Meander Valley Gazette

Your Independent Community Newspaper

Back on the Village Green, the pipes, the pipes are calling…

FeatureJoanne Eisemann
Brian Owens of Ouse, flute and tin whistle player, playing his Indian rosewood flute on the Westbury Village Green. Just one of Brian’s collection of wind instruments, the flute was made in 1837 by an instrument maker called Joseph Wallis, in the Euston Road, London.   Photo | Mike Moores

Brian Owens of Ouse, flute and tin whistle player, playing his Indian rosewood flute on the Westbury Village Green. Just one of Brian’s collection of wind instruments, the flute was made in 1837 by an instrument maker called Joseph Wallis, in the Euston Road, London.

Photo | Mike Moores

WESTBURY AND the Village Green came alive on Saturday 16th March with the town’s revival of the annual St Patrick’s Festival. This iconic event drew big crowds to revel in the sunshine and soak up a wonderful atmosphere of Celtic and community spirit.

There was something for everyone – a street parade led by St Patrick himself, a bustling church market, more craft and food stalls than you could poke a stick at, vintage tractors, classic cars, children’s activities and a packed program of folk music, song and dance.

As always, the Maypole dancing by Westbury Primary School students proved to be a huge hit and in its traditional Village Green setting, created a real sense of history coming alive. John Hickey of the Wheels folk group gave his thanks, “for organising such a charming festival.

The Wheels really enjoyed it, especially as traditional Irish music is so relevant to Westbury’s rich history. “The music in the church was a highlight for me (great acoustic venue). Barry Higgins’ Irish pipes sounded wonderful. “Hope the Steering Group got a chance to enjoy the festival as much as we did.” The Festival’s new committee have been buoyed by the community response and has already started planning for 2020.

Chairman, Phil Steers, said, “the decision to make the Festival entry by donation has been a total success with many more local families able to enjoy celebrating the town’s Irish roots. “Thanks to everyone who helped to make it happen. With the weather with us, we look forward to an even bigger event next year.”

Westbury craick

EventsJoanne Eisemann
Westbury Primary School enjoying traditional maypole dancing in front of an appreciative audience on the Village Green.   Photos | Mike Moores

Westbury Primary School enjoying traditional maypole dancing in front of an appreciative audience on the Village Green.

Photos | Mike Moores

‘The Wheels’, John and Kathy Hickey of Hobart and Lou Barber of Launceston, warm up before their performance on stage.

‘The Wheels’, John and Kathy Hickey of Hobart and Lou Barber of Launceston, warm up before their performance on stage.

April 2019

UNDER THE leafy spread of trees, the Village Green provided a cool, green backdrop for a day of music, dancing and singing at the 2019 St Patrick’s Day Festival. Rehearsing or performing on the stage, or around the maypole, local children and artists from near and far created a pleasant soundtrack for the day’s activities.

Mending our heritage

FeatureJoanne Eisemann
Dave Conway of Launceston, expertly applying new lime mortar to the inner walls of the Folk Museum, assisted by Ben Earle.   Photo | Mike Moores

Dave Conway of Launceston, expertly applying new lime mortar to the inner walls of the Folk Museum, assisted by Ben Earle.

Photo | Mike Moores

April 2019 | Wendy Laing

THE DELORAINE and Districts Folk Museum is being repaired and renovated. As the museum remains open to the public, visitors have found it interesting to watch the work and sometime ask questions about the renovations.

As a listed building urgently in need of repair, the Meander Valley Council has allocated $100,000 for the preservation work. Dave Conway, a contractor experienced in corrective conservation to heritage buildings has begun work.

The aim is to stop the rising damp and repair the damage caused by water that has been trapped in the old walls due to lack of ventilation when the museum was first built. A new ventilation system requiring installation of air drains and sub floor vents will prevent similar problems happening in the future. Old plaster and paint is first removed from the original brickwork. Dampness and mineral salts are then drawn out of the old walls by applying a ‘poultice’ similar to papier mâché.

This is left in place for two weeks and then the poultice is repeated. The walls will be replastered using traditional lime mortar, as used in the original building, made from local materials. Lime from Sibelco at Mole Creek is ‘slaked’ – a process where water is added to create a slurry which needs to be stored for a year or more. Local sand is mixed with the slaked lime to produce the lime mortar.

This is a breathable surface which will prevent dampness from building up again. The mortar would have been mixed with horsehair in the past, but now other fibres are used to add strength. Finally, the walls will be traditionally rendered and painted to further preserve them.

