Category 30

DIY WORM FARM – How to make your own worm farm

Because worms are so low-maintenance, it is easier than you might think to make your own worm farm.

There are plenty of reasons to have a worm farm. Not only are they a hugely efficient way to process organic waste from your kitchen and around your home, but the high nutritional value their castings and leachate, or ‘worm wee’, can provide your soil and your plants makes them a must- have for any productive patch.

NOTICEBOARD

CREATIVE HARVEST

Victoria’s West Gippsland region will play host to the sixth annual Creative Harvest, which brings creative minds and green thumbs together in a celebration of sustainability. Held over 27–28 January, there’ll be 15 open food gardens to visit, plus 30 artists and producers in attendance, as well as workshops, talks, market stalls and refreshments. To keep across the gardens and creatives lined up for the 2024 event, visit www. creativeharvest.org.au.

PIP TIP!

Turn a much-loved button-up shirt into a kitchen apron by cutting off the sleeves, back panel and collar, but leaving the base of the collar intact. Cut two strips of fabric from the back panel, attach them to the sides to form a back tie, and you’ve made a useful item that you can love for another decade or more.

PIP PICKS

Pip prezzies
CHRISSY GIFTS!

Get a jump on your Christmas shopping with our popular Kitchen Garden Calendar as well as our new range of tea towels and shopping totes, available on their own or in a bundle. A must-have for every Australian gardener, the calendar features delicious recipes, beautiful photography and all the information you need to grow food at home. The tea towels and totes are made from 100 percent organic, fair-trade cotton and are designed, made and printed in Australia.

Calendar $19.95. Tea towel $22.95 (or 3 for $60.00)
Totes $12.95. Free postage on orders over $50.00
www.pipmagazine.com.au

INTERNATIONAL PROJECTS

MYCOSYMBIOTICS LAB

MYCOSYMBIOTICS  LAB

mycosymbiotics.com

The Mycosybiotics Lab was created as a citizen-science project by young permaculture designer and international educator William Padilla Brown, who sees mushrooms and algae as biological aids for permaculture systems. Based in Pennsylvania, William hosts forest foraging tours, sets up urban mushroom micro-farms, shares films, speaks around the world and has even established a mobile DNA lab to collect valuable fungal cultures for preserving and sharing.

FIVE OF A KIND – 5 Ways To Deter Pests

EDIBLE FLOWERS

Just as much as we love good homegrown vegies, so do many pests species and as the weather’s warming up, now is the time to be on the lookout for them and to do what you can to prevent them.

As a general rule, pests will be attracted to sick or diseased plants, so your first line of defence is to keep your plants as healthy as you can, and this starts with healthy soil. As well as unhealthy plants, pests can be attracted to older plants that may have started to flower, or which have leaves touching the soil that may be starting to break down.

By removing the lower leaves of plants, spacing out your planting so as to not stress them and at the same time increase airflow, you’ll have a better chance of keeping your food-producing plants pest free. Of course, if you can hold your nerve, you’ll often find the arrival of pests can also attract pest-feeding predator insects that will look after the job for you.

BRAINS TRUST – Australian Native Bees

Australian native bees

What is a native bee?

Different to the European honey bee most people are familiar with, Australia has around 2000 native bee species which are found all around the country. Nearly all of our native bees are solitary bees, meaning they nest on their own and only provision cells with enough pollen and nectar to feed their young. Interestingly, 70 percent of our native bees nest in the ground.

Do native bees make honey?

Only 11 of the 2000 species of native bees live in communities we could call hives. These are our stingless bees and can be kept in hives, and in some cases you can collect their honey. Native stingless hives only produce around one kilogram per year versus around 50 kilograms per year from a honey-bee hive. Bees that store extra honey that humans can harvest is actually extremely rare among bee species across the world.

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

We’d love to receive your feedback, questions, ideas or to see if we’ve inspired you to embark on any projects. Email your letters and photos to editorial@pipmagazine.com.au

On a whim

The only time I buy magazines is at airports when I have a long wait. So when my last flight was delayed, I headed to the newsagent to browse what was available.

The cover of Issue 28 caught my eye immediately and made my heart glad. It brought back memories of picking mushrooms with my aunty in Orange, NSW, and my fascination with whimsical fairies and toadstools as a child.

I had never seen your magazine before so flicking through the pages and seeing it was sustainable-living and gardening related, I bought it. I’ve recently joined a biodynamic gardening group where I live, and so my joy continued as I devoured each of the articles, enjoying and gaining new knowledge from every page.

INDIGENOUS KNOWLEDGE – Saltbush

saltbush

There are about 60 species of saltbush in Australia and around 250 throughout the world, however not all of them are edible.

As its name suggests, saltbush is a hardy saline-tolerant plant. A member of the Chenopodiaceae subfamily, it grows in Australia’s dry areas, preferring warm climates without a lot of rainfall. In the right conditions, saltbush can grow up to three metres high and up to five metres wide.

SAVE YOUR SEEDS – Garlic

garlic

Allium sativum – allium was the Roman name for garlic; sativum means cultivated in Latin.

ORIGINS

It is believed garlic originated in the mountains of Central Asia. It was found wild in the Altaic Mountains of Siberia and also much closer to Europe in the southern part of the Ural Mountains.

Garlic’s single character in Chinese, pronounced ‘Suan’, indicates its ancient introduction into China, probably by the nomadic Mongols. Early crusaders thought garlic was native to the Mediterranean because it was depicted on the Egyptian pyramids. It was part of the food supplied by the authorities to keep the builders strong and healthy.

URBAN FORAGING – Loquat

LOQUAT

Once a popular Australian backyard tree, loquats fell out of favour over a decade ago. However, you can still spot a branch of a mature loquat hanging over a fence, laden with fruit and ripe for the picking.

This evergreen tree is a feature in any garden with its dark-green glossy leaves but this time of year it will supply you with an abundance of bright golden-coloured fruit that can be enjoyed fresh from the tree or preserved.

A member of the rose family, loquat (Eriobotrya japonica) is a very versatile plant but as it is an early fruiter, take care to manage its bounty – fallen fruit could provide a nursery for fruitfly populations.