Get­ting ahead on ve­g­ies

Cockburn Gazette - - LIFESTYLE -

NEARLY ev­ery book idea Perth au­thor Kathryn Le­froy has is for chil­dren.

“I think it’s be­cause some of my fondest memories are of hol­i­days when I was grow­ing up and I could sit for days on end, de­vour­ing books,” Le­froy said.

“I want to re-cre­ate that feel­ing for read­ers and I think it’s harder to get that sense of be­ing to­tally lost in a book as an adult.

“That’s not through any fault of the book, but be­cause of the trap­pings that come with ‘adult­ing’.

“Say­ing all of that, I’m ac­tu­ally very con­scious of not try­ing to write books ‘for chil­dren’. I just want to write fun, fast-paced and en­gag­ing sto­ries; sto­ries that might be aimed at NOW is the ideal time to plant your vegie and herb gar­dens for months of healthy win­ter sal­ads and recipe ideas.

Char­lie Dawson, from Daw­sons Gar­den World, said it was a good in­vest­ment in health, with gar­den-fresh greens boost­ing im­mu­nity to colds and flu.

“Just re­mem­ber that suc­cess­ful veg­etable and herb gar­den­ing, es­pe­cially in win­ter, re­quires good soil prepa­ra­tion,” he said.

Ac­cord­ing to Char­lie, win­ter is the per­fect time to plant or­na­men­tal de­cid­u­ous trees, adding kids, but that I would en­joy read­ing too.”

Le­froy, who writes nov­els, ar­ti­cles and screen­plays, has re­leased her first novel for mid­dle read­ers, Alex and the Al­pacas Save the World.

Pub­lished by Fre­man­tle Press, the book is set on a Tas­ma­nian farm where main char­ac­ter Alex and her herd of talking al­pacas must save the world from sin­is­ter forces all set to de­rail her sum­mer hol­i­days.

“About 10 years ago, I was liv­ing in Mel­bourne and took a week­end trip to Tas­ma­nia to visit a friend who was house-sit­ting a small hobby farm in the Huon Val­ley,” Le­froy said.

“The best thing about great beauty to the yard.

Char­lie’s top ve­g­ies to plant now are:

Beet­root, ar­ti­choke, as­para­gus, cel­ery, pota­toes, sil­ver­beet, broccoli, broad beans, cau­li­flower, parsnip, spring onions, radish, rhubarb and leeks. Top herbs: Chives, coriander, mint, oregano, rose­mary, sage, the farm? The four al­pacas who wan­dered around as though they owned the place.

“They were so skit­tish and bum­bling and dopey, and had this ex­pres­sion like they were all shar­ing a hi­lar­i­ous joke that you weren’t in on.

“Ba­si­cally the least likely an­i­mals you’d ever want on your team if you had to save the world, which made them so much fun to write.”

Af­ter fin­ish­ing the first draft in Novem­ber 2011, Le­froy spent the next seven years rewrit­ing it about 20 times un­til she was happy with her book fea­tur­ing a strong-willed girl as the main pro­tag­o­nist. thyme, pars­ley, mar­jo­ram.

Top or­na­men­tal de­cid­u­ous trees

Flow­er­ing peaches: Prunus ‘Klara Mayer’ dou­ble pink, Prunus ‘Mag­nifica’ dou­ble red and Prunus ‘Al­bo­plena’ dou­ble flow­er­ing white va­ri­eties.

Or­na­men­tal pears: Pyrus Chan­ti­cleer and Pyrus Korean Sun.

Flow­er­ing plums: Prunus ‘Ni­gra’and Prunus ‘Blire­ana’ are big sell­ing trees. If your yard is a lit­tle tight for space, try Prunus ‘Oakville Crim­son Spire’ and Pyrus Calleryana ‘Cap­i­tal’, which are tall but nar­row grow­ers ideal for lim­ited sites.

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