Originally built in 1863 as the Family and Commercial Inn, Mrs Alma Bramich donated the old inn and its grounds to the community of Deloraine in 1972 to help preserve the history of the area. Over 40,000 people visit the Deloraine and District Folk Museum every year.

A great investment in the future

FeatureJoanne Eisemann
Telisha Byard of Deloraine is excited to be awarded the inaugural TAFE scholarship to assist with her Education Support studies.   Photo | Mike Moores

Telisha Byard of Deloraine is excited to be awarded the inaugural TAFE scholarship to assist with her Education Support studies.

Photo | Mike Moores

Sarah Larcombe of Westbury has been awarded this year’s tertiary scholarship.   Photo | Maggie Howe

Sarah Larcombe of Westbury has been awarded this year’s tertiary scholarship.

Photo | Maggie Howe

April 2019 | Joanne Eisemann

THE DELORAINE & Districts Community Bank® is delighted to again be supporting local young people in furthering their career goals by assisting with education expenses through their scholarship program. For the past nine years the bank has offered scholarships to university students.

This year, the scholarship program was extended to include financial support for students undertaking certificate, diploma, advanced diploma or associate degree level studies at TAFE. Telisha Byard of Deloraine was awarded the inaugural scholarship to assist with her Education Support studies. Sarah Larcombe of Westbury has been awarded this year’s Deloraine & Districts Community Bank® Branch tertiary scholarship.

The tertiary scholarship is awarded to a first-time student whose financial circumstances might mean a university degree is out of reach. Both young women are excited to be receiving scholarships. Talisha will study at TAFE’s Alanvale campus and chose to study Education Support because

“I’ve always wanted to work with children within a school environment.” “I’m so grateful … because I now have a chance to get the qualifications I need to achieve my dream job as a teacher assistant.” Sarah has a similar story to tell. Her dream to become a vet began at age 4, “and now I’m taking the first real step towards that dream. In the fourteen years since telling my parents that I wanted to be a vet, there has not been a single doubt in my mind that it’s what I’m meant to do.

“Getting into Vet Science has been one of the most challenging experiences of my life, being both academically and emotionally strenuous. However, with the tremendous amounts of support from those around me, I managed to stay focused on my goal, whilst living a life full of fun and love. “Living away from home for the first time, studying at a university approximately 1000km away from the place I’ve called home my entire life, definitely comes with its challenges.

The stresses of university can be overwhelming; however, this scholarship has lifted an enormous weight off my shoulders,” shares Sarah. Sarah plans to bring her skills back to the Valley when she finishes her studies. “To be able to work within the Meander Valley as a veterinarian is my absolute end goal.

The opportunity to give back to the community which has given me so much is something I truly aspire to.” Simon Rootes, Branch Manager of the Deloraine & Districts Community Bank® Branch, said that both Sarah and Telisha were deserving winners.

Church moves to mend parish rift

NewsJoanne Eisemann
Father Nicholas Rynne has replaced Father Richard Ross as the new Meander Valley priest, causing friction only six weeks after his arrival.   Photo | Sharon Webb

Father Nicholas Rynne has replaced Father Richard Ross as the new Meander Valley priest, causing friction only six weeks after his arrival.

Photo | Sharon Webb

April 2019 | Sharon Webb

ONLY SIX weeks into his job, Tasmania’s Catholic Archdiocese has moved to mend a rift in the Meander Valley parish. According to some parishioners, Nicholas Rynne has already sacked the local board of the Westbury and Deloraine congregations and decreed that mass will be in Latin at Westbury.

One lifetime Catholic said, “People’s attitude is that he has taken our church and parish from us,” describing how Father Rynne had replaced the board with people who support his traditionalist views. The parishioner said congregations halved to about 30 people after the dispute. Two parish chairs and two sacristans (who prepare the church for mass) have also left. In late March, the archdiocese sent retired Melbourne bishop Peter Elliott to attempt to reconcile the antagonists.

Staying five days, appointments with him were booked out by distressed parishioners, well before he arrived. A spokesperson for the Hobart Archdiocese said Archbishop Julian Porteus was “aware of tension within the parish” since Father Rynne’s appointment. “Archbishop Porteous has instigated a process to clarify the situation. His primary responsibility in this situation is to ensure the pastoral care of all concerned in the Meander Valley Parish.” Father Rynne, aged 38, said he had been instructed by the archdiocese not to make media comment. Preferring to wear the very traditional soutane or cassock, Father Rynne has worked in several Sydney parishes and is now seconded to Meander Valley for a year.

