Q&A With Matthew Hayden

If you missed the live chat with Matthew Hayden, don’t worry! We have the whole conversation right here! See what he says about everything from his favourite meal to where he bought his wok from.

Mellie900: Hi Matt, just wondering what your favourite meal is?

Matthew Hayden: I absolutely love seafood so probably Kell's Sandcrab Lasagne.

Andrea2: I just want to tell you how much I am enjoying your show. The garden and outside kitchen are amazing. What's the favourite part of your garden that you love the most?

Matthew Hayden: The Fire Pit is amazing and right now would be great as it is so cold for us warm blooded Queenslanders!

Samantha5: Love your show. We're very good friends of Ian, the avocado farmer, you had on your show. You couldn't have picked a nicer bloke to learn from. Husband wants to know where you got your wok burner from.

Matthew Hayden: Yep good bloke and great family, had a really terrific day looking over the Bay. The Wok Burner is a beauty and comes from a business in Melbourne. Name is RAMBO so check it out online. They home deliver and have great service.

Howzatt: How many acres [hectares] do you have?

Matthew Hayden: Couple

Howzatt: How long has it taken to get the garden to be at the harvesting
produce point?

Matthew Hayden: Well it is very seasonal so it’s for quick greens including salad. You can be up and running in a few weeks.

Lisa9: Matthew, could you please tell us where we can get a rotating cooker for our firepit? It is exactly what we need.

Matthew Hayden: It was a creation of Brian from Chomp Tree Lopping in Brisbane. He made it from the pin out of a 10 ton tipping truck so it is very strong.

Shane2: Are you looking to get more land, maybe looking into selling your own produce?

Matthew Hayden: No I am very happy, we can produce more than enough food from the small area that we have as our permaculture centre to share with family and friends.

Gina2: My son Fin would love to know what your children's favourite's recipe is?

Matthew Hayden: Fin they are all a little different but one thing they definitely have in common is their love of pancakes and bacon on a Sunday morning. We try our best to protect that morning for family breakfast. Maple syrup too, don’t forget. Some of their favourites from the garden would be snow peas, and sweet potatoes which we slow bake for these frosty nights.

Stephen3: Hey Haydos, thinking about building a fire pit in the backyard. What types of rocks did you use?

Matthew Hayden: From the fire to the fire is the best way to go so Volcanic rocks. Try not to get them out of river beds as they will expand in the heat and explode.

SimonB: Hi Matthew, great result and loved the show. One problem I have with my veggies is the possums getting at them. How do you keep them from devouring your crops?

Matthew Hayden: We also have possums however have not had too much trouble with them as yet, I think they have been distracted with the passionfruit vines which have copped it a bit. In permaculture the philosophy of sharing is an element of it however you can also excluded pests like possums by covering the crops. We have only a small area so would not be too cost preventative for us to do that.

Sarah: Who looks after the chickens?

Matthew Hayden: We all dig in and help out. Delegation to the youngsters is also a big part of having the garden teaching responsibility and respect.

shellbeagle: What would be the smallest scale you could have a decent permaculture garden set up? Is about 1300m2 enough?

Matthew Hayden: Plenty! A few small containers is enough to make a start and then you can build from there. If I were to scale it right back I would start with my own herbs as these can create and finish the best part of any meal.

Luke4: Matt could you please give us an idea on how long it takes to build a fire pit.

Matthew Hayden: 2 Days

Ian2: Hi Mathew regarding possums in the garden try a big plastic owl hanging from a tree or on a post. Keeps the possums away.

Craig: We saw you eating passionfruit on last episode - how long did these vines take to fruit? What variety were they?

Matthew Hayden: We planted a variety of species - four types in total - closest to our septic tank to act as a handy edible screen.

Gina2: Any plans for a Vegetarian cook book?

Matthew Hayden: I have so many plans but I need more than one life. I do like eating vegetarian food especially when I am in India.

Mark3: Hi Matt, well done... permaculture is the direction we all need to take with peak oil upon us. We need to keep promoting this sort of thinking to make a better life for our children. Will you keep getting the message out there for us?

Matthew Hayden: I will do what feels right, I have very much enjoyed linking back into my community and back to my roots.

