Friday, October 22, 2010

Adios Alice

The wildflowers are blooming like I've never seen them before. Mulberries are dripping from the tree. The garden and the vegetable crisper is full of produce. The olive trees flowered for the first time.

Despite this we are moving and saying a big brave goodbye to Alice. This is a place where you feel you have to say bye to the land as well as to the many friends we have made here. Those big old bony mountains, scantly clad with Spinifex, tired old Corkwoods and rock garden hills about the town. The sandy rivers the kids have learned to call their own and the watery beaches they have enjoyed this year. We have seen the best years with loads of rain and the worst years with records low rainfall - all within the last 2 years. Ironically the best rainfall can mean the worst results in the vege garden with massive outbreaks of pests.
In Alice we have grown and shared lots of food. It is much easier to do than in a lot of other places but then again it's not the easiest place either. It is a place with its own timetable and idiosyncrasies and the occasional nasty shock. Tune into your garden and environment and you will be rewarded. Vege gardening is an intervention and being attuned to which intervention is required is they key. Make a mistake and the harsh conditions here can mean that is is a big one.

 Hopefully the many posts in this blog will serve as a resource to those who come to this town and wonder what and how they will grow food. Who knows? some other gardener might post here occasionally too. However there is a great gardening network in Alice and lots of knowledge and groups like Seedsavers can help you get a foot in the door, providing seeds, knowledge and directions to people who are interested in growing their own food.

For those interested in the adventures of a mad food gardener from Alice who has gone a long way south - Under the Chestnut tree will document this journey. Whoo hooo!


  1. Is that lemongrass in the picture near the chili? Are you bringing lots of pots,cuttings or division to your new place?

  2. Dearest Chris,

    It is with a heavy heart that I read your last post ....I still have so much to learn and you are such a generous teacher. Your example in what can be achieved in a suburban backyard has been a very real inspiration to me and one I fevantly hope to emulate. THankyou for all you have given to Alice and those of us aspiring to be sustainable food growers. Will follow the adventures of you and yours on your other blog with great interest (if also with a touch of sadness at dear frioends so far away). Thanks again. KAtja

  3. Hi MKG, Lemon grass it is! i am taking a few selct things with me. Most things i will be able to pick up down there.

  4. Hi Katja. Thank you for your generous compliments Your garden is pretty and productive! And with your new greenhouse you will be a gardening machine i am sure. Good luck in your summer garden. Seya

  5. Hello Chris,
    I came across your blog because I am moving to Alice Springs this summer due to my husband's job with the American military. We will be there for 3 years. I am so glad I found your blog because we are very interested in growing our own vegetables while we live there. We are coming from Virginia, where there is an abundance of produce. I must say, I was a little concerned about Alice, but your blog has enlightened me. Any more tips you can provide about the town would be greatly appreciated.

  6. Hi many coloured hats, my biggest tip is to get your garden ready for an April planting, and get in contact with the seedsavers group.
    Enjoy Alice.