Grow It Local Awards 2022, supported by Seasol.
A BIG thank you to everyone who entered our second annual Grow It Local Awards, a celebration of creativity, community, gardening and fun!
We couldn’t have been more inspired by the breadth, depth and colour of submissions, and to see what’s growing on in communities across the country.
There were a total of 452 entries (up from 198 last year) encompassing tromboncino bands, Pinocchiomatos, the wildest of gardens, a chicken named Hen Stefani, a pumpkin shaped in the letter ‘C’, and a Salvador Dali-inspired eggplant that was half vegetable, half moustache and double eggplant.
Our judges - @costasworld, @_paul_west_, @sophiespatch, @sabrinahahnhortwithheart, @jacsemmler, @thisisdavebowman, @korenhelbig and @gardeningwithcaseyjoy had no easy task...
Though after much deliberation, we are pleased to present the Grow It Local Awards 2022 winners and runners-up.
A special shout out to all our partners who help make Grow It Local possible - Love Food Hate Waste NSW, Green Adelaide, Seasol, Randwick City Council, Waverley Council, Woollahra Municipal Council, Central Coast Council, Brisbane City Council, Moreton Bay Regional Council, City of Canning, City of Joondalup, City of Rockingham, Adelaide City Council, City of Burnside, City of Norwood Payneham & St Peters, City of Holdfast, City of Marion, City of Mitcham, City of Onkaparinga, City of Playford, City of Port Adelaide Enfield, City of Prospect, City of Salisbury, City of Tea Tree Gully, City of Unley, Town of Walkerville, City of West Torrens and Campbelltown City Council.
Oh, and just lastly, moving forward we’ll be regularly featuring member patches across our channels so simply add #GrowItlLcal to get involved. Prego!
PAUL WEST (Grow It Local cofounder and River Cottage Australia, Backroads, Catalyst host)
Official winner's announcement video.
@kathshomeandgarden - "Gotta love Mother Nature. We have a double header eggplant 🤣 pretty sure this is the Hansel variety"
Judge's comment: I didn't know the great surrealist artist Salvador Dali personally, but I'd be willing to bet my left ear that he would prefer his veggies wonky. This spectacular entry of a twinny eggplant that is half vegetable, half moustache and double eggplant, from @kathshomeandgarden would no doubt have the great master tickled pink.
@gardens_in_abundance - "Perfect cucumbers twinnies - so happy and can’t wait to eat them chilled and raw. I’m expecting crunch, strong cucumber flavour with a light acidity 🥒"
Judge's comment: What's better than 1 cucumber? Two of them! Even better if they are growing together, intertwined in the great dance of life.
KEVIN FORTEY (5x Guinness World Record Holder)
Official winner's announcement video.
@magdaleneagapitos - "Weighing in at a healthy 4.5 kgs and 54 cm long, 87-Year-old Zafiris from Kensington welcomed his latest massive zucchini! Dad's favourite Kolokithopita or Greek Zucchini Pie is a Mediterranean summer favourite, combining eggs, feta and herbs in a filo pastry, maximising taste, flavour and the whole vegetable."
Judge's comment: At 87 Years of age, it's still possible to keep growing and inspiring the younger generations. The passion in the picture and sharing of the recipe added that extra dimension to growing big veg. Congratulation from Wales.
@a_little_city_farm - "Whoops! This monster zucchini was hiding under the pumpkin patch 😂🌱"
Judge's comment: The surprise on the grower's face in finding a large marrow under the pumpkin patch says it all. From young to old, gardening is so good for you.
DAVE BOWMAN (Google, chicken lover and rare Funk 45's collector)
IT'S A TIE! 🎉
@heathers_potager - "The first session of the new Kids Community Gardening Sessions involved a quick familiarisation tour of the community garden which included a visit to the 'Chook Hilton', always a favourite with kids in the garden. Today we met Celeste , Wilma , Dame Eggna, Genevieve , Fluffy Butt , Joyful , Mel , Ginger , Mrs Poppleberry and Henrietta."
Judge's comments: Well, as a huge fan of Dame Edna and chickens I feel like this match was made in heaven. Also, as a pun-appreciator, I LOVE this. So much personality, so much sass and so much flair. Top name for a top local entry. And a fine bird at that! Super funky!
Adelaide Edible Garden Trail - "Have you got your entry in for the #growitlocalawards? Here's our entry for best chicken name - Hen Stefani - who is rockin' the garden in this photo!"
Judge's comment: There is No Doubt that Hen Stefani, from @adelaideediblegardentrail is one of Australia’s best chicken names. This brought a big smile to my face and just gotta say I love her funky style!
@meghamfarms - "Introducing our heritage dual purpose breed ladies for the first time! These lovely ladies are approx 18-20 week old pullets and will hopefully start to lay sometime in the very near future.
