Tag Archives: food

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!


I was reflecting recently on the work we’ve done in recent years, paid and community, especially with last year (2013) being a very busy year for us. If you’re working on a project yourself at the moment, whatever it is, and sometimes experience self-doubt or challenges in gaining momentum, never give up! Never doubt the small steps you take and how little things add up, or the work you do and how it impacts positively on others.

2013 was a very interesting year for most people. We certainly saw a lot of change, both positive and negative, in Brisbane and Qld, with floods, political changes, a sharp rise in the cost of living, lots of environmental wins and setbacks, and yet another year of fighting the good fight for the green revolution.

We've achieved a lot of positive and fun things, made some mistakes along the way, shared a lot, learned MORE than we ever shared, met some wonderful committed and passionate people, and we're happy with our contribution so far ... and after having 6 months off at the beginning of this year, we feel we still have lots more to share in 2014.

Here's a few of our achievements from 2013:

~ We saw 1,269 people come through our gates to visit, attend workshops and events, to learn from and share with us, and contribute to a better world.
~ We helped rescue and rehomed over 500 chickens via The KFC Project.
~ I serviced 25 Garden Mentor Sessions for private clients.
~ We held 29 free events, with over 400 people attending.
~ I spoke at 22 events: community and conservation groups, librares, businesses and private organisations, to over 1000 people in total.
~ We held 10 Crop Swaps, with 310 people attending.
~ We facilitated 13 Permaculture workshops, with 112 people attending.
~ We ran 7 chicken keeping workshops, with 68 people attending.
~ We ran 11 workshops on soil care, seed propagation, worm farming and Korean cooking, with a total of 52 people attending.
~ Our free Eat Your Street tour earlier in the year saw 23 people attend to learn about edible street and backyard weeds and trees.
~ We ran 3 green branding workshops, with 14 people attending.
~ We held 5 survival and self defence workshops, with a total of 27 people attending.
~ I had 6 radio interviews.
~ We ran an organic food co-op onsite for 13 weeks, with 300 people attending during that time, and just under $10,000 of organic local produce purchased in the 13 weeks.
~ We donated over $1,000 to non-profit organisations.
~ We are now followed and supported by people from over 25 countries, including Australia, the USA, Canada, India, South Africa, China, Hong Kong, Japan, Korea, Israel, the UK, Italy, Ecuador, Brazil, Chile, Thailand, Indonesia, Okinawa, Africa, the Middle East, France, Germany, Romania, Slovakia, Russia and more.

Sharing these achievements is not meant to boast in any way. It is to share and feel proud about our commitment to our immediate local Brisbane and Australian community, and our extended global community, our dedication and passion for the environment and people everywhere ... and I should stress that ALL of this was only possible with the incredible, rock solid support from my partner MinJeong, and a plethora of amazing people near and far, off and online. We look forward to achieving even more for people, communities and the planet in the future.

Onwards and upwards! – Green Dean