One parishioner said that of 62 people attended a meeting on 3rd March to discuss the conflict, only one supported the changes. A second meeting on 17th March attracted 40 people at short notice. “The new priest is an ultra-conservative and most of the parish does not want to follow his line,” another parishioner said. “There is a lot of unrest; people say their health is being impacted by his changes. “For 50 years we were encouraged to participate in our parish but the laity is irrelevant in the church he is trying to impose on us.

And he is supported by Archbishop Julian Porteus.” Another parishioner branded Father Rynne’s actions divisive: “We seem to have gone back a few generations. The well-being of the community is at risk and it’s sad to see how upset everyone is.” Father Rynne was ordained a deacon in St Peter’s Basilica in Rome in 2012. He served at Pope Francis’ first Pontifical Mass in March 2013, the year he was ordained a priest in front of Cardinal George Pell at St Mary’s Cathedral. Using the 1570 Latin version, he celebrated his first mass that same afternoon.

Spreading kindly words

Arts and ReviewsJoanne Eisemann
Rose Turtle Ertler in the doorway of The Complimentary Caravan   Photo | Emma Hodgkinson

Rose Turtle Ertler in the doorway of The Complimentary Caravan

Photo | Emma Hodgkinson

April 2019 | Emma Hodgkinson

ROSE TURTLE Ertler first started thinking about the power of compliments when she was praised for a performance done 20 years ago. Since then she has been thinking of ways to spread positivity. So, years later, she started a project that aimed to give people the open opportunity to spread kind words.

Starting at the Village Winter Festival in Central Victoria in 2016, as an experiment, Rose began collecting auditory compliments in a caravan. Since then, The Complimentary Caravan has collected over 13,000 written, and 400 audio compliments.

“The goal is to spread positivity and to remind people of the impact that words have on others.” Originally from Devonport, Rose has recently moved back to Tasmania where the Caravan has already made a positive impact. On the 1st & 2nd of March, Rose celebrated World Compliment Day outside Chudleigh Hall and at the Deloraine Market with her caravan full of compliments.

People are invited to sit inside the caravan and absorb the kind words inside, then she encourages them to write a compliment of their own. “When you sit in the caravan and can hear and read the compliments, you know that they’re not for you but still absorb the positivity from it.” “I’ve done variations of this project without the caravan, such as Complimentary Lane; which was a soundtrack that played in an arcade as a part of a project that was looking for sound installations.” Rose chose a caravan for the body of her project because of its ability to become a peaceful and welcoming space.

The Caravan is decorated inside and outside with yellow cards where people have written compliments. Inside, there is cushioned seating, where people can sit comfortably whilst absorbing the positive space around them. Rose hopes that everyone who has visited The Complimentary Caravan has been more able to share compliments in their day-to-day lives, to further spread positivity. She hopes that World Compliment Day will be celebrated more in the future.

Pop in to the pop-up at the Westbury Willows

BusinessJoanne Eisemann
Sally Spencer of ‘The Willows’ with some of the beautiful antique glassware on display and for sale at their pop-up antique shop in their home in Westbury   Photo | Mike Moores

Sally Spencer of ‘The Willows’ with some of the beautiful antique glassware on display and for sale at their pop-up antique shop in their home in Westbury

Photo | Mike Moores

April 2019 | Wai Lin Coultas

WESTBURY HAS a few surprises for antique lovers, so over the next few months, the Gazette will shine a light on some of the undiscovered treasures. Rick Prevost and Sally Spencer’s personable antiques and collectables have been collected over a lifetime, its broad spectrum appealing to a wide variety of tastes.

The antique business is a pop-up sited in the historic Georgian property ‘The Willows’, bought two years ago by Sally’s daughter Fiona, Bracknell born-and-bred. Currently based in Melbourne, Fiona, husband and family are waiting for permits and building approval for the much-needed restoration. During the wait, Sally and Rick are the building’s caretakers.

Realising the building’s historical significance in Westbury, Rick and Sally encourage people browsing their shop to explore, happy to meet the huge range of visitors who show an interest in its history. “Having the antique store has become incidental to that,” shares Sally. “Like the community in Westbury, we want to ensure the history of the town is kept and looked after.”

Hence, they are taking great pains to ensure the “Willows” is restored to former glory of 1837. Over years to come, they plan on not only furnishing it with 1830s to 1850s antiques, but to keep updating with better finds. In the end, Fiona and family will be custodians of a home that best preserves the history of Westbury and Tasmania.

