Category Archives: Edible Garden

Cafe Dov – Potts Point’s best edible garden

Cafe Dov is fast becoming a Potts Point institution.

Now it’s hyper-energetic owner Tim Petersen has expanded the eatery to include an edible courtyard.

The old car-port and storage area has been transformed into a groovy, relaxing outdoor space – the DOV garden.

Can’t you picture your Sydney garden party here? The multi-talented Mr Petersen even turned his hand to some carpentry knocking together this rustic table.

There are trellised cherry tomatoes in recycled plastic tubs..

They’re thriving in the protected courtyard…

… and occasionally find their way onto the menu..

There are tubs of soft-leafed rocket…

And an array of herbs to perk up dishes from the kitchen…
Thyme, taragon and mint…

…and more mint.

..filling the space with refreshing aromas…
… flowers including pansies to attract insects..
… and to add colour to the garden..
a potted bay tree
..all thriving amongst the hub-bub of Victoria Street.
A special space in a special part of the city. Book your table today.

Truck Farming?

Brooklynites Ian Cheney and Curt Ellis, are on the road to the future.
These environmental documentary-makers, have come up with an ingenious solution to that age-old question – ” How do you grow your own food when you ain’t got no land?
Answer: Truck Farming!

Here’s their YouTube teaser about how they got their agribusiness going…

Inspiring, eh?
The boys created their own version of a hybrid car by planting a mobile garden in the back of their Dodge pick-up. Growing arugula, lettuce, broccoli, herbs, tomatoes and habanero chilies, the “cardeners” have even started a CSA. As the soundtrack to this clip explains: “for only $20 bucks you can eat whatever grows in this truck”.
Transforming their Dodge was no walk in the parking lot. First, holes were drilled into the bed for drainage. Using the same technology as the latest rooftop gardens, NYC based Alive Structures helped to install a root barrier, erosion blanket and drainage mat into the flatbed. Then the soil, a special lightweight blend of Styrofoam, organics, and clay, was poured on top.
Us city-dwellers have to be creative, resourceful and experimental if we want to green our concrete jungle. Ideas like this one are going to put urban farming into overdrive, inspiring new ways of thinking about space. These two pioneers have found a vast new territory just by walking down to their parking spot, creating a concept that is sure to get some serious mileage.

If you want to read more about Wicked Delicate Films click onto their website

The High Line and Chelsea Markets, New York City

On Monday morning we left (part of) our heart in San Francisco and headed off to chilly New York.
The long flight was a chance to catch up with some blogging. A new inflight broadband service allowed me to join the blogging version of the Mile High Club!
We arrived at our Sohotel hotel in Soho late evening, grabbed some unbelievably good pasta nearby in Little Italy, slept soundly and set off on Tuesday morning to explore the High Line in the Meat Packing District. The High Line was an operational elevated railway line until the early 1980s. A shipment of  frozen turkeys was apparently the last cargo to be carried on its tracks! Instead of dismantling the railway line local conservation groups lobbied to have it preserved and transformed into open park space for hemmed-in New Yorkers. So glad they did.With the Chelsea Markets located at the High Line on West 15th this is a must-do for all garden-loving foodies.

locals and tourists enjoy some hard-to-find sunshine
The railway line was concreted and planted with grasses and shrubs. About two-thirds of the line has been completed.
the past provides structure for the present and the future
flowers amongst the concrete and steel
Parts of the High Line have been glassed in allowing visitors to experience the eery sensation of floating above the New York traffic
A section of the High Line at 10th Ave
Pop into the Chelsea Markets and do like the sign says and pack your picnic here
The markets occupy about half a block of old warehouses
Most of the original fittings, and pipes and brick facades have been retained
There was an exhibition showcasing recycled Christmas decorations
From afar it looks like an expensive high-tech wreath….
on closer inspection it is made up of dozens of old CDs
This seafood joint contained an array of crustaceans and fins I had never seen before
Everything was displayed so immaculately
dismembered claws…
the freshest lobster…
with a home-style butcher next door…
New Yorkers want to know everything about their meat
where it came from….
how old it was and was it happy when it died
New Yorkers are still in love with their cupcakes
loved these Sesame Street inspired ones
but this was my favourite

