A Kitchen Garden in Every Home
The Blue Mountains might come to be regarded as the Rooftop Garden of Sydney and residents are you ready to take up the challenge and create a kitchen garden in your home?
By 2012 Cittaslow Katoomba Blue Mountains hopes that most homes will be growing their own leafy green vegetables. Not only does home-grown food taste better, it also helps to reduce the emissions that result from food production and transport thereby easing the local impact of climate change.
Above all, it's easy to do. Whether you've got a balcony or a plot of land, just collect your seeds and start planting. To make it easier, Cittaslow Katoomba Blue Mountains has partnered with Oasis Horticulture to make the following offer. All you need to do is take the voucher appearing in the Blue Mountains Gazette to participating nurseries* in order to receive 2 free punnets of Oasis "B" vegetables or 'Vegie Patch' seedlings when you purchase 2 punnets of Oasis 'B' Vegetables or "Vegie Patch" vegetable seedlings. This offer is for local residents and is valid from the 20th October to the 31st December 2010.
Sharon Fairbairn from Oasis Horticulture says of the initiative "Oasis Horticulture are proud to support A Kitchen Garden in Every Blue Mountain's Home. This is a wonderful initiative that will benefit our local and wider community. What better way to look after the health of ourselves and our families than by growing and harvesting fresh salads and vegetables from our own backyards. Home-grown always tastes better."
Cittaslow Katoomba Blue Mountains has also produced a free Planter Box Guide with complimentary seeds which will be given to participants who take their voucher to local participating nurseries.
"We are very excited about this project, because it addresses key issues such as food security, community health, food miles and encourages efficient use of soil and water critical in this era of climate change," says Anne Elliott from the Cittaslow Katoomba Blue Mountains Management Committee.
Don't think you've got a green thumb? Are you ready to take your garden to the next level? Well help is at hand. Current information is now available on specially-created courses ranging from a hands-on workshop for absolute beginners right through to courses on planting seasonally. See attached BMG pages for more details.
It's not just homes that are being asked to turn the Blue Mountains into Sydney's rooftop garden. Cafes, restaurants, hotels, B&B's and guest houses are also encouraged to don the gardening gloves and set up a kitchen garden.
John McNaull from Organic John the Gardener planted a crop of coriander, parsley and rocket at Blue M Cafe in Katoomba and said "it was a talking point with customers even before it was finished...hopefully this will become a hallmark of cafes throughout the Blue Mountains area."
Cittaslow Katoomba Blue Mountains hopes that the A KITCHEN GARDEN IN EVERY BLUE MOUNTAINS HOME will provide the inspiration for communities across Australia to take up the challenge to be home-grown.
A little bit about Cittaslow
Cittaslow (Italian for Slow City/Town) derived from the Italian Slow Food Movement, whose principles are based on using local, seasonal produce, supporting small producers and restoring time-honoured methods of production. There are only around 180 Cittaslow villages in the world, mostly based in Europe and in 2007 Katoomba Blue Mountains was accredited with the prestigious title.
Cittaslow towns take the time to identify what is important and special about their town, whether it be art, cultural traditions and then implement strategies to preserve these unique qualities. Essentially, it's all about creating a great quality of life that brings benefits to the community.
Contact Nigel Bell for more details about A Kitchen Garden In Every Blue Mountains Home project on 4782 5066 or via firstname.lastname@example.org.
*Participating Nurseries: Glenbrook Garden Centre, Highway Hardware Blaxland, Honey Gem Nursery Springwood, Katoomba Garden Centre, Leura Country Gardens, Longview Garden Centre Wentworth Falls, Mt Boyce Nursery, Blackheath & Springwood Garden Centre.
The Blue Mountains is so fortunate to have a strong permaculture group operating and sharing its knowledge, wisdom and enthusiasm in our midst. They are part of the national and international network of earth workers seeking harmony, resilience and sustainability at a number of levels, one of which is achieved through assisting local communities in their endeavour to be more self sufficient.
To this end, please see the series of documents to guide you in your gardening where ever you are and at whatever level you may be. This information is gratefully included on this web site in conjunction with the cittaslow project of a 'Kitchen Garden In Every Home'.
Thank you to the Permaculture Blue Mountains member, Maryanne Bell, who used her powers as a permaculture (permie) and her ESL skills to produce these documents while facilitating a course at Blacktown TAFE on 'English in the Garden'. For more on the PBM, please visit www.wiserearth.org/group/bmp
See the attached guides and information for more...