How Do I Prevent My Garden From Spreading Mosquito-Borne Diseases?

Is gardening fashion fanning ill health? Cairns City Council has increased on-the-spot fines for homeowners found to have mosquitoes breeding on their property to $400. John Pilspanen, of Queensland Health, says the disease will keep spreading until everyone takes the necessary precautions. Queensland Health is concerned about the increasing infection rate of the current dengue…

Polluter Pays?

A Dutch environmental consultancy has revealed that the coal industry is costing the international community $170 billion damage each year due to natural disasters caused by Global Warming. Warming is one disaster. Ocean acidification is another gift of fossil fuels. Rising carbon dioxide levels are increasing acidity in the oceans more than ten times faster…

Big Solutions Create Bigger Problems

ABC news on line reports that the Queensland Premier believes that the proposed Traveston Crossing dam at the Mary River Valley is a cheap solution for SE Queensland’s water needs. The truth is somewhat different: as Oscar Wilde said “The cynic knows the cost of everything and the value of nothing”… The Traveston Dam proposal…

The First Day Of Crematoria

The first koel of summer has called, the first mosquito has bitten and the first dust storm has sprinkled Brisbane red ochre. While I’m out there watering, counting every drop as it falls onto the crisped ground, thunderstorm clouds are full of promise yet lacking in rain. It’s the first day of crematoria, south east…

Using Every Drop More Than Once

The last thing we want is for any water to go down the drain. By mid-morning today, heavy showers filled our 21,000 litre rainwater tank. It’s starting to overflow into our network of drainage pipes, which soak the soil deeply from 70 cm down and below. When this network has done its job the subsoil…

Is Duncan Street’s Nature Strip Now Safe?

Bayside residents have vowed to stop council plans to eliminate this nature strip. Subsequent media coverage by ABC Radio and Channel Ten TV on Tuesday 27th May 2008, it now appears that Brisbane City Council are willing to discuss ways to retain and improve this community asset! Here’s the original story

“Queensland Gardeners Too Dumb To Grow” – Minister

In a recent guide, ‘Waterwise Queensland: Gardening with greywater’*, published on 26th April 2008, Queensland minister for Natural Resources and Water, the Honourable Craig Wallace hopes to popularise grey water in home gardens. During the ongoing drought in SE Qld, home gardeners have grabbed their buckets and answered government calls to reduce their mains water…

Level 6 Watering Restrictions

The Queensland government, and the Water Commission in particular, continue as the state’s arch water wasters… People who grow food at home are not exempt from watering restrictions. Some of us do this to save money so we can repay our mortgages.

A Plant For Every Preschool

I’ve just got back from speaking at the opening day of SEEN, the world’s first early childhood learning conference, at Cockatoo Island, Sydney. The theme was sustainability – creating the future today. There were discussions about plant safety, landscaping and books on these topics for carers and educators. A great conference and some really uplifting…

In Production Today

We currently have an abundance of crops in production today in our 400 square metre back garden. SE Queensland’s dams are just over 80% empty, but we’ve got sufficient recycled water to garden satisfactorily in winter. And using our own recycled water means that we can still use a hose. The coffee has produced its…

Investing In Water Security

Level Five watering restrictions came into force in Brisbane this week. On average, each person in Brisbane uses about 198 litres of water per day. Brisbane City Council wants to reduce this to approximately 140 litres of water per day. This target will be hard to achieve as we are entering our long, dry season…