Inside the latest issue:
Grow traditional true-tasting tomatoes
You only need to glance through any seed catalogue to realise that tomatoes are one of the most popular plants to grow at home.
Twenty years ago many gardeners switched to hybrid types in an attempt to safeguard against pests and disease. Now there’s a shift back to open-pollinated heirloom varieties but it’s not all smooth sailing. Heirlooms have a reputation for not being disease resistant as hybrids, but this is a myth. It all depends on what cultivars you choose. There are ways to hedge your bets to ensure your success.
The latest issue of ABC Organic Gardener provides a comprehensive guide to growing traditional tomato varieties that pack extra flavour and colour while avoiding common pests and diseases.
Florence fennel (or sweet/bulbous fennel as it is commonly known) is a must for kitchen gardens – coveted for its feathery, fragrant foliage, delicate flavour and pest-repelling qualities.
The great news with fennel is that all parts are edible: seeds, stems, foliage, bulbs and flowers. This versatile veg is also rich in anti-oxidants, vitamin C and folate. While Fennel has been favoured by Europeans for centuries, it is yet to be fully appreciated by many Australians.
Annette McFarlane provides readers with the essentials to grow, sow, harvest and cook with this nutritious and versatile gem in the latest issue of Organic Gardener.
Flower Power: Classic edible beauties to plant
With their intoxicating scents and subtle flavours, old-fashioned flowers make a great addition to today’s gardens and meals. Flowers have been grown for their beauty and use in cooking, medicine and perfumery for thousands of years. Today they play an integral role in the garden: there are varieties that are not only edible but will also attract bees, butterflies and a host of beneficial insects.
Penny Woodward shares her secrets behind looking after these beauties in the garden to encourage more flowers to grow along with some great tips on how to use them in your cooking.
Naturally, eating flowers comes with a caution to only eat the ones that you know are safe and have not been grown using pesticides.
Heritage Hens - 4 top breeds
Looking for a chook? When choosing a chook for your backyard, Poultry expert Megg Miller says you cant beat resilient, adaptable, pure breeds and reveals her top four Aussie fowls.
If you favour heritage varieties of fruit and vegetables you might be interested in the traditional varieties of fowl as well. Like heirloom crops these poultry breeds have stood the test of time. Heritage breeds are more adaptable and there is more leeway for error and inexperience. They will cope with boiled rice for a time if the feed runs out, or will take to the trees if they are locked out of their home. They are renowned for their longevity and it’s not uncommon for these hens to still be laying eggs at the age of 7.
Megg discusses the merits of the Langshan, Anacona, Leghorn and Hamburgh’s varieties with some tips on which hens are best for families with young children around, which are the superior layers and which move like lightning and will be in your house before you realize!
Chef Simon Bryant tells of his love of gardening, his support for ethical food production and his debut cookbook.
Simon Bryant first caught the public’s eye as Maggie Beer’s punky offsider in ABC TV’s The Cook and the Chef series. The popular prime-time cook-off lasted 4 years, after which the former Hilton Adelaide executive chef continued to fight the good food fight.
In his long-awaited debut cookbook, Simon Bryant’s Vegies, Bryant draws on his Asian culinary roots to present a mouthwatering array of seasonal recipes using grains and pulses, native ingredients, herbs and spices to enhance fresh fruit and veg. His aim always: to let the produce shine.