Backyard veg gardening and bee-keeping

Nadia has been looking for resources that can help her build an organic garden in my backyard. It’s still a hobby at this point but she hopes to eventually be able to produce organic, home-made products that she can sell. Here’s some websites she found and wants to share:

 

1.) Tips for Growing an Organic Vegetable Garden


2.) Guide to Bee Keeping – storing and selling honey

Useful Links – Biodiversity

Biodiversity is all about ensuring longevity of flora and fauna species through a range of available genetic specimens. These resources will teach you more about ensuring biodiversity in your pocket of the world.

 

Books:
Going NativeArcher, M & Beale, B (2004) Going Native Living in the Australian Environment, Hodder Headline, Sydney
Going Native is a controversial and practical book about Australian conservation strategies and how our land use is seriously damaging and unsustainable for the Australian soil.
Going Native covers what can be done to keep what is left of the natural Australian environment and how we can change our behaviour to ensure a more sustainable lifestyle. We have to think of ourselves as part of this country and learn how to act accordingly.

 
Websites:
SERCULSouth East Regional Centre for Urban Landcare
SERCUL comprises a committee made up of community members, local governments and state agencies; staff that work under regional programs and the Landcare Centre (known as Yule Brook Homestead). They undertake regular revegetation and nature restoration projects, as well as education programs and other volunteer events.

 
Inspiration GreenInspiration Green
Inspiration Green was started as a resource site to guide those to knowledge about environmental choices. Months were spent taking photos, cropping images and laying out the design, many more months went by as environmental resource information was aggregated and added to the site. After the resource footing was built, the blogs and video clip categories were added. Today, they scour the web and streets of New York to bring the most inspiring green news, media, environmental art and sustainable building out there.

 

Do you have any resources on biodiversity? Why not share them in the comments below? Don’t forget to check out our Courses page to find out details to the next Living Smart course near you!

Useful Links – Smart Gardens

Coming out of spring into summer, it’s time to get back out into the garden and get it ready for the hot weather to come. Luckily, we have some useful links to make it easier for you to find the information you’re looking for. We have some great websites and books to get your brain into gardening gear.

 

Books:
"The Green Gardener" by Josh ByrneByrne, J (2006) The Green Gardener, Penguin Australia

More and more people are looking for practical ways to do something about critical environmental problems such as global warming, water shortage, the loss of biodiversity, and chemical-laden food. In this timely and very down-to-earth book, Gardening Australia presenter Josh Byrne shows how you can contribute to a cleaner, greener world in your own backyard

 
"Organic Fruit Growing" by Annette McFarlaneMcFarlane, A (2001) Organic Vegetable Gardening, ABC Books

Best-selling author Annette McFarlane takes on organic fruit growing in a companion book to her enduring classic Organic Vegetable Gardening. In this practical, no-fail guide, Annette makes fruit growing easy with advice.
Complete with profiles of 60 shrubs, vines and trees, including unusual fruits such as carambola, grumichama and granadilla, and specific advice on how to best manage their requirements, Organic Fruit Growing will show you, whether a novice or experienced gardener, how to supply family, friends and neighbours with fruit all year round.

 

"Composting" by Tim Marshall

 

Marshall, T (2003) Recycle Your Garden, ABC Books

 

This book tells you what you need to know about recycling in your own backyard. In explaining how composting works, Tim Marshall covers many other subjects: how to build a foolproof heap and maintain it well; how to source a wide range of suitable materials apart from kitchen and green waste; and how compost will improve your soil. Other features include sections on biodynamic composting methods, compost methods for different climates and how to maintain a thriving worm colony. There are also many suggestions about ways of using the rich, crumbly organic matter your compost will produce.

 
Websites:
ACF&CGNAustralian City Farms and Community Gardens

Australian City Farms and Community Gardens is an informal, community-based organisation linking people interested in community gardening around Australia.
Seed SaversSeed Savers

The seed savers are a group of tireless individuals sharing knowledge about locally adapted seed collection and sharing. It’s a great group and a wonderful way to make sure your garden produces the best produce for your area.

Water CorporationWaterwise Plants

The Waterwise plants for W.A.Database will help you find water wise plants that grow best where you live.

Participant Story – Dianne from Albany.

We love hearing how Living Smart has changed the lives of our participants. Here is one of our Living Smart course participants from Albany in the south-west of Western Australia, Dianne, in her own words.

Diane and compost

Diane and her compost heap

“Before moving to Albany, we lived a suburban life in Sydney and recycled according to council rules and even tried composting. The compost never got hot enough and we didn’t have much use for it. Seventeen years ago we moved to a ten-acre bush block near Albany. There was no council rubbish collection so we made regular trips to the tip. There seemed little point in storing up kitchen waste so we put this in a 44 gallon drum with the top cut off as a lid. To our surprise, it took many years to fill, and when it did, we buried it.
The next big change occurred when I took up vegie gardening five years ago. I now had a need for nutrients to put back into the soil. My husband built a meter cubed space near the garden where most of the garden refuse and all our kitchen waste goes along with other items like wood chips, grass clippings, paper or manure.
I fill this space every three months or so and then add more material over two more months as it breaks down. Turning it weekly and then leaving it for a month seems to make a reasonable mulch which I then mix in the garden. We have a worm farm, to get the benefits from using diluted worm juice, and as a place to put kitchen scraps while the compost heap is finishing off. When the worm farm is full we use a bokashi bucket for the remaining few weeks. We have a compost heap for things that take a long time to break down, mussel shells, meat bones and grease. Living in the bush we don’t have a problem with mice and rats as there is a python living in our roof and a goanna near our compost heap.
We now take one bag of rubbish to the tip every six weeks and have six or eight bags of recycling. We’ve reduced our recycling by making our own soft drink, bread, saurkraut, jams, pickles, sauces, and cooking dried beans to freeze rather than buy tins.
We’re not big on consumption and we try to buy everything second hand, apart from some clothing, and goods that we expect to last a long time. We also try to reduce our consumption of processed foods to reduce our recycling. We have been doing what is easy and what works for us. Financially and for long-term health, it makes a lot of sense.”

Do you have a story about how taking part in a Living Smart course has changed your life? We would love to hear it! Drop us a line and you may get featured in our blog, or perhaps even our newsletter!