Suburban Food Farm – Mid-Winter Update

Suburban Food Farm

Home grown food.  Amazing stuff, even in winter.  I have really surprised myself this winter, by pulling out all the stops and growing vegetables that I would not normally grow.  In the past this has been because I haven't usually had the room, but since my additional 11.5 sqm of front yard garden bed, and the pool area wicking bed, I can put in so much more. Our favourite citrus tree at   [Continue Reading …]

Lamp Post Garden Complete

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Whilst I was making some more wooden soap moulds for our upcoming soap making workshops, Kim completed the lamp-post garden makeover. I helped put in the wooden edging and reinforced it with screws, extra wood and stakes so that it wouldn't move with a bit of weight behind it, but other than that, all the work and beautification was her hard graft. This is where we left off last   [Continue Reading …]

New Look for the Lamp Post Garden

Before

So glad to be back on my feet again after so long recovering. I put all this healthiness to good use, and helped Kim today spruce up a little looked after part of the garden. We fondly call it our lamp post garden, for reasons that will become obvious as you read further. It is too dark and shaded to grow vegetables in, although when we first moved in 14 years ago, it did have a very old   [Continue Reading …]

TGoG Podcast 072 – Growing Organically with Kathy Finigan

Kathy's beautiful organic garden

I put out an invitation via my Facebook page for podcast guests the other day, and a lovely lady called Kathy Finigan replied.  She is passionate about sustainable living and she is a qualified in agricultural science, urban horticultural and permaculture.  A handy person to have around, so I asked her to be my guest on the show. She has been a TAFE teacher for 29 years teaching general   [Continue Reading …]

Our Winter Harvest

Winter Harvest

Who says you can't grow much in food winter?  Well, I think that it is a bit of a fallacy. Here in Melton (Heat zone 4, Cold zone 10), we are managing to harvest food each week to supplement our diet.  Lots of leafy greens, citrus, and Brassica. Because it was a wonderfully sunny winters day, Kim broke out her camera and took heaps of produce photographs for me. Here is some pictures of a   [Continue Reading …]

Tips for Growing Citrus in Pots

Tips for growing citrus in pots

Do you have citrus planted in pots?  Are you concerned that they are not getting enough nutrients or water? I have grown citrus in pots since I first started food gardening in 2007, I have accumulated quite a few tips for growing citrus in pots.  I have had quite successful crops over the years, and am not having too many problems. Lindsay from the very informative   [Continue Reading …]

Our Winter Garden

Our Winter Garden overlay

As part of Ben's media studies, I tasked him to shoot a video of our winter garden and fruit trees. It was his first time with the video camera and tripod, and I think he did a pretty good job.  I performed the editing and voice over, as that is his lesson for next week.   Let Ben know what you think of his videography skills.  I am sure he would love to read your comments. Gav   [Continue Reading …]

Growing Salad Greens in a Wicking Bed

Growing salad greens in a wicking bed

Today we are looking at growing salad greens in a wicking bed.  This type of growing medium is ideal for thirsty vegetables. So, here's one I made earlier.  During the Easter break, I reported to you all that I finished off the wicking bed in the pool area. You can read about how I built it at this post titled Building a Wicking Bed on Concrete. We are currently using it to grow salad   [Continue Reading …]

Front Yard Veggie Patch June Update

Sprouting Broccoli

We received our first frost of the season today, so let's have a look at how the front yard veggie patch is growing.  I spent half an hour out there this morning, pulling the odd weed and breaking off some leaves for Kim to give to the chooks. ;-) I planted six kale plants during easter.  This is the first time that I have grown kale other than a massive variety called Chou Moullier.  That   [Continue Reading …]

White Button Mushroom Update

Growing Mushrooms - Marvellous Mushrooms

I would love to report that the white button mushrooms were growing thick and fast, but I can't. They simply didn't grow after the whiskers appeared. I am going to report this experiment as a failure.  It has been seven weeks since I prepared the Marvellous Mushroom kit from Mr Fothergills seeds.  Something should have happened by now.  The instructions suggest that growth will start at   [Continue Reading …]

TGoG Podcast 065 – Balcony Gardening and Quilting with Teena Webber

The Greening of Gavin Podcast

During her visit, my sister Teena was telling me all about her balcony garden on Bribie Island Queensland, which sounded very impressive. So impressive in fact, that I just had to bring her on to the show as a guest to talk about it. She lives over 1776 km (1103 miles) away from where I do in Victoria, so her climate is vastly different.  For example, she can grow tomatoes in the winter,   [Continue Reading …]

The Top 11 Books That Changed My World View

Preserving for dummies

This post has been a while in the making, and was requested by a reader about two months ago. I really had to think back through all the books I read in the first and subsequent years of my greening. I am a voracious reader, consuming about a book a week.  That is in between greening, blog writing, podcasting, and a full-time day job. I mostly read non-fiction books, sometimes how-to, but   [Continue Reading …]

TGoG Podcast 063 – Suburban Food Farm in May

The Greening of Gavin Podcast

I do love talking about growing food, and I enjoy bringing you these regular updates about what is growing well and what is not. I also have a few observations about climate and the weird things that are happening to a couple of my fruit trees.  Near the end of the show, I talk about all the veggies that you can plant right now in a temperate climate in the Southern Hemisphere. Please   [Continue Reading …]

Broad Bean Seed Experiment

Saved Seed vs Commercial Seed

Growing Broad Beans are easy.  Not much to them really, but this year I am performing a bit of an experiment to see which broad bean seed is better; commercially purchased or saved seed. Will the saved seed be more suited to our climate seeing that it is a generation older in my care?  Will the germination rates differ between the two batches?  Will the saved seed be stronger in the long   [Continue Reading …]

Sustainable House Tour for Eastern Suburbs Permaculture Group

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We love a good group visit to our home, and I delight in showing others how easy it is to do some of the things that we do to live a more sustainable lifestyle. Sunday was no exception.  Earlier in the year, we received an email from Milica, one of the Eastern Suburbs Permaculture Group members, who had attended one of our mozzarella cheese making courses.  She asked if we allowed home visits,   [Continue Reading …]

Green Quick Tip – Composting

GQT1

This Green Quick Tip episode is all about compost.  What it is.  What to put in, and what to leave out.  I also talk about the three main methods available to the home gardener. This episode is less than 5 minutes long, and easy on the ears! GQT 21 - Green Quick Tips for Composting If you want to subscribe to this podcast in your podcatcher, you can use the native RSS   [Continue Reading …]

Growing White Button Mushrooms – Whiskers!

White Button Mushrooms in box

With the white button mushrooms now 18 days old, it is time to show you what is happening.  I prepared them on the 13th April 2014. Today, I had to move the mushroom box into the greenhouse as it was just too cold where I had it located at the corner of the deck.  It has been getting down to 10°C (50°F) during the night, which is outside the recommended range of 15-20°C.  Mind you, now that   [Continue Reading …]

Building a Wicking Bed on Concrete

Watering pipe in place

Do you desperately want to grow vegetables, but all you have is concrete all around you?  Do you have blazing hot summers that turn your soil into dust? Well if you answered yes to either of these questions, I have a DIY gardening project for you.  Building a wicking bed on concrete! I had an unused space on some concrete in the backyard, so I decided it was just the place to grow food.  I   [Continue Reading …]