Kitchen Garden Guides

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Polytunnel Workshop 10-08-13

I don’t like them and I don’t want one. I don’t want to be responsible for adding to the world’s plastic…. but I do want a glass one though, made from tip-shop, second hand glass windows…. in my mind there is a fabulous plan. I am loathe to promote this workshop but I do think a movable cloche might be handy to shelter young seedlings, like Alex has at Golden Valley Farm.

Visit SPROUT Tasmania for bookings


Attendees: Maximum 30
Cost: $50 per person
Location: Cygnet
Time: 9.30am – 1pm, Saturday August 10, 2013
Lunch included: Yes, gourmet lunch provided

Sprout Tasmania is presenting its Polytunnel Workshop in Cygnet. Learn about constructing, maintaining and profiting from Polytunnels, as well as extending your growing season. We’ll also discuss techniques to avoid weeding.

You can book your spot for this workshop by adding the item above to your shopping cart, then checking out. You’ll receive an email with your receipt and directions on how to pay via direct deposit, and then closer to the date you’ll receive another email with directions.

This workshop will go ahead, rain or shine, so bring your cold weather gear and your wellies!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

A photo on a tray

How can it be? I am endlessly attracted to the glorious colours of winter salads, picked chilled by rain while the clouds sit on the hills around my home, the little creek tinkles its way through my garden and my jumper and hair are speckled with fine mist as I forage.



Deep crimson chicory is dotted about in my self-sown vegetable garden, next to fine, lime-green, frilly mustard. Gathered haphazardly into my picking basket, along with chervil, French sorrel, marigold petals, spring onions, new red Russian kale leaves, miners’ lettuce, mizuna, young bok choy and some leaves of the Japanese turnip, joy erupts on my face! The collecting continues for a while longer and I don’t want to go back inside until, eventually, the rain gets too heavy for my woollen jumper to repel.

Earlier in the day I made some fresh pesto, but not using basil. Rather, I picked an armful of parsley and chervil and blended them with parmesan, Johnston almonds, pepitas, lime juice and garlic.


Serve all this with a piece of my home made quince paste and a neighbour’s goats’ cheese and dinner is a photo on a tray. Everything from my garden or the community garden or a neighbour, except the parmesan cheese, crackers, pepitas and almonds, but at least these are Australian.

How can anything be more beautiful?

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Portable Vegetable Garden Structures at Golden Valley Farm

Alex is our local market gardener…. with a difference! He used to be a chef at Parliament House in Canberra, has studied all kinds of interesting things at uni. and has gone into this market garden idea with his eyes wide open and with a plan to make the business work, for his young family.


For a start he and his wife bought the perfect piece of land just a 30 minute walk from the main street of Cygnet, in Golden Valley; gently sloping, north-facing, with good soil, 2 spring fed dams and quite a distance from any native bush (so very few animal problems).

They built a pretty, little house and turned a tiny little shed into a 1/2 glass, 1/2 solid, seedling house. Then Alex baled up the hay cut from his land in summer and put the bales side by side and end to end to make a rectangle of covered grass, using up all the bales. In spring he removed the bales, hoed the soil and began to sow the seeds of his new life.

He and I have a similar philosophy about organic food production; which includes NOT using massive amounts of plastic for poly tunnels. But rather, using what you have in the way of climate to produce seasonal, organic food.

Sometimes, at this time of year, young seedlings need a bit of extra warmth to get going because the soil is already very cold. So, Alex has made some movable cloches, sized to fit his beds. On his blog Golden Valley Farm you can find all the instructions to make your own.


As he mentions in his post, the plastic can be removed in summer and the frame fitted with netting to keep off the cabbage moths, or shade cloth to protect young seedlings from the heat.



So, when you see a beaming Alex at his stall at the Cygnet Market, remember he is the most genuinely organic farmer around and that he was up before dawn, picking vegetables for you to buy.

Never, ever think that his prices are more than his produce is worth!!


Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Our marine parks…. sadly at risk through politics

Some politicians have their heads in the sand. Those same politicians could be our next government. When I vote, I put The Earth before anything else. Economics is a man-made structure and I vote to keep man-made structures out of what is left of our planet.