Rick has only ever collected quality antiques in good condition, restoring them if needed, paying particular attention to the finish to avoiding the pitfall of “over polishing to an inch of its life.” Rick’s furniture hails from the colonial period right through to the modern. Cedar, Huon Pine, Mahogany – built all over Australia, and acquired from local and Hobart auctions – Rick was drawn to either its history, material or builder’s signature. “Preferably a Tasmanian builder,” adds Rick. From “brown” or “rusty” furniture, jewellery, china, ceramics and glassware of all eras, including chalices done for Prince Charles and Diana Spencer’s wedding, ‘The Willows’ is filled with eclectic period items that would still enhance a modern home.

Rick’s interest in history extends to the military, hence a propeller from a World War II training aircraft is on offer. Metal tools, rabbit traps, handmade convict bolts and hinges –a pair of convict leg irons - rare in Tasmania as the rare stuff “all goes to the museums and collectors … in Sydney.” There is even a John Glover painting of an English lake and castle – 1806, before his time in colonial Tasmania.

Customers come look at the house and go away with a piece of it. Westbury customers recount long lost memories relating to the history of the ‘The Willows’. They may have lived there once or have family who did. Interested in Rick and Sally’s pop-up store? Better pop by before spring, when building restorations are likely to start.

Cannot find that specific antique you are looking for? Prepared to wait? Let auction experts Rick and Sally find it for you. The Westbury Willows popup can be found at 115 Meander Valley Road , Westbury. Sally Spencer can be contacted on 0408 570 830 and Rick Prevost on 0408 135 510.

Landcare strong in the Valley

RuralJoanne Eisemann

THIS MONTH, Landcare Tasmania welcomed the Minister for Primary Industries and Water, the Hon. Guy Barnett, to ‘Colynn’ at Westbury to see the work of Quamby Bend Landcare Group members – and how their long-term collaboration has resulted in major improvements to the health of the Meander River. Rod Knight, Landcare Tasmania CEO, said interest in community Landcare had grown at an ‘exceptional rate’ with almost 60 new groups forming in the past two years, taking the total number of groups in the state to 220.

“The growth of involvement in Landcare highlights that Tasmanians are both generous and willing to tackle a wide range of environment and sustainability issues.”

This year is the 25th anniversary of Landcare Tasmania who will be at Hagley Farm School in April at the Tasmanian Agriculture Productivity Group (TAPG) Precision Ag Expo.

TAPG Expos bring together producers, manufacturers, agribusiness and government to address issues of common concern to primary, secondary and service levels of Tasmanian agriculture.

WHEN: 17th April 2019, 10.00am – 2.00pm.

WHERE: Hagley Farm School,

CONTACT: support@landcaretas.org.au or 6234 7117.

Putting on a great Show

NewsJoanne Eisemann

LARGELY OUT of sight of the majority of residents, the Westbury Showgrounds can be found at the northern end of Westbury. The Showgrounds are under the ownership of the Westbury Agricultural Society Inc. – a volunteer committee dedicated to running the very successful Westbury Show (now in its 156th year) as well as providing a venue for many other events.

The Showgrounds are home to horse shows, dog shows, horse training, dog training and are a venue for various community group fundraisers. Five local community groups are also provided with storage facilities for their equipment.

As with all committees, W.A.S.I. is always looking for new people to join and bring fresh ideas. In particular, they are now looking for a new secretary, as the current secretary is looking to step down after five years of excellent administration.

With many new people moving to Westbury, the committee hopes to make them aware of W.A.S.I. and the benefit it is to the community. “It is a great feeling seeing the many smiling faces at the show, or a hundred horses using the arena, or hundreds of well-groomed dogs strut - ting around the dog arena, knowing you are part of the organisation of these events.”

If anyone would be inter - ested in joining the W.A.S.I. committee, please contact President Kevin Lattin on 0417 104 520, or Secretary Shan - non Barwick on 0438 636 149. They would be very pleased to hear from you.

Meander dairy is a clear winner in the 2019 Tasmanian Dairy awards

RuralJoanne Eisemann
Tim and Fiona Salter from Clear Springs Dairy at Meander, named as 2019 Tasmanian Dairy Business of the Year.  Photo supplied

Tim and Fiona Salter from Clear Springs Dairy at Meander, named as 2019 Tasmanian Dairy Business of the Year.

Photo supplied

TWO LOCAL dairy proper - ties won awards at the recent Tasmanian Dairy Awards. Clear Springs Dairy at Meander, operated by Tim and Fiona Salter and converted from a beef farm, was named as the 2019 Tasmanian Dairy Business of the Year. Rushy Lagoon farmers Damien and Brooke Cock - er took out the Share Dairy Farmers of the Year category, having increased production on two farms by 40 per cent. Minister for Primary Industries and Water, Guy Barnett said Tasmania’s dairy industry rebounded strongly from difficulties in 2016 to set a new production record of over 910 million litres in 2017–18.

