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Byron Shire
January 23, 2022

Tweed Artisan Food Festival

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Jasmin Logan

Jeff Dawson

Cruising the Tweed in the shadow of Wollumbin on the MV Spirit of Wollumbin, the 30 or so guests onboard were treated to the learnings and episodes of the lives of our Bundjalung guides, young and old. Their stories showed just how rich life can be growing up as saltwater people when you have a deep understanding of Country.

Mud crabbing among the Tweed’s mangroves, charting the prawn holes, waiting for certain flowers to tell them when the flathead and mullet are at their best, always taking only what was needed so there will be plenty more for next time. We learned of the six seasons that have marked the cycles of time here for millennia.

This was the last event of this year’s Tweed Artisan Food Weekend, and included a Long Table Lunch at Tumbulgum’s historic House of Gabriel. The feast started with local Husk Distillery cocktails that accompanied three entreés, featuring local oysters with finger lime dressing, and charred prawns, although it turns out the crocodile in the san choi bow was from out of town. My mud crab and seafood pie main was creamy, full of flavour and superbly complemented by the millet pastry top. I have a notoriously small appetite so dessert rarely gets a look in, however I found the wattle seed pavlova irresistible.

The band were a great accompaniment to the meal, but it was 15-year-old Jasmine Logan, pictured, whose words demanded attention. She is a powerful, award winning Indigenous poet who deserves, and I feel sure will get, a much wider audience.

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  1. On the deck of the MV Spirit of Wollumbin cruising the Tweed River in the sprawl of the Wpllumbin caldera, 30 or more guests listened intently to the Bundjalung guides explain what it was like to be Aboriginal. These saltwater people of the lower reaches of the River told stories, rich in colour of what the river, the earth, the sun, the moon and the mountain meant to them spiritually in their spirit world.


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