From one community to another

Eco friendly: David Williams with the recycled gates that will form 'Wie gehts'.
Eco friendly: David Williams with the recycled gates that will form 'Wie gehts'.

David Williams is busy preparing the centrepiece of Sunday’s Feast, Folk and Fossick event – a colossal flame-fuelled barbecue made from 12 recycled farm gates and dubbed ‘Wie gehts’.

Mr Williams, of Lyndoch, said the name Wie gehts literally meant ‘how are you?’ in German, and emerged from his childhood memories of community picnics.

“Because we’re using the gates [gehts], and to acknowledge the German heritage in the Barossa Valley, we just tied it together,” he said.

Roasting on Wie gehts will be an assortment of slow cooked treats from renowned Barossa producers, including six lambs, six pigs, chickens and vegetables.

A team led by Pete Little of Harvest Kitchen is responsible for tending to the fire and roasting the various beasts.

This will begin in the early hours of Sunday morning, after a traditional cleansing and smoking ceremony by Peramangk elder Ivan-Twiu Copley on Saturday afternoon.

Mr Little said he was excited to be wrapping up the 70th Barossa Vintage Festival in such a memorable way.

“It’s cooking on a scale that we have never done before, and I’m sure it’s never been done in the Barossa before,” he said.

“I think people are going to be quite blown away when they see the structure in full flight.

“Wie gehts is all about bringing that sense of a family Sunday lunch to this incredible event.”

Motivated by more than just the promise of an almighty feast, Mr Williams offered his labour in exchange for a donation to an organic farming project in Moragollagama, Sri Lanka.

“It’s for the local community anyway, so that’s really good,” he said.

“But any amount [given], I’ll just pass that straight on to the group in Sri Lanka.

“There’s a very high rate of kidney failure in this area [near Saliyagama], attributed to the overuse of chemicals.

“Charminda, who is running the farm, is very passionate about growing everything organically.

“It’s a worthwhile cause.”

Several times over the past eight years, Mr Williams and his wife Colleen Williams have visited the eco-community Thennakongama, which is run in conjunction with the organisation World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms.

It was Mr Williams who made use of existing solar panels to bring electricity to the farming centre, and he has since been thanked for providing the community with a submersible septic pump.

“He [Charminda] said it’s made the difference of having two days of slopping around, [manure] running down his legs and in his boots, to now 45 minutes with a pump, where he just has to hold it,” he said.

“I felt really, really good about that – saving someone two full days’ work a week.”

Feast, Folk and Fossick will be held on Sunday, April 23, at the Lyndoch Village Green.

The free event will run from 10am to 5pm.