I often daydream about living in the country with chooks, dogs and a vege patch – however, work (and my child’s love of ballet) keeps my life based in the city. Now and then though, I stumble upon little pockets of country-inspired living right here in the middle of the city – and it’s always inspiring…
Springtime is gardening time – and you want to learn how to create a basic kitchen garden – head down to your local community garden – they cost almost nothing to join and usually run beginners courses in all sorts of things, from ‘how to grow your own herbs’ to ‘building a pizza oven’. You can usually pop your name on a waiting list to get a little plot (which other members will usually help you start, if you need help) – or you can just go along to learn and then start your own plot at home. If you can grow even just a few easy-to-grow herbs, it’s so rewarding – there’s nothing like picking fresh basil and tossing it through your pasta – or a throwing a handful of fresh parsley over still-hot scrambled eggs (and it’s way more affordable too).
To find out more about community gardens, go to www.growingcommunities.org. Or read my full article in the current issue of Queensland Homes Outdoor Living.
Five Easy-To-Grow Vegetables:
Lettuce, Capsicum, Beans, Beetroot and Tomatoes.
Five Easy-To-Grow Herbs:
Parsley, Basil, Thyme, Rosemary and Mint
Photo 1 and 2: Beelarong Community Garden by Tahn Scoon. Photo 3: Vintage gardening tools (from Industrial Revolution) by John Downs
This was taken at my friend Jules’ house in the Byron Bay hinterland. It’s hard to believe this deliciously lush property was once just a ‘boggy piece of flat land’. The difference is in the design – swales (dips) have been carved into the land to slow the flow of water off the property. This allows the grounds and fruit trees to be fed before the water is directed into a forty foot damn, which is now teeming with wildlife.
The property is bordered by a wall of bamboo – which acts as a wind break to protect the fruit trees and veggie garden. It’s all very beautiful and was designed by their neighbour, Geoff Lawton, who is the managing director of the Permaculture Research Institute.
It’s lovely to see just how much thoughtful design can change an environment.