Cath Manuel climbing a PawPaw treeIf I was meeting you for the first time and you asked “so Cath, what do you do?” I’d really have to give this some thought…. Apart from being a wife to Paul, Mumma to Edison and Archey, food source to dog Snowy and our chooks I would call myself a Horticulturist as that’s what I’m qualified as. But even that is such a conventional definition of who I am. Yes, I am a qualified Horticulturist, but also a Permaculture Designer, Consultant and Educator. So asking me “what do you do” I’d sometimes answer “Where do I start ???”

“Apart from looking after Paul, the boys and the animals, I do love to garden. We live on 3 and a half acres at Lake Macdonald, on the gorgeous Sunshine Coast, and I’m very passionate about growing and producing our own food. One of our reasons to move to acreage was to have the space for our family to enjoy but also to have plenty of healthy, organic food growing and a self sufficient environment to live in. Since moving here in 2008 we’ve planted many fruit and nut trees, including our own coffee which Paul dries, roasts and grinds ( OMG it is so amazing !!!) established a large kitchen garden, built a chook yard, installed more water tanks and solar power. We have a few more plans including a dam and food forest, which in time we will get around to.”

Cath Manuel and family in the garden“There are many things that I love….again it’s Paul and my beautiful boys, but I also love to eat !! So I guess growing my own food gets me pretty excited. I love harvesting fresh  produce and cooking totally delicious food for my family and friends. I get this crazy feeling of satisfaction when I can grow, harvest, cook and serve the one’s I love some delicious new concoction or one of our old favourite dishes and I really feel this from my heart. Maybe it’s a girl thing or being a mum, but I do get the warm fuzzies when I serve up a great meal or some jars of preserves that I know I’ve put all the hard work into  producing. This is what I want everyone to feel. That satisfaction that you have worked hard for the delicious fresh food on the table and you have watched and nurtured it grow,  then harvested it just at the right time and served it up to your family and friends.”

“The other thing I love is the savings. When I walk through the supermarkets and see fresh foods so expensive I feel good knowing that my bananas are about to ripen or our  mandarin tree is covered in fruit or the chooks are laying eggs daily.Cath Manuel harvesting beetroot There’s more satisfaction knowing that we can walk outside and pick the fruit as we need it or my boys can stand in the garden eating something they have just picked (oh the strawberry’s are good) and that unbeknown to them they’re filling up their little bodies with so many vitamins and minerals that I just have to smile and tell them to eat whatever they want.”

So to sum up a little bit about me is that I am a very passionate person about what I believe in and what I do and I just want everyone else to have these feelings too………

Here’s a short bio about me……

“Inspiring people around the world to live a sustainable life, from the ground up”

Soil to Supper - By Cath ManuelCath holds a Diploma of Horticulture and has completed a Permaculture Design Course as well as many workshops on Permaculture and organic food growing. Cath ran a successful Landscape Gardening Business on the Sunshine Coast before switching to organic growing practices to create productive and beautiful gardens for clients. Cath’s business, ‘Soil To Supper’  offers many garden services to help people create and maintain sustainable, organic gardens.

Cath is also the Centre Director at the ‘Centre for Growing Sustainability‘ where she manages the day to day operations of the Centre as well as delivering workshops  on many topics at the CGS and various locations throughout SE Queensland.

Cath’s interests are in teaching others many aspects of eco-sustainability as she believes this is so important for our future and she is also passionate about growing and cooking her own family’s food. She is also interested in plants and their uses.

Cath lives at Lake Macdonald, Sunshine Coast, on a 3 ½ acre property with her husband Paul and boys, Edison and Archey and they are all involved in their sustainable way of life.

For more information on Cath’s products and services please visit or

You can also read Cath and Paul’s Inspiring Story by Green Journey ( here –


© cath manuel 2011