“The land here is white clay – it was used for brickmaking – and we’re set up in the middle of an industrial estate,” George Bobin explains about his business, B&B Basil. “You don’t grow much around here unless you import soil.”
Unless of course, you’re George. Mind you, the clay pits of East Bendigo seems a mile away from the green, lush land of suburbia where George grew up.
The suburb of Spotswood in Melbourne is iconic. Only seven kilometers from the centre of the city, much of the suburb was divided into large blocks in the 1950’s and sold to immigrants. It rapidly became a melting pot that defined multiculturalism in the city over the decades to follow.
Growing up with his Polish parents in this unique area, George unconsciously developed a passion for growing things, thanks in no small part to his parents and neighbours.
“We had chooks and turkeys and ducks and a huge vegetable garden,” George explains. “Our neighbours were Greek and Italian and they all had their own specialties. Everyone was growing things and I loved it. As kids, Mum made us all study really hard, so outside of school and homework we were expected to help in the garden. We didn’t have much contact with other kids and that meant you tended to concentrate on what you had at home. My brother and I loved building things and I always had an interest in being a little inventive.”
An exert from the recently published book, ‘A Sense of Place’, written by Sonia Anthony and Amy Doak. To read George’s complete journey and the story behind B&B Basil, purchase the book online here: https://oftheworldbooks.com/product/asenseofplace/