Green-thumbed gurus share secrets at Eco Fest

Published 5:00pm 6 October 2022

Green-thumbed gurus share secrets at Eco Fest
Words by Jodie Powell

ABC gardening presenter Costa Georgiadis will join local experts at the Moreton Bay Eco Fest this weekend.

Among the locals presenting are Sarah Heath from Burpengary’s Basilea Living Herbs, who will talk about growing bountiful salads to withstand the weather’s tantrums.

Jacki Hinchey from Ocean View’s Blue Dog Farm will share her secrets about locally grown produce and where to buy it, while Russell Young from Kallangur’s Russell Young Garden Designs will deliver a waterwise edible garden talk.

Sarah, who supplies potted salad greens and herbs for home gardeners as well as the hospitality industry, says the easiest way to weather our third consecutive La Nina bringing extra rain is with diverse planting in your veggie patch.

“We should have learnt some lessons from the previous two years,” she laughs.

“It’s about growing more than one thing – if you only grow things you like to eat, then that’s what the bugs will eat.

“Companion planting or sacrifice planting or planting just because it looks fantastic really helps.”

At Eco Fest she’ll be talking about salads that are made from more than lettuce leaves, as well as how home gardeners can make the most of their crops.

Sarah says it’s a delicious irony that “I’m growing in my backyard so other people can grow in their backyard”.

Loads to explore

Mayor Peter Flannery says the festival will be packed full of workshops and activities that promote environmental awareness and provide practical tips to live more sustainably, with leading sustainability experts, community organisations, foodies, green-thumbs and conservationists sharing practical tips.

“Some of the activities you can expect are worm farm demonstrations, tips on growing a veggie garden at home and an author talk and book signing with Gardening Australia’s Costa Georgiadis,” Mayor Flannery says.

“Budding environmentalists can enjoy kids’ face painting, craft activities, live shows and an environmental scavenger hunt where participants search for and collect hidden stamps to win a prize.

“Not only is the festival a great day out, it’s also an opportunity to bring more sustainable practices into the home - be that through setting up a backyard compost system or growing and eating your own vegetables.”

Fourteen days of green fun

Green-thumbed gurus share secrets at Eco Fest
Jacki Hinchey from Blue Dog Farm will talk about where to buy locally grown produce at Eco Fest.

Eco Fest marks the start of Moreton Bay’s two week-long Grow It Local Festival, which runs from October 8-23.

Mayor Flannery says the Grow It Local Festival is a collection of community events, workshops and activities aimed at encouraging local growers to connect and share their knowledge.

“If you’re an experienced grower, window-sill farmer or simply interested in getting involved, the Grow It Local Festival is for you,” he says.

“Cooking classes, native bee-keeping workshops and seed swapping are some of the activities you can expect.

“On Saturday 22nd and Sunday 23rd October we’ll be visited from River Cottage Australia’s Paul West where he’ll share tips on growing in small spaces, choosing veggies to grow and using seasonal produce in your cooking.

“Growers can also get free access to Council’s subscription of the national Grow It Local program, which connects more than 20,000 growers around Australia,” Mayor Flannery said.

Eco Fest is at Caboolture Town Square, 4 Hasking St, Caboolture on Saturday, October 8 from 10am-2pm.

See the program here.

The Grow It Local Festival is at Moreton Bay libraries, galleries and museums until October 23, delivering a series of sustainability workshops and activities encouraging locals and groups to grow and buy locally sourced produce.

Find out more here.

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