Feature

5 minutes with... Indira Naidoo

Green Lifestyle

Spring is getting closer, and it'll bring a whole bunch of new gardening opportunities with it! Indira shares her seasonal tips, and lets us know about the Australian Garden Show Sydney where we can get more tips for our own Edible Balcony or garden.

Indira Naidoo

Indira Naidoo visiting a rooftop garden in New York.

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- What would you encourage people to do in the garden now to enjoy a bumper spring crop?
First thing to do is look through the spring catalogues from some of the organic seed companies such as Diggers and decide what your want to plant and what space you have available. I’m going to put in heirloom carrots, radishes and potatoes and of course a range of tomatoes. Get your soil ready with lots of compost, manure and mulch to keep in the moisture.

- What are you most looking forward to doing in the garden this spring?
I love the scents and aromas from my spring garden. Ripe tomatoes have a wonderful perfume but their leaves and stems also have a fresh herbaceous intoxicating aroma. Watching new shoots push through and flowers develop into fruit, and the bees pop in for a visit means there’s lots of activity on The Edible Balcony!

- You've been involved in the Australian Garden Show Sydney in the past - how was it, and what did you enjoy most?
I was the sustainability curator for the Australian Garden Show Sydney (AGSS) in 2013 – its inaugural year – and had an amazing experience. I designed a 1000 square metre sustainability garden for the show with vegetable beds, chickens, aquaponics, an edible balcony and plant-your-own strawberry patch. The enthusiasm from crowds was addictive. This year is going to be bigger and better.

- What will you do/talk about at the Show this year?
I will be designing another garden for the show – an edible balcony garden to inspire city gardeners with limited space. I will also be running The Edible Balcony stall again selling my best selling book of the same name and a selection of my favourite organic seeds. And I'll be giving a talk about the exciting developments in urban farming, and sharing stories about my recent visits to the inspiring rooftop farms of New York. There are three very large commercial farms in Brooklyn, Queens and Long Island – some as large as two acres – on the roofs of warehouses and ship buildings – producing vegetables, eggs from chickens and honey from beehives for locals.

- What kind of people would you recommend visit the Show?
What I love about gardening is its universal appeal. Everyone enjoys gardens – from kids to their grandparents to inner-city hipsters. We will have something for everyone. There will be inspiring gardens, stalls, new products, lectures, talks and demonstrations from garden experts and wonderful food and wines.

- Can you tell us about the most interesting new garden product, company or technique that you've learnt recently?
It’s so exciting at the moment as the gardening movement expands. There are great products for small spaces, recycled products for the eco-conscious and multi-use products. I do love the sKale vertical wall system which I will be showcasing in my garden show display garden.

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The Australian Garden Show Sydney (AGSS) is from 4–7 September, 2014click here for more info.
For your chance to win one of 5 double-passes to the Show, click here.