Electrolux Ambassadors, James Viles of Biota Dining (NSW) and Scott Bridger of Bib & Tucker (WA), are known for their shared passion for gathering native ingredients, sourcing sustainable and local produce and for growing their own food.
These expert gardeners both design their restaurant menus around what they’re growing in their gardens each season. James has an enviable garden within the Biota Dining grounds, while Scott has a garden at home as well as a dedicated patch for his restaurants.
James says: “Growing your own produce gives you respect for what you’re cooking which is a very important part of being a cook. To watch something grow and be able to consume it makes it taste even better.”
Scott says: “A lot of people are getting back to the old roots of gardening. When you walk into your own garden to see things growing and can plan your meals – it’s very rewarding.”
Here, James and Scott share five tips on how to start your own kitchen garden:
1. Start composting. Save all of your scraps and get a compost system going before you start planting. Remember, you’re not just growing plants, you’re growing soil which you need to feed with compost. What your garden will give back to you will depend on the effort you put into your soil.
2. Everything needs sunlight so find a sunny spot for your garden. On average, most warm-season vegetables will need at least 6 – 8 hours of direct sun.
3. If you don’t have the space for a raised garden bed, consider using a deep Styrofoam box with holes in the bottom for drainage.
4. Don’t rush, a garden isn’t an overnight project! You’ll need to experiment to find out what vegetables grow best for you at home. Not everything you plant is going to flourish so it’s about learning as you go.
5. Most of all, enjoy your garden and let it guide your cooking! Cooking from your own garden is very rewarding.
What they're planting right now:
• Sunflower seeds