Wednesday 28 October 2009

Kitchen Gardeners International Challenge ends 6th November.


Please read about this challenge, support it and post it on your blog or share it with friends.

If KGI won this challenge it would be able to help many gardening projects around the world.

Last year KGI  managed to get a veggie garden at the White House, help them win this challenge.


27 October 2009

Dear Kitchen Gardener,

KGI is a 501c3 nonprofit community of over 18,000 people from 100 countries who are growing some of their own food and helping others to do the same.  We have a rare opportunity to expand the number of people we are reaching and the number of gardening groups we are helping by winning America's Giving Challenge, a fundraising competition whose grand prize is $50,000.  The prize winners are those nonprofits that generate the highest number of donations (not total dollar value) between now and November 6th, so even $10 is a big help.

We are currently in 30th place out of over 1800 nonprofits (not bad for a little nonprofit with one staff member!), but here's the really exciting news: all we need is for for 10% of our community to make a donation of $10 and we can zoom into second place!  As I mentioned before, this is the one and only fundraising drive we're making this year so I hope you'll choose to get off the garden fence and make a secure online donation here and now.

To rouse you into action,  I've just posted a fun, 2-minute video to YouTube called "Gardeners have the Power."  The message of the video is the same as the message of this exceptional funding opportunity: we can do anything we set our mind to...when we work together.  So, let's do just that and win this contest for the global gardening cause.

With over 1 billion people hungry in the world and global climate change screaming out for action, there's no time for us gardeners to waste. 

Many thanks for being the change you want to see in the world,

Roger Doiron

Founding Director, KGI

PS: If you really want to help KGI, but do not wish to donate online you may fill out this form and send us a check.  The donation will not be counted in the contest totals (because it doesn't pass through the contest counter), but will help support our work. Thanks.

PPS: We'll soon go back to our regularly scheduled kitchen gardening programming, so hang in there!


Here's a link and a logo for new dedicated website I set up for our contest entry.  Feel free to poke around there and see some of the types of projects KGI has helped in the past to get a feel for the work we're trying to do more of in the future.

(All the donation links and buttons at take you to our contest donations page)

Monday 26 October 2009




Come and learn about

Food Connect Adelaide –

a new more sustainable food system which aims to support local growers.

Where : Main Hall, Clarence Park Community Centre,

72-74 East Ave, Black Forest, Adelaide

When : Sunday November 1,

1.30pm for 1.45pm start. Finish 5.45pm
Afternoon tea will be provided.

Robert Pekin, founder of Food Connect (Brisbane) will be facilitating a workshop with growers and customers.
Come and find out more about this innovative food system, how it works and help to establish it here in Adelaide.

RSVP and more info :
Sally Fisher by 28/10/09

Sunday 25 October 2009

A Seedsaver’s Garden

For all us new & experienced gardeners it was a wonderful afternoon visit to Claudia & Andrew’s amazing backyard “farm”. Where once the garden was surrounded by Italian & Greek backyard vegetable gardens, today this garden is surrounded by paved “Tuscan’ villas. It is so refreshing & encouraging to see what healthy herbs, fruits & vegetables can be grown for you family in a suburban backyard.

Andrew & Claudia's Backyard Farm Visit 043 Andrew & Claudia's Backyard Farm Visit 091

Andrew & Claudia's Backyard Farm Visit 143

Andrew & Claudia's Backyard Farm Visit 204

As Seedsavers it is important, as Andrew said today, to save the seeds from you favourite plants and vegetables so you are able to provide this healthy food for your family & friends.

Backyard gardening, although enjoyable does take time & effort & patience. Plants are grown, the seeds saved & then each season the seeds are returned to the soil, the plant grows & the cycle continues.

Claudia & Andrew have worked hard to save all the water coming onto their property so that through the long dry Adelaide summer their garden is watered with pure rainwater, which creates a healthy environment for their plants, their chickens & themselves.

For more photographs use this link: A Seedsavers Garden

A great big thank you to Claudia & Andrew for their great hospitality & for sharing their wonderful backyard farm with us today.

We have some more plans to visit other seedsavers vegetable gardens soon.

Saturday 24 October 2009

The Seed Savers Network

The Hills and Plains Seedsavers group is part of the Seed Savers Network started many years ago by Michel and Jude Fanton.


Seed Savers Handbook Online

This is a complete reference for growing, preparing and conserving 117 traditional varieties of food plants. Written especially for Australian and New Zealand conditions in 1993 by Michel and Jude Fanton, founders of The Seed Savers' Network.

Browse the Seed Savers Handbook online

“This is the online version of our enduring classic work. Please feel free to browse here, and remember that there are translations for the work, and you can always purchase a print version for your bookshelf or as a gift to a dear friend.” 
Check out the Seed Savers web site for other resources for starting a seed saving group or starting school gardens for children.

