Now is a great time to be growing your produce before the chilly months set in. In fact, if you start planting your winter crop today, you could be greeted with delicious vegetables in as little as four weeks.

No idea where to start? We asked chef-turned sustainable-farmer Paul West, permaculture expert Ben Shaw, and TDF’s in-house gardening enthusiast Alice Ziebell for their beginner’s tips!

Ben Shaw in his Geelong garden. Photo – Marnie Hawson.

Rich, healthy and alive soil is key to growing successful productive gardens. Photo – Marnie Hawson.

Ben Shaw also hosts permaculture workshops and consults with people wanting to integrate permaculture principles into their own gardens. Photo – Marnie Hawson.

Photo – Marnie Hawson.

Peas! Photo – Marnie Hawson.

Paul West advises that you shouldn’t expect to be a pro straight away, and that rather the reward is in the process of growing (you and the plants!). Photo – Amelia Stanwix for The Design Files.

For Paul West, nothing trumps a deeply nourishing meal and made with ingredients you have grown yourself. Photo – Amelia Stanwix for The Design Files.

Harvest time in the vegetable garden with Frankie and Wilco, in the garden of Horst Schoeps in Narre Warren! Photo – Kate Ballis for The Design Files.

Start simple, perhaps with one pot of parsley? Photo – Amelia Stanwix for The Design Files.

Judy Sederof’s overachieving garden in Brunswick! Photo – Annette O’Brien for The Design Files.

Our very own Alice Ziebell at her father-in-laws incredible Leongatha property! Photo – Amelia Stanwix for The Design Files.

Photo – Marnie Hawson.

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