All things edible grown in the garden

A fascinating collection of 11 edible gardens will be open to the public this coming weekend as part of the Kyneton Daffodil and Arts Festival.
Visiting some or all of these gardens is a great way to learn and get motivated for the new growing season.
Three schools are participating for the first time this year: Taradale Primary School (Stephanie Alexander garden), Macedon Primary School and Our Lady of the Rosary Primary. Their students are experiencing the joy of growing their own food and eating it too.
Some gardens have been showing each year such as the popular garden of Jan and Doug McIver.
Organiser Nea Gyorffy said visitors could ask Jan anything about gardening.
“She can demonstrate many sustainable ways of using local resources for example the importance of hugelkultur (no-dig raised beds) in keeping moisture and nutrients in the soil,” Nea said.
“We call her the ‘Raspberry Queen’ as she has a substantial patch of raspberries and is happy to give away raspberries and plants to everyone especially at the community produce swap held by the Kyneton Transition Hub at the Kyneton Farmers Market.”
The Kyneton Edible Garden is in the grounds of the Kyneton Community House and its produce is used for the community lunches every Wednesday during school terms at the Kyneton Mechanics Institute. Just $5 donation for a delicious local two-course meal with great company as well.
There are new gardens such as Zen’s memorial garden, which is named after a much-loved family member. The garden has grown up since the 1980s with the Upper Coliban Reservoir as a backdrop. It includes farm animals, an orchard and much more.
Ken and Moira Hourigan will open their large garden where vegetables flourish among the ornamentals and obviously enjoy their company. Seeds and cuttings for edible plants are nearly all obtained from neighbours, family and friends.
Lyn Godfrey is demonstrating her very small edible garden and has great ideas for those who don’t have a lot of room.
Visitors are encouraged to learn and exchange ideas about growing sustainable, organic edible plants.
“Working edible gardens are not necessarily pretty but are all about maintaining productive, rich soil, producing fresh food without using chemicals and reducing the cost of food but not compromising quality…and enjoying a healthy lifestyle,” Nea said.
“Visiting Open Edible Gardens helps you find inspiration to get out there and grow your own food – be it in a large vegetable garden or orchard, in a small garden or grow them among the ornamentals.
“It is a great way to help you learn how to improve your soil, ways of water saving, composting, companion planting, hugelkultur, wicking beds and more.
“Growing your own food is now more important than ever for freshness, knowing its origin and keeping low food miles.
“It is incredibly satisfying when you can step out your door and pluck a juicy eggplant or zucchini from the garden and prepare it for your meal.”
Taradale gardeners Jane and Colleen have formed a local produce exchange that helps gardeners swap excess edibles and is great for those looking for local, fresh food.
Bunjil Farm is introducing a market garden this year so you can see how the garden is being planned and managed from the beginning.
All information about the times and locations is on the Kyneton Daffodil and Arts Festival and KTH brochures which are in many local shops now, and the Kyneton Mechanics Institute, the official information centre during the festival.

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