Growing to give and remember our diggers
A SPRINGFIELD woman has grown a Gallipoli Rosemary in her backyard and is selling sprigs to raise money and pay tribute to the fallen.
The plant was propagated from a bush that was brought to Australia from ANZAC cove by a digger.
"In 1915 a wounded soldier from ANZAC Cove dug up a Rosemary from Gallipoli and brought it back to Australia,” gardener Rachel Leembruggen said.
"It was maybe a few decades later, people realised how special it was and they took cuttings and sold it throughout nurseries in Australia with proceeds going to something related to war efforts.
"This rosemary is one of those.”
Mrs Leembruggen runs a gardening business from her home called Plot Australia and saw it as the perfect opportunity to stand by its motto "growing to give”.
She has teamed up with four local businesses to sell sprigs at one dollar each this Remembrance Day, with all proceeds going to Legacy.
"I thought with this rosemary, I'm not making much profits at the moment, but there's still something I can do. I can cut the rosemary and hopefully raise some money.”
"I put one on the other day and it's so lovely, it smells beautiful.”
Today marks the anniversary of the day the guns on the Western Front fell silent in 1918 after more than four years of continuous warfare.
World War I had mobilised more than 70 million people and left between 9-13 million dead, and up to one-third of them with no known grave.
In the four years of the war more than 330,000 Australians served overseas, and more than 60,000 of them died.
On the 11th hour of the 11th day on the 11th month, a minute's silence is held and dedicated to the soldiers and those who died or suffered for Australia's cause in all wars and armed conflicts.
Mrs Leembruggen said after recently learning of her own family's history, she felt even more compelled to give back.
"My great Granddad died as a result of being gassed in the first World War and my great grandma then was left with four young kids, similar to the age that mine are now and in the Great Depression. Legacy helped her a lot,” she said.
"I just can't even imagine. I'm so reliant on raising these kids with my husband and if something happened to him or if something happened to me if I was serving, it's a big thing for families.
"It really hits home when you have young boys.”
The sprigs will be sold at The Source Bulkfoods at Springfield, Raw Energy Springfield, Moselles Cafe and Remedy Espresso Cafe Springfield today.
"I put a call out on Facebook and they all got back to me within a day,” she said.
"Those four donated their counter space which is lovely. I couldn't do it without that.
Mrs Leembruggen said she hoped she could continue the initiative next year.
"I've got plans with this rosemary to grow cuttings from it and then grow a full hedge in my yard. Then it would be great to do this again on a bigger scale, next year. But I guess we're piloting this year and we'll see how it goes,” she said.
"It's all about growing to give basically. I'm just trying to inspire people that you can grow your own home harvest and it doesn't have to be a big deal. It can just be a pot with some lettuce, but it's just such a good thing for me to do with my boys, like my dad and my grandma did with me, I want to share that with other people.
"If my rosemary plant can grow to give then I would love that.”