self-sufficiency

Articles by this author

Grow These 5 Perennial Greens to Beat $Price Rises

Grocery prices have risen sharply in 2022 due to inflation, and this upwards price trend doesn’t look to be stopping any time soon. Compounded by shortages due to the pandemic and localised extreme weather events, fresh produce prices in particular are higher than ever. We’ve all seen the $12 lettuces headline, but luckily as gardeners

Read More »

How to Grow a Ton of Asparagus

Asparagus is a tasty and versatile vegetable in the kitchen- you can eat it sauteed, fried, grilled, barbecued and of course fresh. There’s no wonder that asparagus is one of the worlds most famous veggies; it contains a wide range of vitamins, making it one of the most nutrient-dense foods you can possibly grow. Naturally

Read More »

5 Practical Steps Towards Food Security

The rapidly rising price of food, especially fresh produce, isn’t news to any of us these days. Basic living is getting tougher everywhere: inflation is up, interest rates are higher, and supply chains are stretched to breaking point. Being scared won’t help, because it doesn’t lead us to safety or rational thought. But there are

Read More »

How to Grow Blueberries in the Ground

Recently I was asked if it is possible to grow blueberries in the ground in my area, and in Australia in general. The answer is ‘yes- as long as you create the right soil for blueberries first‘. Blueberries require an acidic soil, but most natural soils in Australia are quite alkaline. This means that you’ll

Read More »

How to Make Acidic Potting Mix -Recipe

Many people enjoy having their fruit trees and exotic plants in pots- and some of them require a specific acidic potting mix in order to thrive. In this article I’ll be showing you how to create an acidic potting mix that plants like blueberries, camellias and azaleas will love. Soil or potting mix ‘acidity’ refers

Read More »

How to Maintain a Fruit Tree

One of the most prolific fruit trees in my orchard is a dwarf navel orange tree. It’s 35 years old (don’t ask me how I know this!) and still going strong, but like all heavy producers it needs regular maintenance to stay at its best. In this article I’m going to show you how to

Read More »

How to Grow a Ton of Ginger

Ginger is one of the worlds most useful and beneficial foods. Fragrant, tasty, and with a multitude of health-promoting qualities, it’s no wonder that ginger is expensive to buy. But it’s crazy to pay supermarket prices when you can grow your own organic ginger for so much less. I’ve been growing ginger successfully for many

Read More »

How to Make White Oil

White oil is a multi-purpose pest treatment that is a must-have for every food garden. It is used to combat sap-sucking and chewing insects like aphids, scale, mealy bug and citrus leaf miner. It suffocates rather than poisons these insects, so they can’t develop a resistance to it. You can buy a commercial white oil

Read More »

9 Things You Can Upcycle for the Garden

I’m a big fan of upcycling random items to use in my garden. Sometimes it’s by accident, sometimes by design. Purpose-made items are increasingly expensive, and if we can save money & landfill at the same time, then it’s a win-win. All sorts of things can find a new purpose in the garden- you’re only

Read More »

How to Grow Mint

Mint is one of the best-known and loved herbs. It’s attractive in the garden & versatile in the kitchen, with lots of different varieties to grow and try. You can add it to all sorts of salads, meals and drinks, and even freeze it in ice cubes. But if you don’t know how to grow

Read More »

How to Grow a Ton of Snow Peas

‘As easy as shelling peas’- well that’s how the saying goes- but is growing snow peas really that easy? Well yes, it can be easy, if you follow my 5 top tips on how to grow a ton of snow peas! Snow peas are usually grown to eat whole, and they’re remarkably similar to sugar

Read More »

How to Grow a Ton of Turmeric

Turmeric belongs to to the ginger plant family, and is one of the most famous foods in the world. This is due to its versatility in cooking and its medicinal qualities. I grow a ton of turmeric every year, and you can too- just follow these key points. Scientific tests have shown that turmeric stimulates

Read More »

How to Grow Pineapples

I’ve been growing pineapples for over a decade here at my home in south-east Queensland, Australia. During that time I’ve learned a lot about them- especially how easy they are to grow. In a nutshell, pineapples are low-maintenance, very hardy and have a broad growing range. They like warm weather but if you live somewhere

Read More »

Best All-Purpose DIY Garden Bed Covers

They say that necessity is the mother of invention, and that saying proves to be true when it comes to my garden. These portable garden frames have turned out to be the best all-purpose DIY garden bed covers ever- but I kind of designed them by accident! They are essentially a drop-over portable greenhouse or

Read More »

Do This to Protect Your Fruit Trees

Fruit trees are a long-term step towards food security. So it makes sense that you’ll want to look after them as best you can. They can take several years to become productive though, during which time you’ll invest a lot of effort, care and energy. Painting the trunks of fruit trees is an ages-old practice

Read More »

Why You Need to Grow Comfrey

Comfrey is an herbaceous perennial herb originating in Europe. A fast-growing plant belonging to the borage family, comfrey doesn’t provide fruit yet has the widest range of uses in a permaculture system of any plant. If you’re aiming to take steps towards self-sufficiency, this is a must-have plant in your garden system. How Do I

Read More »

The Easiest 5 Fruit Trees to Grow

There are literally thousands of fruit trees you can try to grow. So many, in fact, that it can be hard to narrow it down or know where to start. Whether you’re a beginner, short on space or just plain undecided, why not start with the easiest? Some fruit trees are so easy to grow

Read More »

5 Exotic Tomato Varieties

I don’t think there’s a vegetable gardener in the world that doesn’t love tomatoes- and rightly so! They are one of the most tasty, versatile and all-round fabulous food plants to grow. With the main growing season coming up here in the subtropics and the northern hemisphere, it’s time to think about what to sow.

Read More »

7 Things You Can Bury in the Garden

Burying things in the garden benefits your plants and soil in a number of ways. It helps the environment by reducing waste and landfill. You will save on buying fertiliser and other costly additives that improve your soil. It even reduces your carbon footprint by lowering methane emissions. Let’s have a look at 7 of

Read More »

Summer Citrus Tree Care

Citrus are great host trees for all sort of critters- some of them beauties, some of them beasties. From the birds who swoop in on the fruit to microscopic leaf-munchers to the predators in between, citrus attracts them all. Winter tends to be something of a dormancy period for citrus. Growth slows down, water is

Read More »