Markos’ Vegie Garden

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vegetable patch

Don’s Tips – Backyard Farm – Vegie Gardens

According to Markos Dymiotis, when it comes to flavour, taste and enjoyment, there’s nothing greater than growing your own produce.

Markos came to Australia 30 years ago from Cyprus. Don was amazed at the range of vegetables and fruit growing in Markos’ Melbourne backyard (50′ x 75′), which is virtually a replica of the garden he had in Cyprus.

Markos is fascinated by the every day diets of Greek Australians, who still embrace traditional foods. In fact, some people claim that Greek traditions are stronger in Melbourne than they are in Greek homelands. Although semi-retired, Markos loves to teach traditional cooking methods at the local College of Advanced Education. He even wrote a discussion paper on the importance of growing fresh produce in the backyard, which led Murray Thompson MP to establish a vegie garden competition in Melbourne.

The inaugural competition attracted over 100 entries and will be held again in the future. Markos is about to release a study on olive oil, and the importance of choosing olive oils that are high in anti-oxidants.

On the day Burke’s Backyard visited, Markos’ garden was choc-a-bloc with all sorts of vegetables, fruit and herbs, including beans, tomatoes, peppers, grapes, rosemary, figs and olives. He explained that he does not rely on fertilisers, but prefers to use manures and plenty of home-made compost in the garden

Don had great fun helping to crush some grapes for wine making, and also assisted family members who were making some traditional tomato sauce. To make the sauce, the tomatoes are softened by boiling, put through a crushing machine and then bottled. The bottles are put in a pot of water, brought slowly to the boil, and then left to cool for 24 hours. After all the work was done, everyone sat down to a sumptuous Mediterranean feast made with fresh produce from the garden, followed by some Greek dancing.

Further information

Wine making kits are available from all good home brew outlets with the initial set up cost of approx. $240 (for 30 bottles). Subsequent brews will cost less than $4 per bottle for red or white wine.

Omra tomato juicing machines are available in three sizes (3/4hp 1/2hp and 1hp), depending on the number of kilos you want to juice. They cost from $580 – $780. Meat mincing attachments are also available. The sole importers from Italy are:

Lygon Imports
410-412 High Street
Northcote 3070
Phone: (03) 9486 1572 or (03) 9486 8707
Fax: (03) 9489 7762

To contact Markos or for more information on the vegie garden competition phone or write to:
Murray Thompson MP
C/- Parliament House
Spring Street
Melbourne 3002
Phone: (03) 9598 2688


To get a copy of the Backyard Farming – Back to the Kitchen DVD click HERE