Q&A with Peg Davies

Meet Peg Davies, a waste educator based in WA who's just as talented in the garden. Peg HAS A passion for reducing waste and believes that a lot of what we throw out can be used in the garden.

Do you have a favourite garden vegetable, fruit, herb or weed of all time?

Have to be kale- grow it, pick it, juice it chop it, chip it, fry it- all the things- it just keeps giving. Could say compost it but there’s never any left ..

Tell us about your love for composting and reducing food waste?

Reducing food waste firstly means buy what you need- it’s not a bargain if you don’t eat it. Keep a special place (that everyone knows) in the fridge for the leftovers (no lost science experiments). See what you have left and- can you make it into stock, grow any of the bits (spring onion and celery roots, tired potatoes etc) THEN turn the rest into wonderful compost. Anything that was alive can be composted, yes yes yes even the goldfish and the cat, but usually they need special burials. Even if you have a council bin that takes food waste, FAR better to use it yourself.

What would you say to someone that is thinking about getting a compost, worm farm or bokashi?

Think about your space, time and motivation and end use of product. There will be a system for you, but it must be easy and enjoyable or you wont continue with it.

Is it true that you can really regrow food from food scraps?

Some scraps are easier than others and I will show you the easy ones. You can regrow a spring onion or leek but putting the top of a carrot in water will only produce another green leafy top of a carrot not the base. And don’t forget the seeds from veges –how many times have you had tomatoes growing in the compost pile?

What would you say to someone that is thinking about growing food at home with limited space?

We often think our space is our floor space but there are walls, shelves, balony rails, doors etc we can utilise. Important to look at our aspect ie which way our space is facing. If we are facing south (in southern hemisphere), the summer may be the only time we can really grow stuff. Often growing in containers is good in small spaces as we can move them round to follow or avoid the sun.

Whose patch would you most like to peep and why?

Any with big trees and lots of bird life and with flowers (makes us smile)

Do you grow edibles at home? Is so, what’s growing on?

Currently, end of September in WA we are getting ready for long hot summer. French beans coming up, tomatoes, pumpkins, kale still going, English spinach, silver beet, paw paws coming on. Nasturtiums will die back soon and we get the seeds to make fake capers. 

Top 3 songs for the garden?

Morning has broken, .. leave the rest to the birds.

Anything else you’d like to add?

Start small, a pot of parsley on the window sill, one tomato in a pot and let the magic begin.