Cookie Decorator of Gingerbread Corner (www.gingerbreadcorner.com.au) | Felt creator of Born To Be Felt (borntobefelt.com)| Yoga Teacher | Blogger | A firm believer in choosing your own life
Be empowered to grow your own vegetables; live off the land
The Grow & Cook Workshop for Winter Soups ran by Healthy Energy – Holistic Nutrition & Lifestyle Centre located at 490 Springvale Rd, Glen Waverley certainly exceeded my expectations. As the workshop was for 2-hours, I thought we would walk in and learn a little about how to grow some simple tips about how to start a home-based herb garden and maybe some pot plants like cherry tomatoes and some beans, when in reality I think I'm almost ready to become a farmer and live off the land.
The first part of the workshop was lead by Seila Hierk, a passionate agriculturist, who made planting things from carrots, onions, pumpkins to turmeric all very feasible to do in our own backyard, along with plenty of helpful tips about how to tend to each type of vegetables; which seasons were the best for planting as well as harvesting; and how to manage the garden pests and diseases.
Here are some of the vegetables you can learn to grow yourself
Did you know to avoid your vegetables getting diseases, you need to rotate the types of plants you planted in the soil each season? Here I thought sticking to what you know was the best move, when in fact variety is the spice of life! Seila suggests you rotate the vegetables starting with leafy greens, fruits, root plants and then beans (the L, F, R, B methodology) which will prevent pests in your garden and your vegetables from getting diseased.
Seila giving us tips on how to space out the seedlings for optimal growth
Not only did we walk out of his talk with some very detailed handouts about all the vegetables we could grown in our own gardens, but we some take home goodies which included seeds to grow our own butternut pumpkin and sweet corn, as well as seedlings for kale, beetroot and cabbage which can all be grown in pots (great for anyone who only has a small backyard like myself).
Like I said before, I am ready to live off the land and be self sufficient.
My take home seeds and seedlings to start my own veggie patch
In the next hour we moved off into the kitchen to meet Sarah, founder of Healthy Energy, dietician and cook, to learn how to make three different types of winter soups to keep us healthy, warm and energised this winter. It wasn't your typical cooking classes where it was just about the steps. Rather I learnt a lot about how certain super foods like turmeric can reduce the risk of Alzheimers and how having protein rich foods in the dish (whether meat based or plant based) helps you stay fuller for longer throughout the day.
During the hour, Sarah made an 'Immune Boosting Soup' consisting of a lot of orange and yellow based vegetables which warm up the human body in winter naturally, as well as pumping the body full of antioxidants. Next we watched her cook the 'Potato, Leek and Cauliflower soup' which used cashew nuts to thicken the soup instead of heavy cream, and finally a 'Celery, Carrot, Zucchini, Onion and Mixed Bean Miso soup'. Not only were the soups easy to make and finished within the hour, we got to sample not 1, not 2 but all 3 soups with some fresh sourdough bread; this was the cherry on top for me.
Ingredients for the Potato, Leek and Cauliflower Soup
The workshop was certainly a lovely experience, run in a very warm and inviting space and you will be greeted by Oscar the dog aka The Pet Therapist, who is certainly comfortable around the new visitors and welcomes a pat or cuddle as he wonders in and out of the room as he pleases.
Both facilitators were generous with their information and certainly full of passion and knowledge about eating the right food to live a healthy and well balanced life.
The next Workshop will run on August the 15th from 1.30pm and for only $28 you will learn how to grow your own vegetables using your left over food scraps, as well as learn some more dishes from Sarah in the second part of the workshop that will surely entertain the taste buds that afternoon.