Sunday, 2 March 2008


On Friday I went to see what was happening at the Gardening Australia Expo, since it was the first time it had come to SA. It was OK, but what I enjoyed most was listening to Peter Cundall give his spiel about how to be 80 years old, and as fit as a Mallee bull, like him! He is just about as passionate about all this growing your own food and keeping trim and caring for the planet as me - and he obviously thrives on it. He never stops waving his arms about and exclaiming about what people should and should not be doing - he and I have a lot in common. I think I will apply to take over from him when he retires at the end of this year! Wouldn't that be a coup for The Hills and Plains Seedsavers! Leading a national gardening show!

The rest of the expo was really just stuff for sale - water tanks, expensive devices for saving grey water, succulents and herbs and other plants, this and that and more stuff until my head began to spin (which took about 2 minutes!). Then I saw 2 things of interest, right next to each other - the Outback Pride stall and the Banrock Station stall. I spoke for ages to Gayle - the Outback Pride lady - and took this photo.
Then I took some photos of the Banrock Station stall as Pattie (Foodshed Planet) had asked did I know of it and its environmental credentials. I had never heard of it but it seems they donate part of the proceeds of every bottle of wine sold to environmental projects in the country where the wine is being sold. Also they have done a huge amount of work on the land they own on the Murray and restored the native wetlands and woodlands. It is not organic wine, but at least a lot of good seems to be coming from their commitment to 60 projects in 12 countries.
There were a few displays of suitable plants for our gardens but not a vegetable seedling in sight which I thought was very poor. We should have had a stall ourselves and showed them a thing or 2 about growing food. I watched Josh Byrne answer questions and bought a bit of lunch which was not too bad for a show like this.

Sophie Thompson had a nice mock-up of a dry climate garden which included this centrepiece of a water garden. Everything was clearly labelled which was excellent.
Last thing I did was listen to Peter Cundall talk about the-patch-from-scratch which features in the TV show and is in the Royal Botanic Gardens of Hobart, Tasmania of which this was a poor, unwatered replica. I was very surprised how small it actually is - total growing area of 24m x 2m, divided into 6 beds of 4m x 2m. I got to speak to Peter briefly and handed him this blog address - who knows maybe he will pop by. He told me to check out a website called "The Lost Seed" which is a new online heritage seed company. Peter must single-handedly be responsible for the huge upsurge in sales of vegetable seedlings at nurseries in the last 2 years as his enthusiasm and joy in growing all his own fruit and vegies and doing the show oozes out of every pore in his skin! And that's no small feat for an "old geyser", as he would say. Well, that's your bloomin' lot....

1 comment:

Lucky-1 said...

I too was at the Gardening Aust Expo, I went on Friday. I have 2 postings about my day there.... Including photos with the presenters.