Shop Local this Christmas

shop local christmas australia

Gosh I haven’t blogged for a long time—perhaps it’s because no-one has annoyed me—that’s when I do my best work!

Alas, my complacency was smashed when I spotted this tweet. More


Dig for Victory: Adapting to a new climate

climate change adaption food

Dig for Victory is a primer for the kitchen gardener. Every few weeks or so we’ll publish a new post to build on our technical knowledge of gardening. You’re under the capable hand of Steve here. Let me know what you think and if you’d like anything in particular to be covered. Enjoy!

I must say, this summery hot dry weather we’re having during Spring is proving quite a challenge. It feels more like living, working and growing in an arid climate rather than a temperate one.

Soils are drying out. They’re either falling apart if sandy or baking hard if clay. Plants are looking sickly and seeds aren’t sprouting; if they do manage to poke their head up, the wind or heat are cooking them. When the wind blows hard, as it has been, you can stand and watch the topsoil being blown away.

The prolonged dry period is having an effect on the soil and plant growth; we growers need to be able to adapt to this type of weather. More


Dig for Victory: Plants and naming

plant identification scientific name

Dig for Victory is a primer for the kitchen gardener. Every few weeks or so we’ll publish a new post to build on our technical knowledge of gardening. You’re under the capable hand of Steve here. Let me know what you think and if you’d like anything in particular to be covered. Enjoy!

Generally speaking, Botany is the study of plants, Zoology the study of animals, Biology looks at all living things and Ecology is the relationship between all of these parts. Some field-based knowledge of these sciences will help you understand plant identification, plant needs, nutrient cycling, water cycles, the importance of micro and macro fauna, weed control and well, pretty much everything you need to grow healthy vegetables. More


Dig for Victory: Soil III

soil

Dig for Victory is a primer for the kitchen gardener. Every few weeks or so we’ll publish a new post to build on our technical knowledge of gardening. You’re under the capable hand of Steve here. Let me know what you think and if you’d like anything in particular to be covered. Enjoy!

Imagine a row of your favourite vegetable swaying gently in the afternoon breeze—for me, it’d be purple and white striped eggplants—now walk along and harvest a few kilos. In your hands is about 75 percent water, with the reminder being nutrients mined from the soil. In order to have a sustainable food production system, we need to understand nutrients and how to replace them. More


My Food Story

my food story
Oh my gosh how freaking delighted I was during the two weeks of this competition! It was so exciting to receive the entries, pigs and chooks and tales of abundance into my email. Ping! Ping! Oink! Bok! More


Photo competition

my food story
WIN OVER $750 OF FOOD-LOVER’S PRIZES
Entries are now open! Send photos of your magnificent Produce (e.g. your farm, garden or its bounty) and Dishes (e.g. scenes of cooking, sharing food or your creation). Add your reflections or make a wish!

You can enter on Facebook, or on Instagram or Twitter with the hashtag #MyFoodStory and either #Produce or #Dish. Entries and voting closes 25th August 2013.
More


Dig for Victory: Soil II

soil ph test

Dig for Victory is a primer for the kitchen gardener. Every few weeks or so we’ll publish a new post to build on our technical knowledge of gardening. You’re under the capable hand of Steve here. Let me know what you think and if you’d like anything in particular to be covered. Enjoy!

Part two
There’s no such thing as good or bad soil in the natural world, yet it makes a world of difference for us humans when we cultivate the land for food. Thus it pays to be observant. You want to ensure that your potential growing area receives at least six hours sunlight—that’s a given. Yet you should also note the type of plants already growing there; they impart information on soil acidity, the presence of—and the potential for—ground moisture and weeds. They can also indicate what has been previously grown there and what type of nutrients may be present in the soil. More


Fair Food Week: the new story of food

fair food week
If you’re thinking of planning a farm tour, long table lunch, skill workshop or seed swap… plan it for Fair Food Week! The week (August 19-25) is organised by the Australian Food Sovereignty Alliance, co-ordinated by Nick Rose—check out his story. Anyone can have a bash; your event needn’t be fancy. Just collect your friends and followers—think of a happening that fits the theme of ‘Fair Food’ and add it to the website. Hell, I might even!

In case you didn’t know FlavourCrusader is organising a social media photo competition for the week… so dust off your Hasselblad or um…. iPhone! And follow or like us to be kept in the loop. We’ve had an amazing response for our call for prizes from wonderful small business. Can’t wait to share who they are… I’m chuffed!

It’s time to bang the drums and wake up Australia. Are you ready for this!? More


Dig for Victory: Soil I

gardening basics soil

Dig for Victory is a primer for the kitchen gardener. Every few weeks or so we’ll publish a new post to build on our technical knowledge of gardening. You’re under the capable hand of Steve here. Let me know what you think and if you’d like anything in particular to be covered. Enjoy!

Part one
It’s beneath our feet, it’s our planet’s namesake and when we die, we return to it. Don’t call this life-supporting substance dirt, for that belies its significance.

Soil is central to organic management. It provides raw minerals, gases and water; has complex relationships with micro and macro fauna for everything aboveground; and anchors flora into the ground. In many ways, it’s more of a relationship than a “thing”. More