Putting Down Roots

Putting Down Roots is a gardening and food security program for vulnerable migrants.

Run in partnership with CERES and Cultivating Community, the Australian Red Cross provides opportunities for participants to develop their sustainable gardening knowledge.

Putting Down Roots increases the social and emotional well-being of participants and provides the means for participants to have additional access to fresh and nutritious food.

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Preserving tips

There’s nothing better than being able to open a jar of tomato relish or apricot jam in the middle of winter and have all the flavours of summer rush back to you. Preserving can be intimidating if you haven’t done it before, but as long as you remember to keep things clean and avoid trickier […]

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Totally tomatoes – part 3

KEEPING THEM And finally, if you have an overabundance of tomatoes, preserve them using this recipe handed down from my friend Ivan’s grandparents: Apple & tomato chutney Ingredients: 2 large (400g) apples, peeled and chopped 20 medium (2kg) ripe tomatoes, peeled and chopped 2 large (240g) onions, chopped 1.5 cups raw sugar 1.25 litres (5cups) […]

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Totally tomatoes – part 2

EATING THEM Nothing beats the combination of ripe home-grown tomatos and fresh basil. Try it as a salad, in a sandwich, or as a topping for pitta bread pizza, adding a soft cheese like fetta or bocconcini, and a sprinkle of salt and pepper. Make a Mexican style salsa using 2-3 medium tomatoes, ½ a […]

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Totally tomatoes – part 1

GROWING THEM The mix of hot and wet weather has sent my tomato plants into crazy growing spurts. Sadly, whether due to some nutritional deficiencies in the soil or the erratic weather, many of the tomatos are showing signs of blossom end rot. For more information regarding blossom end rot refer to  http://www.growgardentomatoes.com/blossom-end-rot.html I’m trying […]

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Milk crate planters: a creative alternative to terracotta

Milk crates are handy things. Apart from being great for the carrying of delicious milk, I’ve seen milk crates used as shelves, seats, bicycle baskets and even pots for plants. Nifty! I recommend getting your hands on as many as you can. I’ve created some of these milk crate pot plants and they seem to […]

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Protect your plants from aphids!

Garden tip Aphids are a common problem for gardeners. Planting nasturtiums, and scented herbs such as dill, coriander, fennel will attract ladybirds (also called ladybugs and ladybeetles) to your garden. Ladybirds will feast on the aphids, protecting your plants! By Nicole, CERES Gardener and Trainer

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Week 8: water conservation

Week 8 Today’s class saw hot and summery conditions for what would be the final training session for the Putting Down Roots program. On a day like today, it’s easy to forget that only a few weeks earlier the group was drenched in pouring rain on a chilly Melbourne day. Despite the inconsistent weather conditions, […]

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Participant profiles: Eliza

My name is Eliza and I am from a province in northern Thailand. In Thailand I lived in the country side. I used to grow plants and vegetables just for my own consumption. I grew many local varieties as well as other things that are grown in Australia; chillis, ginger, eggplant and lemon grass. Since […]

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Renting and growing food

There are so many opportunities to grow fruit and vegetables when you are renting yet I know many fellow renters who just don’t know where to start. First – unless you are on acreage, most of us will have limited space so you are going to have to prioritise what you can grow each season. […]

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Abbas’ okra and cauliflower stir-fry

I lived with an Aussie family when I first left the detention centre. With an old lady and her husband. I cooked okra and cauliflower for them and she loved it. She is a vegetarian and kept buying okra and cauliflower, she told me I should always cook! Ingredients One brown onion 1kg diced okra 1kg diced cauliflower […]

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