Bracknell hops to it!

SportJoanne Eisemann
Isabella Sullivan-Taylor (8) and Katalina Wynn (9) competing in the 3 legged race at Bracknell Primary School Sports Carnival.   Photo | Hayley Manning

Isabella Sullivan-Taylor (8) and Katalina Wynn (9) competing in the 3 legged race at Bracknell Primary School Sports Carnival.

Photo | Hayley Manning

April 2019 | Hayley Manning

BRACKNELL PRIMARY School’s annual sports carnival was held on 6th March. The students had their game faces on for the traditional events but these soon dissolved to laughter during the egg-andspoon and three-legged races.

A baton relay wrapped up the program of events with victory for Leonard House. Some students shared snip - pets of school life between activities, with Paige Spen - cer (7) describing her school as fun: “Ms Fare tried to use the remote control to rub out the whiteboard.” Aiden Leon Hardy Shaw (9) said he was proud of “the sportsmanship that goes around…” while Isabella Tay - lor (8) describes her school as “caring and helpful”. Phoebe Johnson comment - ed that “We probably need a better football team. We don’t have enough girls to make our own team so we mix in the boys. For netball we have heaps of people rotating in one team instead of making two teams.”

World’s greatest shave!

NewsJoanne Eisemann
Outside the Empire Hotel for the 21st World’s Greatest Shave, hairdresser Liz Walker wields her clippers on Mole Creek cave guide Angela Enright.   Photo | Hayley Manning

Outside the Empire Hotel for the 21st World’s Greatest Shave, hairdresser Liz Walker wields her clippers on Mole Creek cave guide Angela Enright.

Photo | Hayley Manning

April 2019 | Hayley Manning

ONLOOKERS DECLARE without a doubt that four fearless people had a close shave outside the Empire Hotel on the 22nd March. Friends, family and supporters all gathered around to spur on hairdresser Liz Walker, as she took to the three sponsored entrants and one passerby with her clippers.

The head-shaving event was for the Leukemia Foundation’s 21st World’s Greatest Shave campaign. Kim Lord, maintenance at Deloraine Primary School, was motivated by his own current cancer treatment to do the shave. “My hair was going to come out anyway!” Kim said. “I was walking down the street two days ago, when I saw a Greatest Shave sign and then decided to do it. It is the best thing I have done.” Kim has raised around $1,200, thanks largely to the staff at the School and Timber World.

Mole Creek cave guides Angela Enright and Shannon McMonagle were next in the chair. Angela credits Shannon for getting her involved in the campaign, which she decided to do because her dad suffered a blood condition and she had lost a good friend to leukemia.

“The aim of the annual campaign is to raise money for blood cancer research, so every little bit we do helps,” Angela said.

Shannon and Angela raised $1,300, not including donations on the night. All participants gave a heartfelt thank you to Liz, the Empire Hotel, and all their sponsors and supporters.

Halfway to Forth go all the way in the Little Laneway

EventsJoanne Eisemann
Halfway to Forth band members Dan and Kyle Lizotte will perform their signature blues and roots at the Little Laneway Fringe Festival.   Photo | Sharon Webb

Halfway to Forth band members Dan and Kyle Lizotte will perform their signature blues and roots at the Little Laneway Fringe Festival.

Photo | Sharon Webb

April 2019 | Sharon Webb

TWO HUGE NW Coast bands will lead a line-up of talent from the greater Deloraine area in the Little Laneway Fringe Festival on the weekend starting 26th April. The entertainment in the laneway between the Empire Hotel and Seppenfelts coincides with the national square dancing convention in town on the same weekend – and Seppenfelts’ 10th birthday.

Music kicks off on Friday night from 6.00pm; Halfway to Forth is the big name on Saturday night from 8.00pm - 10.00pm. Band member Dan Lizotte said he and his brother Kyle will perform their signature contemporary folk and roots, with just a shade of blues. “It’s broad roots music with a bit of country sneaking in these days,” he said. “We like to put our spin on old songs but it’s all in the American folk tradition – and an excuse for me to get Kyle playing the slide or banjo.”

The Sheyana Band, which last year won the 2018 Chris Wilson Award for Emerging Act of the Year, perform on from 4 til 5pm followed by a local drumming circle jam. Local musicians will perform alongside the two big bands, giving talented locals without a platform the opportunity to play in public.

