ABC Organic Gardener Magazine Essential Guides Backyard Chickens 2013

ABC ORGANIC GARDENER ESSENTIAL GUIDES: The popular Essential Guide series, brings together some of Australia’s best gardening writers in a series of guides. The guides are a comprehensive, must-have for every organic gardener. The 124-page, book-quality magazines will serve as a reference for years to come.

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in this issue

2 min

PINCHING POSSUMS We have had no end of trouble with possums pinching our apples (which I have espaliered along our fence) so I constructed a protective frame. I used power cable tubing and covered it in 12mm square wire mesh so the apples are now critter-proof – except for the grasshoppers! At least next season I will get some delicious apples. Gary Humm, Maroochydore, QLD ARTICHOKE BUDDING ADVICE Stami Donovan from Greenpatch Organic Seeds (NSW) emailed to say that their experience regarding seed-grown globe artichokes differed from our advice last issue (May/June 2016). Stami said that at their mid-north coast NSW property they sow seeds in June and harvest buds six months later. My experience in Victoria has been that it takes two seasons from a winter/spring planting of seeds, not one, to harvest…

5 min
a new organic mix

When the dairy industry experienced tumultuous times in the early noughties, dairy farmers Michael and Beverley Pimm of Agonis Ridge Organics realised that a big change was required if they were to remain in farming. With their industry no longer providing a viable long-term future, the couple set their sights on organic olives, lamb and beef farming instead. It was a tough decision, especially after dedicating nearly 40 years to the dairy game. Michael had been raised on the family dairy farm in Rosa Brook (near Margaret River), which his parents purchased back in 1952. A number of factors influenced the couple’s decision to diversify. The industry had just been deregulated, which meant that to remain viable they needed to invest heavily in new dairy infrastructure and substantially increase herd numbers.…

6 min
handle with care

Confession time, fellow gardeners: I tend to be rather blasé about safety in the garden. I’m guessing that some of you are as well. We too easily assume that accidents won’t happen to us and that safety is one of those things best left to people in really dangerous jobs, such as mining and deep-sea fishing. But when I look back at the years I’ve spent gardening, it dawns on me that I’ve had a few scrapes and plenty of near misses. The risks are real, and some of the risks have the potential to cause severe illness and, dare I say it, death. We don’t want you to stop gardening, but we do want you to stay safe and healthy. Here’s how. Sun protection Let’s kick things off by discussing the sun.…

1 min
legionnaires disease

As a keen and experienced gardener, Caroline Quinn was aware of the health risks associated with bags of potting mix. Nevertheless, last year she found herself recovering from a strain of Legionnaires disease called Legionella longbeachae – specifically contracted from bacteria inhaled from potting mixes. Caroline spoke with Organic Gardener about her experience and warns others not to be complacent. “I always wear gloves and I am also meticulous about washing my hands and not breathing in while opening bags of potting mix, moving mulch or turning the compost,” she says. “I do not have a weakened immune system plus I do not smoke, but am over 50 – the only criteria that I fit into for those supposedly at risk. “My downfall came when I dug up and re-potted a plant. It…

2 min
why choosing australian certified organic is good for you

Australian Certified Organic (ACO), Australia’s leading certifier for organic and biodynamic produce, lists more than 16,600 products available nationally that hold the ACO ‘bud’ logo. These products range from food, beverages, clothing, pet food, gardening, homewares and more. But why is choosing certified organic better than just organic or non-organic? •Choosing certified organic means you are looking after the environment. The ACO Standard prohibits the use of synthetic agricultural chemicals including pesticides, fungicides and herbicides. •Certified organic products are true free-range products. Livestock MUST be 100 per cent free-range to be certified organic. This means NO caged chickens and no sow stalls. •It is real, natural food that is beneficial for your health. •Because if you can’t eat it you shouldn’t put it on your skin! Products under the ACO banner are natural and…

3 min
irises forever

Tastes in most things, including gardening, naturally change over time. But when it comes to flowers, there are some you can never get tired of. Irises have been with me almost from the start of my gardening journey and won’t be leaving anytime soon. This diverse group of plants can be found as bearded irises baking in sunny cottage gardens to hardy Algerian irises under shady trees. There are more than 200 different species and innumerable named cultivars. Blooms vary from white and almost black, to most of the colours of the rainbow, with the exception of green and true red. Irises are native to temperate areas of the northern hemisphere, so are well suited to cold and warm temperate climates as well as arid and semi-arid zones. They don’t like humidity,…