webnexttech | Gardens of WA: One thing everyone is getting wrong with their veggie garden
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The West Australian Perth Now Click to open navigation ‌‌ News Chevron Down Icon Breaking News Western Australia National World Technology Opinion Weather Sport Chevron Down Icon AFL Cricket Soccer Basketball Tennis NRL Rugby Motor Racing MMA Golf Netball Cycling Entertainment Chevron Down Icon Confidential Movies Best Short Film Television Music Reviews Books Competitions Business Chevron Down Icon Breaking News Economy Markets Property Commercial Property Workplace Matters Lifestyle Chevron Down Icon Food Personal Finance Health Parenting Fashion Travel Home & Garden Relationships Stars Real Estate HUH? Local News Chevron Down Icon North Central South Mandurah Competitions Find My Paper Digital Editions Shop Now Read your local paperNews to your inbox Food Personal Finance Health Parenting Fashion Travel Home & Garden Relationships Stars Real Estate HUH? Camera IconAmelia Bell, an apprentice chef at Madalena’s. Credit: Riley Churchman Gardens of WA: One thing everyone is getting wrong with their veggie garden Casey ListerThe West Australian June 16, 2024 2:00AM Comments TopicsGarden You know what I think? I think we have vegetable gardening all backwards. We assume the point of growing our own food is to achieve lofty goals of self-sufficiency, growing all the traditional veggies — tomatoes, broccoli, eggplants and cauliflowers. In short, we pick the fussiest veggies that take the most effort to grow and which are stocked in every supermarket anyway. And when our broccoli isn’t as good as the one in the fresh-food section, we think we’ve failed. What about the produce that is never even stocked at the supermarkets? What about the broad beans, the snake beans, the Thai basil, the chervil, the fennel fronds and pea shoots? TheNightly Get in front of tomorrow’s news for FREE Journalism for the curious Australian across politics, business, culture and opinion.READ NOW These are incredible herbs and unusual veggies that are easy to grow, packed with flavour and which you will only get to enjoy truly fresh if you grow them yourself. That is where the real joy lies, and it is the genius behind the kitchen garden at Madalena’s — a bar and restaurant in South Fremantle created by Dani Flauzino and brothers Joel and Adam Rees. “For the most part we grow the soft herbs and garnishes — things that wouldn’t last well or that we just can’t buy at the shops,” Amelia Bell, an apprentice chef at Madalena’s, says. She’s dedicated herself to caring for the sunny kitchen garden at the back of the restaurant. Standing between the long, rectangular in-ground beds that make up the garden, Amelia points out the array of fresh greens, herbs and unusual veggies she’s been growing. There are cape gooseberry bushes besides flowering amaranth, Lebanese cress, bronze fennel, sorrel, wild rocket, horseradish, Thai basil and rose-scented geraniums.Camera IconApprentice Chef Amelia Bell who tends to the Madalena’s Bar garden. Credit: Riley Churchman/The West Australian Around the perimeter of the garden, citrus trees, bay trees and an old fig cast dappled shade. Baby broad beans are slowly growing skywards for spring. “We grow the things where quality is directly tied to how long ago it was picked or where you get to use other parts of the plant,” Amelia says. “We’ll use every part of the broad bean — the leaves, flowers. We get really bad onion weed and chickweed and stinging nettle, which we’ve incorporated into our dishes as well. Our winter toothfish dish last year was stinging nettle and garden greens. One of the most common questions we get is ‘what’s is the herb on the fish dish?, and it’s always the Lebanese cress. Always.” The ever-changing menu at Madalena’s has a strong focus on sustainably caught seafood, with herb-filled garnishes and salads.Camera IconPictured is the garden of Madalena’s Bar. Credit: Riley Churchman/The West Australian The dishes are strongly seasonal, guided — and inspired — by the garden. “Pretty much anything that you can find out here we have in our salads at some point in the year,” Amelia says. This is a garden (and restaurant) that knows what it’s about — a place where food that is fresh, flavoursome and a little unexpected reigns supreme. “It’s that connection between growing the food, bringing it into the kitchen and keeping it hyper seasonal. “If you like fennel, you’ll like it here.”Camera IconPictured is the garden of Madalena’s Bar. Credit: Riley Churchman/The West Australian Share to Facebook Share to Twitter Email Us Copy the Link Register and have your say. Register to comment Already have an account? 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