Eating the suburbs, one backyard at a time

Suburbia. The very word conjures up an image of neatly spaced single storey houses sprawling as far as the eye can see in a carefully planned monotony. A place where the car is king, and where thirty-somethings reluctantly retreat once their youth has reached its expiry date and its time to settle down. A place highly criticized for being unsustainable, but which we keep building more of anyway, because while everyone likes to mock, everyone also loves to buy those very houses. A big fat slice of the Australian dream please, with a helping of bedrooms and a double garage on the side.

Our appetite for space seems to fancy the concrete variety – with gardens being squeezed out in favour of extensions or low maintenance outdoor areas. So increasingly, the suburbs are becoming less ‘edible’ with private food growing areas in short supply. Equally, our gardening skills are being lost. Eating veggies from the garden is a vague childhood memory that I associate with Sunday lunches at my nana’s house, not an everyday occurrence in my present life. Recently I found myself needing to google basic advice on planting a few humble herbs – and I don’t think I’m the only one.