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Sharing a passion for edible gardens

Sharing a passion for edible gardens

Meet Elissa Simmons DNH’s Gardening and Horticulture teacher.

Elissa is a Horticulturalist with 25 years of experience. Prior to joining the DNH team in 2018 she was a Kitchen Garden specialist working with primary students. Elissa also delivered land care projects around the Hume area and along the Moonee Ponds Creek.

Since joining DNH she’s been able to share her passion for gardening with others. “I love edible gardens and really enjoy growing unusual food plants in my home garden”, she says. Elissa takes inspiration from gardening writers like Jackie French and Craig Castree. Her family’s backyard in Glenroy is stuffed with edible plants and is home to quail, chooks, bees, budgies, worms plus a resident brush tail possum.

Elissa loves teaching adults as they come with their own life experiences, and knowledge. “We share gardening ideas and recipes for fresh produce and enjoy a good laugh.”

DNH’s Gardening students are a generous and kind bunch of people who always welcome new students.

Elissa’s tells a story about how one of her students got chatting to a stranger in the Bunnings garden section. He invited her to come along to a gardening class at Meadows Primary. She did, loved it and hasn’t left.

So Elissa, what’s the secret to being a green thumb? “Good soil and patience. Forget aiming for a perfect magazine-style garden, just relax. Gardens can provide many things such as food, wildlife encounters, shade, flowers, and scent. Gardening should be therapeutic rather than a chore. Have fun!”

She went onto add “I’m not a conventional gardener. Imperfect loved gardens with lots of different plants are much more interesting than a neat garden which only uses three types of well-behaved plants. And the great thing about food gardening is that there’s always something to look forward to.”

Elissa holds a Bachelor of Applied Science in Horticulture and currently runs two classes at DNH:

Wednesday mornings at Broadmeadows Valley Primary.

Thursday mornings at Meadows Primary School.

If you’re interested in learning more about edible gardens or a job in Horticulture, call us on 9302 2131 to book into one of Elissa’s classes.

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