Stingless Bees: Factory Farming With A Future

Sugarbag bees are fun. Young kids are always surprised to discover some Australian bees are both tiny and without a sting. Once they understand these bees are safe company, they can’t resist taking a closer look and become absorbed by the antics of these industrious mini-bees.

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…

Favourite Flying Fox Food Trees: What To Plant

  Flying-foxes are flying gardeners, they sustain forests along eastern and northern Australia, pollinating native trees in national parks and reserves that have become separated or isolated by settlement. Flying foxes also spread tree seed, helping to landscape vast areas of Australia. Many forest-dwelling threatened species depend on these ‘batty’ forests to provide them with food…

Concerning Australia’s Batty Forests And Convict Lettuce

I’d like to start my Australia Day speech by acknowledging the Bundjalung people, Beaudesert’s original landscape gardeners. I’d also like to thank Woolworth’s who have been supporting Australia Day for thirteen years. I am lucky. I seem to have made a career out of doing what I love. I am a freelance curator, broadcaster and gardener. I…

In Production Today – December

It’s hot and humid and, despite hail, my crop of ‘Manning Pride’ corn is ready to pick. It’s amazing how robust this heritage corn can be considering the force of the hailstorm. The plants are standing 3.25m high, each carrying up to three cobs, 30cm long. It’s highly productive. Gardeners can thank the Bega Valley…

Paronella Park: Queensland’s Juicy Jungle Garden

  Paronella Park, near Innisfail, is the legacy created by Jose Paronella, a prodigiously productive person. Born in Catalonia, Spain, and trained as a pastry chef, Jose emigrated to Australia in 1913. He started as a sugarcane-cutter, then worked at improving sugarcane farms before investing his savings and energy into creating Parronella.

Nicotine And Old Roses

Food security alert: Neonicotinoid pesticides, like Confidor, are creating a dangerous world where caterpillars are becoming poison bird bait, where bees and migratory birds ‘forget’ how to navigate and bees and other pollinators are becoming suicide junkies.

Autumn Open Day at Bellis

Every time I open my garden there is something to celebrate about organic gardening and seed saving.

Glyphosate, The World’s Favourite Herbicide

Glyphosate-based herbicides are bee-killing global pollutants of groundwater, rivers and surface water. More recently glyphosate has been detected in rain. The latest research reveals that glyphosate damages the beneficial bacteria in the gut of the honeybee, making them prone to to deadly infections. Previous studies have shown that pesticides such as neonicotinoids cause harm to bees,…

Curious Garden Creatures

Give me an Australian wasp anytime. The solitary species are so much safer to garden amongst than their vicious ‘social’ European counterpart, Vespula germanica.