Days before the Logies, the humble, funny, intelligent, and a lover of the garden, Costa Georgiadis, talked to The Greek Herald about simple things to do to engage the kids with the outdoors, what makes him proud to be a Greek Australian, and what he will do with his Logies.
Thanks, it’s a wonderful awesome opportunity to put gardening really in the headlights of a lot more people, we know that as Greeks, the whole κήπο is a valuable and important part of growing up and our family world. Being able to put the κήπο into the spot light of the nation is a wonderful progression. Gardening Australia has been doing it along time, and it’s great that we are being recognised in the same space as drama categories and TV in general.
What will you do with your Logie?
Send it around the country to community centers, so people can touch it and feel it. It aligns with his passion of travelling and gardening. After 12 months time, it may not be in perfect condition but it would have had a great journey and well lived.
What advice do you give families to grow a garden, particularly to someone like me with young kids who doesn’t know the first thing about gardening?
Just because gardening has been in families, doesn’t mean the thread will stay, it can skip generations if someone is in a different situation, or if they are living in a space with no garden, or are busy.
First thing is to connect with people who are gardening as a way of starting to build traction and an outlet to see more things and mimic what others are doing. Community gardens, local garden centers and council initiatives and workshops.
A great way to turn up and do a little home work, and walk down the street. Your mentor could be 1 or 2 doors from where you live, the only difference being they may have a garden and you don’t. You may know someone or family who has a garden, and ask to bring the kids over and extend the garden bed, or help them plant part of the garden.
Anything where you engage the kids is a priceless opportunity to not only build and understand but to deflect any feelings of inexperience because it’s not about being inexperienced, it’s about being active.
Just get out and get your hands dirty! Whether you get a massive harvest or not, the experience and the fun is in the action of growing a garden. Particularly as a family. Its to get the kids outside and teaching them to build patience, in slowly watching a snow pea get its first flower, then the first flower becomes a small snow pea, and to allow kids to eat it on the spot. It’s not about how big the harvest itself.
Where is the easiest place to bring children into gardening?
One of the most obvious places to start gardening is in the kitchen, with your food scraps and starting a worm farm or compost bin. There you grow soil, and if you grow soil, you understand the value in growing good plants.
You then start a process to benchmark the year through the seasons, not through the work week cycle or monthly cycle but rather the seasons, where you say, ‘right, now is the time for this to plant, or now, these are in harvest and look at the abundance. What do we do with all this harvest? We need to preserve it through jelly or pickle or juice or store them.
What makes you proud to be Greek Australian?
I’ve got heritage in my blood and bones that keeps me connected to where my grandparents and great grandparents came from, and what I’m proud of is that it taught me the importance of communication, and when you understand another language you can communicate, and when you can communicate you can understand the culture and the basis behind behind the culture is how people eat, share and connect .
When you unpack that you realise that it is about health, and the importance of knowing your food and knowing where it’s come from because as “horiates”, they grew their own food, and they trusted themselves, not in a big multinational system that couldn’t deliver. Its about the absolute consciousness of food that brings everyone in from kids to γιαγιά and παππού.
What inspired you to turn your love and leisure for gardening into a TV show?
I suppose when you grow up around something, you don’t have to think about it. It just is. And when the opportunity knows its door and someone says to do a show it quickly became clear that I was suddenly at the doorstep of bringing together the 3 things that I love which is plants, people and travel. They went to gether like a lab experiment that exploded and the energy exchange took off like I rocket, and and I’m enjoying what the next day brings, because the best part of being connected to nature and the thing I love most is getting a more and more understanding as how natures systems operate without too much of our left brain, but there is another side of it all.
The more you get into nature you realise there are the parts, and then the sum of the parts and an operating system that takes it to another level.
Costa, from all of us at The Greek Herald, Congratulations!