International Compost Awareness Week

‘Bellis’, Brisbane’s sustainable house and garden, produces 4 metric tonnes of compost a year. Using low till, ecologically sustainable gardening techniques enables this property to sequester 0.638 metric tonnes of atmospheric CO2 gas each year. Doesn’t sound much, does it?

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.

Thrifty, Fertile and Illicit: 4BC Horticultural Intervention

So there I was with Noel Burdette, in the pre-dawn darkness of Brisbane’s Cannon Hill. Groggy but organised, and with only a smartly dressed security guard as a witness, we got stuck in. Long ago we’d decided that the front garden at 4BC Radio, home to the voice of Brisbane’s gardeners, needed a little buffing up….

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…

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.

Dry soil after the storm

After the storms that hit Brisbane yesterday you might expect that I could give watering a rest for a while.

Towards A National Food Plan

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… Introduction 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…

Citrus: Avoiding The ‘Danger Zone’ To Achieve Abundance

Trish & Malcolm have finally solved their citrus fruit drop problem. Autumn is an important season for citrus maintenance, especially if they’re growing in areas with summer rainfall. This is because heavy rainfall leaches nutrients through the soil and citrus are really quick to show they’ve got deficiencies. For a quick nutrient fix: To four…