Performance organiser Kat Jeffree said performers include Scotty O’Leary, Shani Saint Albans and choir members, Andi (from Deloraine’s Shandi shop), Eddie Tuleja, Sheridan (from the Empire Hotel) and Canadian guitarist Tristan. Janis Chaberka returns to LLFF this year, collaborating with a friend to perform folk music. Poet Yvonne Gluyas will bring eight performance poets from Launceston. Kat Jeffree said classy burlesque dancer Miss Jessie G will once again perform her G-rated five-minute act where she removes her vintage-style outfits – creatively.

“It’s a weekend where musicians come out of the hills and into the town.” “People should drop in any time – it’s a free opportunity to see the creativity our area has to offer,” Kat said.

The Little Laneway Fringe Festival is Friday 26th April, 6.00–10.00pm; Saturday 27th, 1.00–10.00pm; Sunday 28th, 1.00–6.00pm. See FB closer to the event for specific time details.

Happiness is a smashed avocado

NewsJoanne Eisemann

THIS MONTH, as part of their youth employment campaign, the Brotherhood of St Laurence has published a report ‘Smashing the avocado debate’, that looks at Australia’s youth unemployment hotspots. As at December 2018, the national youth unemployment rate is 11.2%, more than double the overall Australian unemployment rate of 5%.

Young people lacking in experience, training opportunities or higher educational qualifications are at significant risk of being left out of the work force altogether. Despite 28 years of continuous economic growth, youth hotspots across the country have unemployment figures ranging from 14.3% to 25.7%, with significantly more unemployment in regional than urban areas.

Three of the top 20 hotspots are in Tasmania — South East (17.8%), Hobart (16.9 %) and West and North East, including Meander Valley, (15.0%). The statistics quoted in the report are taken from the Department of Jobs and Small Business Labour Market Information Portal. But the ABS definition of unemployment is quite narrow.

Falling outside the narrow terms of reference, another group of people, who are not working and want to work are classed as ‘marginally attached’ to the work force. The report stresses that successful solutions to unemployment need strong local networks. The Brotherhood and other not-for-profits are working to develop innovative regional approaches to job creation for young people.

The slippery slope

FeatureJoanne Eisemann

AS THE home brewer progresses from K&K (kit and kilo) through kits and bits (kits with added hops and steeped specialty grains) to full all grain brewing, this transition is quite often referred to as the ‘slippery slope’. But is all grain beer that much better? In a nutshell – Yes! You can customise it to whatever style, outcome, ABV and colour you desire.

You will eventually make a nicer drop than most of the craft breweries that are popping up everywhere, because you won’t have to skimp on any aspect of the brewing process or ingredients. But before we descend the slope, is there a way to actually try the beer before we spend the time and dollars? Well, fortunately, these days there is.

Go to the brew shop and get yourself an FWK. A Fresh Wort Kit is a 100% craft beer where all the time-consuming hard work has been done for you. Just tip it into your fermenter, add 5 litres of water and the yeast, brew it for the normal two weeks, then bottle or keg. This is by far the very best beer that a home brewer can produce without the time and labour of making an all grain beer from scratch.

There is a large range to choose from as well. But as with everything there are trade-offs. The first is that most FWKs only make 20 litres of final product not 23 litres like K&K. The second is price – if you want true craft beer you will have to pay a little extra. A typical lager or pale ale will be around $46.00. Is it worth it? Totally.

You’ll find that a lot of all grain brewers, myself included, do FWKs from time to time, especially when timepoor or if stocks are low. FWKs have good instructions, with dry hopping options as well as a grist ratio. So if you really like the resultant beer, it is quite easy to make a clone in the future. You can try the All Inn Brewery FWK beer at Dan Murphys, but the most inexpensive carton is $108, up to $120 for the IPAs.

You will see the savings if you decide to do your own. You will end up with about 25–26 bottles (750ml). Family and friends will be amazed that you made this beer at home. Northern Home Brewing on Elphin Rd in Launceston has an excellent range of FWKs in store that include a quality yeast when purchased.

Recipe of the month

Here is a New England India Pale Ale (NEIPA) that came second in the IPA category at the state championships last year.

