The Cook’s Companion app

screen1136x1136screen1136x1136-1from Stephanie Alexander and her team and other friends.

Review by Penny Woodward

Stephanie first published her bestselling book The Cooks Companion in in 1996 and since then has sold over half a million copies. Now we have the chance to purchase it as an app. The A-Z form of the book lends itself to the app format and this app is beautifully put together. Fabulous photographs by Simon Griffiths complement the text and recipes. I particularly like the A-Z ingredients. Touch Bananas and you get information about what they go with, where they come from, varieties, seasons, selection, storage, preparation, cooking and six delectable recipes where bananas are the main ingredient. I’m still having fun exploring the app but think I will mostly use the Vegetable and Herbs section, or maybe Fruit and Nuts? But hard to go past Pasta and Noodles or Rices, Grains and Pulses and so much more. Read more

Community Gardens Manual

HMST manual small

Review by Penny Woodward

This excellent manual is the product of a collaboration between The Helen Macpherson Smith Trust and Sustainable Gardening Australia (SGA). The manual is written by Elaine Shallue and came out of the work undertaken by SGA and local communities to establish community gardens in regions affected by the Black Saturday bushfires. Both the manual and the establishment of the community gardens were funded by The Helen Macpherson Smith Trust.

Elaine  describes the sense of community in these regions after the fires. “Individuals took the lead within their communities so that the greatest momentum for renewal came from within. Neighbour helped neighbour, friendships were forged, acquaintances became connected and together the community started to recover. Recognising the strength of this regeneration, communities looked for ways to augment these newly forged bonds. It was in this spirit of community renewal that the Community Based Gardening Project was conceived.’ Read more

Cretan thyme

By Penny Woodward

Pink flowered ground cover thyme

Cretan thyme

Cretan thyme (Thymus longicaulis subsp. chaubardii) and other ground cover thymes will grow from sub-tropical to cold temperate regions. They need full sun and very well drained soil. Ground cover thymes are very useful to cover bare patches, while providing little competition for nearby plants. They are also wonderful for attracting bees, so plant them near fruit trees and vegetables that need bees for pollination. Read more

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