"Our beautiful Light Sussex is the biggest of the 3, and I feel the oldest. She’s definitely the boss lady (after me), and has a bit of an attitude sometimes! She’s very boisterous, a little arrogant, and will steal everyone’s treats if their not careful! 😂 We named her Meryl Cheep, after 👑@merylstreep ‘s character Miranda from Devil Wears Prada!"
Judge's comment: Well, I thought it was light-hearted, fun and in these times, I think we could all use a laugh. I must admit, I basically laughed my cup of tea out when I encountered Meryl. Almost pipped Eggna at the post, but not quite. Quite the act to follow. Pun intended, of course.
JAC SEMMLER (Gardener & Planthunter)
@adam_hancock - "Veggie garden tour late summer at home!"
Judge's comment: The brilliant bounty of edible and flowering plants in their glorious abundance, handy design ideas for every backyard with savvy use of structures. Food and flower power!
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Our Alter Eco - "2022 Summer Veggie Patch Tour and our entry into the #growitlocalawards. It has been an incredible few months of growing our own food, watching the boys (and ourselves) thrive & altering our ecosystem for the better. But we’d love to take this opportunity to thank the community who helped us along the way."
Judge's comment: What an amazing family and a wonder at what they have achieved. Incredible to see it over time all the developments and experiments
CASEY LISTER (Gardening Coach and Grow It Local In-house Expert)
IT"S A TIE! 🎉
@ourpatch_avenue - "Summer ‘jungle’ at the patch 💕 Some random pictures from different angles of the backyard patch. Have a bless weekend 💕"
Judge's comments: I love this rambling garden for its wild atmosphere, beautiful archways, wooden raised beds, towering corn and rogue pumpkin vines that trail over the paths. The garden is productive, beautiful, wild and natural and I’ve no doubt it’s also a home to many bugs, bees, birds and other wildlife. You can tell that love has been poured into this garden and I can just picture sitting out the back with a cup of tea watching everything grow and thrive – it’s a real gardeners’ garden and its owners should be proud!
@brecklyn_house - "Fingers crossed for some better weather this week, it has rained most of January, the tomatoes aren’t happy, the zucchini had to be started again, the cucumbers are on struggle street and the mildew has become impossible to control. But the pumpkins and watermelon are thriving, doubling in size every few days. We could really do with some warm sunny days. How’s your summer or winter going?"
Judge's comments: What a lovely garden! I absolutely love the layout of this garden – so neat and organised but then also overflowing with colour and productive food! It’s such a clever way of creating a garden that feels enclosed and secluded within a wide open space, and I can imagine how it would feel to wander between flower- and veggie-filled beds and under the beautiful archways harvesting produce and picking flowers – just gorgeous!
@clayfield_uniting_church - "The Clayfield UC Community Garden is one of a kind! We'd like to nominate the garden for the #mostoriginalpatch in the #growitlocalawards"
Our garden features 14 raised garden beds, up-cycled garden art, rainwater tanks, a compost hub, worm farm and lots of herbs, vegetables and flowers. We mightn't be the most experienced gardeners but we're out there giving it a go!"
SABRINA HAHN (Horticulturalist, ABC radio presenter, garden designer, journalist and author)
@Ohmygiddyplants - "Can you name what’s in today’s harvest?"
Judges comments: Such a wonderful diversity of different food plants embellished with flowers for insects and birds plus home grown eggs.
@luellabella - "Watching my kids exploring the garden is the best - harvesting, eating new things, teaching each other the names of plants, excitedly discovering a hidden watermelon, noticing bug visitors (and Elena saying ‘thank you for visiting little ladybird’ or ‘thank you for working so hard to make us honey bee bee’), making magic potions, getting muddy, hand-pollinating pumpkins and zuccs, seed saving, tending to the worm farm, imagining new vegetable crosses, and dreaming of entering the show or the Guinness World Records with their produce. These are just some of the magical things our garden gives us.🌻
"Luca’s superhero is @costasworld and Elena wants a hot pink house like @goodlife_permaculture. I think that is pretty cool 😎 "
Judges comments: Getting kids to enjoy hands on being in the garden and learning about nature - teaching the next generation to cherish the earth and growing food sustainably.
SIMON MARNIE (ABC radio host and Grow It Local ambassador)
IT"S A TIE! 🎉
@jessofspotsandstripes - "Boys playing their tromboncino's. Our entry in the #growitlocalawards for the category: vegetable that most looks like....."
Judges comment: Just two words, so awesome!
@beccas_backyard - "❤️❤️ CURVY RADISH ❤️❤️
"After I harvested this radish from my trial veggie garden I stumbled across this beautiful artwork by Aussie artist @sophiemcpike and I just couldn’t believe how similar my voluptuous little radish looked to her curvy lady napping with the radishes. A true case of life imitating art.
