Category Archive: Food Security

Queensland Cucumber Mosaic Virus Alert

Cucumber mosaic virus is a threat to food security. Last year this highly destructive disease was identified on a farm near Bundaberg, and now it has been found on a Charters Towers watermelon farm.… Continue reading

In Production Today, April 2015

Here’s my subtropical food garden’s current autumn menu. Plants marked with an asterisk are volunteers, that is they are self-sown. Currently I have 38 different volunteer crops.

Cyclone Near Miss And Food Production, February 2015

As Cyclone Marcia gets downgraded to a Tropical Low weather system, my soil and crops have had a good soaking: 236mm in the past 48 hours. No crop losses so far – 106… Continue reading

Bunya: Prehistoric Plant, Ancient Australian Food Tradition

“Young Australians need to be educated about what a Bunya tree looks like, what the sound of snapping cones and breaking branches sound like, and to avoid lingering underneath them in high summer. When I was at primary school, we had a Bunya in the schoolyard. We knew what to do, how to harvest them, and no one was ever hurt.”

In Production Today, January 2015

Here’s my subtropical food garden’s current summer menu of 107 different kinds of root, shoot, leaf, petal, seed and fruit.

Mangelwurzel Harvest

I imagine everyone is outdoors, harvesting their mangelwurzels (Beta vulgaris subsp. maritima) today like me. A friend is thinking about brewing mangelwurzel beer, they’re supposed to make a potent drop. Alcohol is not… Continue reading

Elephant Foot Yam: The Gift That Keeps On Giving

The gift that keeps on giving: In 2013, Annette McFarlane gave me a young Elephant Yam, Amorphophallus paeoniifolius. This tropical, forest-dwelling, winter herbaceous perennial root crop is native to India, SE Asia, Papua… Continue reading

In Production Today: November 2014

I am so glad I decided to use the heat, winds and drought of Brisbane’s spring and sprummer to my advantage: it’s ideal for producing a seed crop! As my Queen of the… Continue reading

Nanny’s Cabbage Companion Confirmed Caterpillar Killer By University Of Queensland

In London in 1975, my maternal grandmother, Dorothy Connor, had her best ever crop of cabbages, despite record-breaking drought. From then on, she always grew Landcress (Barbarea vulgaris) amongst her brassicas. Thirty nine… Continue reading

Organic Win: Nematodes Defeated In Wynnum

Root knot nematodes can be a curse in warm, moist garden soils. Feeding by these minuscule, transparent, work-like creatures inside the root tissue of many crops causes the roots to develop tumour-like growths… Continue reading

Success With Pumpkin In The Subtropics

Question: When do I sow pumpkin? I read in gardening magazines pumpkin can be sown from spring to autumn in the subtropics. But advice on seed packets (and some magazines) suggest that pumpkin… Continue reading

In Production Today: October 2014

Brisbane’s warm, dry, breezy inter-season, sprummer, (the period between spring and summer) is intensifying, hastening the production of seed from winter crops. The seed of Ethiopian cabbage (Brassica carinata), Chinese cabbage ‘Tokyo Bekana‘,… Continue reading

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