4 kg Golden Promise (79%)

455g flaked oats (11%)

350g wheat (7%)

150g CaraRed malt (3%)

10g Simcoe @ 60 min

15g Simcoe @ 20 min

25g Summer@ 10 min

25g Pacifica @ 10 min

25g Citra @ 5 min

25g Citra Dry hop

50g Cascade Dry hop

50 g Simcoe Dry hop Bitterness 41.1 IBU, colour 7.8 EBC, ABV 5.4%

This recipe has all the style features. The oats and wheat contribute to the hazy appearance. The CaraRed helps with the orange juice colour (although I would use a little more next time). The truck-load of hops give it that breakfast juice taste, without all the relatively high bitterness that IPAs are known for.

Vanilla risotto with mint and spiced apples

Meander StyleJoanne Eisemann
Vanilla risotto - perfect for breakfast when family and special friends have stayed the night   Photo |   Wai Lin Coultas

Vanilla risotto - perfect for breakfast when family and special friends have stayed the night

Photo | Wai Lin Coultas

April 2019 | Wai Lin Coultas

THIS SWEET, creamy and wickedly aromatic risotto does away with the actual vanilla bean by generously splashing natural organic vanilla essence and double cream into full cream milk. Just off the hot stove, pair it with a minty and spicy chilled apple stew, garnished with some lusciously tart fresh berries – perfect for breakfast when family and special friends have stayed the night.

Ingredients: risotto

3/4 cup Arborio rice

2 1/2 tbs butter

2 1/4 plus 1/4 extra cups full cream milk

1/4 cup double cream

3–4 tbs caster sugar

8–12 tsp natural organic vanilla essence

Ingredients: spiced apple

2 sprigs apple mint

400 g Gala apples, peeled, cored and diced

2 1/2 tbs raw sugar

2 1/2 star anise, broken into bits

1 lemon, zested and juiced

3/4 tsp ground cinnamon

8 pinches ground nutmeg

1/3 tsp ground cardamom

1 2/3 tbs brandy

6 blue berries

8 raspberries

mint sprigs and leaves

Method: spiced apples

To make spiced apples, bring all ingredients in saucepan to a boil before simmering covered for 15 minutes till apples are tender; turning them over every 5 minutes.

Puree contents of saucepan before refrigerating, covered, overnight.

Method: vanilla risotto

To make vanilla risotto, warm 2 1/4 cups milk in a saucepan.

Over medium heat, melt butter in 3rd saucepan before adding rice; stir until rice is well coated in butter.

Adding 1 ladle of warm milk at a time, stir rice until it has absorbed enough milk to become almost al dente.

Stir in 1/4 cup milk, double cream, sugar and vanilla essence to taste.

Stir 8 coarsely chopped mint leaves through chilled pureed spiced apples.

To plate individual serves, divide the hot vanilla risotto over half the mint and spiced apple puree, topping with half the blueberries and a mint sprig tip. Garnish each plate with half the raspberries and 3 mint leaves.

Serves 2

In the Garden with Nell Carr

Meander StyleJoanne Eisemann
Salvia Gregii ‘Hot Lips’.  Photo by Peter Ashton

Salvia Gregii ‘Hot Lips’.

Photo by Peter Ashton

THERE CAN be few garden plants which can boast more varieties than the sages, or Salvias. A search on line reveals countless species, and each one has a host of cultivars, in colours of red, white, or blue. Salvia gregii seems to be amongst the most prolific in this department with varieties having a colour range from white to palest mauve, blue, purple and red.

There is one yellow flowered variety, S.  aurea, from South Africa. The one pictured, S. gregii ‘Hot Lips’ in the street garden at the Deloraine Commonwealth Bank, is a mixture of both white and red. These seem to do well in Deloraine, as there are some flourishing in the gardens of Grenoch in East Barrack Street. The crushed leaves of most sages have deliciously spicy scents.

The red flowered S.  legans (Pineapple Sage), as the common name indicates, smells of pineapples. Most sages are frost and drought resistant – except for S.  uliginosa, the American Bog Sage. S.   officinalis, both the green and the purple-leaved culinary sages, bear attractive spikes of blue flowers. A check with Meander Valley nurseries reveals that there is a good variety of Salvias available for sale.

In the vegie garden Those who did not hear the frost warnings would have been shocked to find tomatoes, beans, and zucchinis suffering from an unusually early frost on March 13. Since then, very hot weather has returned.

By the end of third week in March, only 3.4mm of rain has been recorded, and no useful rain has fallen this year. Broad beans may be sown in April, but make sure the bed is well watered before sowing. Onion seeds and spring onion seedlings can be planted over the next three months.

Great art in the Western Tiers

Arts and ReviewsJoanne Eisemann
Mayor Wayne Johnson and Robyn Weare with her ‘Essence of the Valley’ award winner Coalescence.