"This is my entry into the grow it local awards category 'the vegetable that most looks like'"
@missp_l - "what kind of tomatoes would you call these? Pinocchiomato? @costasworld @_paul_west_ #growitlocal #growitlocalawards"
@plantbasedmale - "Introducing 'Dicarus' - the phallic pumpkin
Weighing in at 10.1kg and 68cm in length, we watched you grow in our labyrinth for months. You had such promise. Following in the footsteps of Greek mythology, you chose to fly too close to the sun and came crashing down to Earth.
Nevertheless, your legend will live on as our entry in the Grow It Local Awards... and don't worry, there will be PLENTY of pumpkin soup to go around!
Category: the vegetable that looks most like ... 🍆"
SOPHIE THOMSON (Gardening Australia)
@bsharp_adelaide - "Posting a summer garden gallery for the #growitlocalawards - crops in pots category. From #Adelaide, SA, in a small hot, city courtyard garden.
These crops have been kept alive through some 40+ weather with lots of soaking, temporary sheet shelters and lots of pot mulch! Tomatoes, basil , birdseye Chili, long John Chili, caper bush, mint, strawberries, dwarf lemon"
Judge's comment: Love the fact that they provided info on where the pots are and the climate and how they have coped with the challenges of Adelaide summers.
@treefernreveries - " 'crops in pots' #growitlocalawards @rososalie @living_deliciously"
Judges comment: Love their recycled containers
KOREN HELBIG (Organic Gardener, Sustainable Renovator & Writer)
Official winners announcement video.
@canberrafoodgarden - "My beautiful jungle. The only real disappointment is the lack of coverage on the arches. The beans on one arch have just reached the top and only need to fill out a bit. But the cucumbers are absolutely not cooperating and refuse to climb their arch at all. The tromboncino is still a baby because the first one was eaten by snails. The cucuzza are suddenly growing at an alarming rate and making me regret recently planting a million beans on the blackberry side of their arch, but at this point I'd welcome a tangled mess over an empty arch.
This cool wet summer is very confusing for my Canberra garden."
Judges comment: I just absolutely loved the huge array of diversity, beauty, flowers for pollinators and food for humans, all packed into a relatively small suburban block. It really shows how productive even an urban backyard can be, and that a rambling and wild garden can still have form and beauty, while supporting local biodiversity and providing deliciously hyper-local veggies to homeowners (and probably the local community too). So good!
IT"S A TIE! 🎉
@archaeo24 - "A tour of our food producing ‘wild garden’! We try to mostly plant things with a food or ecosystem function, and have harvested 25kg of produce in 2022 so far, despite a cold and wet summer here making some summer veg quite slow. Pics 1-4 are our kitchen garden featuring apple tree, tomato triffids, taro and celery going to seed. Pics 5-6 are the chicken-jungle and our multi graft fruit trees, sweet potato (under the crate) and berries. Pics 7-8 are the vegetable beds where I’m mostly cultivating carrot flowers for the pollinators at the moment. Even the enclosed cat run in pic 9 is not safe from being slowly wild-ed with wasabi, tea camellia and currants! @growitlocal #growitlocalawards"
@down2earthlife - "My wild garden outside our front door .. a mix of cottage and herbs .. always left to go to seed and bring new life each season 💚 full of beneficial insects and creatures and birds come down each day to the bird bath and have a splash .. leaving nature to do it’s own thing"
@agrariankitcheneatery - "Our 1-acre walled garden located a few metres from our @agrariankitcheneatery is coming along beautifully. Our gardeners Mitch + Otto + Josh have been working hard to make this dream of ours become a reality. Guided garden tours and garden classes coming later this year. Stay tuned."
@the_gourmanticgarden - "What’s in a name?
In 2009, I set to create a website that combined our life of travel, food and drink with my passion for writing. I was after an original one-word name that embodied it all. Overnight, Mr TGG came up with Gourmantic. The website launched in June 2009 to great success, Gourmantic became a well-respected brand, we became known as ‘The Gourmantics’ and the rest as they say was history.
In 2020, I realised that I had too many gardening notes on my phone and they would be best on a website. I pondered, what’s a good name for an edible and cocktail garden? Then I had a light bulb💡moment (actually, it was a 🤦♀️ moment!). The alliteration was spot on and it described my veggie patch perfectly.
Initially, The Gourmantic Garden was born as an offshoot of gourmantic.com but this seedling had strong roots and very soon after, it stood on its own. When Gourmantic ceased publication after 11 years, the name evolved into the 'Grow It. Eat It. Drink It.' ethos, complementing my work at cocktailsandbars.com.
And there you have it. From writing about the romance of travel & the Sydney food/restaurant/small bar/event scene to going back to the roots, writing about growing my own produce, eating it and drinking it."
@the_little_potager - "My slice of heaven ... the little potager. Potager simply means a small kitchen garden, but the meaning has evolved to encompass a part of the garden where vegetables, herbs, fruit and flowers are grown for productivity and prettiness 🌏🤎💚💙🌿🌱🍃🌻🌸🪱 #growitlocalawards best veggie patch name"
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