ABC Organic Gardener Magazine Issue 123 - Early Autumn 2021

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.

Nextmedia Pty Ltd
8 期号


packing in the flavour

James Strawbridge’s new book brings together all he believes about good-quality food: slowing down, using seasonal and local produce, and bringing together a community, including family, other gardeners and growers, as well as other foodies. “Sourcing local and seasonal ingredients is my passion, and then preserving them to be enjoyed over the coming days, weeks, and months is intoxicating,” James writes in The Artisan Kitchen. “For too long we’ve been separated from the ingredients that go into our cooking, but now, we’re rediscovering that connection and realising how accessible artisan food is.” Working with seasonal produce using artisanal skills such as preserving, drying and fermenting means you not only make the most of your harvest, but can then share the results throughout the year. Here’s how to extend the joy of your…

expert tips

Most foods can be dried in a dehydrator or an oven at around 40–50°C, though meat requires a higher temperature of around 70°C to kill off unwanted pathogens. The ideal temperature for storing dried food is 10–16°C. Keep it safe from moisture and insects, in glass jars with tight lids or in vacuum-sealed bags. To rehydrate dried fruit and veg, cover with boiling water and soak for 5–15 minutes. Alternatively, cover with cool water for 1–2 hours until rehydrated. Dehydrated food absorbs moisture like a sponge, so can come alive when rehydrated in marinades, juices or alcohol.…

kale crisps

Blanch 150g kale in boiling water for a few seconds, then plunge into a bowl of ice-cold water to lock in the colour and flavour. Remove the woody stems and veins, then chop the kale into crisp-sized pieces. Massage with a drizzle of oil, and try adding some fermented chilli and garlic powder for a special treat. Spread out evenly on a rack in your dehydrator at 40°C or on a baking sheet lined with parchment in an oven at 50°C for 3–5 hours. Check after 3 hours and every 30 minutes or so thereafter until crunchy. Store in an airtight container and consume within 1–2 weeks.…

harvest notes

Apples By growing different heritage apple trees it’s possible to harvest apples from January to July with one of the first being ‘Vista Bella’ and one of the last ‘Sturmer’. If you cohabit with cockatoos, rosellas, possums, bush rats and fruit bats, then you’ll need to net your trees. Ripe apples should pick easily by just lifting the fruit, or you can check the colour and taste. If you’re still not sure, cut one in half and see if the seed is well-developed and dark brown. Once picked, eat fresh or store in a cool, dark room or shed, or refrigerate, for variable lengths of time depending on the cultivar. Alternatively bottle, freeze, dry or make into jelly, juice or cider; or cook by stewing or baking. Pepino Pepino are cold-tender, short-lived perennial…

little oak farm is who we are

Almost 10 years after they moved to a property they call Little Oak Farm, just outside Cygnet in the Tasmanian Huon Valley, Pip Steele-Wareham and Hugo Lazo can honestly admit they had no idea what they were doing when they bought the land. But that didn’t stop them – a good thing, considering they had big dreams with very little experience. “We’re a bit fly by the seat of our pants people. We will just go: let’s do this,” Pip says. “And that’s what we decided to do, and everyone thought we were absolutely bonkers. There weren’t many people doing it back then [2011].” Living in Sydney with full-time jobs that meant they worked ridiculously long hours, the adventurous couple began to long for something new. So when they found a property…

the power of flowers

Central to the beauty that has been an important aspect of Pip’s design, depicted in drawings and watercolours, is the house and its cottage garden. When they bought the house it was very dark, very pink and red. So it was all about bringing in light and being able to see the garden, such as the cherry tree in blossom from the lounge. “During winters in this part of Tassie the days can be super short, so we crave that light and space,” Hugo says. Soon all the windows will be turned into French doors, letting in all the colour and fragrance of the cottage garden, which features roses and perennials. Another reason why they love the cottage garden so much is that it attracts so many birds. “We are such bird nerds —…