Members of the Dungog Growers Stall are on a mission.
They want to show that every garden, no matter how small and every gardener, no matter how inexperienced or expert, can have a bountiful vegetable garden in just one square metre of garden.
For more than eight years Dungog area growers have been selling surplus produce to willing buyers every Saturday morning.
Funds raised go back to growers and contribute to community initiatives such as the One Square Metre worshops.
Sixteen enthusiastic local gardeners have attended two workshops run by the Growers Stall on growing vegetables for salads and soups in mini garden plots.
You can see one of these plots at Country Elegance Nursery and another at the front of 42 Dowling Street, Dungog.
The next workshop on May 16 will focus on how to establish a one square metre Winter stir fry plot with vegetables including cauliflower, cabbages, broad beans, tatsoi. Bok choy, mizuna and peas.
Workshops co-ordinator Loo Boothroyd believes the workshops are about much more than just learning how to grow vegetables.
"Establishing and tending your plot helps you to understand the growing process , the time it takes for different plants to mature and to see first hand how plants respond to the right soil and growing conditions," she said.
"Its about care and attention, with the rewards of eating your own food and being in touch with nature."
Workshop participants will be guided by highly experienced horticulturist Carmel Tippett.
"It is a great opportunity to get the best local knowledge, growing and soil preparation tips from an expert," said Ms Boothroyd.
The focus on just one square metre of growing space is designed to show just how productive a properly established and maintained small vegetable garden can be.
"Your first naturally grown and pesticide free vegetables can be part of your cooking regime within a few weeks," said Ms Tippett.
"There is nothing more satisfying than picking and eating your own home grown produce and sharing it with friends and family."
For many people, self-sufficiency and sustainability can be abstract concepts but in recent times COVID 19 has given these concepts a more immediate reality.
In a world where things can be turned upside down very quickly the idea of food security, even at the local and family level has a new resonance. The Dungog Growers stall has been way ahead of the curve.
A limited number of places are available for the Stir Fry Workshop on May 16from 10.30am to 12.30 pm at the Uniting Church garden, 246 Dowling St, Dungog.
The workshop is free, the only criteria are: you live in the Dungog area and are committed to growing vegetables.
To enrol contact Loo Bothroyd at: firstname.lastname@example.org or text 0407 457 649.
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