Article and photo by Gail Thomas, reproduced with permission from Good Fruit and Vegetable Magazine May 2013
Leonie Mills with her fruit art, carved for children
Along with mentoring secondary students looking at a future in hospitality, chef and owner of Jack & Jill restaurant in Geelong Vic. Leonie Mills was eager to inspire and educate even younger palates to the delights of fresh fruit and vegetables. “I wanted something that was fun for primary groups so I’ve developed a program ‘Leonie’s Fruit Art for Kids’,” enthuses Leonie who generously gives of her time taking the program into local schools. With local fruiterer Harvey’s of Highton supplying the ingredients, Leonie’s buffet of imaginatively carved produce including watermelon sharks, fruit salad trains, rabbits, ducks and floral arrangements immediately grabs the youngsters’ attention and in no time they are excited to try the array of new taste sensations.
Zucchini, pumpkin and cucumbers go into peat pots with potting mix
I’ve had great fun over the last few weeks planting seed and watching them come up. I love the fact that more and more now it is possible to buy organic seed. This means that not only are my plants grown organically, but they are organic right from the beginning. I would urge everyone to support the seed suppliers who sell organic seed. There are many small suppliers and bigger suppliers who are now sourcing and selling Organic Seeds (see the list at the end of the article). Read more
Plant two bean seeds close together
Beans are a very rewarding crop and relatively easy to grow. I love them because they don’t take up much space but within a few weeks you can harvest an abundance of crisp, flavoursome beans. Soak seeds overnight to increase the speed of germination. Just put the seeds you want to plant into a bowl and cover with water. The next morning, water the soil where you are going to put the beans and plant seeds two at a time pushing them about 4cm into the soil. I always plant two because often one will not grow. Cover with soil but don’t water as the soil and the seeds are already wet. If you don’t soak the seeds then you will need to water. Leave about 20cm between plants if they are dwarf forms, or 15cm if they are climbers.
Organic Gardener’s Essential Guide: Vegies A – Z
Rising costs have combined with anxiety about food security to create a critical moment for people considering growing their own food. Right on cue is “Vegies A-Z”. It’s the third OG special (after Getting Started, $10.00, and Fruit, $10.00). Vegies A-Z combines new material with recent OG articles from reliable writers. My quibble with this third volume is that there is not more on soil preparation, which is crucial. Perhaps that’s in Getting Started? Perhaps the three volumes need to be read seriatum, and would make a great gift, possibly to yourself. PW is a major contributor. — AMS.
Note: There is more on soil preparation in Getting Started which is unfortunately currently out of print. A reprint is planned for later this year
Borrow a copy from your library, buy one from your local newsagent or go to the store on this website and buy a copy online