Spicey day in Lismore
By HANNAH ROSS
A LIBERAL dose of lavender kept things calm in the Lawler household when Denny Lawler's three children were young, and now the Stony Chute resident is again turning to herbs to create a calming effect on a different kind of small creature.
Mrs Lawler said bugs had wreaked havoc on her orchard and veggie garden this year and it was time to exact some revenge with a bit of companion planting.
So it was off to the Northern Rivers Greenridge Herb Festival on Saturday to stock up on some rue, clary sage, nasturtium and citronella.
"I've been into herbs for a long time but you can always learn more," she said.
"I am learning more about companion planting because I don't want to use any sprays as they make me sick, whereas herbs make you feel up and connected. I suppose I got into herbs because I just wanted to live more of a healthy lifestyle," she said.
Lismore's Heritage and River- side Parks were full of the sights and smells of the festival over the weekend, as thousands flocked to enjoy local foods, listen to seminars and be entertained.
The Great Debate over the benefits of traditional versus modern medicines had spectators in stitches as local comedienne Mandy Nolan stripped to a tiny nurses uniform.
"Whoever came home after a hard day at the office and said 'baby, why don't you dress up as a naturopath for me?'," she quipped.
The stunt didn't win her team the debate, but it certainly proved the point she was making about the sex appeal of modern medicine versus herbal alternatives.
Cooking demonstrations were also a popular part of the weekend's program, particularly the professional cooking competition where chefs battled it out to come up with the best seafood and na- tive finger lime dish.