Meet George Anastasios, who has one of the more impressive gardens in the area between Montague and Hardgrave Roads, filled with homegrown fruit and vegetables.

In his neighbourhood, George is known as the go-to man for seed and plant advice. There are beans growing in columns along one of the fences. “I grow them for seeds,” says George, explaining that he waits for them to ripen and brown so he can plant them next year. In addition to his other plants, the beans have a long history that start with George’s own.

George moved from Macedonia to Greece then onto Italy before landing in Adelaide in Australia. He finally settled in West End in 1953. The father of his wife, Georgina, used to grow various greens and taught him this skill. George then began planting what is today a mini vegetable farm in his backyard, at 29 years of age. Since then, every harvest comes from seeds grown from the original ones planted almost 60 years ago.

Georgina makes dolmades from their grape leaves and spanakopita from their silverbeet. Renaye, the Anastasios’s granddaughter adds, “We have a Christmas day tradition of cutting the cucumbers and putting salt on them and eating them just like that.” It is difficult to run out of ideas with this garden variety: mint, parsley, dill, endives, eggplant, spring onion, chilli, capsicum, okra, celery, rocket, lemons, mandarins and tomatoes. When the time to prepare the next meal comes around, they really are spoiled for choice.

Words by Rachel Lee

Images by Rosemary Van de Linde