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ABC Organic Gardener Magazine

ABC Organic Gardener Magazine Nr. 117

Organic Gardener Magazine is a guide to organic gardening, providing informative and inspirational stories on everything you need to know to grow your own fruit and vegetables- without the use of harmful chemicals. Each issue includes practical tips and advice from leading organic gardening experts.

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8 Issues

in this issue

2 min.
editor’s letter

WE BROKE THE RULES Last issue I wrote about the country being in recovery mode from the summer bushfires, with no idea that another catastrophe – COVID-19 – was waiting on our doorstep. When reading (in trustworthy places) about the origins of this virus and others before it, I was drawn to an article in The Guardian* that quoted David Quammen, the author of Spillover: Animal Infections and the Next Pandemic. Quammen has said that within wild landscapes and tropical forests there are many species of animals and plants that carry unknown viruses which are “shaken loose from their natural hosts” by human disruption, whether cutting down trees, trapping, caging and killing animals, or sending them to markets. Once these viruses are loose, they need a new host, and that can be…

1 min.
og is here for gardeners

Just a short update on a recent blog our editor wrote and to let you know how Organic Gardener is going during the pandemic. Although, like many businesses, we have had to make some tough decisions, Organic Gardener continues to publish. Fortunately, OG is better placed than most with gardening a ‘go-to’ activity in lockdown, and one that we want to make sure everyone can do wherever they are. We will keep supplying trusted, practical advice supporting anyone wishing to garden organically in this crisis and beyond. We are experiencing solid sales from newsagents and that is spurring us on. We encourage you to keep reading, keep sharing, and keep gardening. Spread the word and thanks for your support. The Organic Gardener team…

4 min.

FIRST COMMERCIAL ELECTRIC PLANE “‘[WITH] ALL OF THESE EVENTS, NATURE IS SENDING US A MESSAGE. THERE ARE TOO MANY PRESSURES AT THE SAME TI E ON OUR NATURAL SYSTEMS AND SO ETHING HAS TO GIVE...”The UN’s Inger Andersen In all the bushfire and COVID-19 drama, we missed reporting the world’s first successful flight of an all-electric commercial aircraft last December. According to new technology and science site, newatlas.com, a modified six-passenger DHC-2 de Havilland Beaver seaplane took off from Richmond, British Columbia. The plane, operated by Harbour Air is the first in a planned fleet of all-electric commercial seaplanes. MILK, SUGAR, PLASTIC? There is now even more reason to buy organic tea bags (or organic loose-leaf tea), with researchers at McGill University in Canada finding single use plastic tea bags can shed billions of microplastic…

2 min.

NUTGRASS INFESTATION We planted a lawn with Palmetto turf 10 years ago and it has always looked good and revived without help after dry periods. But the drought late last year damaged a large area of it. After we received rain, even that began to regrow but it was far outnumbered by nutgrass, which we have not had before. How can I deal with it? Margaret Starr, via email Hi Margaret, Nutgrass (Cyperus rotundus) is very difficult to get rid of without a nasty chemical weedkiller. For organic gardeners, it is a process of attrition. Whatever you do, don’t pull it out as it has nodules buried beneath and they spread like crazy. There are lots of different suggestions but most are based on stopping the leaves from growing so they don’t feed the bulbs…

3 min.
choose for the planet

NOURISH YOURSELF THE NATURAL WAY. No-waste shampoo If you want to reduce plastic packaging then Shampoo With A Purpose soap bars are a good find. You can replace six bottles of shampoo and conditioner with one, powerful little bar – it can also be used on your whole body, saving water, time, money and the environment. Using natural ingredients such as shea butter, coconut oil, almond oil, jojoba and avocado, there are options for different types of hair. Available from shampoowithapurpose.com, $15 each. Bake me a treat Stuck inside and want to bake some homemade treats? Changing Habits has a baking pack full of organic essentials that will have you producing sweet bickies and more in no time! The pack includes: organic Rapadura Sugar 500g, Seaweed Salt 250g, Emmer Wheat Flour 1kg, Cacao Powder…

1 min.
the best of your

Paul West on real food Food is Paul West’s specialty, whether he is in his own kitchen cooking produce fresh from his garden, writing a book about cooking, or advocating for the use of real food. First known for his River Cottage Australia series, Paul trained as a chef, cooking in the bistro of Melbourne’s renowned Vue de Monde. But he has subsequently turned his back on haute cuisine, working with and for his passions of sustainable farming and organic food. Now things like gardening, beekeeping and cooking fresh produce are top of mind for Paul. He’s at it again in the most recent ABC Catalyst series, How Food Works, where Paul and dietician Professor Clare Collins and chemist Dr Noby Leong reveal the delicious chemistry, biology and physics hidden inside the…