Anyone who loves Mavis’s Kitchen, Is likely familiar with the Mavis’s Kitchen Organic Garden.

A wander through the organic kitchen garden during your time here at Mavis’s Kitchen and Cabins generally leaves guests feeling a little inspired… perhaps even to incorporate more organic gardening into their own day to day.

We are lucky here to have such expansive and fertile grounds + the wonderfully gifted Jackie Hopkinson our onsite horticulturalist… but organic gardening isn’t just afforded to those with large green properties… I’ve stolen 5 minutes of Jackie’s time to ask for her advice on creating a yielding organic kitchen garden on my small beach side balcony at home.

I am delighted to share her tips here:

First we had to establish what I would grow in my garden, as I personally have the space constraints that come with coastal apartment living, we have decided on leafy edible greens, chilies, and herbs, as these are all fast producers, don’t require a lot of space plus will save me a packet in the market or supermarket.

Jackie believes that just as with creating a beautiful meal, It is all in the quality of your Ingredients. 

  • Begin with (in my case) raised pots and fill them with a good quality soil – Jackie Says “when you start with certified organic soil you are already ahead”. to tell a good quality soil in the garden centre or bunnings be prepared to spend a bit more, look for certified organic labeling and if uncertain – ask the staff for advise.
  • Jackie also swears by ‘Water Crystals’ particularly in the recent hot weather, but also for the smaller potted gardens that will loose moisture quickly. *for my novice gardening benefit, Jackie explains these to be like little water reservoirs, that release water once the soil has become dry. and then absorbs again with the next watering. 
  • She also recommends sugar cane mulch for keeping the moisture in.
  • Jackie’s next big tip is for sourcing quality organic seeds and seedlings, her favourite resource in our immediate region is the Tweed shire library where a membership will gain you access to the free ‘bio dynamic’ seed bank, for amazing Naturalised organic heirloom seeds, which will ultimately give my the produce I want at the end a powerful chance at being a top quality nutritious organic bounty.

for those who live outside of the tweed area – Jackie’s advise is is to contact your local council to find out where the nearest seed bank is – Seed banks are a free service and such a lovely way to protect the heritage of our food too.

*For anyone as Impatient as myself, there is always the seedling option, locally, Jackie recommends ‘farmers choice organics’ for these.

From here for now we are on our own… planting our organic seeds and seedlings – in high quality Organic soil, regular watering and keeping that moisture in with water crystals and sugar can mulch… we should have fresh leaf and herb ready to eat soon.

Thanks for the tips Jackie, I’ll let you know how I go.