After seeing what a great job the Moonah Primary School is doing creating a kitchen garden in the suburbs, it was lovely to see another example of this enterprising spirit in Cygnet, a lovely town in Tasmania’s south.
The sizeable land area for the garden is rented to the group for a nominal fee as it is an area that floods in wet winters.
Fruit trees are in abundance with apples, plums, apricots and quinces all established and providing fruit for the precious quince jelly jam. My mother used to make this but it is fiddly as it requires the cooked quinces to be put in muslin to drain the juice and I remember well the kitchen being taken over by a broom handle between two chairs and the muslin sling dripping quince juice into a large enamel dish. Until quite recently quinces went out of fashion but quince paste served with cheese has ensured a comeback.
The Cygnet group has managed to secure funding for a greenhouse and a couple of water tanks and the vegetable beds are well laid out with protection from no, not possums but native hens.
The excess fresh, seasonal and locally grown produce is sold to a local café in what is a great example of localisation. No petro-chemical fertilisers or food miles to worry about from this garden and the returns are put straight back into the garden.
It is so good to see people coming together to garden and at the same time strengthening the community. This move to growing your own food must be the fastest growing community movement in the country as everywhere I go I hear about yet another success story.