Tag Archives: edible gardening

one-way-another-way-sign-300x266Just like sex, climate change and sustainability is a hot and steamy topic. One of the most common questions people ask when considering going green is: Where do I start? There seems to be 50 shades of green to choose from.

As with many areas of life that need urgent attention, going green also can seem confusing for many people. There’s probably not a person anywhere on the Earth that isn’t aware of climate change in some way and the need to care for our planet more, but where to start? The Earth is a big place, and while it’s very beautiful, it also has some increasing environmental challenges. Like many, you may be overwhelmed by what needs the most attention, and indeed, how you can make a difference. Well, that’s perfectly normal, and there is an answer.

Like any journey in life, start at the beginning. Take a single step, and take that step in your own home, backyard or business. Decide where you would like to be greener in your own life first. What needs greening? What can you do easily, with little or no effort or cost? Perhaps you’d like to be healthier, or chemical-free, or start a small vege and herb garden. It really is easier than you think and baby steps all added up really do make a difference. For example, by going chemical-free at home or work, you are stopping hundreds of litres of chemicals going down your drain and into your local and global waterways and oceans each year. You are just one person, but what a powerful step. What if everyone did the same thing?

Start in your own space first. Do what small things you can. Experience the positive results firsthand and feel good about your contribution to your environment. In time, you will even become an example to others, which we really need more of.

Visit our blog regularly or attend some of our events for more ideas on becoming greener. Earth care is no longer the domain of hippies and tree-huggers. It is everyone’s responsibility and you can make a difference.

Every change you make to be greener, however small, makes a difference to your planet and your health.

6a010536a07d60970b0120a661292b970b-800wiOne of the most common complaints and challenges for many gardeners is maintaining consistency. Consistency can be difficult to achieve and maintain in gardens – specifically edible gardens. We may have the greatest intentions of propagating, growing and harvesting a certain amount of food, and certain types of food, but numerous factors can hinder us – the weather, our time and resources, including budgets, the seasons and increasingly, climate change.

While edible gardens do transition constantly, as crops come and go, compared to ornamental gardens, there are some things we can do to maintain more consistency – and these habits can take us from reactionary (my food is getting eaten by pests and diseases, my soil needs greater care or something is wrong with my [whatever plant or tree]) to actionary.

In my professional experience, too many gardeners are reactionaries, not actionaries. They react when something is wrong, when they notice something has been eating their produce, or their plants or fruit have a visible problem, or tastes strange. Being an actionary gardener means a little more planning – pre-empting to a larger degree what things might happen, what pests and diseases might potentially challenge us, stimulated by the weather, the season or certain changing conditions. Perhaps the most important of such habits is fertilizing.

I see a lot of people react only when something is wrong – usually a nutritional problem – with their plants or trees. By reacting only when a challenge presents itself, it’s often harder to correct the problem, or will take some time. Take, for example, feeding fruit trees. Like all plants and trees, fruit trees thrive on consistent, regular feeding, rather than reactionary feeding only when we notice a problem. A lot of people contact me with reports of strange fruit, no fruit or pest problems.

My first question is always, ‘When did you last fertilise them?’ The answer is usually ‘Oh, maybe 6 or 12 months ago’, and sometimes even ‘Never.’

Now I’m not writing here what, when and how to feed your fruit trees. I’m just highlighting the importance of being an actionary – know your plants’ and trees’ nutritional requirements, how often they need feeding (which can be dictated by the seasons, weather and other factors), what type of feed (and soil) is best and so on. One great way to achieve consistency and move us from reactionaries to actionaries is to keep a garden diary, or mark certain required activities on your calendar. For example, feed fruit trees every 3 months, or mulch every 3 months, etc. Keeping a visual reminder will help you become more actionary in your gardening, and help you achieve greater results when growing your own food.Insects-and-Diseases-of-Plants

Watering is also an activity that many gardeners, and not just new ones, are reactionary about – watering suddenly when they see their plants drying out or dying. But I’ll leave that topic for another time. In the meantime, grab yourself a garden diary or calendar (and make sure you keep it in a highly visible, easily accessible place) and make the transition from reactionary to actionary edible gardener. Best of luck!