There’s a Petal on my Plate!

If you eat in any of the Hunter’s finest restaurants, no doubt you will have had an array of miniature greens, known as micro herbs, or perfectly edible flowers artfully strewn across your plate. Could you identify them? Could you identify if they were grown locally?

There’s a fair chance they were. And there’s a very fair chance they came from the backyard enterprise of Elle Brown and Dylan Abdoo. Two hothouses, some lovingly tended garden beds and rows and rows of potted pansies and this inner-city oasis is their budding business, churning out 1500 pots of micro herbs, plus punnets and punnets of plate-bound posies every week.

The business has sprouted over the last three years, with demand across the region. They now supply 70 restaurants in Newcastle, the Central Coast, Hunter Valley, Port Stephens and Maitland. The couple are even looking for farmland around Maitland, so they can expand their empire of teeny delicacies.

But for now, Waratah West is home, and what a colourful yard it is. The couple pooled their funds with Dylan’s father’s building skills and built a hothouse. “I actually started growing wheatgrass,” says Elle.

Story and Images Penny Evans.