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4 good reasons to get into ‘edible gardening’ by Mat Pember

After years of helping clients grow fruit and vegetables, the Little Veggie Patch Co. believe anyone can grow their own food, in just about any area in Australia.

In their bestselling easy-to-use guide The Little Veggie Patch Co., horticultural specialists Mat Pember and Fabian Capomolla show how simple it is to create your own edible garden – and it doesn’t matter if you begin with a couple of pots on the balcony or a whole garden bed.

Fundamentals such as Soil, Climate, Watering, Composting, Worm Farms, Saving and Sowing Seeds, and Raised Garden Beds and Crates are all covered comprehensively – each with fully illustrated step-by-step plans that show how to create your own little veggie patch in any space.

A complete A-Z of Edible Plants gives you vital information on more than 40 vegetables and fruit trees, including detailed planting information, ongoing maintenance advice, tips on best companions and when to harvest. And the Weekend Activities scattered throughout the book will get the kids involved, too, whether they’re Making a Scarecrow, Building a Spud Tower, or Growing Beans in a Bean Can.

Lots of fun, and packed full of all the knowledge you’ll need – including recipes and hilarious anecdotes – make for a cool, compact, colourful guide for anyone interested in growing their own food.

Just some fun facts I learnt are that every eggplant contains a bit of nicotine, that a worm’s poo is 10 times as fertile as the garden waste it eats, and that the olive was the first tree to be cultivated. Fascinating stuff!
Exclusively to Cream, Mat Pember suggests four great things about ‘edible gardening’ – including one rather cheeky one.
Antonino Tati


01.  Growing food is helping bridge the generation gap.

The traditional ‘roses, petunias, daisies and pot-o-colour’ gardeners are now talking the same language as the new wave ‘all the produce used at my café is grown within a 50 mile radius’ hipsters. At family gatherings you now have something to say to your grandparents other than “thank you” for the new socks and underpants.


02.  Playing loud music can aid the growth of your veggies!

Some believe that the bass and frequency of music can affect the migratory patterns of pollinators such as bees and birds; much like it can affect the door-to-door migratory pattern of your next door neighbour. Now when they come to complain of the racket, smokescreen them with talk of bass, frequency, pollination and vegetables all in the one well-thought out and well-rehearsed sentence.



03.  Numbers of community plots of land are growing by the day

“Growing vegetables” in a community plot is apparently all the rage these days and many hint that there’s more to the euphemism to the new age gardener. In fact, it could well be code for growing things other than vegetables. And if that’s the case, who wouldn’t want to “grow vegetables”?


04.  Getting into gardening can help you score in other areas of life including, yes, the bedroom

Cooking for your beloved, or for someone that your are intently trying to impress, has always been a fool proof way of portraying yourself as thoughtful, cultured and generous in bed. Incorporating food that you have grown yourself raises the level of your game ten-fold. You now got game. But don’t get me wrong; growing food isn’t all about meeting and interacting with members of your interested sex – it’s a meaningful hobby, rewarding and educating; it gets us back in tune with the seasonality of food and a more natural and sustainable style of living; and more than anything it elevates the sensory experience of food again, something that the homogeneity of supermarket produce has deprived.


‘The Little Veggie Patch Co’ by Mat Pember and Fabian Capomolla is published through Macmillan, RRP $26.99.


WIN! One of 3 copies of ‘The Little Veggie Patch Co.: An A-Z Guide to Growing Food in Small Spaces

To try winning a copy of this nifty book, simply email your name, address and the Subject heading ‘Veggie Patch’ to cream@pobox.com no later than 5pm AWST, Friday 18 September. It makes for perfect Spring-time reading!

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