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Good Organic Gardening Issue#5.6

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
editor’s note

It’s with very mixed emotions that I type my editor’s note for this edition. Rarely has an opportunity existed for me to be able to write about, photograph and convey a way of life that I have evolved for more than 30 years, but that’s what our magazine has been for me. Of course, hand in hand with that has been my passion for nature (particularly birds and insects), the environment and wild places (I’ve long been a keen and dedicated ocean kayaker in my life outside these pages). Becoming editor of this magazine was a highlight of my journalistic career — in fact, a highlight of my life. I have learnt so many things and met the most amazing people along the way. Being at the helm has been a truly…

5 min
the grapevine

LOOKING INTO THE EYES OF THE ELEPHANT There are so many things to write about in an environmental news column and yet there’s really only one issue that defines the times and screams for our attention. Like so many, I’ve skirted around that elephant in the room, preferring to trace its outline and poke at its extremities rather than look it squarely in the eyes. It does appear that our collective disappointment is growing by the day with the ongoing failure of our elected representatives to do anything meaningful about climate change. Optimism gives way to a crushing sense of futility as the window of opportunity rapidly closes. Friends roll their eyes at the mere mention of it. How shocking that mainstream media is bored by the issue that will define our…

3 min
ask melissa

Q How do you tell when a pumpkin is ripe? A Because there are so many different types of pumpkins, colour isn’t always an indication of ripeness. One of the best ways to tell if a pumpkin is ripe is to knock on the fruit. If it sounds hollow, it’s ready to harvest. You’ll also know your crop is ready to be picked when the pumpkin stalk becomes hard and cracked. The skin on the fruit should be hard, too. If you can easily puncture the skin with your fingernail, it needs more time to mature. When you harvest your pumpkins, be sure to leave a long stem attached to reduce the risk of the fruit rotting, particularly if you’re going to store them. Q I want to create some raised garden…

3 min
quinoa chenopodium quinoa

The botanic name tells us a lot about this celebrity superfood. Chenopodium is the genus name for goosefoot, a weed of the amaranth family. Quinoa is closely related to the edible weed called Fat Hen (C. album). Quinoa is grown for its edible seeds, which are used as a grain or flour substitute. The modern world loves quinoa as it is high in protein that’s rich in amino acids and it lacks gluten. It’s available commercially as a seed or flour and can be used in breakfast cereal mixes, as a gluten-free porridge, as a salad or baked as cakes or muffins. The grain is native to the Andes where it has been cultivated for thousands of years in parts of Bolivia, Chile, Ecuador and Peru. “Quinoa” is the Spanish spelling of its…

2 min
dandelion taraxacum officinale

Australian gardeners tend to despise dandelions. They are seen as weeds to obliterate from the lawn rather than a truly clever crop that deserves respect. For kids, though, dandelions are magical — their spherical cloud of parachute seeds grants wishes or helps tell the time. And the bright yellow flowers are always there to pick or mash up into imaginary dishes for the dolls’ tea party. In Europe and North America, dandelions are grown as crops to harvest for salad greens or to concoct exotic beverages such as dandelion wine or dandelion coffee. We may need to experience a disaster that prohibits the import of coffee before truly appreciating dandelion coffee, but dandelion wine and dandelion leaves are worth a try. DANDELION LABEL Common name: Dandelion Botanical name: Taraxacum off icinale Group: Perennial herb Requires: Full sun;…

1 min
use the right plant

Cat’s ear looks similar to dandelion but is not edible. Cat’s ear has yellow dandelion flowers on divided stems. The true dandelion has a rosette of leaves with one flower per stem. A plant may produce several flower stems. Don’t harvest dandelions from roadsides or wasteland areas where they may have been sprayed with herbicide or polluted either by passing traffic or prior land use. To make dandelion coffee (also called dandelion root tea), harvest mature plants with a large taproot. Remove the foliage, then dry the long root (it looks a little like a white carrot). Chop the dried root, roast it in a slow oven, then grind the roasted root into coffee-like granules. Harvest new growth to use in salads or steamed as spinach. Older leaves may be tough and bitter.…