San­dring­ham, Vic

Gourmet Traveller (Australia) - - OCT -

We for­age in the kitchen gar­dens of three very dif­fer­ent peo­ple in­spired by the Ital­ian ap­proach to pro­duce.

We for­age through the kitchen gar­dens of three very dif­fer­ent en­thu­si­asts, all of whom are in­spired by the Ital­ian ap­proach to home-grown pro­duce.

“I’ve been in­ter­ested in gar­den­ing since I was a teenager, but my true ob­ses­sion for grow­ing ed­i­bles started when my nonno brought around some tomato seedlings as a house-warm­ing present when

I first moved out of home.

My dad was born in Ciano, a small town in the hills of Cal­abria, and my mum’s side orig­i­nates from a place called Mon­tagnareale in Si­cily. My choice of which plants to grow at home is a re­flec­tion of my cul­tural back­ground.

“I live in a small house with a beach­side gar­den. My name, Fabian, means ‘bean grower’, so with that in mind I grow a lot of broad beans – they’re great for pro­vid­ing pro­duce at the start of spring, as well as feed­ing the soil for sum­mer crops of tasty toma­toes, cap­sicums, zuc­chini, leafy greens and runner beans (re­mem­ber: you’re grow­ing soil be­fore you’re grow­ing plants). I love to grow peper­oncini and cu­cum­bers. The chill­ies re­mind me of my Cal­abrian her­itage and can eas­ily be grown in pots and pre­served, and I love eat­ing the cu­cum­bers straight off the vine on a hot sum­mer’s night while wa­ter­ing my gar­den.

“Gar­den­ing is never the same and ev­ery day is dif­fer­ent. My gar­den re­minds me to take each day as it comes. En­joy it for what it looks like to­day – it will never look like that again. My main ad­vice would be to grow what you love, for who you love. And don’t talk at your plants; let them talk to you.”

Fabian Capomolla’s book Grow­ing

Food the Ital­ian Way (Pan Macmil­lan Aus­tralia, $44.99) is out now.

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