Meet Melissa from Australia
“I’m 27 years old and I am totally obsessed with all things plant, wildlife and permaculture related. I was first inspired to grow food when my partner made me a small strawberry patch. I was going through some very difficult times and looking after these strawberries and then being able to pick them and eat them was very therapeutic and healing. From there, I started to try growing everything myself. I love picking my own fruit and vegetables knowing exactly what history they’ve had as opposed to taking it off the supermarket shelf and having no clue what it’s been sprayed with and how long ago it was picked. Plus there is nothing more rewarding watching your fruit and vegetables slowly grow before your eyes and picking it right when it’s ready.
I live on the Gold Coast in Australia and have 10 acres in the subtropics with my partner Cam. We love to grow all things rare and unusual and we will be collecting seeds and plants for the rest of our lives. We grow everything organically, there is no waste, everything goes into the compost which feeds our garden. Pests are dealt with organically and sometimes we buy in good bugs to defeat the bad guys! We try to save most of our seeds but are always on the hunt for other varieties. The biggest reward I get from gardening is definitely the therapeutic factor. I love having a really hard, tough, muddy day in the garden and stepping back and looking at what you’ve achieved and knowing what fruit and vegetables are going to follow shortly. Plus the taste of the fruit and vegetables goes alright too.
We are always attending plant/garden expos on the hunt for new practices and plants and used to be very involved in our local botanical gardens. From this we have learnt how valuable gardening is to our lives and if I could give anyone advice it would be to just plant something – anything! Doesn’t matter what it is, you will fall in love with watching new leaves unfurl, watching it flower and then seed. And don’t ever give up! Gardening truly is a learning process, trial and error but never be disappointed with the results. Research, educate and encourage others and always be kind.”