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ABC Organic Gardener Magazine

ABC Organic Gardener Magazine Nr. 107

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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7 Issues

in this issue

1 min.

Mahdi Housaini Mahdi is a young student born and raised in Sydney but whose family is from Afghanistan. Three years ago, Mahdi travelled to Afghanistan with a close friend whose mother is the founder of a charity based in Sydney that is dedicated to helping women and children in Afghanistan called Mahboba’s Promise. Together Mahdi and his friend roamed around the country. “I was especially awestruck by the beauty of the land and the experiences I had and the stories I came across,” said Mahdi. He vowed that when university was completed he would return for a year to learn about the country and help where he could. Read Mahdi’s article on traditional farming in Afghanistan on page 30. Max Allen Max is an award-winning journalist, author and lifelong organic consumer: a few rashers of…

2 min.
adaptation now

I consider myself lucky to have escaped the worst of summer’s heatwaves up in the Northern Rivers of NSW where I live. For whatever reason, we’ve only had a few short spells of 35°C. I noted with trepidation and foreboding, though, the record-breaking extremes of high 40s being experienced in many regions of the country. At time of writing, the less extreme temperatures in my region were countered with a record-breaking dry spell. The lowest December rainfall since records began in our subtropical area, and not a drop of rain in January so far. Usually thunderstorms would regularly sweep through in the afternoons, providing rainfall and respite from the sapping humidity. The local swimming holes are still flowing, but only just, and restrictions have been introduced in nearby inland towns such…

4 min.

BLUE MOUNTAINS GARDEN TRAIL Gardeners across the NSW Blue Mountains will be opening their gardens in March as part of an Edible Garden Trail – a concept that is hoped will spread around the country. Started by sustainability advocate and mountains resident Susanne Rix, the idea is to recruit like-minded backyard, school and community growers in communities to open their gardens to the public. The first Blue Mountains trail was held in March last year. “The intention was to showcase how Blue Mountains gardeners tackle poor soil, icy winters, summer heat, birds, pests and long periods of low rainfall to feed themselves, and encourage others in their organic gardening journey,” Susanne explains. The inaugural event was a huge success. Hundreds of locals and visitors flocked to the trail to talk to other gardeners…

1 min.

HERONSWOOD HARVEST FESTIVAL Celebrate the heirloom revolution at Heronswood – the home of The Diggers Club – with free tours and mini-workshops across the whole weekend, plus an heirloom taste test, childrens’ activities and much more. WHERE: Heronswood – 105 Latrobe Parade, Dromana VIC WHEN: March 9 & 10 DETAILS: diggers.com.au/whats-on CLOUDEHILL FESTIVAL OF FLOWERS Explore the beautiful hot and cool summer flowering borders and join in a free tour of Cloudehill Gardens in the Dandenong Ranges with its creator, Jeremy Francis. Also, free mini workshops, including flowering perennials, attracting pollinators, bulbs and more. WHERE: Cloudehill Gardens, 89 Olinda-Monbulk Rd, Olinda VIC WHEN: March 2 & 3 DETAILS: diggers.com.au/whats-on MELBOURNE GARDEN SHOWTIME Come visit our stand at this year’s Melbourne International Flower And Garden Show in March. We will again be sharing with sister publication Gardening Australia, so there will be…

3 min.
green living

practical permaculture courses Permaculture College Australia is a pioneering property and teaching centre based at Djanbung Gardens in Nimbin, Northern NSW, offering a diverse range of workshops and short courses on permaculture design and sustainable living. In April, take your pick from DIY Soap Making & Natural Cleaning (April 27), Healthy Soil, Compost and Compost Teas (April 16), Organic Integrated Pest & Weed Management (April 27) and Planning a Year-Round Food Supply (April 23). The college is also running a Permaculture Design Course from July 6–20. Short courses start from $55. See permaculture.com.au/short-courses/. liquid gold Seasol Liquid Compost is an easy no-dig solution for putting essential nutrients back into your soil. Simply hook up your hose (or add to a watering can) and apply this triple treat, which acts as a dynamic soil…

3 min.

BIRDS GOOD AND BAD In recent Q & A sections you gave advice on decimated geraniums. We have had the same issue here in Walpole (WA) caused by ring necked parrots (known locally as 28s), and since we haven’t been in drought, I believe it’s the sugar they are after, not the moisture. This summer they have left the geraniums alone and instead have copied a female bird which started weeding my garden, pulling up all the Guildford grass and similar and eating the corms. They have weeded the whole garden – wonderful! Mind you, they are still keeping an eye on the fruit trees, knocking all the fruit off just as it forms, so I am now doing the usual tree netting. I also bag fruit clusters on some of the…