The impact of long-term drought in Australia means we need to be thinking about better ways to get water to our gardens with the least amount of waste and fuss. With sprayers, sprinklers and hoses, there is inevitably a fair bit of water that goes on paths and surrounding areas, which not only wastes water but also encourages weeds. To get water directly to plants’ roots, drip irrigation is one of the most efficient and focused forms of irrigation.
Jane Amunga is a Kenyan grandmother, community leader and farmer. She lives in a mud house in the rural village of Kambiri in Kakamega, close to the only remaining equatorial rainforest in the country. But the rain is sparse. The soil on her tiny farm is depleted and her plants are struggling. Getting water means a long walk. Her husband is dying. Her daughter and grandchildren have moved back in because they have nowhere else to go. The whole region is struggling.
Modern life tends to pull us away from the simple routines of home. Many of us spend hours each week commuting to work, school and shops so we can come home to rest. But the process of doing this removes us from our local communities and often burns fossil fuels to get us to where we need to go.
Regenerative agriculture is attracting a lot of attention as a way to reverse declining soil fertility while pulling carbon out of the atmosphere and stashing it back in the ground. Yet, restoring soil health is not just for farms. It is something we can do in urban places, too, and gardeners can lead the way in their small corners of the world.
In more than 230 years of occupation, European Australians turned their backs on the vast majority of foods the country’s Indigenous people have eaten for more than 50,000 years. We have ignored their sage and intricate management of the environment and overlaid an alien system of agriculture, leading to a process of ecological imbalance.
Macramé is making a resurgence. For some people, this may invoke cringing memories of kitsch décor of the 1970s: knotted hanging baskets and wall hangings made from gaudy-looking jute and twine. Other people may smile in memory of a bygone era. However you remember macramé, or whether you are new to the art of knotting cord, the craft is making a comeback.