Category Five of a Kind

FIVE OF A KIND – Defying The Hungry Gap


As the season changes and signs of new life begins to emerge with the arrival of spring, it’s easy to think about it as a season of abundance. But as we break out of our winter dormancy and the soil begins to warm up, spring is a season of abundant growth. And it’s because of that we often find very little food ready to harvest from our vegie gardens.

Known as ‘the hungry gap’, it was traditionally dealt with by preserving enough summer and winter produce to see families through at least the early part of the season. A greenhouse or polytunnel is another good way to extend the growing season of certain plants, as is foraging for edibles such as wild garlic, but all require resources, forward planning and time that many of don’t always have.

There are still vegetables that will grow and produce for you during the seasonal gap while we get ready to plant out our summer crops. Some are conventional spring cropping vegies, some need to be thought of in a different way than we otherwise would, but all are delicious and nutritious ways to eat from your garden throughout the so-called hungry gap.

5 Staples For Every Garden


There are not many things more satisfying than pulling a lemon off your own tree, picking some salad leaves to have with dinner or even unearthing potato treasures from your soil. There are some things that are a must- have in your garden that will help feed your family and now is a great time to try your hand at growing some of them. Whether you live in a house, share house,

apartment or acreage, these five edible garden staples will help feed your family all through the year and all of them are just as happy in a pot or tub as they are in a garden bed. Harvesting your own produce to use for your next meal is a great way to make sure your food is nutritionally dense, full of life and has the added bonus of saving you money.

5 Common Pests & Diseases


It sometimes feels like as soon as we begin to enjoy our garden, so do the pests and diseases! Warm and damp weather can promote lush growth on our plants, which seems to send a signal to pests and diseases to come in and take up residence.

But identifying the common ones and knowing how to manage them will ensure our plants and ecosystems stay healthy and in balance. Because for many of our pests there is a natural predator ready to devour them for us, eliminating the need to resort to sprays. So while keeping our plants in tip-top condition can be challenging, observation is our first line of defence.

It’s important to understand your garden needs to have pests in order to have predators, so try and resist the urge to manage them immediately and wait and see if nature will solve the problem for you.

Five Of A Kind – Sustainable Party Ideas


Birthday celebrations can be a haven for single-use plastics. Between balloons, tableware, decorations and gifts, the landfill created in a single day may far exceed what you’d otherwise create, but often and understandably justified by their once-a-year occurrence.

With the current pandemic upon us, money may be in short supply, but creativity and imagination is as abundant as ever. There are lots of fun and thoughtful things we can do to create a special day for loved ones. Things that not only ensure we’re looking after the environment, but when we may not be able to enjoy traditional large gatherings to celebrate a special day, things that can create treasured and long-lasting memories.

For too long, many of us have associated the price of a gift with how much we care about someone, but in an era where a lot of us have a bit of extra time up our sleeves, and maybe not as much disposable income, creativity should be the new currency.

Five of a kind: Fire-Resistant Edibles


Bushfires are becoming more frequent and often harder to control, making our homes and properties more vulnerable to fire than perhaps they once were. For those of us interested in protecting our properties, the call to plant fire-resistant plants is at an all-time high. If we can incorporate trees, shrubs and ground covers into our design which are slower to burn than some other species, while at the same time providing us with food and nourishment when it’s not bushfire season, then we can’t really go wrong.

There is a long list of trees and plants that can help us to provide a resilient layer of practical edibles that can help hold back encroaching wildfires. For those thinking of growing a fire-resistant boundary, here’s a couple of edible options across five different plant types that are well worth considering.

5 Bugs For Biocontrol


Your garden, big or small, is an ecosystem where living things interact with each other and their environment. An ecosystem is healthy when the relationships – insect/ insect, plant/insect or living/non-living – within it function well. Formed over many thousands of years, these relationships provide services such as pollination, water filtration and biocontrol.

Biocontrol is the process of using living organisms to manage plant and animal pests with minimal negative consequences. Because spraying, whether organic or not, can lead to unhealthy soil and decreasing pollinator numbers. One of the best forms of biocontrol is to have predatory insects feed on unhelpful pests. To attract them, plant diversity is key; the more beneficial insect attracting plant species you have in your garden, the more beneficial insects you’ll have.

It’s okay to have a few pests in your garden – they will feed the beneficial bugs and help prevent an outbreak. Biocontrol is a terrific permaculture concept, making less work for you and more food to share.