Petal Power: Edible Flowers

Edible flowers have a long history of being grown for making dyes for food and fabrics, or as decorations for cakes, salads and garnishes. What’s surprising is how many commonly grown flowers are edible.

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…

In Production Today: June 2014

Today a cool change has arrived, a reminder that June weather is supposed to be about winter, not the continuation of autumn as it has been. Will there be another winter?

In Production Today, May 2014

May 2014 was the 351st consecutive month of above average global temperatures. Or put another way, any gardener under 30 years old will never have experienced normal growing conditions. This month’s weather has been surprisingly sunny, dry and so warm my ‘Java Blue’ and ‘Pisang Ceylan’ bananas and Sugar palm – tropical plants – are…

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.

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…

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…

Gardener’s Escape: Tour Thailand And Singapore With Jerry Coleby-Williams

  From paddy to plate, a special escape for gardeners: Tour Thailand and Singapore, from 23rd September to 3rd October 2014. Join sustainable gardener Jerry Coleby-Williams and experience the best tropical gardens, plant collections, markets, botanical landscapes, temples, palaces and other cultural destinations in Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Pattaya, and Singapore.

Give a Tree Frog a home

We ran out of time on 4BC Radio’s talkback gardening programme this morning, and I was unable to answer this question. Q: when should I shorten my pawpaw and ‘cap’ the pruning wound?