Mayor Wayne Johnson and Robyn Weare with her ‘Essence of the Valley’ award winner Coalescence.

April 2019 | Wendy Laing

THE MEANDER Valley Council in conjunction with Launceston Art Society launched the Great Western Tiers Art Award 2019 at Deloraine Creative Studios on Friday, 1st March 2019. This is an annual award for local artists in any medium, with the focus being the Meander Valley.

The aim of GWTAA is to inspire skills, confidence and friendship through art – encouraging new and experienced exhibitors alike. It attracted thirty entries, and the theme for 2019 was ‘Out of the blue’. Presented by Mayor Wayne Johnson and sponsored by the Meander Valley Council, the highlight of the exhibition opening was the announcement of Keith Lane as the winner of the major prize of $1,000 for his beautifully constructed triptych Through the trees.

Mr Lane said the painting had been inspired by the view from his house looking out towards Quamby Bluff. The judges felt that his acrylic/oil on marine ply best reflected the theme of the exhibition. Mayor Wayne Johnson congratulated all the winners and officially opened the exhibition to the public.

Approximately 60 people attended the presentation and the judges were Lynn Hasenkam and Dawn Oakford, who thanked all the artists for taking their concepts through to a conclusion. The encouragement award was won by Lindy Bayley for Dali goes Ape.

This year, two artists received Highly Commended awards. These were presented to Brad Quinn for Winter Morning, Westbury, sponsored by the Deloraine and District Bank and Edna Broad for Out of the Blue on Dark Mountain, sponsored by the Great Western Tiers Tourism Association. The ‘Essence of the Valley’ award, sponsored by 6ty° was won by Robyn Weare for Coalescence.

The last steam traction engine finds a new home

NewsJoanne Eisemann
Engine No 87964, out in the weather at Entally, hiding behind other farm machinery.  Photo supplied

Engine No 87964, out in the weather at Entally, hiding behind other farm machinery.

Photo supplied

April 2019

THE LAST steam traction engine manufactured by British company Marshall, Sons and Co. has been at Entally House since the early 1980s. With no buildings large enough to house it, Engine No 87964 has spent many years out in the weather and is in need of major conservation.

Tasmania Parks and Wildlife Service in partnership with Redwater Creek Steam and Heritage Society have finalised an agreement for the long-term loan of the Marshall engine to RCSHS, ensuring that this significant piece of industrial heritage will be preserved and will remain in Tasmania.

With no direct links to Entally, it will now be housed at Sheffield Steam and Heritage Centre alongside other historic engines. “A conservation plan will be prepared and over time, works will be carried out with the intention of eventually returning it to an operational state,” PWS General Manager Jason Jacobi said.

Made for the Tasmanian Public Works Department in 1937, Engine No 87964 crushed rocks for road works in the state’s north until 1957 when all use of steam ceased in PWD quarries.

A lifetime of blues

Arts and ReviewsJoanne Eisemann
Legendary Australian rhythm and blues band Chain, celebrate 51 years as a band, appearing at the 22nd Forth Blues Festival in March.   Photo | Hayley Manning

Legendary Australian rhythm and blues band Chain, celebrate 51 years as a band, appearing at the 22nd Forth Blues Festival in March.

Photo | Hayley Manning

April 2019 | Hayley Manning

FOR SOME up and coming artists, the 22nd Forth Valley Blues Festival in March was their first big gig, while legendary Australian rhythm and blues outfit Chain celebrated their 51st year as a band. Kylie Rogerson, newly appointed President of the Forth Valley Blues Committee, will be taking the long-running music festival into the next century with strategies to increase future attendance, including a new online ticketing system, fresh upcoming artists and prominent headline bands.

Outdoor music festivals are one of the few remaining platforms for young artists to perform live. Music venues, especially on the mainland, are under threat due to noise restrictions, pokie invasions and increased scrutiny on drugs. “Some festivals in NSW have been going for years and years and have never had any overdose trouble,” said Phil Manning, founding member of Chain.

“Music venues are a great outlet for people to get their tensions out, to get rid of stress from work or whatever, and if people don’t have that, it will eventually explode in society in a negative way. “Venues in Melbourne have been forced to close down by new residents who have moved into the area knowing a venue exists nearby. It is corrupt developers and the government…”

Phil credits Chain’s longevity to a love of playing music and practice. “If you have a band, you’ve got to practice,” he said. “The more work you do, the more chemistry you will have on stage. And that is one thing Chain has always been really proud of … the fact that we have always had quite a strong chemistry between the musicians.”