Thursday 22 October 2009

FRESH the movie

Transition Adelaide West


A movie celebrating farmers, thinkers and business people who are re-inventing our food system.

12Th November 2009

6pm for 6.30 screening

Odeon Theatre,

Semaphore Road

Join us at this significant community event, embracing sustainable lifestyle through the screening of ‘Fresh’ and the launch of a local initiative relocalising our community and supporting it in reducing energy usage;

Guest speakers include:

Graham Brookman – The Food Forest

Jason Fulston – Cloverland Organics

Stuart Gifford – Sarah’s Sisters CafĂ©

As well as post movie Exhibitors & Tastings

Tickets are $10 per person

Book through

or contact Kate – 0404 515 685

Saturday 17 October 2009


Many people around the world will celebrate the Festival of Lights today, check out this link to learn more of this celebration of life , Diwali

Friday 16 October 2009

16th October WORLD FOOD DAY by Roger Doiron

Published on Thursday, October 15, 2009 by

On World Food Day: Crunching the Numbers

by Roger Doiron

Tomorrow is World Food Day and since I can't invite you all over for dinner, I thought I'd serve up a smorgasbord of facts and figures about the way the US and the world eat or don't eat, as the case may be.

The menu isn't all bad, but I'll warn you that too much of it could lead to mental and emotional indigestion.  The good news is that if you live in the developed world and you don't like what you're served, another option is only a few steps away or, in the case of online food-for-thought, mouse-clicks away.  That said, I'd urge you to finish your plate and consider sharing a bite with others. 

If I sound like a parent, it's because I am which is one of the reasons I feel compelled to mix these eclectic issues together in one big pot.  If we can all start seeing the connections between food, health, and the environment and teaching our children to do the same, perhaps we can serve up a more palatable offering of food statistics in their lifetime. 

So, let's dig in:

  • 1: number of new kitchen gardens planted at the White House this year AP
  • 1943: the last time food was grown at the White House White House
  • 20 million: the number of new gardens planted in 1943 LA Times
  • 40%: percentage of nation's produce coming from gardens in 1943 LA Times
  • 7 million: estimated number of new food gardens planted in the US in 2009 NGA
  • $2000: amount of savings possible per year from a 40' x 40' garden KGI
  • 90%: percentage of fruit/vegetable varieties lost in the US the last 100 years CNN
  • 3500: number of vegetable varieties owned by Monsanto Monsanto
  • 18,467: number of new small farms counted in the last agricultural census USDA
  • 4,685: number of farmers markets nationwide USDA
  • 4,100: number of Wal-mart stores and clubs in the US Wal-mart
  • 187,000 ft2 : average area of a Wal-mart superstore Wal-mart
  • 60,112 ft2: average area of a farmers' market USDA
  • 9.5 million: number of imported food shipments arriving in the US each year Huffington Post
  • 226,377: number of establishments registered to export food to the US Huffington Post
  • 200: number of on-site inspections of these establishments conducted by the FDA last year Huffington Post
  • 76 million: number of people who fall ill each year due to food poisoning CDC
  • 50 gallons: volume of sugared beverages consumed per person in the US each year LA Times
  • 22,727: number of Olympic-sized swimming pools those beverages would fill
  • $15 billion: annual estimated revenue of a penny-per-ounce tax on soda LA Times
  • $20.5 billion: Coca-Cola's gross profit in 2008 Coca-Cola
  • 72 million: number of American adults considered obese CDC
  • 33%: percentage of US children likely to develop obesity or Type 2 diabetes CDC
  • 10-15 years: average number of years their lives will be shortened as a result CDC
  • 57 years: average age of the American farmer USDA
  • 25 days: average shelf-life of a Twinkie Snopes
  • 350 parts per million: sustainable level of CO2 in atmosphere
  • 390 parts per million: current level of CO2 in the atmosphere NOAA
  • 31%: percentage of human-caused greenhouse gas emissions attributable to food and agriculture IPCC
  • 2020: year by which many geologists feel the world will have reached "peak oil" production UK Research Centre
  • 10 calories: average amount of fossil fuel energy required to produce 1 calorie of food energy in industrialized food systems Cornell
  • 29,100 calories: estimated fossil fuel calories required to produce one order of Outback Steakhouse Aussie Cheese Fries Men's Health
  • 1 billion: number of hungry people in the world in 2009 FAO
  • 9.1 billion: projected world population in the year 2050 US Census
  • 70%: percentage increase in global food production required to feed that projected population FAO
  • 70%: percentage of world's fresh water used for agricultural purposes UNESCO
  • 1.8 billion: number of people expected to experience "water scarcity" in the year 2025 UNEP
  • 0: number of new, oil-rich, water-rich, fertile and inhabitable planets we are likely to discover in the next 40 years
  • 1: number of people needed to make a positive difference in any of the above: you!

