Category 29


Growing food is one of the most powerful things we can do. Not only can it have far reaching benefits into our communities and surrounding environments it can also improve our own health and wellbeing.

Growing your own food reduces pollution by reducing food miles, when done well it can build our soil health and when shared it can build communities. Growing your own food reduces the intake of chemicals, increases our nutrient intake and brings down our household food bills, thus reducing the cost of living. Taking time in the garden is good for our mental health, it helps us connect to the seasons and with nature, and having our hands in the soil is good for our gut microbiota.


Bioguano Australia is a family-owned and operated business that has food-growing heritage spanning 100 years. Over that time, it has developed a deep understanding of what makes a highly effective organic fertiliser that cares for the soil and the planet.

Guano is a word originating from the Andean Indigenous language, which means ‘the droppings of seabirds’.

The production process begins when saltwater fish are consumed and digested by sea birds. Deposited on rocks and baked in the sun, the excrement – along with bits of eggshells, feathers, insects and microbes – matures into what Bioguano Australia says is nature’s best fertiliser. Guano has the ability to clean toxins from soil, improve soil structure, speed up the decomposition process and promote healthy plant colour and growth.



Pip partners with brands who align with its values. Ethical companies producing good- quality products that don’t harm the planet, instead aiming to improve it. Browse more ethical companies you can choose to support at


Urban Revolution is a unique eco and garden store based on permaculture ethics. Our team of permies thrive on educating people to build soil, grow food, compost and use products that put the Earth first. See our high-quality metal garden tools and watering cans, open-pollinated seeds and diverse useful gifts. Use PIPMAG for 10% off.

TRIED & TRUE – Product tests

My Japanese sickle is an important member of the close- knit family of tools I call my old trusties. These include a hand trowel, secateurs, a hori hori (part trowel, part knife), scissors and a hand fork. They all live in my tool caddy (Pip, Issue 25) which I carry with me when I am gardening and means I no longer lose my tools to the far corners of the vegie patch.

While it might not be as regular a friend as a trowel or secateurs, for the jobs that it does do, there is no other alternative. The Japanese hand sickle has a curved blade that’s 17 centimetres long with serrations on the inside of the curve. It is perfect for when you need to clear areas of soft-stemmed bushy plants, such as comfrey, mint, grains, cover crops and green-manure crops.


Discover how to turn food waste and household carbon into nutrient-rich food for your garden, learn how and why soil matters and make climate activism an everyday mission with this new book by Kate Flood.

The Compost Coach is a colourful, comprehensive and accessible guide to creating the very best compost, AKA ‘garden gold’. Kate is on a mission to empower readers to understand the small steps they can take every day to look after the environment and live more sustainability.

The book is pitched at the home composter, including people who live in apartments and houses with or without gardens – yes, you can compost without a garden!

Kate will help you to rethink waste management and will show you how easy it is to divert food scraps and household rubbish away from landfill.

IN THE GARDEN – August-November


Seasonal garden guides for Australian climates

 Moon planting

The moon’s phases and its associated gravitational pull has a significant effect on the behaviour of tidal oceans, so it’s easy to understand how the moon can have a similar effect on the moisture in our soils and plants. By planning what you sow to coincide with the phases of the moon best suited to the type of vegetable and how you’re planting, you’ll give yourself a higher chance of success as well as increase your yields.



The common garden snail Cornu aspersum is a much-loved delicacy in France and a great source of vitamin A, iron, magnesium and calcium. Snails are low in fat, high in protein and are found in nearly all gardens across Australia.

Introduced from Europe over 120 years ago, the common garden snail has made its home in suburban gardens, but is also farmed here in Australia for its culinary uses and exported back to France. Normally cursed by gardeners and overlooked as a food source, these small unassuming culinary morsels can be enjoyed and even celebrated.

SAVE YOUR SEEDS – Cauliflower


Brassica oleracea var. botrytis – brassica is latin for cabbage, and oleracea for vegetable- like; botrytis means grape-like in Greek.


This is a vegetable that does not exist in the wild because it derives from kale, which is of ancient cultivation. It was popular in ancient Rome but originated in Syria where it was supposedly grown for over a millennium beforehand. Also called cole-flower in Tudor times, when the heads were no larger than tennis balls.



The burrawang belongs to the cycad family. There are roughly 30 species of cycad along the east coast of Australia in tropical and subtropical climates. Other species occur in Central and other parts of Australia.

The botanical name for the burrawang on NSW’s south coast is Macrozamia communis, indicating the plant lives in small communities. In the local Aboriginal language, Dhurga, the burrawang is known as banggawu and the nut is called yiburr. The bulbous female seed cluster is more prolific compared to the elongated male cluster. You’ll usually find one or two male plants among the community of females.