Monthly Archives: May 2012

Wayside Chapel Roof Veggie Garden Open Day

It received blanket coverage in the media on the weekend…. but in case you missed it, the Wayside Chapel’s $8 million redevelopment is complete.

For the first time the local Potts Point/Kings Cross community got a sneak peak at the new buildings, services – and roof top veggie garden.

The weather couldn’t have been more perfect. Everything and everyone was bathed in sunshine and the garden looked amazing. All the hard work from our visitors, volunteer gardeners and support from Eden Gardens and Community Greening paid off.

I conducted a few garden tours (that’s me in the black dress) explaining what was growing in the garden pots and how the roof’s innovative drainage system works.

Then it was time for our local Aboriginal elder to declare the garden officially launched…

And for Wayside benefactor Wotif founder Graeme Wood to plant a lemon myrtle tree in the indigenous garden corner.

Magic day all round. Thanks for coming along.

Sydney Writer’s Festival goes Edible

My book The Edible Balcony has taken me on an extraordinary journey since it was published last October. I’ve met inspiring people, visited some of the most imaginative community gardens in the country and been invited to share my ideas at some stimulating forums.

But nothing so far has excited me as much as my appearance at the Sydney Writers’ Festival last Saturday.

Sydney Writers Week is easily my favourite event on the calendar. And when the weather is as glorious as this there is no better place to mingle with lovers of ideas.

And they came in their hundreds….

My session was about the rise and rise of DIY and why gardening, cooking and crafting was experiencing such a significant renaissance.

My co-panellist was the lovely author and crafter Kelly Doust and our facilitator was RN radio’s Jason Di Rosso.

Of course I had to bring along some of my balcony basil and pesto for the audience. I also brought a tin of my favourite olive oil The Little General which I think makes my pesto even more delicious.

Kelly and I also did some crocheting while we were talking to show that these skills can be practised anywhere, at anytime.

The audience wanted to know how easy urban food gardening really was and were surprised at how little time I set aside to maintain my plants.

At our book signing later the pesto was proving a big drawcard…..

Maybe I’ll forget about the book and put out a pesto range?

InStyle Magazine Award for The Edible Balcony

After spending the past few years elbow deep in compost and manure, I never imagined my balcony veggie patch would garner me a ‘style’ award.

Never underestimate where your garden can take you.

On Tuesday night I was awarded the Instyle Magazine’s Women of Style Lifestyle award during a glittering ceremony at Carriageworks in Sydney.

It was completely unexpected since the other nominees in my category were kitchen queen Donna Hay and fitness guru Michelle Bridges!

Thank you to InStyle Magazine for recognising the grow-your-own-food movement and the important contribution it can play in helping all of us lead a more balanced lifestyle.

http://m.smh.com.au/lifestyle/private-sydney/a-big-day-for–women-of-style-20120515-1yoy1.html

Biggest Morning Tea – Win my book

The Edible Balcony hosts The Biggest Morning Tea!

This year the theme for the Morning Tea is sustainability and eating healthily.
Guests of the Edible Balcony Biggest Morning Tea are being asked to bring along a sweet or savoury plate – preferably one that contains at least one ingredient that has been grown in their garden or on their balcony. Your dish could include some fresh herbs, lettuces, strawberries or lemons. So get growing! Of course if you don’t grow any edibles, just bring along something fresh and delicious.
 
The event will be held in Cafe Dov’s sun-drenched edible courtyard so dress for a garden party.
 
And everyone who comes along will go into the draw for their chance to win a copy of The Edible Balcony by Indira Naidoo which is all about how to grow fresh food in a small space.
Hope to see you there. It will be too much fun.
 
Biggest Morning Tea Ambassador and author of The Edible Balcony Indira Naidoo

More Info…

Tickets are $50 and all proceeds from ticket sales go directly to the Cancer Council. Tickets can be bought on the day from Cafe Dov. Pay for your discounted drinks at the bar.

The Edible Balcony hosts The Biggest Morning Tea

Thursday May 24th 
11.30am – 2.30pm
 
Cafe Dov, 130 Victoria St, Potts Point
 
Tickets $50
(Bring a plate and pay for your drinks at the bar)

Register

We only have 50 seats available so make your reservation May 18th and pay for your tickets on the day at Cafe Dov.
Please register at fitztodo@ozemail.com.au

Wayside Chapel – Vertical plantings

Well today was our last gardening blitz before the May 19th official opening of the new Wayside Chapel redevelopment in Potts Point. The Waydide’s rooftop veggie garden is just one of several green initiatives that makes the building very special indeed. The others include – the use of natural air flow rather than air-conditioning, rain water ranks and solar panels.

Our gardening team gathered at 9am to plant up edible hanging baskets which will sit on the western fence of the roof garden.

Generously donated by Eden Gardens and Community Greening we planted up a collection of lettuces, herbs, and edible flowers into rectangular planting boxes.

Two hours later our roof top veggie garden looked pretty swish.

You can come along and take a look for yourself when our opening day street party on Hughes St Potts Point kicks off next Saturday May 19th at 10am.

See you there!

Edible Inspiration – Justin North

                                              (Picture courtesy of The Daily Telegraph)

I have many food heroes. Most I admire from a distance but some I am lucky to see in action at close range.
Justin North of Becasse fame was banging on about ‘local’ well before it became hip. He is a magnificent champion of fresh, seasonal and locavore eating. Combine that with his exceptional technical skills and it’s no wonder Becasse is always a special dining experience.
Every few months Justin hosts a lunch featuring local producers from around New South Wales.
This week it was the the wonderful free-range pork from Melanda Park on the Hawkesbury River, Bilpin Apple cider and the incredible Maya Sunny Honey from Mudgee.

Alto marinated Volos olives
Warm salad of autumn vegetable slow cooked in olive oil with marinated confit blue eye
Mosaic of Pork shoulder, neck, smoked hock and pickled tongue
Pork loin and belly, Jerusalem artichoke, pear, celeriac, and licorice

the crackling was like wafers of porky caramel
Ironbark honey cream and mousseline with compressed melon and melon sorbet
the textures were ethereal
And some of the little critters who helped make the honey were on display at the restaurant

There were about 20,000 bees in this glass urn.
Third generation Bee-keeper Andrew Wyszynski, using a secret techique he has developed, is able to entice the bees into individual jars where they make natural honeycomb and honey. 

After a good bank of honey has built up, he coaxes them out again leaving the honeycomb and raw natural honey in the jar which just needs to have a lid screwed on.

It doesn’t come more natural than that!

The Edible Balcony – May 8th

Well winter has really set in here in Sydney. I’ve been watering the plants in the mornings wearing ugh boots, mittens and a beanie!

Amazingly there are still some San Marzano tomatoes on the vine, and some capsicums struggling to turn fire engine red.

The warrigal greens on the vertical wall all soaking up the winter sun and I’m harvesting them every week. My favourite snack at the moment is mixing up some finely chopped warrigals with chickpea flour, some baking powder, Indian spices and a little water and frying them into little crunchy pakoras . So addictive.

The chives in the hanging basket in the corner have erupted requiring almost a daily haircut to contain them.

My four varieties of basil are still bushy providing me with my secret elixir – pesto!

As soon as the tomatoes and capsicums are truly done I’ll clear those pots and plant some heirloom carrots, radishes and maybe some onions.

Balcony life isn’t too bad.