Cocoyam Recipes – Winter Open Day At Bellis, 2014

If you attended this winter open day, congratulations, you were part of gardening history. A record breaking number of guests visited Brisbane’s thrifty sustainable house and garden. And what a jolly, generous, patient and enthusiastic bunch you proved to be. The very best Queensland has to offer. Best of all, there were more young gardeners…

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…

Open Day At Bellis, August 2014

FULL DETAILS SEE: http://www.opengarden.org.au Leave Brisbane’s suburbs behind as you visit 813 square metres of rural Wynnum. Check out my award-winning, thrifty sustainable garden: blue bananas, stingless bees, home grown bath sponges, and turf mostly mowed by guinea pigs. See how a decade of organic gardening has converted uncompromising acid sulphate soil into a wonderful,…

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…

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…

Marigold Magic

Question I love the smell of Stinking Roger, but my neighbour says it’s a weed to get rid of. Please do tell me what use I can make of it. Kelly, Facebook

‘Bellis’ – A Model 21st Century Garden

‘Bellis’, Brisbane’s award winning sustainable house and garden, is now seven years old. Last October this place won a national Save Water! Award in the Built Environment category. Since its inception, this 810 square metre property has collected over 7 megalitres of rainwater and recycled over 3 megalitres of sewage water. In the ornamental subtropical…

New Book: How To Create A School Food Garden

Here is the best step by step guide showing how schools can set up an organic food garden. This book is packed with brilliant, practical suggestions for establishing and maintaining an inexpensive Seed Saver garden. Schools are currently eligible for government grants to help establish organic food gardens, and by using this guide, success can…

Perfect Peas

We’ve got some very healthy heritage snow and shelling peas, Pisum sativum var. sativum, most of which came from Seedsavers. I get such a happy feeling observing our growing peas. The seeds feel lovely to the touch, they unfurl and push through the soil so eagerly as they germinate, their leaves are very soft and…

Jerry’s ‘Bellis Garden’

The Gardening Australia expo, Brisbane, was a big success. Better plants, better displays and keen gardeners determined to succeed, whatever drought may bring. We were there too, mostly at ‘Jerry’s Bellis garden’ display. I’d like to say a big thank you to Expertise Events – to Gary, Dawn, Matt and Rudi – the team who…

Vale The ‘Green Revolution’

A busy day in the garden…rain was forecast, so I cut and spread dolomite on George’s Sustainable Lawn, hoping it would wash it in. It didn’t, so I ended up rinsing it in with recycled water. I want it looking OK for this Sunday’s National Sustainable House Day. I knocked up a temporary bamboo screen…