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Starting your Veggie Patch from Scratch - Workshop Review

Saturday 31 December 2011

It was a perfect morning to launch the start of the Hedland Gardens Clubs busy events calendar for the year. The sun was shining and over 35 happy cheerful folks were eager to learn the secrets of growing Vegetables in the Pilbara. Hosted in the garden of a local veg garden enthusiast, Dannielle Aggiss, attendees were taken through the steps for setting up their patch. With plenty of hands-on demonstrations, a bevy of useful information and a walk through the host’s vegetable gardens, the general consensus was that the crowd felt ready to head home and give it a go themselves.

The workshop was planned to coincide with the start of the cooler weather and the focus was “working with what you have”. The main feature of the morning was the release of the gardens clubs first ever “guide to growing veg in the Pilbara”. The planting guide has been a work in progress for some time and it was a real pleasure to be able to hand out the finished product on the day. The workshop host ran the group through the guide and gave the background information on why the club felt the guide was an essential tool for the Pilbara veggie grower.

Feedback about the snazzy new guide was positive, it has an easy to read format and looks bright and funky on the fridge. The information had been gathered over the last few years by local growers who felt that Port Hedland had its own special seasons. Generally branded as Sub-Tropical to Tropical in most growing guides, locals felt they often had many garden failures due to following planting guides that suited areas such as Darwin who had completely different weather conditions. Through pooling their information and results of planting experiments the guide was drafted up over the last year. The club hopes that the guide will encourage people to try growing different things and have a better understanding of all the fabulous things that can be grown in our climate, some easily and some with a little tender loving care. Your very own copy of the guide can be accessed by following the prompt at the bottom of this page.

The walk-through was the highlight of the morning; the group were shown a flourishing veg patch, an abundant herb and chilli garden then taken around to the fruit trees and pineapple plants all of which had flourished over summer. The group agreed that seeing all of this veg growing action taking place in a Hedland garden was all the inspiration they needed to know that it is possible in their own backyards. Anyone who was interested was on the receiving end of piles of freshly picked chillies, lemon grass and basil to take home for their cooking. To cap of a great gathering the garden club girls served up a pretty sumptuous morning tea that was demolished on the spot. Homemade cakes and sausage rolls were all given the thumbs up and the attendees went home happy smiley gardeners.

Many thanks go out to our generous host Dannielle, whose years of experience with Pilbara veggie growing made the workshop both informative and entertaining. If you weren’t able to attend the workshop you can still learn about this great topic by reading through Dannielle’s notes which are linked at the bottom of the page.