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Earth Garden Spring 2017

EARTH GARDEN is Australia’s original journal of sustainable living for householders seeking a more eco-conscious lifestyle. For more than 40 years the supportive network of Earth Gardeners has been guiding and reflecting the movement away from high- consumption lifestyles.

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4 Issues


access_time2 min.

Dear readers, Welcome to the spring issue of Earth Garden. I can sense thousands of EG readers all around the country straining at their ‘leads’ waiting to get into the garden and get stuck into wonderful outdoor projects. It’s still cool in many parts of the country but there have been heaps of stories over the years in EG abut how to start your seedlings early, how to warm up your young plants before planting out, and how to adapt and work with the seasons. One of the great lessons we get as organic gardeners is that we can’t just bung in plants in any old week of the year: we have to respect seasonal limitations to our activities. This is something that non-gardeners are being conditioned to lose sight of:…

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earth mail

AND SOME COMMENTS FROM OUR FABULOUS EARTH GARDENER’S FACEBOOK GROUP . . . OVER 150 BACK COPIES FREE Dear Earth Garden, I’ve just opened EG 175 to see an advertisement that you found five near-full sets of your magazine you were selling. I couldn’t resist letting you know that EG 175 I’m reading I actually picked up yesterday from a lady at Wattle Camp. I drove three hours from the Sunshine Coast to collect her pile: 154 copies of your beautiful magazine. For a cost of $0 — she simply wanted them to go to a good home. I have promised custodianship and to pass them on, collection intact, when my learning is done. It makes me happy to know there are at least five other collections alive and well in circulation. All the…

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on the vine

TURTLE DEATH LEADS TO INVENTION FOR PLASTIC RECYCLING A sea turtle which died after ingesting huge amounts of plastic has been the genesis for an invention to help remove plastics from the world’s oceans. The ‘Shruder’ machine is the brainchild of Coffs Harbour-based environmental scientist and zoologist Louise Hardman. It shreds and extrudes waste plastic which can be turned into products such as filament wire for computers. The concept has won Ms Hardman the Coffs Coast StartUp Challenge 2017. It will empower small communities to turn waste plastic into resources. Ms Hardman said that in 1993 she was asked to help a marine turtle that had washed ashore into the Wooli River. After three days it died and a necropsy found it was full of plastic. “In the 25 years since then my…

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permaculture pets

THERE’S nothing more delightful than the sound of spring chicks chirping or as-cute-as tiny beaks playing peek-a-boo under a broody hen’s wing. I’m forever entertained by the way the chickens fly out of the coop in the morning and start scratching the ground before I even have a chance to scatter the grain. Little Call ducks waddle over and the geese spread their wings with glee knowing breakfast is ready to be served. The goslings copy their parents’ foraging for insects and swim in a small pond which I empty daily by pouring onto the fruit trees. This liquid fertiliser is full of nutrients and doesn’t burn the roots because it’s diluted. Cranberry the gobbler struts back and forth with a full display of feathers trying to capture my attention. I keep…

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doing whats kneedful

BY THE TIME you read this I will have new knees (I hope). And they will work far better than my old ones have (I hope.) Basically, I wore my knees out, till repeated injuries meant they no longer reliably supported me. “Climb every mountain,” is all very well, but also “do not fall down them too often”. Mostly, I probably wore my knees out building a house of extremely heavy, mostly large, granite rocks. Granite is heavy. Also stone steps, stone walls, a stone ramp up to the orchard. And 10,000 or so boxes of fruit carried down from the orchards probably didn’t help either. Nor did falling down the mountains that circle us. Actually I don’t regret a second of wearing out my knees. Every bit of it was wonderful.…

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wick water your pot plants

SELF-WATERING POTS are a wonderful idea. They reduce the amount of work you have to do to keep your precious plants watered and they’re water efficient, providing a reservoir so the plant stays hydrated but with a minimum of evaporation. Unfortunately my experience with the commercial models is that the reservoir is way too small for the size of the pot and the plants you’re growing. I prefer the homemade variety: you can make them to your own specifications. The downside is of course that no matter whether your self-watering containers are store-bought or home builds, it would be somewhat expensive to convert all potted plants over to this style of watering. This is especially true for those container-growing enthusiasts amongst us. So what is the answer? I’m glad you asked! The…