“I am a passionate gardener. From the joy of nurturing a tiny seed through its life to harvest, to growing beautiful older varieties of vegetables for our chefs (who truly understand and appreciate just what is involved to get our produce from seed to harvest) through to my unwavering love for being in nature every single day – ‘earthing’ myself as a way of connection to our planet provides such delight and peace.
I love all seasons for the anticipation of the next. The kindest for me would be spring and autumn. Spring for the excitement of sowing seeds and autumn for the slowing of growth and time it gives to prepare for winter growing.
If I had to choose my favourite thing to grow it would be radishes. They’re fast to grow (only 30 days to harvest), great fun to pull from the earth and the beautiful variety of colours never fails to disappoint.
Over the years, I have undertaken some incredibly interesting and in-depth training including courses in organic farming, regenerative agriculture, bio-intensive growing, viticulture and most recently an intensive permaculture design certificate.
I have worked with the team at Montalto for the past 20 years – starting in the vineyard and cellar door (as my background is in Viticulture and wine) but had always admired Wendy’s work in her beautiful gardens. When an opportunity arose to help Wendy a few days a week, I jumped at it. A few years later Wendy handed the baton to me and I took over the running of our gardens, growing them to the size they are today.
I have two beautiful children (one of whom now works in one of our restaurants) and a wonderful partner. We are proud Mornington Peninsula locals and couldn’t imagine a more beautiful place to live and work.”
2021 marks the start of a new era in the Montalto estate gardens: the arrival of animals as part of our commitment to sustainability and permaculture.
We have 3 cheeky sheep who live a lovely life on Pennon Hill, keeping the grass down and gobbling up any windfall fruit. Our 40 Isa Brown chickens (from local producer Yolky Dokey) roam our orchards enjoying a delicious diet of estate-grown fruits, vegetables and seeds whilst providing our kitchens with an endless supply of the very freshest eggs. Both add to the soil quality and diversity also.
In the not-too-distant future, we hope to add a couple of goats to the fold to keep noxious weeds (like blackberries) at bay whilst maintaining the wetlands and their surrounds.
Our menagerie will continue to grow organically and sustainably in the coming months and years so keep a look out for our new friends next time you come to visit.
The Montalto Estate Gardens provide our kitchens with an abundance of incredible produce throughout the year. Our harvest calendar is a seasonal guide to what you can expect to see on our menus throughout the year in The Restaurant and The Piazza.
Tomatoes, Garlic, garlic chive flowers, Globe artichokes, zucchini, Leeks, eggplant, cucumbers,
sweetcorn, beans, radishes, salad mix, carrots, rainbow chard, baby potatoes, perpetual spinach,
beetroot, elderflowers and berries, blood plums, apricots, raspberries, rhubarb, basil, bronze
fennel, shiso bi-coloured, red orach spinach, Osaka mustard, liquorice root, wasabi greens, chillies and
lots of edible flowers.
Tomatoes, zucchini, eggplant, cucumbers, sweetcorn, potatoes, beans, radishes, salad mix, carrots,
rainbow chard, perpetual spinach, beetroot, elderflowers and berries, apples, Quinces, Medlars,
Buerre Bosc pears, figs, blood plums, last of the apricots, raspberries, rhubarb, basil, shiso bicoloured,
bronze fennel, Osaka mustard, wasabi greens, chillies.’Golden Nugget’ pumpkins, lots of
Lots of apples, figs, tamarillos, persimmons, blackberries, tomatoes, tomatillos, zucchini,
cucumbers, eggplant, leeks, corn, beans, radishes, salad mix, carrots, chard, perpetual spinach,
bronze fennel, beetroot, elderberries, rhubarb, basil, wasabi greens, Osaka mustard, amaranth,
chillies, pumpkins -all varieties.
Tamarillos, Figs, apples, quince, Autumn raspberries, pumpkins, rainbow chard, last of the beans,
last of the zucchini, last of the cucumbers, basil, tomatoes, eggplant, chillies, rhubarb, tomatoes,
salad greens, beetroot, amaranth, carrots, radishes, garlic chives.
Usually a bit of a hungry gap time, but, carrots, radish, mustard greens, beetroot, salad mix,
kiwifruit (usually a crate), olives, rhubarb, last of the figs, last of the apples, feijoas, guavas,
Cime di rapa, broccoli, kales, radish, beetroot, citrus, rhubarb, tamarillos. Jerusalem artichokes.
Kales, broccoli, cauliflower, leeks, radicchio, Jerusalem artichokes, rainbow chard, radish, turnips,
beetroot, broad bean tips, citrus.
Kales, broccoli, cauliflower, leeks, radicchio, green garlic, rainbow chard, carrots, radish, beetroot,
broad bean tips, mustard greens, citrus.
Kales, broccoli, cauliflower, leeks, radicchio, rainbow chard, green garlic, carrots, radish, turnips,
beetroot, broad bean tips, mustard greens, citrus, peas, parsnips, snow peas.
Kales, last of the broccoli, last of the cauliflower, leeks, last of the radicchio, rainbow chard,
carrots, radish, turnips, beetroot, broad bean tips, broad beans, salad mix, mustard greens, citrus,
peas, snow peas.
Broadbeans, carrots, radish, salad mix, mustard greens, turnips, rhubarb.
Zucchini, cucumber, beans (bush and climbers), salad mix, mustard greens, shiso, basil, lovage,
Apricots (earliest is Moorpark), tomatoes- if we’re lucky!