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ABC Organic Gardener MagazineABC Organic Gardener Magazine

ABC Organic Gardener Magazine January - February 2019

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


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Helen McKerral Helen lives in the Adelaide Hills of South Australia and is a passionate gardener and cook. She combines these loves in her writing, having been a horticultural journalist and photographer contributing to numerous gardening magazines over the years. She loves experimenting in her backyard food patch that she says feeds the birds and insects as much as it feeds her family. Helen holds a Diploma of Applied Science in Natural Resources and a Graduate Diploma in Environmental Studies. She is a regular contributor to Organic Gardener – read her article on feijoas (page 29). Andy Zakeli Based on the east coast of NSW, Andy has been photographing professionally since 1990. Firstly as a press photographer with Fairfax Media, a paparazzo in London, sports photographer covering Olympics, features and portrait photographer and…

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it’s all in the soil

We have long wanted to feature Buena Vista Farm, on the NSW South Coast, and this issue we finally got there. It’s a wonderful example of the mini revolution in small-scale and biointensive farming happening around the country. Fiona Weir-Walmsley, who runs the farm with husband Adam Walmsley, is the fifth generation of her family to farm at Buena Vista, and they have a wide range of enterprises bursting from their 18-acre property at Gerringong. There’s honey, coffee, preserves, bread, pasture-raised beef, free-range pigs, pastured meat chickens and laying hens. Also, an extensive market garden filled with produce is run out of the farm by Emmy King (see her on our cover and in Justin Russell’s story, page 38). We also feature the wonderful Wynlen House micro-farm in Braidwood, NSW, which shows…

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green and ethical gifts for the home and garden

SOLVE YOUR BIRD PROBLEMS! Falconers have used hawks for centuries to kill birds for sport but it’s only in the past few years that a hawk has been successfully used as a bird scarer in Australia. If you don’t have a real hawk, however, use a plastic hawk. Australian company Tisara (Australia) Pty. Ltd. has made a plastic replica of a hovering goshawk and it works: birds think it’s a real hawk and flee. Priced at only $39, it’s an inexpensive way of achieving excellent results. t: 02 4934 8330 e: info@hawkbirdscarer.com w: hawkbirdscarer.com/index.php TOOLS FOR A SUSTAINABLE LIFESTYLE? At Hazelcombe Farm we have scythes for mowing the grass, crockpots for fermenting your vegetables, compost forks for creating soil-building composts, axes for utilising your timber resources… and of course workshops to learn about sustainable…

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MIDYIM MAGIC The article by Julie Weatherhead on native fruits in the Nov/Dec 2018 issue grabbed my attention, particularly the item on midyim. I’ve had this plant in my garden for nearly 40 years and I heartily agree that it is well worth growing. I live in Toronto, a south-western suburb of Newcastle (NSW) about a kilometre from the shore of Lake Macquarie, with a sub-tropical climate. We planted the oldest midyim from seed just after we came here 40 years ago and it has thrived for all that time. It covers a patch about 3m x 4m, although would be much larger if not contained by paths and a fence. In my location it grows differently to that described by Julie. Here it is about knee height with some individual stems…

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“DEEP WITHIN EACH OF US LIES A SPECIAL PLACE THAT TRULY FEELS AT HOME IN NATURE.”DR REESE HALTER, LOVE NATURE MUSHROOMS AS BEE SAVIOURS In a major breakthrough, renowned mycologist Paul Stamets and collaborator Walter Sheppard from Washington State University have found that extracts from red-belted polypore mushroom mycelium, or fungal roots, provide an antidote for bees plagued by viruses. In the 1980s, Stamets watched honeybees moving garden woodchips to access and feed upon the mycelium. He surmised that the bees were seeking a mixture of sugar molecules (polysaccharides) to dehydrate into honey, the worker bee’s only food source. Fast forward to 2014. Stamets had a vision in a lucid dream that the bees were not only feeding from the mycelium droplets, but also receiving medicine. One of the more robust constituents of…

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GARDENS WITH BITE Grab the kids and head to the Royal Botanic Garden Sydney to delve into the fascinating world of carnivorous plants. Get up close to these creepy and weird specimens while learning about their evolution and the different trap types. You’ll also be given your own Venus flytrap and bugs to feed it, and have the opportunity to attach a digital microscope to your smartphone and capture close-up pictures of the traps in action. WHEN: Last Sunday of the month, 11am–11.45am WHERE: The Calyx, The Royal Botanic Garden Sydney COST: Free DETAILS: thecalyx@rgbsyd.nsw.gov.au; 02 9231 8111 HIGH FIVE GARDENS Embrace the community spirit of Joe’s Connected Garden and tour five adjoining gardens growing more than 500 varieties of fruit, vegetables and herbs. Gates link the properties, which all follow permaculture practices. There’ll be speakers and demonstrations,…