Environment / Food

Scrap Heap

Heavens!  It’s been a tad too long since I’ve updated this blog and I admit that in the past few weeks, it simply slipped down the list of priorities.  The Jewish holidays really got the better of me.  I guess that’s the general idea (!), but with all the cooking, entertaining, decorating, dancing, introspection, walking, sleeping, eating and cleaning, this bloggity didn’t stand much of a chance.  However, I emerge renewed, refreshed and rearing to go.

Talking about sweet beginnings, since our move into the little housie at the start of the year, I have become somewhat obsessed with our new little “garden”.  When I say “garden”, I’m referring to two long planters along the edges of our back yard.  Now, don’t get me wrong, I love them to bits (one has a beautiful lemon tree and the other, a gorgeous fig tree), but it ain’t no garden.  The truth is that when we were looking to buy something, we didn’t really want a high maintenance back garden, just a beautifully sunny spot with privacy.  We really lucked out, as our super sunny patch is North facing (good in the Southern hemisphere) and backs onto a school field, surrounded by forest-like shrubbery and trees.

The only down-side, is that there isn’t all that much room to grow things.  Or so I thought.  But by looking around at similar properties and a bit of good ol’ fashioned internet research, I soon realised that there are SO many ways to be creative when it comes to creating a green haven and growing your own vegetables.  Urban Sydney-siderlike Indira Naidoo (author of the Edible Balcony and a South African by the way!) demonstrate just how much produce you can harvest in a limited space.

When we moved into the house, I planted these, but since then I’ve added a range of herbs and some leafy vegetables to the mix.  As we know, supermarket-bought fruit and vegetables are suffocated in toxic pesticides and herbicides and the more I can grow at home, the better.   First it was lettuce, then kale, then peppers and soon I noticed that I was buying a huge amount of potting soil and compost.   Then I remembered that my local council offers FREE worm farms and compost bins.  Yip, how fabulous is that?  It’s called the Compost Revolution and it encourages people to transform their food scraps into compost.  The website educates you about the product and the process (easy!) and once you’ve passed a simple online test, they deliver your worm farm or compost bin to your house!

The idea is to throw all your food and garden scraps into the compost bin (essentially a black bin with no bottom).  The scraps are then broken down by micro organisms in the presence of air (worms and other eensy weensy creatures).   You just need to aerate the bin (they provide a metal hook) and water it from time to time.

We’ve been using it for the past few weeks and I can’t believe how little I’m throwing into my regular kitchen bin.  All my scraps and garden cuttings (food scraps, eggshells, old flowers, stale bread, fallen leaves and prunings, tea leaves, vacuum dust and  small pieces of paper and cardboard) go into “Seymour.” (Let’s see who can get the reference).  Now, we’re waiting for nature to do the rest . . .

Thank you Waverley Council!  You kill us with astronomical parking fees and vicious parking attendants, but you do make eco-gardening a cinch!

Maybe soon, I’ll be harvesting produce like this.

Happy gardening (-:



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