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Cooking from the book

Cooking from the book

Story and photo by Russ Grayson, December 2023

What do you cook when the Tasmanian coordinator of the national network, Community Gardens Australia (CGA), stays over? 

The answer is as straightforward as it is tasty. You cook a meal from CGA Tasmania’s recipe book, Flavours of Launceston. The book brings together recipes from community gardeners in Launceston, including many recipes from the cultures they came from. 

“People might come from distant countries and cultures”, said Tasmanian CGA coordinator Jo Dean, “however wherever they come from they come together around community gardening. In a world currently beset by conflict and chaos, community gardens are safe places where people share what they know and cooperate rather than compete.  

“Here in Tasmania, we have something like 200 community and school gardens, around 60 of which are in the Launceston region of northern Tasmanian with others in Hobart, Dodges Ferry, Devonport, Bicheno, Dunalley and other towns. You find them at some of Tasmania’s Neighbourhood Houses, on local government land and in Launceston, on the grounds of the University of Tasmania in Invermay. You can find where they are on our website.

As well as her role with Community Gardens Australia, Jo organises permaculture design courses in Launceston. Another is scheduled for early next year. 

“We teach what makes people more resilient to the many pressures we face in today’s world”, she explained. “People can apply it in their life and also take it out into their community so that what they learn can assist other people meet their family’s basic needs. 

“The permaculture design system finds a natural home in community gardening. Combining the two within the current rental cost escalation and housing shortage can reduce family food expenditure to some extent depending on what and how much is grown, while the community garden serves as a fall-back food source for families.”

For the culinarily inclined, the food in the photos is a Nepalese recipe, Paneer Vegetable Curry, from the Flavours of Launceston recipe book, an initiative of Community Gardens Australia Tasmanian team earlier this year.

Photo above: Jo Dean (right) about to enjoy paneer with CGA website volunteer, Fiona Campbell (left).

Purchase a copy of the book

The 112-page spiral-bound book, which includes 59 recipes, can be ordered from the Community Gardens Australia website.

Find out more about the Flavours of Launceston recipe book

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