I have just moved to Byron Bay and have a bush turkey problem. Do you have any clues as to what I should do to get my veggie garden going?
Me and my veggie-head friend in Sydney love your work,
Vicki Continue Reading →
I love the smell of Stinking Roger, but my neighbour says it’s a weed to get rid of. Please do tell me what use I can make of it.
In 2007 – 2008, there was a spike in oil prices. Since the bulk of food is produced using petrol-dependant technology (oil-based fertilisers and pesticides, petrol powered irrigation, harvesting, packing and transportation, etc) this price spike caused the cost of food to rise significantly. Suddenly the media discussed ‘food inflation’. Many conventional farmers started looking at fuel efficiency: ceasing the use of expensive oil-based products and oil consuming tasks.
I’m getting fewer summer crops, but my Asian greens are growing very fast indeed. Now that the nights are cooling down, I’ve begun sowing early winter crops, like salad vegetables and tomatoes.
My native Midyim (Austromyrtus dulcis, aka Midgen Berry) has only a few fruit this year. They’ve got introduced Myrtle rust, a debilitating disease that threatens all plants in the Myrtaceae family, both wild and cultivated.
Draft notes for Queensland Conservation’s submission to aid in the development of a National Food Plan. The final draft was submitted by QC on 2.9.11…
A National Food Plan is vital for Australia’s ongoing food sovereignty.
Food Sovereignty may be defined as a nation’s self-sufficiency in food, where affordable staples are made available to its people irrespective of their age, personal wealth, or place of residence.
Without a well-researched National Food Plan the long-term outlook for Australian food sovereignty is not good. Our nation produces a relatively small food surplus in good years, mostly meat and grains, sufficient to feed between 30-40 million. This is a small amount of food compared to current and predicted global population statistics.
Australia covers 7.7 million km2, our fossil soils are infertile and 3 billion years old, and our current population is 22.4 million. In a good year we produce a surplus of grains and meat sufficient to provision another 30 – 40 million people. By contrast the neighbouring island of Java covers 1.9 million km2 (1.8 times the size of the state of Victoria), its volcanic soils are young, fertile and well watered, and its current population is 138 million. In a good year, Java is almost self-sufficient in most staple foods.
I first observed this small native bee working my coriander flowers last week. Clearly it is different from the nine other bees found at ‘Bellis’, helping to pollinate crops.
Yams are warm climate, winter herbaceous, perennial vines. The swollen, starch-rich tuber is their food store, and this is what most people grow them for – they use them as a potato alternative, baked, boiled, mashed or as chips.
Yams need a frost-free, coastal climate and succeed best where there is summer rain and winter drought. They grow well from Sydney north to FN Queensland and around the Top End into WA. While they’ll grow as far south as Perth, they do better around Carnarvon, and south of the Kimberley expect to give them plenty of water.
‘Bellis’, Brisbane’s award winning sustainable house and garden, is now seven years old.
Last October this place won a national Save Water! Award in the Built Environment category. Since its inception, this 810 square metre property has collected over 7 megalitres of rainwater and recycled over 3 megalitres of sewage water. In the ornamental subtropical front garden, grow 118 different plants suited to predicted Climate Change. Apart from the hedge and two potted plants, all of these plants thrive on natural rainfall.
“If they (children) grow it, they will eat it”.
Schools are where Australia’s gardening culture is most rapidly developing, and this is thanks to children. Why? They are generally more keenly aware of 21st century global environmental issues than many adults realise and they want a better future.
If you’re a beginner gardener or a parent and you and your child would like to learn about gardening, ‘Eat your garden’ is for you.