TELL US MORE ABOUT THE BACKGROUND OF YOUR GARDEN
When I’m in this backyard I feel like I could be anywhere, I feel like I’m coming home to my little oasis. We bought the property around 17 years ago and the backyard was solid bamboo, it took three different types of machinery to eventually remove it all.
I love our pizza oven made with gorgeous tiny bricks handmade in Turkey and built by my husband. Through the summer we will use it for multiple meals, we make the dough and people make their own pizzas with different toppings from the garden, then after we slow roast a meal and usually in the morning it’s still hot enough to bake bread. We’ve learnt that understanding the heat levels throughout the stages means we can really maximise the energy produced from the oven.
WHERE DID THE CONCEPT OF WASTE-FREE COOKING COME FROM?
I was brought up by my Gran and that’s just how she lived her life, I remember when plastic bags came into existence I was only very young, so when my Grandmother came home with her first plastic shopping bags she would wash them then hang on the line. They were so unusual and so precious she could see so many uses for them, that wouldn’t have been unusual for people when plastic bags first come into existence.
Every afternoon when I came home from school she was actually baking her own bread, and I remember it wasn’t until I was 9 that a realised you could buy bread from the supermarket. I just assumed everyone baked their own bread. So consciously cooking comes naturally to me because of my upbringing, obviously like everyone else I could be doing better like one day I would love to make my own cheddar cheese for my boys.
WHAT INITIATIVES HAVE YOU RECENTLY BEEN INVOLVED IN?
I’ve been working with our local school on different sustainable projects. We’re building a sustainable patch up at the local primary school where we are digging up the drains and putting in special drains to catch water, we’re also putting in a pizza oven and veggie patches.
We’re also talking to the kids about the environmental impacts of rainwater tanks and temperatures then using that in Maths. We are teaching them how to measure temperature and create different graphs which is essentially educating kids about sustainability and connecting it back to the syllabus. I’ve had a number of other schools in our area also interested in these initiatives.
Our school has a slushy machine and when I volunteer in the school canteen I get a free lunch for my kids, so I say to them they can have a slushy only if we take in our own cup, our metal straw and our metal spoon. When they’re in the playground the other kids are asking where they got these from, I tell my kids I don’t want them using the throw away cup from the canteen or the throw away straw I’ve just being doing that for a few weeks now. Funnily enough last night we received a bulletin from the school as part of Package Free Day that if you bring your own reusable cup and your own straw you’ll get a free piece of frozen fruit. I feel like it’s really key to be an example in your community without being too preachy about your beliefs and others will catch on.