Luke4: Hey Matt, just wondering how long it takes to marinate the chicken from your curry? Very interested in making it!

Matthew Hayden: Marinate the chicken for an hour or two. It is hard to find more time than this but for chicken the longer the better even over night.

Happy Heifer: Is there anything you would change now you have lived with the garden for a while?

Matthew Hayden: The Corten Steel gets very hot in our summer. Interestingly it is growing amazingly well throughout the cooler months so I may have to make the adjustment in summer by planting a deciduous tree in the sun line for protection when it is hottest. Compromise is so often the case in life and always it remains a tricky balance.

Luke4: Hey Matt, just like to congratulate you on your show. Just a quick question, how long did it take to get your garden at the point it is at now?

Matthew Hayden: We started it in August last year and were eating from it from six weeks after the start of construction.

Michael5: Hi Matt, congrats for a great show - nice feeling to the show - as you say the simple things are the best. Now that your garden is well established, are there any further projects ahead?

Matthew Hayden: Stay tuned! I have really enjoyed this project and I am sure there is plenty more to come.

Matthew5: Hey mate loved the show. Most chefs I've noticed only season steak immediately prior to cooking yet you season over night. You don’t find your steak starts to cook by adding the seasoning for such a long time?

Matthew Hayden: Salt will start a cooking process for sure but the olive oil and garlic and rosemary infusion over night will only enhance the flavour.

Michael4: Hey Matt how about doing up past cricketers gardens?
Matthew Hayden: Good thought! Could be a short show though. Got any tips?

Scott4: Matt, you were an inspiration on the field but mate what you have done since leaving the game – WOW, fantastic! When is the next series?

Matthew Hayden: Thanks for saying Scott, it always amazed me and I never took for granted the amazing support that was given to the family and I throughout playing representative cricket so thank you again. I hope I have done you proud. Lots to come around all my passions - family, fishing, cooking, travel, surfing. My motto is make your vocation your vacation and you can’t go wrong. I also love a challenge so to do things a little different keeps it fresh and fun.

Fiona2: Loved the program me Matt. You and Roy should definitely do a fishing and cooking show together. It would be brilliant.
Matthew Hayden: The boys reckon that we should do one and call it “Salt and Pepper”.

The No. Fan: My dad wants to know who was the garden designer because where getting our house renovated.

Matthew Hayden: It was Nicole Moon. You can read about her here http://www.lifestylechannel.com.au/tv/matthew-haydens-home-ground/nicole-moon.aspx

Luke4: Might be a weird question but what variety of animals do you have now, and are you looking on expanding?

Matthew Hayden: What’s weird about that? We have only poultry which is all our lives are capable of at this stage with a young family and all, it is all about what is sustainable to you!

shellbeagle: Hi again, was also wondering, for a small block of a quarter of an acre, what would be the best things to start out with? I'm definitely a fan of getting chickens.

Matthew Hayden: Chickens are great and really very useful in getting started. Not really much to go wrong and to have fresh eggs every day is such and enhancement to your life.

Jermayne: Matt the other day when Andrew cooked the mud crabs with you, he broke the claws before he cooked them. I thought that by doing that you lose the flavour of the crab. However, they say that mud crabs are much saltier than normal sea crabs?

Matthew Hayden: The juices of the crab go back into the wok but the cracking is too get all those juices wrapped around the meat which would otherwise just steam until cracking open.

Luke4: Do you have many snakes or other dangers that cause your animals grief?

Matthew Hayden: Have seen a few snakes but have had no causalities yet, fingers crossed! Usual suspects I guess in OZ, but by keeping the property relatively clear you can see danger coming.

Kitty: Where did you have the BBQ plate made?

Matthew Hayden: You can get all the info here http://www.lifestylechannel.com.au/home-and-garden/how-to-make-a-fire-pit.aspx

Matthew5: Hi Matt, just finished cooking the meat in preparation for KP's meat pie. Love your cook book and show any plans for a sequel? Maybe over at Straddie?

Matthew Hayden: I love Straddie so much, just came home from there today. Surf has been so good over the past few days. Straddie will feature again, don’t worry.

shellbeagle: The snake issue is also something I have concerns about. Do you find the rat/mice guard on your chicken house works?

