Kitchen Garden Guides

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Kitchen Garden Planner from KGI

Kitchen Gardeners International is associated with this fabulous, online garden planner. At only $25 / year its an amazing bargain. There are new features added all the time so you keep getting more and more for your money. Once you get familiar with it you’ll wonder how you ever managed without it!! This is the latest video.

My garden is so irregularly shaped but even so it is possible to draw it all up and use the planner. Once the days shorten and wet weather comes I will set to and get into this planner so that I can produce the maximum my garden will allow and never be fumbling my way through the seasons again. Stay tuned!!

Monday, March 25, 2013

A few days in the garden at last

Oh how I love spending time in my garden. People tell me they go here and there, up mountains and down rivers, they tell me of their journeys near and far, they tell me of parties and festivals, they tell me of friends and family but the thing I love most is spending time in my garden.

Of course, having a deadline helps get things done and no deadline is better to work towards than a gardening workshop in your own garden. I spent day after day revelling in just this freedom last week as I prepared for a seed saving workshop I was due to run for Permaculture Tasmania on Sunday afternoon.

imageAs I studied my garden from a seed saving perspective I ran through what I would say, in my mind, and how I would quickly transfer into the heads of the participants the passion I have for saving seeds. I could talk for hours about the history of human civilisation, about biodiversity, about climate change, about food miles and about eating for health but this was meant to be a workshop where people would be expecting to DO something, not just stand and listen to me for 2 hours!

imageThe weather was going to be a challenge and Sunday started with torrential rain and developed to blustery winds….. both meant disaster for seed collecting and sorting, outdoors! So there was a rush to clear a big enough space on my back porch and find a couple of tables to display some of my bundles, bags, jars and chaos of vegetable seeds.


imageAs the group began to arrive, the rain cleared and the wind died to a gentle breeze! Hooray, we were able to stroll about and chat in the garden before heading to the porch for some sorting and winnowing, followed by tomato seed collection in the kitchen and a video in the lounge.

I’d like to run more of these as I so enjoy them.



imageSo, today being perfect in every way for gardening and now having a gorgeous free day to do what I please, I spent it planting out brassica seedlings and doing frivolous little things I’d not had time for, for months. One of these was photographing an interesting red cabbage plant regrowing since I harvested the cabbage by cutting it from the stem, about a year ago.

It is quite hard to believe but this is a photo of just one cabbage plant! After I cut off the cabbage it started to reshoot and it grew and it grew….. and then it flowered and set seeds, then it grew some more and then….. it developed cabbages again!





The biggest one is about 3/4 of the way up, on the far left. There are several smaller cabbages forming here and there too!

There are more photos of the garden here.

Friday, March 15, 2013

The Synergistic Garden

I love learning. I love discovering new ways of thinking and doing. I love all the things I come across and pass on to those who admit to reading this blog! But, it means I rarely actually write something of my own, except the Garden Guide for the Cygnet Classifieds. But there, I am not allowed to be too controversial; not allowed to rant and rave and not allowed to mention products or businesses, good or evil.

I used to write real pieces on this blog and on The Hills and Plains Seedsavers blog in Adelaide almost every day, sometimes actually more than once a day. I found great joy in writing, I discovered, and my cauldron of words bubbled and churned and coughed up words I didn’t even know I knew!

My father would have been proud of my vocabulary which, when I was about ten years old, he found appalling and set to business correcting. He taught me words he used to spell out as A-W-K-W-A-R-D words; challenging either in their meaning or their spelling. He made learning fun and never, until the day he died, did he stop challenging me with new words.

But, again, I have found a beautiful video to share. I have a lot to say about it, and about how I have been gardening here, compared to in Adelaide. I need to think during the day and bring to the surface of my mind the many facets of gardening that need discussion. In the meantime, relax and enjoy this explanation of The Synergistic Garden.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Make Wealth History… because the world can’t afford our lifestyle

Make Wealth History

Not just a fabulous symbol, this is a great website I have just found via the Urban Leaves in India facebook page.

The first page I read was Nettles – Fabric of the Future.

The next was - Post Growth Economy FAQ

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Always read the fine print….

from Organic Bytes

Boycott the Organic and 'Natural' Traitor Brands Whose Parent Companies Oppose Your Right to Know

In recent weeks, several public interest groups, including the Organic Consumers Association, Cornucopia Institute,, and Natural News, have pointed out the gross hypocrisy and greed of large food and beverage corporations selling billions of dollars of organic and natural food, while meanwhile bankrolling the industry opposition to GMO labelling. These organic and “natural” traitor companies and brands include: Kellogg’s (Kashi, Bear Naked, Morningstar Farms); General Mills (Muir Glen, Cascadian Farm, Larabar); Dean Foods (Horizon, Silk, White Wave); Smucker’s (R.W. Knudsen, Santa Cruz Organic); Coca-Cola (Honest Tea, Odwalla); Safeway (“O” Organics); Kraft (Boca Burgers and Back to Nature); Con-Agra (Orville Redenbacher’s Organic, Hunt’s Organic, Lightlife); and PepsiCo (Naked Juice, Tostito’s Organic, Tropicana Organic). All of these companies are profiting from the sale of billions of dollars of their proprietary organic and “natural” food brands while at the same time funnelling large sums of money to the Monsanto-led campaign to defeat the November 6th GMO labelling ballot initiative (Proposition 37) in California.

We need to send a clear message to these traitor brands, in the only language they understand: lost profits and lower sales. Today, the Organic Consumers Association and are formally calling for a boycott of 7 organic and “natural” brands.

Better still, in my opinion, is to not buy processed food at all or only Australian grown as we don’t have GMO’s…. yet and, even then, only processed foods that consist of one ingredient eg individual dried fruits without added oil or preservatives / rolled oats, not pre-packaged cereals (or roll your own oats with a mill).

I see no need to buy any other processed foods than a few, single ingredients and find it incredibly refreshing and simple! Eat local and seasonal. Shake the farmer’s or grower’s hand. Ignore the rest.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Red Dirt Dreaming

While I package up endless packets of everything organic and Australian that I can lay my hands on, for my fortnightly stall at the Cygnet market, I listen to the radio online…. the stations of Australia and of the world.

As the aromas of Tas. pepperberry vie with South Australian lemon myrtle and saltbush,on my kitchen table, it seems appropriate to listen to Radio National’s new series on mining , called Red Dirt Dreaming. Part one is about The Kimberley…..

Wild. Breathtaking. Bigger than the UK and home to about 2,000 people!!

Should the mining giants be allowed to dig up some of the richest deposits of minerals in the world? Should the indigenous people have the right to decide? Should a state government have the right to decide? Its all about money; but who’s?

To those of us who care about such things the answers seem relatively simple. However, after listening to all of part one, which goes for almost an hour, I truly can say I now know an awful lot more about the complexities, the laws, the multiple sides of multiple arguments and I know one thing, I don’t think much of the Premier of W.A.

….The oldest, continuous  culture in the world…. these Kimberley people saw white people for the first time, in my lifetime…. its all there, in this story….

Listen, if you can. The beginning sets the scene. The middles is the discussion and the end is the heart…. If you can’t listen to it all, then start at about 42 minutes and listen from there to the end.