Roger Doiron is Founding Director of Kitchen Gardeners International, an IATP Food and Society Fellow, and, if you believe the folks at Huffington Post, one of the top Green Game Changers of 2009.    

Tuesday 13 October 2009

Summer and Winter Garden Harvest Recipe Plan

Garden & Dandelion 011 Garden & Dandelion 015

This year I am going to start a folder with recipes I would like to try using produce from the garden or bought locally.

Nothing is more frustrating than having a table full of produce that you want to eat raw, cook or preserve and not have recipes and ingredients ready, so you can get cooking straight away.

I usually head for the computer do a Goggle search and end up with all sorts of ideas and no time or energy left to do anything.

So this year the Google searches will be done in advance and the recipes will be clearly arranged with the spices, vinegars or honey and empty jars already in the cupboard. There will be a plan!

Last year Cath had given me her peach chutney recipe which I adapted as different fruits appeared in the kitchen.

There are some great gardening, cooking, preserving bloggers around the globe who have great recipe blogs.

One of my favourite cooks is Laura from Mas Du Diable Cevenol Kitchen who has loads of great recipes including an Indian section with all sorts of pickles, chutney’s and preserves.

Tamra from Eat Seasonally has some great seasonal recipes as part of her gardening blog. As soon as the purslane appears in the garden I am going to make her “weed Tacos”. Read the story that goes with the recipe about her teenagers’ text messaging their friends when told they are having weed tacos for dinner.

Olives and artichokes have a wonderful Mediterranean recipe section as part of their blog. It show wonderful ideas for what they do with daily produce from their garden.

There are many different groups that form part of Kitchen Gardens International. My favourite groups are the Pickling and Preserving, the Harvest group and the Kimchi group. I have enjoyed reading the members pickling and harvest adventures through out our winter. Gillian a KGI friend from Queensland posted a great tomato & chilli sauce recipe, I have bottles already for that recipe.

Please join KGI and share your ideas and gardening experiences with people from all over the world.

Because we have a small garden we tend to harvest everything and then prepare the soil for our next batch of seedlings.

This week we pulled up all the celeriac and fennel.

When trimmed back the celeriac was roasted and some sliced and eaten raw. The tops went in the compost. We may not grow celeriac again, it was in the ground for a long time, I think the leaves may have been trimmed back more. We had huge leaves and smallish bulbs. Have you grown celeriac, is there a secret?

I remembered a recipe on our Recipes Gardeners Gastronomy section, which Kate recommended and which I cooked last year. It is absolutely delicious. Fennel bulbs and beetroot chunks are roasted, covered with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. It is quick and delicious, lovely eaten hot and even better kept in the fridge and eaten as a salad.

Organic gardening is fun, watching seeds germinate and grow is exciting, planting and then harvesting veggies is a great experience, cooking and eating those delicious veggies is a heavenly experience. I hope your new seasons veggie patch is exciting and delicious.

Beetroot and Henley 004 Garden 033

Sunday 4 October 2009

Creating a beautiful home from a concrete water storage tank!

If you are thinking of converting a concrete water tank into a home this is the place to look at.


Tickle Tank is the home of talented artist Irene Pearce .
"You will visit an intimate and adventurous multi-level garden which surrounds a house made from a converted water storage tank. The garden is filled with garden art, mosaics and sculptures made from recycled materials which add humour among the colourful array of spring bulbs, hardy natives and cottage plants. An inspiring garden, brimming with artistic ideas."
See the video at the ABC website: Tickle video (scroll down to the Tickletank video).

Thursday 1 October 2009

October and November Gardening or Community Events

There is a lot of gardening or cultural  events happening in Adelaide at the moment.

The Moon Lantern festival opens the OZ Asia Festival on the 3rd October from 3 to 8pm.


The ABC Car Park Caper is on Saturday the 10th of October at Collingswood.

The native flower and plant display and plant sale is on the 10th and 11th October at the Stirling Angus Hall  Adelaide Showgrounds.

The Adelaide Botanical Gardens have some great talks, check out their online brochure for details.

Herb Day at Fullarton Community Centre is the 1st Sunday in November.

Australia’s Open Garden Scheme has some wonderful gardens open to the public.


The Hills Garden & Environmental Expo is on Sunday, 15th November 2009 - Uraidla Showgrounds. Check their website.


Taught by DAVID CORKILL at Fern Avenue Community Garden

Commencing the TUESDAY 13th October 2009

9 weekly sessions from 9:30am to noon

The course includes the topics

soil, water, botany, compost, mulching, propagation, companion planting, weed and pest control.

The cost for the entire course is $70 or $60 concession or $45 pensioner

Enquiries and enrolments phone 8379 8941