A Walk Down the Edible Garden Path.
On my recent fast-track tour of Brisbane City for the PepTalks event I stumbled across the beautiful Epicurious gardens in Southbank. Fortunately I was there on the right day and time to learn more about this wonderful edible urban ornamental garden from one of the fab volunteers who helps to make it happen. A shout out to John for sharing his time with me on a sunny Wednesday morning. Thank you! According to John the garden has been open for a couple of years now and aims to get urban dwellers thinking about where their produce comes from, and how they can adapt their living environment to include edible greenery.
Epicurious: someone who is in constant pursuit of great food, drink, and adventure.
Beauty and Purpose.
The garden challenges the ideal that you can’t grow your own produce and have an ornamental garden at the same time. By using a variety of pots, layers of garden beds, and non-edible borders for crops like kale and rocket (that can get a little messy looking) the team at Epicurious have created a garden that is equal parts delicious and beautiful! The garden is organic and is seasonally rotated so there is a good chance that you will get to experience something different as the seasons change. The lovely volunteers encourage you to try new things. I was introduced to a collection of different types of basil and asked to pick a leaf off them and have a smell and a taste. This connection would be wonderful if you worked all day in a city office and needed to get out and reconnect with nature on your lunch break. In fact anyone who had the opportunity to read the January 16 issue of National Geographic magazine might have seen the article ‘This is Your Brain on Nature’ that was based on studies showing correlations between being outdoors and it’s positive effects our mental health and wellbeing. According to this article being out in nature can improve your creativity by 50%, so places like Epicurious are essential ingredients to happy inner city living.
Take Away Herbs!
If you stop by from 7am-2pm on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, you can also collect free produce from the garden’s harvest cart. The cart operates on first-in, best-dressed basis, so they suggest you get in early to avoid disappointment. While I wasn’t able to take any delicious looking herbs home (they won’t be looking so fresh after a long ride home on public transport), in the time I spent at Epicurious chatting to John and looking at all the beautiful garden beds, three different people stopped off on their morning run, walk, and dog walk to pick themselves up the single serve sized portions of free goodies on offer.
Are you Epicurious?
If you have an interest in the way that your food and drink arrives at your table then you might just be a little epicurious. While we are all at different stages in life and different points and interest levels in our journey to be more sustainable, ethical or environmentally minded, there are times when we might need a little extra ‘boost’ of knowledge. Fortunately the folks at Sustainable Table have a wonderful initiative running for April that will deliver e-recipe books and food waste reduction tips right to your inbox. There is a small fee involved in the sign up but the best bit is that it goes towards helping the team at Sustainable Table put together their Sustainability Education workshops. Sustainability education is so critical to the planet right now. I loved the following quote that 1 Million Women posted on their Instagram page yesterday from the wonderful David Suzuki:
“We’re in a giant car heading towards a brick wall and everyones arguing over where they’re going to sit”
While it’s not the most positive quote about the state of the World in regards to environment, climate change, food security and poverty it’s a very appropriate one! It’s a good one to remind you that action needs to be taken now (or yesterday if we get realistic about it)! By taking the time out of your day to get interested in the way your food is produced you are playing a small part in helping us avoid the collision. And by supporting campaigns like the Sustainable Table Give A Fork challenge you are providing Sustainability Educators with funds to keep researching, and providing information that will aid us towards a less ‘doom and gloom’ tomorrow. We can’t avoid a catastrophic collision if we don’t know how to steer our way around it! We need to learn these kinds of skills and it’s best to learn them from people who have done the hard yards on how best to teach them.