Animals & Insects


Horseflies up close

December 2010

Insects are beautiful, except when they’re biting you, writes SIMON WEBSTER.

Organics promotes natural pest control

September 2010

Recent research demonstrates what experienced organic farmers already knew – that organic agriculture promotes biodiversity and natural pest control.

Organic 'Hurley' burly

July 2010

A surprising story that popped up this week was about British actress and model Liz Hurley which tells how she lives a double life. Outside the glamour of films and catwalks, she owns an organic farm in Gloucestershire, UK. STEVE PAYNE reports.

Organics gets even

July 2010

Natural pest control works better than chemicals, and it's all thanks to ecological evenness, reports SIMON WEBSTER.

Friends for supper

May 2010

A community TV show takes us on a tour of a sustainable farm, writes SIMON WEBSTER.

Grand poultry design

Grand poultry design

March 2010

Chook lover from birth, KATE FEAIN, tells the story of the 'Chook Clock' - her ultimate poultry house and garden design - then gives some more modest pointers on how to care for and house chooks.

Nematodes - nasty and nice

December 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.

Backyard beekeeping

December 2009

It was a climactic moment when I strapped a beehive to the back of the ute and brought home 60,000 micro livestock. I almost felt like a real farmer. It was climactic because for years I've been reading books, watching DVDs and attending field days in anticipation of exactly this moment. Nevertheless, I felt woefully inexperienced to take on backyard beekeeping.