Sourdough fruit and rye bread
1 cup (227 grams) sourdough starter
1 cup (227 grams) water
¾ cup (78 grams) rye flour
2 ½ cups (298 grams) plain flour
1 ½ teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon instant dried yeast
1 ½ cups (184 grams) dried fruits, of your choice
1 cup (113 grams) chopped nuts
• Mix all of the ingredients (except the fruit and nuts) by hand, mixer, or bread machine until you’ve created a smooth, elastic dough. Because the consistency of sourdough starters vary, you may need to add a bit of extra flour or water; the dough should be medium-soft but not sticky.
• Add the dried fruit and nuts, kneading until they’re evenly incorporated. Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl, cover, and let rise for 1 ½ to 2 hours.
• Turn the dough onto a lightly greased or floured surface, and form it into a log. Place the log onto baking tray or a loaf tin that’s been greased on the bottom.
• Cover the loaf, and let it rise for 1 hour, or until it springs back very slowly when lightly pressed.
• Preheat the oven to 200°C and bake for 28 to 32 minutes, until the bread is golden brown. Remove the bread from the oven, and cool it on a rack.
Ingredients to begin your starter
113 grams whole rye or wholemeal flour
113 grams cool water
Ingredients to feed your starter
113 grams plain flour
13 grams luke warm water
Day 1: Combine the flour with the water in a glass, crockery, stainless steel, or food-grade plastic container. Make sure the container is large enough to hold your starter as it grows – approximately double the size. Stir everything together thoroughly, make sure there’s no dry flour anywhere. Cover the container loosely and let the mixture sit at warm room temperature for 24 hours.
Day 2: You may see no activity at all in the first 24 hours, or you may see a bit of growth or bubbling. Either way, discard half the starter, about ½ cup, and add to the remainder 1 cup flour, and ½ cup lukewarm water. Mix well, cover, and let the mixture rest at room temperature for 24 hours.
Day 3: By the third day, you’ll likely see some activity – bubbling, a fresh, fruity aroma, and some evidence of expansion. It’s now time to begin two feedings daily, as evenly spaced as your schedule allows. For each feeding, weigh out 113 grams starter; this will be a generous ½ cup, once it’s thoroughly stirred down. Discard any remaining starter. Add 1 cup flour, and ½ cup water to the 113 grams starter. Mix the starter, flour, and water, cover, and let the mixture rest at room temperature for approximately 12 hours before repeating.
Day 4: Weigh out 113 grams starter, and discard any remaining starter. Repeat day 3.
Day 5: Weigh out 113 grams starter, and discard any remaining starter. Repeat day 3. By the end of day 5, the starter should have at least doubled in volume. You’ll see lots of bubbles; there may be some little “rivulets” on the surface, full of finer bubbles. Also, the starter should have a tangy aroma – pleasingly acidic, but not overpowering. If your starter hasn’t risen much and isn’t showing lots of bubbles, repeat discarding and feeding every 12 hours on day 6, and day 7, if necessary.
Day 6: Once the starter is ready, give it one last feeding. Discard all but 113 grams (a generous ½ cup). Feed as usual. Let the starter rest at room temperature for 6 to 8 hours; it should be active, with bubbles breaking the surface. Remove however much starter you need for your recipe – typically no more than 227 grams, about 1 cup. If your recipe calls for more than 1 cup of starter, give it a couple of feedings without discarding, until you’ve made enough for your recipe plus 113 grams to keep and feed again.
Day 7: Transfer the remaining 113 grams of starter to its permanent home: a crock, jar, or whatever you’d like to store it in long-term. Feed this reserved starter with 1 cup (113 grams) of flour and ½ cup (113 grams) water, and let it rest at room temperature for several hours, to get going, before covering it. If you’re storing starter in a screw-top jar, screw the top on loosely rather than airtight. Store this starter in the refrigerator, and feed it regularly; I recommend feeding it with a 1 cup (113 grams) flour and ½ cup (113 grams) water once a week.
What can I do with my discarded starter?
Why do you need to discard half the starter? It seems so wasteful... But unless you discard starter at some point, eventually you’ll end up with a very large container of starter. Also, keeping the volume down offers the yeast more food to eat each time you feed it; it’s not fighting with quite so many other little yeast cells to get enough to eat. You don’t have to actually discard it if you don’t want to, either; you can give it to a friend, or use it to bake. Throw the discarded starter into pancakes, pizza bases or any other breads you might be making, it adds a lovely flavour.
Why does this starter begin with whole-grain flour? Because the wild yeast that gives sourdough starter its life is more likely to be found in the flora- and fauna-rich environment of a whole-grain flour than a plain flour.
What if all you have is plain flour, no whole wheat? Go ahead and use plain; you may find the starter simply takes a little longer to get going. Also, if you feed your starter on a long-term basis with anything other than the plain flour called for here, it will probably look different (thicker or thinner, a different colour) and act differently as well. Not to say you can’t feed your starter with alternate flours; just that the results may not be what you expect. ( https://www.kingarthurflour.com/)
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