I’ve known Pat for over 10 years, but always in an enigmatic way. He has…
This week on Home Stories, Ashley Feraude meets ABC Canberra’s Lish Fejer to discuss exploding cake, DIY sustainability and eating worms.
I thought that for this story I would start from the outside in. You see, when Cass and I visited Lish Fejer’s Lyneham home on a hot Sunday morning, we started at the front door, as you do.
Lish welcomed us and told us that a slice of chocolate cake and coffee awaited inside. However, within seconds of noticing her lush garden through the window, we found ourselves outside, with our jaws on the ground.
‘Holy moly, look at the size of the zucchini!’ exclaimed Cass. I had to agree— it was the kind of thing you enter into a country show. And it had company, too. In fact it was surrounded by equally massive cucumbers, tomatoes and capsicums—a crop that Gardening Australia’s Costa would be proud of.
“Being greenie-types, we try and grow as much as we can,” Lish explained, showing us over to her worm farm, nestled within a raised garden bed. Then came something of a surprise.
“Did you know you can eat these?” said Lish. “Feed them oatmeal for a while and then make porridge.” Suddenly, I started to question what was inside that innocent slice of chocolate cake…
It turns out that the vegie beds are just the start of Lish’s backyard. A little further on, a little wooden castle was full of chickens.
“It’s accessible to our neighbours because we like the idea of communal spaces where we share resources,” explains Lish. “There’s no point for things to go to waste and the people on this street are our friends.”
This philosophy is a clear extension of Lish’s character—giving and inclusive. To prove the point, she gave me a huge bag of cucumbers to take home the moment she worked out I have a Polish background and like salad.
The front yard faces onto a quiet and well-established street and has a large deck for relaxed breakfasts, eating—I can only assume—worm porridge. But there’s more to the space than that.
“We really like having this area the front of the house rather than a deck hidden at the back,” says Lish. “You get to wave to the people going past and kids can play out here together while we keep an eye on them.”
You may recall from one of my previous Home Stories on Jenny Edwards, that she too advocated for us having our backyards facing the street, to make the most of our communities. No wonder those two are good friends.
Lish met Jenny at Questacon when studying her Masters in Science Communications. With the deep intellect of a scientist and the infectious personality of an extrovert, Lish’s career quickly took off starting with Carbon Cops on ABC TV and a stint at Questacon making exploding cakes, shooting scones out of potato cannons and other such fun scientific demonstrations.
Her current gig is fronting ABC Canberra’s morning program but Lish also records instructional videos about energy saving measures, covering everything from insulating your manhole to filling in the cavity behind the dishwasher—all the things anyone can do to make their house more efficient. Check out Green It Yourself on YouTube to see Lish in action.
As a funny side story, it was the potato firing demonstration at Questacon that got Lish’s now-husband intrigued enough to walk over and start a flirty conversation.
I would have loved to hear the wedding speech; “Well, it all started off when Lish fired a potato launcher and love bloomed.” I wonder if the wedding cake exploded shortly after too.
Speaking of cake, Lish did finish off our visit with that delicious cake she promised. I couldn’t taste any oatmeal-flavoured worm, though I’m assured they were in there somewhere…
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Read all of Ashley’s Home Stories series here.
Home Stories is brought to you in partnership with Canberra Outlet.
Photography: Cass Atkinson