I wrote to the PM last month and recently received a reply. Basically he didn’t want a vegetable garden because of Canberra’s water restrictions.
Leaders in Britain and America have started a vegetable garden. Her Majesty the Queen has her own allotment, which is no big suprise since the Prince of Wales has been a long time advocate of the organic movement. Eat the view was instrumental in campaigning the Obama family to start a Kitchen Garden for the White House.
Below is a sample letter to the PM regarding starting a vegetable garden at The Lodge or Kirrabili House for Kev’s Patch campaign. Copy or edit with your own words, and send to the PM via email in an online form.
Dear Prime Minister,
I am writing to encourage you to consider having a vegetable patch at The Lodge or Kirrabili House.
Recently we have seen Her Majesty The Queen, Prime Minister Gordon Brown and President Barack Obama add vegetable gardens to their place of residence.
A productive edible garden can be used to illustrate the solution to a number of important issues facing all Australians.
- Growing our own fruit and vegetables reduces carbon emissions by reducing the transportation of produce, and reduce household waste with composting.
- Home-grown vegetables save water. David Holgrem states that “every dollar’s worth of fruit and vegetables has needed at least 103 litres of water to mature. Every equivalent dollar’s worth of home grown food uses only 20 litres.”
- Water conservation can also be demonstrated with the use of rainwater tanks and greywater systems– one of your Government’s own initiatives.
- There are a number of drought tolerant edible plants (amaranth, beans, broccoli, cucumber, quinoa, rockmelon, tomato, watermelon) including Australian natives (bush tomato, davidson’s plum, lemon myrtle, midyim, native lime, native ginger, native rosella, scrub cherry, riberry, warrigal greens, wild raspberry) that could be grown to show that drought conditions are not an impediment to having a productive garden.
- Gardening is a good way to exercise and can assist families save money in these trying economic times.
Clive Blazey of The Diggers Club has worked out that you need “only 24% of the potential water from roof collection or just 37% of the potential recycled greywater” to grow enough fruit and vegetables to support a family of four. Clive’s article uses figures that are based on Melbourne, which has a similar annual rainfall to Canberra. Alternatively, Sydney has a higher rainfall and more relaxed water restrictions, so there’s no reason why Kirrabili House couldn’t have a vegetable patch.
I would love to see the Australian Prime Minister take the initiative on this relatively inexpensive project to set an example on how gardening can play a part in tackling water conservation and climate change.