Matthew Hayden: Yes! You can get info about the Hen Hilton here http://www.lifestylechannel.com.au/home-and-garden/10-tips-for-keeping-chickens.aspx

Ranjan: What's the right level of red chillies to put into the curry so that you get a bit of fire without burning your mouth?

Matthew Hayden: Trial and error and knowing the strength of your fresh chilli or powdered chilli is key. 1tsp of one variety may have nowhere near the kick of another variety. In your garden it is great to have different strength chilli for different recipes.

Howzatt: Have you had any problems with snakes being that you keep chooks?

Matthew Hayden: No but the way Moonie designed the Hen Hilton it really is very protective. Better to be safe than sorry I guess and chooks are a beacon to vermin like snakes and rats.

Luke4: Do you often meet with your old cricket team?
Matthew Hayden: Yes we meet up quite often which I am very pleased about, we have spent so much time together over such a long period of time it just wouldn't feel right not to see each other often.

Cargar66: Hi Matt, we are thinking about getting some Chinese geese, could you tell me if they are very noisy?

Matthew Hayden: No they are really very placid, they do get protective of their little ones in the spring but they only cry out when you are getting them out in the morning and putting them back at night. They constantly graze on the lawn so plenty of green and they will be very happy. One thing that amazed me about flight birds in captivity is that they never learn to fly so they don't. Bit sad but they are a very lovely part of our family and they have a good life with us. I’m looking forward to seeing some chicks in the spring.

Brian2: Hey Matty, do you miss the cricket mate?

Matthew Hayden: Loved the cricket but that is because I love life. Had so much fun travelling and playing now I am on a different field.

Michael4: Matt, great show, thank you so much. What do you believe is your best dish? Loved the Sheppard’s pie!

Matthew Hayden: I really love food and a large variety as well. My favourite food by a street is seafood. The other day I started making up sushi, Joshua, our middle boy loves avocado sushi and it is so easy to make. Cheers to new challenges.

Howzatt: Do you have any problems growing avocadoes? Anything special that needs to be done?

Matthew Hayden: Yes we do, we are on clay and they need to have a large mound of soil to grow in to but I fear the worst for our avos.

Chris6: Was interested to know if you had to use any chemicals on garden? Have attempted cauliflower growing with little success and yours seemed fantastic.

Matthew Hayden: You have to grow them in the winter for a start otherwise the cabbage moth just tear them apart. Plant Asian in summer and European in winter.

Anthony2: Hi Haydos, congrats on a wonderful series. How has this journey changed the family dynamic? I imagine it would bring the kids into the kitchen to understand the beauty of nature and fresh produce?

Matthew Hayden: Yes the kids love to know where their food comes from and they all have a natural curiosity and that connection makes it so much easier to enable them to experiment. I have had smashing results with them all on that front. It also allows you to spend quality time, mostly one-on-one, as they meander down at their own leisure. Kids are so inspirational if you let them catch your time.

Lisa9: Matthew, do you have a pizza oven? This is on my wish list next for our native adventure garden. Love the idea of enjoying good food with friends. Every time we have a BBQ it rains so it appears we are not the only ones.

Matthew Hayden: No pizza oven yet and like you I love pizza and so do the kids.

Chris6: Would you consider keeping animals for meat/milking purposes or is block size too restrictive?

Matthew Hayden: I would consider it but not just yet.

shellbeagle: What would be the maintenance level for the setup you have, including the cleaning of the chook house?

Matthew Hayden: Surprisingly low but nothing in life comes for free so what you put in you get out.

Clint2: Matt, who inspires you to cook?
Matthew Hayden: The local growers and producers who provide fantastic fresh ingredients.

Marlene: Hi Matt, how does your garden hold up in the very heavy QLD storms?

Matthew Hayden: It has done well in the storms, I think having the raised vegetable beds definitely helps.

Heidi4: Hey Matt, what would be your favourite spices to use in your garden?

Matthew Hayden: Favourite spices are all the Asian spices such as galangal, turmeric, curry leaf, Kaffir Lime and cardamom.

For more information about the show click here.

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