Jerry Cresswell's garden in Dyraaba St has plenty of vegies and he is using hydroponics to grow seedlings. PIC: SUSANNA FREYMARK
Jerry Cresswell's garden in Dyraaba St has plenty of vegies and he is using hydroponics to grow seedlings. PIC: SUSANNA FREYMARK

LOCKDOWN READY: Bountiful garden and seedling propagation

JERRY Cresswell doesn't let age (80 years) or injury (dodgy knees) stop him turning his backyard into a food factory.

In a quiet suburban street in Casino, Jerry grows lettuce, silver beet, pumpkins, spinach, eggplant, lots of varieties of chillies and more in his garden.

And he isn't growing it just for himself.

He used to grow greens for the Lend-A-Hand charity in Casino which helped supply affordable food to those in need.

Since the charity closed, Jerry invites people to come and pick from his garden.

He delivers boxes of vegetables too. All for free.

"I'm a giver," Jerry said. "I believe in helping people."

 

Jerry Cresswell's garden in Dyraaba St has plenty of vegie. PIC: SUSANNA FREYMARK
Jerry Cresswell's garden in Dyraaba St has plenty of vegie. PIC: SUSANNA FREYMARK

On the day we visit Jerry, he is hunched over a work table, burning small holes into the bottom of plastic cups to grow seedlings.

The cups are cheaper than buying pots he said.

He has used pipes to create a hydroponic system to grow seedlings in nutrient rich water as quickly as he can.

With nurseries fast running out of seedlings due to people buying up and growing their own during the coronavirus pandemic, Jerry is well ahead of the game.

His lettuces are flourishing and radishes grow within four weeks he said.

He knows how to get rid of garden pests too.

Using soft drinks bottles, he makes small holes into the plastic and uses an oil and apple cider vinegar mixture to attract and trap fruit flies.

He composts everything so nothing is wasted.

Jerry shares produce with his lucky neighbours.

 

Eggplant in Jerry Cresswell's garden. PIC: SUSANNA FREYMARK
Eggplant in Jerry Cresswell's garden. PIC: SUSANNA FREYMARK

"I get benefit from people coming here, I give them some items to take home and they leave with a smile," Jerry said.

He reckons he has enough produce to survive but the garden alone wouldn't feed him "unless I was a rabbit", he said.

He gave us cuttings from the rampant Ceylon spinach he grows, similar to ordinary spinach but with glossy leaves and a creamier taste.

If Australia goes into lockdown, people like Jerry are happy to share their years of gardening knowledge to help others grow their own food.



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