There is something special about an area which is so into its produce and the lay of the land. The aboriginal tribes, the Kaurna, were certainly the first to recognise the abundance of the earth in South Australia.Then came the free Settlers and they struggled to settle among the eucalypts, the dry areas and the hilly country but they were determined and able and the results are there for us to see from the wine growing hills, to the wide wheat fields and the grazing pastures for the sheep and cows.
So when we were in the Barossa Valley we went to a Farmers market held in the nearby town of Angaston and had the best time trying local produce, marvelling at the fruit and the vegetables and talking to the stall holders. There was a lady there who sold the freshest organic vegetables and fruit with such an expressive face, weather beaten, furrowed, challenged but proud of what was in front of her even though it would never have passed any supermarket test. I stopped to talk to her, as I told her how much I admired the young rhubarb that was bunched up and for sale, but I told her we were from out of town and could not take it back. We chatted some more about her apples and her land and then I moved off and she came rushing after me and said "You could cook it and take it with you!" Such a lovely thought but sadly I didn't have the facilities to do so. She remained in my mind though and I circled around one more time, plucking up the courage to ask to take a picture of her. She spoke English with a heavy German accent. In the end I decided it was best to leave it to my descriptive skills but to me she epitomised the area in so many ways.
South Australia was inhabited by free settlers - many from Britain to start with, and then religious refugees from Germany. There are German towns, Klemzig, Lobenthal, German street names, German shops, customs and traditions that were passed down. The area was settled by German settlers in the 1840s and has remained true to its roots. The town of Hahndorf was named after Captain Dirk Hahn who sailed over to Adelaide with German migrants and then helped establish a community. During the war they had to rename it to Ambleside as there was a backlash against anything German but it reverted to Hahndorf in 1935 and proudly so, the glassware, the paintings the strudels, beer and sausages all singing their roots.The whole state is dotted with more Lutheran churches then I care to count.