In Production Today: August 2014

Here’s my subtropical food garden’s winter menu: Edible roots Arrowroot, Canna edulis Carrot, Daucus carota ‘Paris Market’ Cassava, Manihot esculenta Cassava, Manihot esculenta ‘Variegata’ Cocoyam, Xanthosoma saggitifolia Jerusalem artichoke, Helianthus tuberosus ‘Dwarf Sunray’ Radish, Raphanus sativus ‘Sparkler’ Edible leaves Basil, Greek, Ocimum minimum Basil, sacred, Ocimum tenuiflorum Cassava, Manihot esculenta Cabbage, Chinese, Brassica rapa var. pekinensis…

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.

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…

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…

In Flower Today

Brisbane‘s subtropical winter comes to a happy, floriferous end in mid-August. Today there’s around a hundred different plants flowering, two weeks before Australia’s official first day of spring.

Where Can I Get A Greengage Fruit Tree, And How Do I Grow Them?

Question I recently visited France and was lucky enough to eat a Greengage, it tasted amazing. I already grow one and I think it is a ‘Doree’ cultivar. Can you suggest where I might buy the cultivar ‘Reine Claude de Bavay’, also known in Australia as ‘old greengage’? It was a wonderful fruit, I ate…

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…

Queensland’s Flying Foxes Are Starving – Again

Pictured: driven by famine, a black flying fox drinks nectar from my banana flowers before sunset Bat Conservation & Rescue Qld President, Louise Saunders, is alarmed by the large number of reports about hungry flying-foxes staying by food trees through the day and not returning to their camps. “This is of huge concern as bats…

A Close Shave With Frost During Ongoing Drought: Winter 2007

“What a lot of weather we’re having,” was something my Great Aunt Florence, a one-time Land Army girl, and someone as softly spoken as Lady Bracknell (of ‘The Importance of Being Ernest’) used to say. And we have had a lot of interesting, weather-related events. In the Murray-Darling, irrigated horticulture usually provides 40% of Australia’s fresh…