In Production Today: April 2014

A couple of brief April showers kept the grass green, but below the surface the soil remains dry. It’s ideal weather for propagating Cranberry Hibiscus and Four Seasons Herb, cuttings are rooting within ten days. Although the value of each watering is lasting longer now the days are shorter and the nights cooler, I won’t…

Hibiscus Leaves Helped Save Australian Lives

I’ve just found a letter written years ago in response to an article I wrote about edible members of the Hibiscus family (the Malvaceae). This refers to rosella leaves (Hibiscus sabdariffa), an icon of Australian backyards, and also peasant food or famine food in Bangladesh, Thailand and Burma. Rosella leaves helped Australian prisoners survive the…

Freedom 2014

To me, freedom is access to water – clean rainwater, harvested from my roof, and recycled water generated by my sewage system which I use to grow organic food.

In Production Today, March 2014

The most widespread recorded drought in Queensland’s history has meant most of my gardening effort continues to be spent on watering and soil improvement. At least I’m able to keep fruit trees productive and perennials alive. Beds which would normally be filled with seasonal annuals can remain dug, mulched and bare until useful rain arrives. But…

In Production Today, February 2014

February used to be Brisbane’s wettest month of the year, but, so far, not a drop of the wet stuff. Like last month, I’ve maintained the garden more or less as it is and I’ve focussed my efforts on preparing vegetable beds for sowing and planting once rain has arrived.

In Production Today – January

It’s hot and humid and, despite a few promising showers, my garden is parched. Until the soil gets a decent soaking, I won’t be sowing anything new. I’m wondering if there will be a repeat of last summer, when five rain-free months ended with Cyclone Oswald on Australia Day.

In Production Today – September

Goodbye spring! September’s spring withered halfway through the month as the hot, windy, desiccating conditions of Brisbane’s fifth season arrived: crematoria. Timely watering is, again, critical until useful rain arrives…

Biodispersal: Another word for the dictionary

A student at Dekin Uni is writing about GM foods. She wanted my opinion, so here is my reply – it was published eight years ago in response to an opinion piece written by Jennifer Marohasy (a member of the Institute of Public Affairs, a pro-industry lobby group) in the Courier Mail…

Memories of Alpine Flowers

This Will’s cigarette card collection is a hundred years old. I photographed it this morning, in between radio interviews…