One of Australia’s most popular broadcasters and award-winning authors, Indira Naidoo, joins us on Balance this week to talk about her passion for inspiring an army of ‘green guerrillas’ whose mission is to convert wasted urban land into productive spaces to grow food.
Following the success of her bestselling debut The Edible Balcony Indira Naidoo returns with The Edible City, an inspirational collection of stories of some of Australia’s most innovative and memorable kitchen gardens – the inventive sky-high garden providing a lush refuge for homeless visitors, the converted tennis court garden of an inner-city school growing bush tucker to indigenous kids, the Melbourne restaurant’s rooftop worm farm resolving food waste, and the community gardens bringing neighbours together to share meals and stories. ‘The Edible City’ also offers gardening tips and practical advice on beekeeping, worm farming, composting and setting up your own community garden, as well as 40 of her delicious recipes.
In today’s clip, I asked Indira to tell me more about the “grow, cook, share” stories from her book and in particular her work with the Wayside Chapel in Sydney. As Indira explains for those who are not familiar with Wayside, it is an amazing homeless crisis centre in the heart of Kings Cross providing meals and emergency housing to those in need. Part of the architect’s vision for the centre’s newly built wing, was to make it a state-of-the-art sustainable building featuring a green roof with a vegetable garden. It is here in this rooftop garden that the homeless can spend time in a peaceful, safe place that engages, teaches and gives them as sense of being part of something meaningful. Indira says, “It’s the one place they can come and no-one is going to hurt them”.
My chat with Indira was certainly thought-provoking and it was interesting to hear about the catalyst that moved Indira from broadcasting to advocating for greener productive urban spaces. Learn here how to turn your own balcony into a supermarket full of green goodies. Of course, I couldn’t let Indira leave without asking her how does she find balance in such a hectic life, and learnt she believes in doing a number of creative things each day, including meditation, sketching, painting and even crochet to quiet her busy mind, “I’m a mad crotcheter! The wonderful thing is it’s just about finding 5 or 10 mins here and there to stitch up a couple of squares” which I think is a good tip for us all!
Indira Naidoo’s television broadcast career has spanned more than two decades. She has anchored and reported for some of news and current affair programs, including the ABC’s Late Edition nightly news and SBS TV’s award-winning World News Tonight. In 2009 she was selected from 2000 applicants to be trained by former US President Al Gore as a climate change presenter. In 2013 she was appointed an ambassador The Wayside Chapel and conducts weekly gardening classes on its award-winning rooftop vegetable garden. Indira’s bestselling book The Edible Balcony documented her adventures growing fruit and vegetables on her inner-city balcony and then making them into delicious recipes. She also writes the popular food and gardening blog saucyonion.blogspot.com