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Paramedic turned gardening influencer continues to grow

April 3, 2024 | in Community News

When Ambulance Victoria (AV) paramedic Ash Burke started sharing gardening tips and tricks on his Instagram, he never imagined it would become one of the country’s most followed gardening accounts.

Four years on, Ash’s account, ashs.backyardgarden, has amassed more than 170 thousand followers, with the level of interest still taking him by surprise.

“I still remember thinking it was unbelievable when there was 100 people following my page,” Ash said.

“Creating the account and getting in front of the camera has been a great opportunity for me to get out of my comfort zone as I’m naturally a more quiet and reserved person.”

Ambulance Victoria paramedic Ash Burke is standing in his garden and holding a container with several small pots and fresh saplings growing out of the soil.

Ambulance Victoria paramedic Ash Burke shares gardening tips and tricks on his Instagram account.

Ash joined AV as an Advanced Life Support (ALS) paramedic 10 years ago and spent five years working on road in the Grampians and Barwon South West regions.

He then moved into a role within AV’s Rosters Department where he is now in a Resourcing Lead position.

Ash said his interest in gardening stemmed from a love of the outdoors and an outlet to relieve stress.

“It’s certainly a way to take my mind off work, which as paramedics can be really important,” he said.

Based in Geelong, Ash’s garden is 70sqm, with dozens of seasonal vegetables, fruit trees, composting systems, a beehive and chickens.

Ash said he aims to make suburban backyard gardening accessible to anyone.

“It’s very achievable, when I started the veggie garden I was a paramedic with no horticultural, building or trades experience,” Ash said.

“It started as a bare patch of dirt and now we grow a significant portion of what we eat.

“I’m continually learning, and over the years we’ve been able to create balance by incorporating things like companion planting to avoid the use of any nasty chemicals in the garden.”

Paramedic Ash Burke's garden with an variety of green vegetables, fruit trees, composting system, and a beehive.

Ash’s garden is 70 sqm with dozens of seasonal vegetables, fruit trees, composting systems, a beehive, and chickens.

Ash said it was rewarding to have followers share updates from their own gardens.

“I’ve had quite a few people reach out to me about their projects after being inspired by what I’ve done and it’s become a real little community,” he said.

On average, Ash will spend around four hours a week in the garden, often assisted by his children.

As the weather cools down, Ash is busy removing the last of his summer vegetables and planting new seedlings for winter.

“Future plans include extending the garden and adding some raised wicking beds to grow more flowers,” Ash said.