Anne Atkinson: Asparagus, Beetroot, Peas and Celery
Anne Atkinson has a PhD in history and enjoys working with communities in collecting and presenting stories. She is also passionate about drawing vegetables, including illustrating the vegetable stories for this book - the ideal vehicle for her obsession.
Karen Atkinson: Mushrooms and Sweet potato - vine
Dr Karen Atkinson is a writer of fiction and non-fiction. Living for many years in the West Australian wheatbelt, the Kimberley and Central Australia, Karen now lives in Denmark. She worked for many years in education and has a Master of Education in TESOL. Karen completed her PhD in English and Australian Literature at Murdoch University in 2015. She has won awards for her short stories and published with Westerly, Spinifex Press and Magabala Books.
Evan Bayliss: Potatoes
Evan Bayliss is a retired oncologist and who is now able to indulge in other interests, including on occasions, writing. Much of his childhood and adolescence was spent in Bunbury, when backyards, as a rule, were much bigger than they are today and were much more conducive to unorthodox cooking experiments.
Dan Ben-Canaan: Iceberg lettuce and Vegetables at sunrise
Professor Dan Ben-Canaan has had an uncontrolled life-long arousing passionate affair with vegies of all kinds, colours and shapes. He is a professor of research methodologies at the prestigious Northeast Forestry University in Harbin, China, and the founder of the Sino-Israel Research and Study Center in this unique northeastern Chinese historical city. He replaces the torturous freezing Harbin winters with the welcoming warmth of his retreat home in Xinglong on Hainan Island amidst the rainforests and untamed tropical jungles of south China where fruity vegetables are in abundance.
Lucinda Daly: Broccoli
Lucinda Daly is nearly 80, a retired Social Worker. Married to Frank, who worked for an oil company, so lived around Australia and the UK before settling in Perth. She paints, sails, travels in the outback and spends two months every year with their daughter in the UK.
Kaye Duffy: Chokos and Spinach
Kaye Duffy is a Newcastle woman who is a retired journalist and businesswoman. She continues to write and has a special interest in health advocacy. She facilitates the Hunter Brain Tumour Support Network and is involved in several government health advisory boards. Her passions are travel, reading and music.
Lucille Fisher: Okra
In writing this piece I have combined two of my favourite things: cooking and India. I spend many pleasant hours in the kitchen, filling the room with aromas of coriander, cumin, chilli, ginger, onion and garlic and the other wonderful smells that encapsulate the flavours of India.
Craig Harper: Runner beans and market stalls
Craig grew up on the goldfields around Kalgoorlie where he, from an early age, had a fascination with lizards: race horse goannas and Mountain Devils in particular. He can't remember when his passion turned to vegetables but now he is a strong advocate for locally sourced fresh produce with the adage of 'quality over quantity'. He practices this fervency in his son and daughter's grocery store, Harpers Food Market in South St, O'Conner.
Gerry (Geraldine) Harvey: Swede
I'm a retired double certificated nurse. My passions are in Embroidery, cooking and art. My hours spent embroidering are supplemented by the pleasure cooking gives me. I participate in an International women's group providing service for local communities and enjoy traveling overseas to experience the local cuisine and, of course, the local wine(s).
Margaret Hill: Cucumbers
I was born in Sydney, the daughter of immigrants from Estonia. I worked hard at being Australian and determined to go to University, majoring in Zoology at Sydney University, and ending up in research work with the CSIRO. In 1959 I went to work in a Christian youth organisation where I met my husband Brian Hill who subsequently became an academic. We've been settled in Perth since 1974 with our 4 children and 6 grandchildren.
Morag Loh: Celery
Morag Loh is a pioneer of oral history in Australia. She was co-author of The Immigrants (Penguin Books, Ringwood Victoria. 1977) a book on the experience of immigrants in Australia, which paved the way for oral history to become an accepted methodology for historical research.
Sophia and Dmitry Litvinyuk: Cauliflower
Sophia Litvinyuk is an industrial engineer who has spent her career working in the toy manufacturing industry. She enjoys travel, caring for her home garden and arranging family gatherings. She lives in Kiev, Ukraine.
Dmitry Litvinyuk is an engineer who runs a small electronics production company in his retirement. He loves to nurture his home garden and makes wine (free of water and sugar) from his own grapes. He lives in Kiev, Ukraine.
Clare McBeath: Baby Carrots and Zucchini
Clare McBeath has a PhD specialising in the dissemination of vocational education. She has taught at secondary and university level in Australia, Sarawak, Brunei and Fiji and studied in the UK as well as in Adelaide and Perth. She retired from Curtin University in 2003, but keeps busy. One of her favorite things is travel.
Patricia Miller: Capsicum
Patricia Miller has been a natural therapist and psychotherapist for almost 30 years. She is now semi-retired from these professions and practices as an artist, art teacher and art therapist. Patricia lives in Victoria.
Roman Ravve: Cauliflower
Roman is a freelance genealogist, researcher and translator, and a single parent of two pre-school children. He believes that life is all about children, good coffee and good radio shows. He and his children live in Alexandriya in the Kirovograd region of Ukraine. Roman interviewed Sophia and Dmitry and translated the story of the cauliflower.
