Costa helps Wedderburn bloom

WEDDERBURN residents young and old caught the gardening bug on Sunday when Costa Georgiadis came to town.

The enthusiastic star of ABC-TV’s popular Gardening Australia show opened the Wedderburn Community Garden and Propagation Nursery, called Poo to Plate.

Attendee Diane Henderson said more than 100 people came from Wedderburn and surrounding towns including Quambatook and Pyramid Hill to see Costa and learn to make a no-dig garden.

“Costa was wonderful,” she said.

“He answered people’s questions and was very laid-back and very spontaneous.”

Costa spoke on sustainability, demonstrated how to make a no-dig garden to suit Wedderburn climate and soil, and held a Q & A.

Wedderburn Community House built the garden and nursery with the help of funding from the Foundation for Rural and Regional Renewal, Loddon Shire Council and Acciona, plus volunteer labour by local resident Robbie Collins, who supervised a work-for-the-dole team of five young men.

Costa officially opened the new garden and Agriculture Minister Peter Walsh announced a $7500 Victorian Government grant for a feasibility study to establish an accredited farmer’s market in Wedderburn.

Loddon Shire mayor Gavin Holt also attended.

Wedderburn Community House coordinator Jude Raftis said the day was “very successful” and the new community garden was in tune with Costa’s views on sustainability and recycling.

“Costa believes that nothing that leaves the kitchen should be wasted, it can all be recycled,” she said.

“He made the interesting comment that if the government spent the amount of money it spends on health funding, on community gardens, we’d all be a lot healthier.

“He said our health is there in the ground, in the vegetables you grow and eat.”

Vegetables grown in the garden will be used to make relishes and sauces. Any excess would be used to make the low-cost community lunches the Community House holds each Wednesday, Ms Raftis said.

Our health is there in the ground, in the vegetables you grow and eat.

Volunteers will use tomatoes from the garden to make a special sauce based on the recipe of the late Nancy Canfield of Wedderburn, whose sauces were renowned.

“She had people flocking to her door for her sauces,” Ms Raftis said. 

The propagating nursery comprises cuttings from plants that are known to grow in Wedderburn, Ms Raftis said, including geraniums, yuccas, succulents and even banana trees.

“It’s just plants we know will grow in our area,” she said.

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