DIGGING IN: Michel and Jude Fanton of the Seed Savers Network, in their garden at Byron Bay, where they are holding classes to pass on tips about growing your own tasty produce.
DIGGING IN: Michel and Jude Fanton of the Seed Savers Network, in their garden at Byron Bay, where they are holding classes to pass on tips about growing your own tasty produce. Digby Hildreth

Sowing seeds of backyard success

FOOD in its infinite variety – and specifically how to grow it – is the driving passion of Jude and Michel Fanton.

The couple, who run the Seed Savers Network from their property in Byron Bay, have a vast knowledge of how to get the best out of the soil, and how to make the most of plants once they are picked.

They can go into their garden and return with enough produce to create a feast – and they're inviting the public to join them in a series of mouth-watering workshops.

Those attending will learn about the crops, harvest and how to prepare those on the menu, and then sit down to a banquet of up to 10 dishes.

The first day looked at permaculture principles and garden design, and last Saturday the focus was on root crops and rhizomes.

The Fanton cuisine combines Pacific, Asian and French cooking, and last week included creamed soup made with oyster mushrooms growing on logs near their back door.

Also on the menu was pigeon pea hummus, three types of cooked roots and a more-ish tapioca pudding.

People took home planting material, including turmeric, choko, taro, yams, sweet potato and cassava.

This Saturday the group will look at seed propagation – the heart of the Seed Savers Network.

The following Saturday the subject is fruits; palm hearts will be on the menu, as well as ice-cream and jam.

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