We were amused when two local newspapers in Melbourne's East simultaneously printed articles on VEG's Dan and the green smoothies we love. Check out the Footscray Star's article here and the Maribynong Leader's article here or read them both in that order below...
Dan Palmer with a `weed smoothie'
by Anthea Cannon (22 Sep 10 @ 11:44am)
STINGING nettle is not everyone’s cup of tea but Yarraville’s Dan Palmer is out to make it everyone’s smoothie.
The former psychology academic turned his back on “convoluted words games” after taking a permaculture course and eventually setting up a garden design business - Very Edible Gardens - one and a half years ago.
He will feature in the Melbourne Gardening Australia Expo converting sceptics to a more organised and productive garden layout and his green smoothies made of weeds including dandelion, sow thistle, wild onions and stinging nettle.
Mr Palmer told the Leader the smoothies were “liquid sunshine” packed with health benefits and offered some advice for any doubters.
“The prickliness of the nettle is totally gone, there’s no way it can hurt.
“The reason it has prickles in the first place is because animals want to eat it because it’s delicious,” he said.
“The nutrient density and health benefits of many of these plants is actually greater than spinach
“It’s like the green eggs and ham story - you just have to give it a try!”
Mr Palmer suggested mixing up the smoothies with a fruit base, or adding herbs or honey. But take care before chomping up your backyard.
“It’s definitely worth identifying your weeds,” he said.
“Fox glove is poisonous and you have to be careful the weeds haven’t been sprayed.”
With his permaculture garden design work more and more in demand, Mr Palmer said the industry had definitely turned a corner. “We’re battling on the edge of mainstream now,” he said.
“It’s about integrating everything in a garden.
Often we’ll turn up to a house and the husband will say ‘What’s this hippy stuff’ then be really happy with the result. It’s not about hugging trees but about solid design,” Mr Palmer said.
Dan’s a real smoothie
By Charlene Gatt, 21st September 2010 12:30:30 PM
FORGET your traditional greens like lettuce and spinach.
Yarraville’s Dan Palmer will be spruiking the benefits of wild edible weeds in a smoothie he will be serving up at next month’s Melbourne Gardening Australia Expo.
The smoothie is made with an array of edible weeds, including dandelion, sow thistle, mallow, amaranth and stinging nettle.
Mr Palmer, who has run permaculture design business Very Edible Gardens (VEG) for the last 18 months, said some weeds had more vitamins and minerals than other vegetables.
“It’s like wheatgrass juice, but better,” he said of the smoothie.
“In all traditional cultures anywhere in the world, they have an intimate knowledge of weeds for their medicinal and nutritional properties. It’s something that our culture has lost.”
Mr Palmer spent 11 years at university and turned his back on a promising career as a psychologist to start reinvigorating people’s backyards, permaculture-style.
He then set up VEG 18 months ago with partners Nathan Edwards and Adam Grubb.
“I stumbled out of uni with three degrees and was feeling a bit disillusioned by it all, and had a need for something more,” Mr Palmer said.
“We’re all about re-localising food production by helping people grow food at home in a way that’s really integrated and beautiful.
“Every month in Melbourne, more and more people want to get serious and start growing food, so not only are we becoming better known, but demand is increasing all the time.”
Mr Palmer will be serving up his green smoothie at the upcoming Melbourne Gardening Australia Expo, which will run at Caulfield Racecourse from 1 to 3 October.