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The Kitch Garden Guide
June: part 2
For health, variety, taste, texture and the pure joy of it, I love growing sprouts, especially during winter when nights draw in early and a trip to the vegetable garden for a late picking can be a dark, cold and wet experience.
Seeds are dormant, waiting patiently for the right conditions to burst into life. Evolution has enabled extraordinary changes to occur inside the seed at the moment of germination, similar to the transformation of a caterpillar to a butterfly. Energy stored by the seed is put to work, creating elements that were seemingly not there before, like the wings of the butterfly that were absent in the caterpillar. In seeds, enzymes are activated and go into production, making root cells that, in the soil, reach down to attach the seed to the earth and extract nutrients to start the growth of the top of the plant.
All gardeners know how attractive the first shoots of our sown crops are to animals and insects, which munch off newly emerged seedlings. Sprouted seeds are equally good for us humans; every opportunity should be seized to eat homegrown sprouts as soon as the first evidence of
a shoot has appeared as this is the stage when the seed has created the most nutrients to see itself succeed in life.
Seeds brought into Australia have been irradiated and are virtually dead. They have lost most of their nutrients and will never sprout. You must use organic seeds for sprouting or, at the very least, Australian-grown seeds.
I use a layered sprouter so I can add layers day by day, ensuring one tray of sprouts is always at hand for my lunch.
My favourite things to sprout are chick peas, red lentils, green lentils, mung beans and fenugreek. I eat a tray of one of them every day, mixed with salad greens and my wonderful ginger carrot fermented pickle. Because of the protein, enzymes and vitamins in this lunch, I am energized for the afternoon and never feel drowsy. If I crave a hot lunch,
I simply sprinkle the tray of sprouts over some soup when I serve it so as not to overheat them and kill the enzymes, which are heat sensitive.
I also sprout seeds such as rye, spelt, quinoa and barley for adding to my homemade sourdough bread and for steaming in place of rice, for example, or adding to stews at the last minute.
Sprouts are a powerhouse of nutrition and a delight to have growing in your kitchen all year round. Don’t use them as a condiment to just add beauty to a dish, make them the main player and feel your body sing.
Plant out
Asparagus crowns
Divide rhubarb
Winter herbs: coriander, chervil etc
Winter flowering annuals
Globe artichokes
Asian greens
Spinach, chards
Winter reading
Facebook page and website
Attainable Sustainable…. Fantastic resource for growing food and eating it.
Sprouts by Isabel Shipard
Underground Lovers (Encounters with fungi) by Alison Pouliot
The Food Clock by Ed Halmagyi
Kate Flint

Caring: Grace’s journey
Grace Shimomura, a single mother from the Philippines, moved to Launceston in 2022 to care for her ageing mother, Rita, not knowing the full extent of what dementia care entailed.
Grace’s journey into caring was sudden. Rita had suffered a fall and was struggling to live alone after the death of her second husband in 2021. Rita, an 82-year-old war widow, suffers from vascular dementia, Alzheimer’s, and Lewy body dementia.
Due to her mother’s deteriorating health, Grace had to abruptly leave her career and teenage children in the Philippines. She is now working on their migration documents to reunite with them in Tasmania, which will enable her to continue caring for Rita.
Rita’s condition requires constant care, which includes arranging transport to medical appointments, managing prescriptions, and handling financial matters.
“Before coming here, I didn’t know much about dementia beyond forgetfulness.
“I quickly learned that being
a full-time carer involves managing every aspect of my mother’s life,” Grace said.
One of the biggest challenges Grace faces is navigating the Australian healthcare system, particularly as a newcomer to
the country.
“Navigating these systems is overwhelming, but I have found tremendous support from Carer Gateway.”
Carer Gateway has provided Grace with crucial resources and support, including free counselling, mental health workshops and peer support groups. Carer Gateway’s coaching service has been particularly helpful.
It offers practical guidance and
emotional support.
Through free coaching sessions, Grace has learned to break down her tasks into manageable steps and has received practical advice on organising her mother’s care.
“Carer Gateway has been
a lifeline.
“My coach was thorough and encouraging. She helped me create actionable steps, which made everything less overwhelming.
“She has been my accountability partner and has been instrumental in helping me focus and stay on track,” Grace explains.
Grace also benefits from peer support groups facilitated by Carer Gateway, where she connects with other carers, shares experiences, and gains insights that help her in her role. She now volunteers a couple of hours every month to lead her local carers group.
“Knowing I have a support through Carer Gateway gives me peace of mind. It’s comforting to share and hear stories from others in similar situations.”
Despite the challenges of caring, Grace cherishes the moments she spends with her mother.
“Most days, mum is mobile, has an appetite, and enjoys her choir and Sunday outings. These moments are precious,” Grace reflects.
“Being a carer can be lonely and isolating sometimes. So, knowing there is help out there, one number I can call, just gives me peace of mind.”
Grace’s journey as a carer is a testament to her love and dedication. With the support of Carer Gateway, she continues to provide her mother with the best possible care.
If you are in a similar situation and need help with your caring role, contact Carer Gateway’s Tassie team at Care2Serve. Call 1800 422 737 (and select 1 from the menu) or visit the website at

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