Northcote is prime real estate for sustainable living in the north of bustling Melbourne, and one family is taking full advantage of it.
After spending several years in the Netherlands incorporating sustainability into product innovation, Charity Teoh Buldt returned to Melbourne to start a family. Married to Andrew Buldt, a podiatrist and biomechanics researcher, there is a constant yearning to live healthier lifestyles - including growing some of their own food, being more mindful about waste, and making conscious decisions about the materials and energy use in their home.
With the busyness of juggling work and family commitments, sustainability can be hard to apply. For Charity, a good start has been to expose her kids to edible gardens as early as possible, hence they have Glowpear Urban Gardens. Something that has helped in the gardening process is that Charity's 6-year-old, Elijah, has a kitchen-garden program at school.
Charity recollects "Last year we were anxious first-time school parents, unsure of what was in store for him. The only moment he felt excited about the prospect of school was when we were on the school tour and entered the kitchen."
The teacher was talking about the pomegranate molasses the kids had made, while some kids were creating salads, and a few others were wandering outside in the garden looking for marjoram. After having experienced the sights, smells and textures, Elijah exclaimed: “I love this school!”
Elijah has now had his Glowpears at home for 4 years. He’s nurtured zucchinis, cucumbers, baby corn, capsicum, herbs, strawberries amongst other edible plants. At age 3 he even used to sing to his plants! This year he cried after newly planted cucumber seedlings were demolished by sneaky snails overnight.
This year he’s proudly given one of his 3 planters to his little sister, who's decided that she wants to grow white strawberries. We know how you feel Elijah, gardening is both a passion and a joy!