South Grampians council provides fresh food in public spaces.

23 September 2013 — Need some herbs, salad leaves or veggies? Southern Grampians Shire Council has planted out its roundabouts with great kitchen produce.

With the start of spring, staff have been picking a wide range of vegetables from council’s Market Place Office garden including silver beet, Tuscan kale, Russian kale, rocket, coriander, Italian parsley, Afro parsley and spinach.

And in the roundabouts around Hamilton, silver beet, Afro parsley and mustard for salads is still being picked, with all these vegetables being supplied to the Reverend Peter Cook from the Uniting Church to assist with a program he runs for disadvantaged families.

Soon an even greater range of vegetables will be available from the Market Place Office vegetable garden including leeks, red cabbage, broad beans and broccoli.

The public are also welcome to come and pick the vegetables with the roundabouts changing over in early October with new vegetables including California capsicums and chillies.

The Parks and Gardens Unit has also started some restoration work on the gardens in Corriedale Lane, Hamilton. Espaliered citrus have been planted including Lisbon lemon, tangelo Minneola and Tahitian lime.

And a selection of herbs, rosemary, thyme, oreganos, marjoram, garlic and chives will be planted shortly.

Southern Grampians Shire Council Mayor Bob Penny said the new plantings not only looked great but also “provide food that can be used by both charity groups and residents that aim to inspire people to make significant changes towards living a more sustainable and healthy lifestyle”.

Vegetable picking tips:

  • When picking silver beet, pick the outer leaves by hand in a ripping or tearing motion, do not cut all the silver beet leaves because you need to allow young leaves to mature and grow
  • The kales can be picked by hand again by breaking the outer leaves leaving young leaves to mature
  • You can cut parsley and coriander to approximately 1cm from the base of plant which allows for regrowth
  • Pick only the older leaves of spinach
  • Rocket is growing very quickly at the moment, stalks can be trimmed and then the leaves can be picked