Kitchen Garden: More than just a little bit of veg | The Canberra Times

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Robin Hall was introduced via a photo (sent to us by his friend) of Robin’s head next to a two kilo head of broccoli head. A modest man, Robin said he grows “a little bit of veg” so a visit to the garden in Gilmore was a big treat. Born in Sydney, Robin has been in Canberra for 20 years. He and his wife, Joanne Hall, have lived in Gilmore for eight years on a site chosen for its sunny, north-facing flat block. One side of the no-dig veggie patch is ground level and the other area is 400mm above ground. The first thing Robin did was to plunge his hand into the black soil and wriggled his fingers until he was down to mid-forearm level. He purchases cow manure, one cubic metre at a time and composts everything, with a wood chipper used at home for prunings and everything that is cut back. He has a compost heap plus manure from the chicken coop. There are four handsome brown chooks, purchased from Bellchambers. The Halls have lost more than a dozen chooks to foxes but have now solved the problem, closing a tiny gap in the roost. Rows in the vegetable garden include chest-high broad beans and snow peas, cabbages, pumpkins, beetroot, carrots, lush coriander, radishes, onions, garlic, lettuces and kale. Robin said had many heads of broccoli this year that were more than a kilogram in weight. These are lightly steamed in one centimetre of water or eaten with a white sauce and cauliflower or added to a dry stir fry pasta vege mix. Robin unwrapped growing leaves from the last cauliflower then pulled it from the ground, captured by our Canberra Times photographer. In the sunroom trays of seedlings are growing from seed indoors before planting out, to spare them from voracious slaters. Small pots of beans, cucumbers and tomatoes among them. Robin’s latest online order was for bags of certified potatoes which are waiting to sprout before planting. They include Purple Congo, Nadine, White Star, Pink Eye and Pontiac. Both Joanne and Robin love cooking. Their recipes are from everywhere but Joanne’s Italian background does have an influence. She was born Giovanna but was encouraged at school to change to an Australian version so children could relate. Joanne said each evening they pick the ingredients for that night’s dinner. A favourite is raw grated carrot with grated beetroot, garden greens particularly French sorrel, rocket, coriander, parsley and very finely sliced kale with La Barre extra virgin olive oil and vinegar with a “mother”, fermented sediment in the bottle (sold at delis and some supermarkets). Joanne also uses apple cider vinegar with “mother”. Another simple dish is boiled home laid eggs with raw cashew pieces lightly cooked and currants to which you can add a piece of beef or chicken. She makes plum jam from their homegrown fruit, and green tomato chutney, and makes three-layered sponge cake with passionfruit icing. There

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Remodel the Kitchen and Emphasize Functionally With a Bit of Luxury

While kitchen facilities may be nightmarish economically, it cannot be denied that it is the focal point of the home. This common ground deserves all the attention and the expense. A wise investment, besides the style factor that is so important these days, the utilities play a significant role. Property values ​​are going to increase significantly, if the occasion arises to sell and relocate, maybe to greener pastures.

Begin planning!
It is important to be clear about what is expected from the new kitchen. Perhaps the layout of the old kitchen was limited. Smart space utility would turn it around. Structural alterations may be needed. If needed, a window and door may need to be bricked up if they are getting in the way. Plan the locations of the cooking range, worktop and the floor storage units, the sink and the overhead shelves. Size matters for sure and the older homes traditionally have smaller kitchen spaces, maybe 4 m X 3 m. It would be a test of imagination to figure out what goes where.

Sketch a detailed floor plan to scale to visualize what the arrangements would look like. What design would be feasible? Ventilation is crucial and lighting too. By bricking up the windows and door, I now got two complete walls. French doors would lead to the back garden.

Budget reasons made us decide that the plumbing expense may be reduced by keeping the worktop and sink in the same position. The fridge would remain where it was and the possibility was of more cupboards and working space with the two walls. A breakfast bar would also serve as a working table. The sketch being ready, the work could commence.

Installing the cupboards
You can imagine the mess while the builders were at work. Along with the plumber, the electrician and plasterer did their work. I was busy planning the cupboard positions. I know carpentry and would save some expense with the IKEA kitchen units. DIY experience does help.

At the end of the sink would be the breakfast bar in an L shape with two stools. Extra space came from the washing machine that was now in the bathroom.

Cupboards went next to the cooking range on the wall and floor, under the sink and above the sink. Frying pans, sauce pans and oven dishes need to be conveniently near the cooking area.

A feel of the outdoors
Along with the French doors leading to the back garden, an awning would create greater space dimensions and fuse the inner and outer ambiances.

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