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Happy New Life Garden — recipes

Recipes from Lennox St Community Garden, Richmond, Victoria 2008

The creation of this 28-page book was a bit like the ‘Happy New Life Garden’ itself; a little bit haphazard, idiosyncratic and characterful. Over a period of weeks, the gardeners brought dishes they had cooked to the garden for everyone to share. When they were happy with the dish, the recipe was jotted down on any piece of paper at hand and later sent to translators.

What you read in the book are the gardeners’ words, in their native language and translated English. Some modifications to recipes were made during a wonderful communal cooking day in the community kitchen on the North Richmond Housing Estate. The cools stressed that it is not their way to use exact measurements and they encourage swapping ingredients according to what is in season in the garden.

The gardeners decided that the name ‘Happy New Life Garden’, rather than the functional ‘Lennox St Community Garden’, expressed their experience gardening together in this small, productive patch of soil in the heart of North Richmond.

Enjoy! Sophie Moncrieff
February 2008

Photo (clockwise from top): The Huong Vo, Mrs An, Mr & Mrs Song, Elf Walpole and Mr Le Phong.


  • Meat dumplings by Yiqun XING and Huoran An
  • Spring onion cake by Yiqun XING and Huoran An
  • Fried vegetable dumpling by Yiqun XING and Huoran An
  • Spiced pork by Mr & Mrs Song
  • Minced beef, pork or chicken curry puff by Mr & Mrs Song
  • Prawn rice paper rolls by Ms Huynh Mai
  • Vegetable shredded pork and skin by Mrs Le Hong
  • Braised Pumpkin in coconut milk by Thi Huong Vo
  • Rice in coconut milk by Mrs Hong Le
  • Meaty sticky rice by Thi Huong Vo
  • Kim Chi by Ms Huyng Mai
  • Fried rice Vietnamese style by Phuong and Hong
  • Tomato soup by Mrs Le Hong.

Here is a sample:

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