Despina, Oak (11), and Tommy (7) Hatzi visited the Lismore Community Garden in Brewster Street on Saturday to pick up some gardening tips.
Despina, Oak (11), and Tommy (7) Hatzi visited the Lismore Community Garden in Brewster Street on Saturday to pick up some gardening tips. Cathy Adams

A nice cup of tea for the vegies

FOR Despina Hatzi of Lismore, her Greek heritage and love for all things green meant that she was always going to be growing things in her garden.

“Since moving here from Armidale I’ve planted an indigenous sub-tropical garden as well as our own vegie patch,” she said.

“Herbs do really well here, along with our tomatoes.”

With partner Damian Butler and boys Oak, 11, and Tommy, 7, Ms Hatzi visited the Community Open Day on Saturday, held by the Lismore Community Garden volunteers.

“We want to learn more about tropical gardening, so we came here today,” Ms Hatzi said.

“We also had a problem with root rot in the vegie patch. We don’t like to use chemicals so we want to learn about organic methods.”

With demonstrations and workshops on organic gardening – even one on how to make compost tea – along with displays on how to live more sustainably, both Mr Butler and Ms Hatzi were confident they would find the information they wanted.

“We get a lot of vegies from our garden, but we can’t grow everything,” Mr Butler said.

“But it’s a supplement along with what we buy at the market.”

How to make compost tea
  • Place weeds and plant cuttings, along with any type of manure from grass eating animals into an onion bag.
  • Add a spoonful of molasses to curb the smell.
  • Place the bag into a bucket or drum of water and place a lid over it.
  • Leave for three weeks, jiggling the bag every few days.
  • To use on the garden, dilute 1 part tea to 3 parts water and apply with a watering can around the plants, not on the leaves.
  • Use weeds and plant cuttings that break down easily.
  • Camphor laurel leaves not recommended.


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