Blogs

Honourable farming

December 22, 2009

Organic farmer and author, Michael Ableman, wants to see honour return to the art of farming, and every local community growing food. RYAN SANGARA visited his Foxglove Farm in British Columbia .

From dirt farming to green farming

December 22, 2009

Phillip Adams, on his regular ABC Radio program Late Night Live, recently spoke with two experts on the topic of carbon sequestration, reforesting the land and the future of our soils – extensively damaged through modern agriculture. Here is an edited transcript of the discussiom.

Uplifting annuals

December 22, 2009

With sustainable gardening, the focus is naturally on growing productive, edible plants, but there’s also a role and place for vibrant annual flowers. In spring, their colours give us a not-to-be underestimated emotional lift after the dolorous winter days, while as summer approaches they hum with bees and other insects, creating a rich, almost sensual place.

Bamboo Beauties

December 22, 2009

Beautiful and useful, non-invasive clumping bamboos can be a wonderful asset in the garden. NICK ROMANOWSKI chooses some of the most distinctive for tropical and temperate climates.

Rounding up the volunteers

December 22, 2009

By encouraging 'volunteer' crops in your garden, you can keep weeds at bay and ensure a year-round supply of fresh food, writes JERRY COLEBY-WILLIAMS.

Super sunflowers

December 22, 2009

As a child I used various seed mixes for feeding my pet budgerigar, mice and gerbils. Curious to see what sort of plants these blends contained, one Easter holiday I sowed some of each. When the summer school holidays started in my London backyard I had my first crops of chilli, millet, sorghum and sunflowers. Those first sunflowers really caught my eye, just as they did with Francisco Pizarro, a Spanish conquistador, who recorded seeing them being cropped in 16th century Peru.

Sweet Success

December 22, 2009

Craig Sams was a pioneer of the natural food movement in the ’60s, going on to establish the most successful organic chocolate company in the UK. He talks to SIMON WEBSTER about food, business and gardening.

Nematodes - nasty and nice

December 18, 2009

It was a dawn operation. Everyone slept as I removed my spent tomato plants. I didn't shake soil from their roots as normal. Instead I carefully gathered the lot, sealed them in a plastic bag, and quietly slipped it into the garbage bin. For a fortnight my tomato leaves had been thinning and yellowing. On sunny days they wilted despite the soil being moist. When I lifted them, their roots had rubbery, tumour-like growths. My tomatoes had root knot nematode. The plants cropped well, because I routinely foliar feed with seaweed, so nutrients entered mainly through their foliage and stems, not their roots.

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