Adelaide Kitchen Gardeners

Down here in the south of the great southern continent of Australia, we have a climate that folk in Europe pay money to visit; warm sunny summers and cool rainy winters. This allows us to grow and eat our own edible stuff all year round from our own 'backyards'.
Here on the Adelaide Plains we are bounded by the sea to the west, then you can travel east for about 20 kms over arable land before reaching the Adelaide Hills to the east. This gives us a whole range of climates that provide us with cool weather berries, pome and soft fruits through to hotter areas where we can grow sub-tropical fruits such as mangoes, bananas and pineapples. Vegetable varieties that we can grow here number in the hundreds, from the traditional fare of potatoes, peas and tomatoes through to a whole new range of Asian vegetables such as tasoi, mitsuna and pak choy.
The really lucky gardeners among us have partners who love to cook. There is nothing more joyful to a tired gardener at the end of a long day's work than to see the cook happily browsing through the garden in search of fresh produce for the shared evening meal. There is nothing more joyful to a cook than to find the ingredients of a meal on her doorstep - in her 'kitchen garden' - at the peak of freshness and unpolluted by chemicals, wrappings and preservatives, and all without the hassle of driving through traffic to the supermarket.
Produce from one season can easily be stored for another by bottling, pickling and freezing. Food travels only meters from garden to plate, with all the freshness and nutrition locked in. Nothing is lost at the end of the meal either; many of us have chickens, worm farms or compost heaps to return nourishment to the soil or to provide fresh eggs.
Increasingly, our Australian houses sport solar hot water heaters and solar panels for generating power locally. Rainwater tanks have collected rainwater from our roofs for over one hundred years for drinking and cooking, thanks to the clean air over Adelaide. Farmers markets are springing up again on the hills and plains, allowing Adelaidians to purchase fruit, vegetables, herbs and honey from local growers directly.
In recent years, seed companies have sprung up that have resurrected many of the old heritage non-hybrid open-pollinated seed varieties best suited or likely to adapt to local growing conditions. The seed-savers among us 'grow on' these seeds and swap them, along with cutting and other plant material, with fellow gardeners, thus preserving our seed heritage.
Many modern folk in Adelaide also live in small apartments or townhouses, surrounded by paving and concrete, eat out at our many restaurannts, and drive to the local gym to 'keep fit'. Not everyone can or wants to thrust their hands into rich dark crumbly soil or cook food slowly in the old ways...
Yes, kitchen gardeners and their cooks spend much more time at home in the kitchen or the garden. But they are blessed with the sun on their backs, the wind and rain in their hair, good food on their tables and warm friendships with other down-to-earth like-minded folk, sharing a sense of being close to  Mother Nature.
This blog records our journey and experiences.


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