Vi Philp: Beetroot - an artist's medium
Vi started her career as a self-taught artist when she was 61, after she met her husband who encouraged her to draw and paint. Since then she has won 15 High Commendation awards, taken many commissions and lost count of the works she has sold. It proves that it is never too late to realise a skill, an interest and a love.
Jason Soll: Salad Leaves
Jason Soll migrated to Perth from South Africa in the 1990s. He is a part-owner of the Fruit Basket on Cranford Ave, Mt Pleasant where he enjoys advising customers, promoting vegetables and exploring the flavours and combinations of salad leaves.
Ramdas Sankaran: Avarakkai beans
Ramdas Sankaran is a professional social worker who migrated to Perth from India in 1978. Worked in the multicultural sector since the 80s and was appointed the Executive Director of MSCWA in 2002. His strongest passion, besides work, is growing Indian vegetables and fruits.
Hugh Semple and Katherine Rankin: Beefsteak tomatoes
Hugh Semple and Katherine Rankin reside in the town of Redcliff in South-eastern Alberta, Canada, the Greenhouse Capital of the Canadian Prairies. Despite several winter months with temperatures as low as -40íC, we can enjoy delicious local produce, including beefsteak tomatoes, almost year-round.
Brian Shepherd: Silverbeet
After three decades working in education and museum work (including 20 years as director of the Museum of Childhood at Edith Cowan University), and a fourth as a consultant in the museum and heritage industry, Brian has retired to a new life in Tasmania where indulging in the local fresh food threatens to be a whole new career in itself.
Doug Sue: Celery
Doug Sue was born in 1916 in Perth. He was the son of Ah Sue, a Chinese market gardener, and Ivy Mary, an English immigrant. Doug went to primary school in York but out of school hours worked on his father's market garden as part of the employed Chinese workforce. He continued gardening throughout his life, providing gardening services as a living and maintaining his own vegetable garden behind his house at South Perth. Doug died in 1997.
Gregor Sutherland: Red cabbage
Dr Gregor Sutherland was a paediatrician in Lae, Melbourne and Alice Springs. His work has taken him to other places, including London, Central Australia and the Kimberley. One of his ambitions was how to get young children to eat cabbage. He tried a range of colours (natural dyes, naturally) and even 'hundreds & thousands'. He had no success. Hence his continuing obsession with cabbage.
Carolynne Troy: Celeriac
Carolynne was completing her university studies when she met Hadleigh and they embarked on an adventure that would see them travel around the country and across the globe before coming home and opening Restaurant Amusé, in 2007. She currently works with her husband Hadleigh running their new café Hampton and Maley in Victoria Park.
Hadleigh Troy: Jerusalem artichokes
Hadleigh commenced a cookery apprenticeship as a way of getting out of school, far removed from the romantic culinary upbringings that many chefs have to share. His success as a chef and restauranteur has been the result of hard work and dedication coupled with a desire to make food that is tasty and hopefully his guests happy! Hadleigh and his wife Carolynne used to run the renowned Restaurant Amusé, but are now enjoying more conducive hours running their new café, Hampton and Maley at Victoria Park, serving breakfast/brunch/ lunches with a gourmet touch.
Venerable Hue Can: Sweet potato vine - story
Emily Thai was born in Vietnam and came to Perth in 1975. She worked in the areas of migrant education, social advocacy, access and equity; first as a Children's Librarian then as Co-ordinator of the Ethnic Child Care Unit. In 1998 she was ordained as a Buddhist nun in the Zen Order and given the name Venerable Hue Can which means 'root of wisdom' by the Most Venerable Thich Thanh Tu . She has written several books such as Stories of Thien and Diamond Sutra explaining Buddhism in simple stories. Venerable Hue Can gives regular dharma talks and runs meditation sessions at Sunyata Community and Meditation Centre is and is a sought out speaker for international Buddhist conferences.
Valerie Warren: Lentils
I was born in London, spent my primary school years in Uganda, secondary school years at boarding school in England and migrated to Brisbane with my family at the age of 17. I married a bush loving Australian and for ethical, environmental and health reasons we now follow a vegetarian lifestyle.
Jiri Zmitko: Kohlrabi
Jiri grew up in Czechoslovakia, and has vivid memories of grandmother's kitchens, pilfering apples from village orchards and snowed-in winters. He moved to Australia after marrying his wife Zoe in 1997. He now works as an exhibition designer, and enjoys visits back to the Czech Republic and building interesting mechanical gadgets with his two sons Matty and Tobias.
Zoe Zmitkova: Radishes
Zoe's first memory is the temperature of the colour green: it marks a moment when her mother drove through the highlands of Papua New Guinea with both kids in the back of the car; having first chucked them a box of cheezles to keep them quiet so that she could concentrate. Zoe still loves the colour green. She is a passionate hiker and nature lover. Zoe works as a theatre designer and lives in Perth with her husband Jiri and their two young and irrepressibly energetic boys, Matty and Tobias.