Kevin’s green thumb and sustainable garden

Mr Kevin Hoskin, of Tanunda, in his very own sustainable garden full of homegrown fruit and vegetables.

The best method of relaxing while being productive is running a sustainable garden full of a large variety of fruit and vegetables, according to Mr Kevin Hoskin, of Tanunda.

Mr Hoskin, who taught agriculture for 42 years, spending 17 of those years at Nuriootpa High School, has grown a large number of fruit and vegetables in his garden for years.

However, it wasn’t until Mr Hoskin’s retirement three years ago that his garden grew drastically.

“When I retired the pandemic hit,” he said.

“My wife, Sandra, and I had plans to travel, but instead I decided to remove the big trees in my garden and replace them with 32 fruit trees, with more on the way.

“I planted all kinds of citrus, stonefruit, cherries, almonds, mulberries and apples to name a few.

“I also planted 14 tomato plants and some vegetables, which include pumpkins, rhubarbs, asparagus, cucumbers and squash.”

Mr Hoskin taught the practice of composting during his time as a teacher, and said he continues to do so in his own garden.

“I have six compost bins and have never thrown anything away,” he said.

“I layer the various food scraps I have in the compost bin with various animal manures and lawn clippings.

“From there, everything goes back into the soil, and it’s been that way in my garden for the past 29 years.”

Mr Hoskin said growing his own fruit and vegetables was more than just a passion of his.

“Not only do I love growing my own fruit and vegetables, it also comes with many health benefits,” he said.

“Growing your own fruit means you know what you’re eating.

“You know what chemicals have been used, you know how fresh it is and how it’s been in storage, if at all.

“It gives me ownership of what I love and personally, it’s a better use of your backyard than just putting up another shed or something, which isn’t productive.

“It far beats sitting in front of a screen all day also.

“It’s the best exercise.”

Mr Hoskin said the key to a sustainable garden is the desire to do it.

“You have to want to dedicate a lot of love to the garden otherwise it will be impossible to get it going,” he said.

“You need to believe you can do it and commit the time to it.

“In my opinion, it’s the best form of relaxation.”

Mr Hoskin said his wife, Sandra and extended family contribute to the garden.

“Sandra works on what’s pretty in the garden, such as all the roses and flowers,” he said.

“My grandchildren, Greta and Teddy Blythman and Clova and Ceda Irwin, all of Angaston, each have their own patch in my garden also, and come over and work on it.

“My two daughters, Talia Blythman and Zana Irwin, also enjoy my garden.

“I love giving out the fruit and vegetables to my family and friends.

“There’s nothing better than being together, picking some fruit off a tree and eating it straight away.”

Mr Hoskin said he hopes the many thousand children he taught over the years might follow some of his advice.

“Out of all the children I’ve taught, I know that at least 15 are winemakers and hundreds of others are in the agriculture industry, which makes me really proud,” he said.

“I hope along the way I had given them a hand in direction and they enjoy and look after their own gardens.”

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