Edible Schoolyard, Berkeley, California

If you’ve ever wondered where the inspiration for my edible balcony comes from it’s from Alice Waters Edible School Programme in the United States. The first edible schoolyard was set up in Berkeley California in a school near where Alice would do her morning run. Apparently she would look at the two acres of overgrown weedy asphalt and daydream that one day it could be transformed into a productive farm and an invaluable teaching tool for a generation of kids who couldn’t tell a cabbage from a lettuce. Fourteen years ago that dream became a reality and with funding from the Alice Waters Foundation the asphalt was dug up, the soil reconditioned and an Edible Schoolyard was born at Martin Luther King Middle School.
Walking through the school garden this week gave me hope that the next generation is going to have a better connection to the land and the food they eat that will help counter our society’s growing problems with climate change, obesity and our addiction to tasteless fast food!
some big legacy to live up to
basketball courts at Martin Luther King Middle School, Berkeley, California
climbing bean A-frame tipee
winter salad leaves
bok choy with hand-painted sign
not sure what this sign alludes to!
Gardener extraordinaire Mr Geoff
hanging haystacks innoculated with oyster mushroom spores
chicken run
tasty egg layer
strawberry seedlings ready to be planted
the greenhouse protects the seedlings during winter months
lavender bushes attract bees and pollinating insects
glorious colours even in winter
Alice’s food philosophy is painted on the kitchen wall
the kitchen where the kids get to cook and eat what they grow
aprons hanging on pegs
school-grown peppers
heirloom pumpkins
some messages never change

Terre Madre

“We are in the midst of three major crisis: the crisis of finance, the crisis of food, the crisis of the environment including climate change, are all routed in the same causes. The globalized economy is based on fictions, it is based on greed, is failing us, is leading from crisis to crisis. Terra Madre invites us to return to the terra – earth, and madre – the earth as mother. All we have to do is once again remember how our mothers fed the world… It’s that generosity and abundance of sharing, of caring that we must rejuvenate.

We can, we are the future, let’s make it happen.”

Vandana Shiva
Slow Food International Vice President Opening Ceremony Terre Madre

On Tuesday night I attended my first meeting as the ‘Terre Madre’ organiser for the Sydney Slow Food Committee. The Slow Food movement is a non-profit, eco-gastronomic member-supported organization founded in 1989 by Italian Carlo Petrini. Its charter is to counteract fast food and fast life, the disappearance of local food traditions and people’s dwindling interest in the food they eat, where it comes from, how it tastes and how our food choices affect the rest of the world. Today, we have over 100,000 members in 132 countries.
Every two years thousand of farmers, producers and chefs from around the world meet in Torino, Italy for the Terre Madre (Mother Earth) conference to discuss the major themes of food production. Together they share and compare the diverse and complex issues that underlie what “high-quality food” means to them: issues of environmental resources and planetary equilibrium, and aspects of taste, worker dignity, and consumer safety.
The next Terre Madre will be held in Torino Italy in September 2010.

Sydney is hoping to send 12 delegates to this prestigious gathering who represent the best of our food traditions. We’re looking for growers, farmers, cooks, chefs, young people, teachers, foodies who are passionate about slow food traditions and demonstrate that commitment in their day-to-day life.

We’ll keep you updated on our website. And while you’re there sign up as a member of Slow Food. You’ll get to attend some exclusive food events, meet some of the world’s leading chefs and food leaders and share your love of good food with others.It’ll be the best $100 you’ve ever spent!

One of the greatest disciples of the Slow Food Movement is US chef and restaurateur Alice Waters who runs the famous Chez Panisse Restaurant and Cafe in Berkley California.

Alice was featured recently (mar 15th 2009) on American ’60 Minutes’ about her slow food philosophy – a sign that slow food is finally going mainstream! Take a look…….