Home' Scoop : Scoop 50 Summer 2009 Contents food&wine
It's that pure, sparkling, halo-capped word
that pumps a healthy dose of feel-good
through your blood: Organic. Come on,
say it with us: Organic. Organic, organic,
organic. Feel better? Then just imagine
how well the body fares when you eat it.
Greenie, foodie and healthy types have been
raving about the benefits of organic produce for
years. And with the soaring popularity of farmers
markets around the state, more and more of us
are getting our regular serve of two-and-five from
clean and healthy pastures.
But there's an even fresher and more efficient
way of riding the organic path -- by growing the
goods in your own backyard.
It doesn't matter whether you're completely
green in the garden or a regular Peter Cundall,
creating a bounty of organic delights is easy.
Each edition we'll be bringing you a bouquet
of herbs and vegetables that are ideal for growing
and/or harvesting in the season, complete with tips
and practical uses. This time around we've also in-
cluded a bit of beginners advice from the experts.
So get digging Scoop readers! Save money and
To get the low-down on all eats home grown, we
spoke with Patrick Coward from Providore in
Margaret River. He says one of the most impor-
tant tips for growers is to be in tune with your
environment. "I'm a great advocate of planting for
your region," he says. "Over time, people should
experiment to see what works best in their area
and if something is getting annihilated by insects,
then stop planting."
Once you have found what works in your
garden, you should aim to stick to your strengths.
"I encourage people to specialise," says Patrick. "It's
better to have half a dozen plants that are doing well
than to have a whole heap that are struggling."
While some people might find the task a bit
daunting, Patrick says it's not rocket science.
"People are a little bit dubious, but all you've
got to do is put them in. Once you've prepared the
soil properly, all they need is water and sunshine."
Sound simple? Read on!
First things first
Getting the soil is your number one priority. "Feed
the soil, not the plant," says Patrick. "Preparation is
very important, so first you'll need to get nutrients
into the soil with chicken, sheep or cow manure."
Before you get your hands dirty, Patrick recom-
mends testing the pH levels of your soil at four
points in the garden. This will give you a good
idea of the acidity of the ground, which is im-
portant because some plants like acidic soil while
If you need to make some adjustments, potash
may be useful for regulating soil acidity. Check
plant requirements before determining their spot
in the garden. Now it's time to grow.
The boys at Scoop have got their hands dirty to bring you a selection
of herbs and vegetables ideal for summer picking. text jake millar & nathan scolaro
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