Brisbane Local Food

Growing local

I know when i was working for council and the EPA, that after a week or two of lunch box meals, the imagination starts to wane and preparing the healthy lunch-in-a-box becomes difficult or at least boring.

It’s easy to pop in the packaged muesli bars and sweetened fruit sticks, but what about something that resembles brain food? Why not grow some of your own?

Our tiny garden can provide ingredients for a salad from the mesclun salad tub, a spinach tartlet and eggplant dip with vegie sticks. For work lunches, the Vietnamese rice paper rolls are a winner, with lettuce, hot mint, marinated tofu and spicy pickles from the last glut of produce. Encourage kids to grow a garden too. They love eating their own home-grown food.

Everything seems to be taking off inthe garden just now. The mild temperatures create ideal growing conditions and your salads and fruits grow so much quicker. Grow what you love to eat and choose plants that thrive in hot weather for the best results.

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Comment by Linda Brennan on June 29, 2010 at 16:25
Good on you Daniel. Try growing some unusual ones too a it really spurs you on to greater diversity when it comes to eating too. I have found that I also look on the internet for recipes for some of the unusual fruits and vegies we grow. Although mny of the recipes keep coming up again, it gives me ideas for things I can develop myself. I remember last year making the Yakon crumble and then devising other ecipes for Yakon from the ideas I saw.
I tend to prefer making up my own recipes as they have less sugar and fat than others. A collection of some of my own recipes are on my website if you'd like to go in and have a look. www.ecobotanica.com.au
I also have a Gourmet Gardener cooking and growing workshop coming up soon, You may be interested. It is detailed inhe workshops section of the website
Comment by Daniel on June 29, 2010 at 15:44
I have been overweight for 10+ years and the main reasons I want an edible garden are to eat healthy, high quality, tasty food as often as possible, and to get some more exercise (and time away from the computer). I work at a university where there's pizza, fried food and lots of coke machines, chocolate and lollies. One little slip up in your schedule or planning means that the bad food is easiest to get, and is not that expensive. I hate it! I don't really like junk food, and am an absolute food channel addict. I love French, Italian, Chinese and British food, and having a garden like this will mean I can cook the best recipes with awesome, healthy food without having to buy the aweful stuff that passes for vegetables at the supermarket. :-)
Comment by Linda Brennan on June 15, 2010 at 5:39
I know what yo mean Vanessa, the budget can be literally eaten away with bought meals. Good on you for making the bread. We don't have a quic and easy bread machine, but it sounds good. I'd have to be organised the night before.
Comment by Vanessa Collier on June 9, 2010 at 9:10
I completely agree Linda. I spent some time in Switzerland quite a few years ago and loved coming home from school to have lunch as a family. Hubby and I are good with taking lunches now as neither of us are close to cheap food and our budget doesn't cover take aways any more. We make our own bread now too so food is much tastier and fresher. Beats most take away food! I think establishing a routine and not even considering buying lunch as an option worked for us.
Comment by Donna on June 8, 2010 at 9:04
I only have 1/2 hr for lunch, this is so I can leave to go home earlier. As it is I leave the house at 6.10am and get home at 5.10pm - that includes dropping off and picking up the little ones. Unfortunately for my job I have to work in the city, but can't afford to live there!
Comment by Linda Brennan on June 8, 2010 at 6:54
Why is lunch such an issue? I have been thinking about this for a while. The french an Italians go home for lunch and prepare something themselves. All take a 2 hour break over the lunch period.. How civilised. In Aus we carry on regardless, grabbing something quick when we really could try to make some time to relax and enjoy our food. Perhaps a more leisurely lunch, greater access to home or to a kitchen where we could get in and share or prepare would encourage better eating habits?
Comment by Scarlett on June 7, 2010 at 21:23
I used to just pick things from the garden (broccoli sprouts, peas, tomatoes, spring onion etc) and add miso and boiling water from the urn, or add water and noodles and nuke it for a minute or so - that was good. I'm terrible now though - I just head to the food court!
Comment by Donna on June 7, 2010 at 18:26
Sounds great.. I had a bit of a break but have heaps of baby seedlings popping up everywhere! It will be a bit of a mystery as I didn't wait until I had time to label - in case that never happens - and just put different seeds everywhere... now I just have to wait until they are bigger to try and figure out what I have!

Takeaway is too easy an option, although luckily my office has just moved to where the *cheapest* lunch is $10+! So it will have to be home brought for me for awhile, should have at least baby lettuce/ mizuna in another week with heaps of herbs... and in two weeks hopefully cherry tomatoes too! Later on, the kohl rabi and fresh baby beetroot and carrot will make a nice addition :)

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