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Good Organic Gardening Issue #9.6 - 2019

Gardening with goodness at its heart — fresh, organic and fun. This magazine is 100% real. We are unashamedly earthy, reflecting the spirit and culture of people who just love to get their hands dirty. Our emphasis is on productive gardening. We just love the satisfaction of growing your own and finding new ways to bring produce to the table. The magazine includes features such as Amazing Gardens, Celebrity Chefs, Celebrity Gardeners, Clever Crops, Flavours of the month, Garden solutions, Kids Corner, Living Organics, Weekend Gardening, What’s New and a guide to What’s on Where. Purchase includes the Digital Edition and News Service. Please stay in touch via our Facebook Page.

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6 Issues

in this issue

3 min
this issue

You’ll notice that this issue has a native bee theme and you may think it’s a bit insensitive to be featuring this pretty bird opposite. But the thing is it’s a native, too, our only bee-eater, in fact. And how gorgeous is it with all those colours in its plumage? You’ll meet some of our most common native bees in Claire Bickle’s showcase and learn how to make your garden welcoming to them in the pages following. Plus, in The Shed we have A.B. Bishop’s how-to for building a blue banded bee apartment block for your backyard, extracted from her excellent new book, Habitat. Speaking of plumage, if you have chickens they’re probably dropping feathers all over the place around about now. Megg Miller has some great advice on supporting them nutritionally…

1 min
the bee hunter

Common name: Rainbow Bee-eater Scientific name: Merops ornatus Mating for life and often roosting in large groups, the rainbow bee-eater is indeed a sociable bird — unless, of course, you’re a bee. This vivid-hued creature eats all manner of flying insects but bees are its preferred diet. It can consume several hundred a day, beating its prey against a perch and taking care as it removes the stinger to keep its red eyes closed lest they cop a spray from the poison sac. Of all the bee-eaters, this is the only one native to mainland Australia. Like many of us, it tends to winter in northern Australia as well as PNG and the southern islands of Indonesia. The rainbow bee-eater is a totem of the Noongar people, who call it birranga. A Dreamtime…

4 min
the grapevine

JO IMMIG Jo is an environmental scientist, photographer and writer. She has worked in the environment movement for decades and is co-ordinator of the National Toxics Network, an organisation dedicated to creating a toxic-free future. She has written many articles for magazines and is the author of two books: Toxic Playground and Safer Solutions. WHAT WOULD NATURE DO? Biomimicry, the art and science of innovation inspired by nature, was recently named one of the top emerging trends in business. Nature has already solved so many problems, so why not learn from that? An example of technology inspired by nature is the Japanese shinkansen or “bullet train”. Engineers initially designed a very fast train but didn’t account for the massive amount of noise created by the displacement of air ahead of the trains. They turned…

4 min
what’s hot right now

CHLOE THOMSON A horticulturist, presenter and passionate organic gardener, Chloe is co-owner and presenter of the web-based series The Gardenettes and she has been a regular presenter on The Garden Gurus. A mum of two little boys, she has a great following of Australian gardeners on her social media profile Bean There Dug That. STRAWBERRY ‘RUBY ANN’ The plant: Everyone knows strawberries produce white flowers, which become the ruby red fruit we love so much. But hold onto your hats… this new variety ‘Ruby Ann’ is a stunner with its ruby red flowers that develop into tasty ruby-red fruit. This abundant cropper produces strawberries throughout summer and autumn on a compact plant with glossy green foliage. Growing: Like all strawberries, ‘Ruby Ann’ loves a full-sun position, in a rich but well-drained soil. Pinch off…

2 min
clever oil

Kunzea label Common names: Kunzea, tick bush, white cloud bush Botanical name: Kunzea ambigua Family: Myrtaceae Aspect and soil: Aspect and soil: Full sun to part shade; well-drained soil Best climate: Subtropics, temperate, Mediterranean, cool Habit: Perennial shrub Propagation: Cutting (soft wood and semi-hardwood), seed Difficulty: Easy Move over lavender. Kunzea, a native shrub from eastern Australia, is being grown for its essential oils. It’s now farmed, harvested and distilled like lavender for its oil, which has antibacterial and other therapeutic properties, as well as fragrance. One of the active ingredients in kunzea is sesquiterpene, which is being researched for its therapeutic value. The highest concentrations of kunzea’s essential oils are found in its leaf tips. After several years of trials, kunzea has been planted as a crop at Bridestowe Lavender Estate at Nabowla in north-east Tasmania. Robert Raven from Bridestowe…

3 min
long green bean

New Guinea bean label Common names: New Guinea bean, calabash gourd, cucuzini Botanical name: Lagenaria siceraria Family: Cucurbaceae Aspect & soil: Full sun; well-drained soil Best climate: Subtropics, temperate, Mediterranean Habit: Annual vine Propagation: Seed, cuttings Difficulty: Easy Whoever named this large vegetable New Guinea bean doesn’t get any prizes for accuracy as this curious vegetable isn’t from New Guinea and, although it’s long and green, it isn’t a bean. Its origins are a long way from New Guinea and lie in Africa and, if it isn’t a bean, what is it? New Guinea bean is a type of gourd, so is related to cucumber and zucchini with its flavour somewhere between the two, although whoever named it bean possibly thought it had a bean-like taste. It is a plant that does best in a tropical or subtropical climate where it…