Grow Your Own

Reporter: Graeme Butler

Clive says "it's very empowering to get back into the garder and grow your fruit and vegies to make sure they're fresh and healthy"

Alain says "everyone should really attempt to plant tomatoes a bit of basil, capsicums just for the pleasure of it"

If you've got a front or back lawn - you've got space for a veggie garden that could produce all the fruit and veggies you need for a year. Clive blazey says "we reackon you can be self sufficient in vegetables with just 10 square metres that's two paces by five which is about eh size of a car garage"

Clive Blazey heads up the diggers club... he's a mad keen gardener and would like nothing more than for people to dig up their lawns and dig in some veggies. "The main reason for growing your fruit and veg is that you get really healthy fresh vegetables instead of something that's un-ripened and been shipped long distance freash adn healthy food"

"We pulled up all our lawn in the front area a couple of trees and garden adn replaced it with simple beds of vegetables"

Terri Dale turned her underutilised front yard into a productive veggie patch - for Terri it was initially about sustainable living for the family but it came with financial benefits too. "Obviously it does save you money an dparticularly if you want to go organic, i mean organic produce is more expensive again than other seasonal produce and sometimes you'll get a glut of cucumbers although cucumbers are quite cheap but hten you look at they're fresh they're organic they're in your front yard"

It's been a big learning curve for Terri and her family who were novice gardeners to start with - but their efforts have already paid dividends, "sort of become a bit of a family interest i fyou like and it's interesting fcrom the moment you get your first flowers and it starts growing and then hte picking and the eating and then what to do" From a front yard to the front of a french restaurant.. home grown veggies are on the comeback.

"We had a very big lawn you know out the front and we thought we should grow vegetables" Alain Fabregue's Loose Box restaurant is famous for it's cuisine but here's a little secret... most of the fruit, vegetables and herbs are grown in the restaurants' garden. "We are self sufficient in herbs, just about self sufficient in citrus , lemon oranges when they come in we are self sufficient in apricot self sufficient in capsicum sorrel horse radish thyme french taragon"

Alain says there's a definate taste difference with home grown veggies and the restaurant's menu reflects the seasonal produce of the garden. "Summer is more tomato, Zuccini, egg plant, capsicum, basil, chilli, garlic all those things of course fruit we do a lot of fuit now iut's figs winer is citrus spring is mulberry and around christmas is all the apricot and peaches we did 220 kilos of apricot this year"

While you mightn't need to feed a restaurant full of people - you could feed the crew at home.. for a lot less than you might think. Clive Blazey crunched the numbers and reackons compared with what you'd spend in the supermarket you can save a fortune, "it's probably about $2000 a year that gets spent on fruit and vegetables well we can do that for about $300 or $6 a week so it's an incredible saving"

If you want to give it a go - nows the time to plant winter veggies like broccoli.. peas.. beans even tomatos - and if you dont' have much space - try using pots - it's easier than you think.

Terri says "even if you think you're not that into gardening i mean the fact that you're getting a return from your investment and you do't have to wait long to see you don't have to wait long to see you investment give something in return"

For further information about Clive Blazey's findings on how much you can save by growing your own fruit and vege, contact the Diggers Club:

03 5984 7321

www.diggers.com.au