Mark Valencia

Why Are Some Big Cucumbers NOT Ok to eat?

Most cucumbers sold in the supermarket are small to medium size, even though they can grow much bigger, so why aren't more larger sized cucumbers sold? Is it because the flavour of the cucumber decreases as the fruit gets bigger? Burpless cucumber variety (image above) The truth is, yes, sometimes older and larger cucumbers can taste awful

Read More »

What’s Wrong With My Lemon Tree The Fruit Tastes Awful?

The other day, I received an email from Nytasha asking me if I could help her find out what was wrong with her lemon tree… Basically, Nytasha was puzzled by how bad the fruit (produced by her "seemingly healthy" lemon tree) tasted and if I had any experience or thoughts as to what was causing the

Read More »

Our Firepit Featured in NZ LIFE & Leisure Magazine

New Zealand based lifestyle magazine NZ Life & Leisure (In Your Backyard) has included our firepit design in their latest release!  Emma, the Magazine's Editor, contacted me several weeks ago requesting the use of our firepit design images and the steps to make it. Naturally, I had no problem sharing this information with such a top

Read More »

My First impressions: Pickle Pipe Silicone Fermentation Airlock

I've literally only had my Pickle Pipes for 3 days and they're working for me already by helping me lacto ferment some organic, heirloom, homegrown rainbow carrots. How these silicone fermentation airlocks perform over the next several weeks will determine whether I decide to purchase more Pickle Pipes or not. Fermenting rainbow carrots (image above)

Read More »

School’s NOT SunSmart & FAIL to Protect Kids From Skin CANCER

If you think your child's school has a good Sun Smart policy then you might want to double check before it's too late because just as I (and unfortunately my son) found out, using the catch phrases like: "sun aware or sun smart," doesn't necessarily mean the school will care… Background  On the 28th of Oct,

Read More »

Garden Express Online Shop Buying Plants in Bulk

Article updated on 15 Nov 2017 – I'm a keen food plant gardener and usually prefer to plant fruiting and other food crops in lieu of ornamentals; however, there are times and places in the garden where ornamentals are necessary and food crops just wouldn't be appropriate. Today, I planted 50 Arthropodium Matapouri Bay plants, which

Read More »

Free Reusable Preserving Jar Excellent Quality

Preserving jars (the really good ones) are expensive to buy; however, if you keep an eye out you can still find excellent quality preserving jars for "free" scavenged from products we use. The pic (above) shows this free jar in action used to preserve cucumber, Jerusalem artichoke root, and mustard stems  Now, most standard jars

Read More »

Egg Incubators – Biggest Mistake People Make

Cheap egg incubators are a great way to get into hatching your own poultry at home; however, they can also be a total waste of money! This article will outline why you can waste your time and money buying a cheap incubator online and what you can do to limit the chances of that happening.

Read More »

Should I buy a Vertical Garden kit?

Lots of people would love to grow their own fresh vegetables but baulk at the idea because they simply don't have the space or desire to maintain a large garden bed. Sometimes it's the lack of permanency such as people who live in rental properties that prevents them from getting into food gardening knowing they

Read More »

Pokemon Go Exercise Review for Health & Fitness

Pokemon Go is breaking all sorts of records since it's release putting creators Nintendo back on the financial map again but it's not the money this clever app is making that interests me it's the potential health benefits. I played tennis fixtures last night and my (much younger) opponent Adam happened to be a Pokemon

Read More »

Farmgate Milk Prices Drop Shows Cracks in Globalism

The two biggest players in the Australian/New Zealand dairy industries co-op giants Murry Goulburn and Fonterra recently decided to drop farmgate milk prices by almost a dollar per kg. This price drop comes as a consequence of weak dairy prices worldwide due to an oversupply in the market either due to stockpiling and/or over production.

Read More »