What is your name?

Helen Andrew

Tell us where you live?

Sunshine Coast in Queensland, Australia.

Why did you join Spare Harvest? What appealed to you and how did you find us?

I created Spare Harvest so I could connect with people I didn’t know in my community so I could share my excess fruit.  When we moved to our current home, we realised we have several established fruit trees.  We finished the season wasting a lot of fruit as my existing network didn’t want my excess because they also had a glut of fruit.  I tried to share a bag of mandarins with my son’s teacher, but she asked me to take them back home as she had more than she needed on her tree.  Wasting this beautiful, fresh, spray free fruit didn’t make sense.  I knew there were people in my community who would love to have my excess but I didn’t have a way to connect with them.  This experience inspired me to create Spare Harvest.

Share with us a little more about yourself. What gets you up in the morning? Your passions, hobbies and interests.

I am a wife and mother to Alesya aged 14 and Jaryd aged 12. We moved to our current home a couple of years ago as we wanted a larger property where we could grow some of our own food.  I fill my day working on Spare Harvest and being a full-time mother and tending to my garden.  I enjoy reading, especially paper books.  We are only 20 minutes from some of the best beaches in the world, so we try to have regular walks on the beach.  Our dog Lucy loves the beach.  My passion is to be the best mum I can and leave this planet in a better place for my children and grandchildren, my son tells me he wants to be a Dad.

How would you describe your garden?  What do you grow?

I don’t have any formal training horticulture and I am lucky to remember the names of plants, so our garden is a bit of a mish mash.  Our garden is currently under mish-mashn after we put in a big rain tank in the back yard.  At the moment we have several established fruit trees – 3x mandarin, 1x lemon, 1x tangelo and 1x cumquat. It was these trees that prompted me to start Spare Harvest.  We also have some raised garden beds. We have an established herb garden with lemongrass, mother of herb, oregano, thyme, parsley, bay leaf, coriander. We also grow strawberries, climbing spinach and just finished growing pumpkins.  We also have pineapples, a lime tree, a pomegranate tree, orange tree, several mango trees, 2x persimmon trees and an avocado tree.

What is your first memory in the garden?

I grew up with a garden producing lots of our food. My father was always in the garden. I remember lots of fruit trees and my mum making lots of jams.  I do remember coming home from school when it was pea season to pick any peas and eat them straight away.  I used to get into a little trouble from my mum as there was never enough left for dinner.

How long have you been gardening?

I only recently took an interest in gardening even though my Dad was an avid gardener when I was growing up. I suppose it was having my own children, wanting to know where my food came from and having the space to create a garden is what prompted me to start gardening.  So I have been gardening in a real way for about 3 years.  Prior to that, I dabbled in a small garden and pots, mostly herbs that I could use in the kitchen.

What do you enjoy most about gardening?

Being with nature and enjoying the harvest. Nurturing something until it produces something is very gratifying. Since been on Spare Harvest I have also enjoyed sharing my harvest. I have met lots of new and interesting people and heard some inspiring stories.

What are your top gardening tips?

Build up the soil before you plant. This will make it easier to manage the plant as it grows. Put worm towers into every garden bed and then fill them with all your kitchen scraps. Another tip would be to mulch. It can get very hot in my garden and mulching helps keep the moisture in.

What are your 3 favourite foods?

Fresh garden peas


Home-made pesto

What are your 3 least favourite foods?

Brussel Sprouts




What are your top recycling tips?

Put scraps into the garden or share them on Spare Harvest. The less that goes into landfill the better.

If you could invite any 1 or 2 people to dinner, who would they be?

This was a difficult question for me as I have never considered who I would invite.  After much thought I would love to have the Dalai Lama to dinner for two reasons.  One, I am not a very good cook and he would not judge my efforts and two, because he would be an amazing person to have a conversation with.  

Is there anything else you would like to share with us?

I have loved been part of Spare Harvest.  I leave my herbs as a permanent listing on Spare Harvest as they seem to love been shared.  Several herb gardens have been started from my garden.  I enjoy meeting other like-minded people in my community and have really experienced the joy of sharing.