Winter Vegetable Garden Report.

Winter Flower Delight.

Hello from the middle of winter.

If you think I am going to spend lots of time in my garden at this time of year…think again!  No I don’t like the cold weather much or the wind straight up from Antarctica.

However, I do like “feeding” my DIY compost bins and when I last turned the compost over I was delighted to find huge numbers of worms and other life doing their thing for me.

The pumpkins have been cropped.

The tidy rows of spinach and carrots are very satisfying in their raised garden bed.


Pumpkin Harvest
Carrots and Spinach All In a Row.
Broad Bean Flowers...a Promise of Things to Come.

Roll on Spring!


DIY Compost Bins

Just wanted to share with you a great book about the hows and whys of compost making in your own garden.  Lovely book, up to date, child friendly and inspiring!

Check it out here…  Linda Glasser’s

” Garbage Helps Our Garden Grow”

This will help you out with your own organic vege garden, container gardening and your raised garden beds.

Garden News from Abroad

Organic gardens on terraces was the topic in the DNA- Daily News and Analysis from Bangalore recently.  Professor Viswanath Narayan talked about planting on terraces in Bangalore to reduce heat…primarily for the good of peoples’ health..also to cool the house and reduce energy bills.

Carbon footprints are reduced.  Pollution is reduced as kitchen waste can be composted and returned to the soil.

We are encouraged to start with one pot a week.  As you grow the number of pots…don’t forget, go vertical as terrace space is generally a small confine.  Start with leafy green veges as these are the easiest to grow.  Grow what you like to eat, and use often…eg) tomatoes, mint, parsley, coriander, basil,and chillies.

Think about the possibilities….workplaces, schools, companies….

Moving on to Indianapolis….this city has an urban gardening initiative.  Intended to promote community, economic development and local, sustainable agriculture.  Regarding the issue of contaminated soil, especially with lead, Gabriel Filipelli, a professor at Indiana University, suggests capping the contamination with a layer of new mulch and clean soil before planting, or build new raised beds.  He says heavy metals tend to sink.  Soil testing would be prudent.

Something else caught my eye…Vegetable Gardening as Art??

a recent post in the Cornell Daily Sun, by Chris Palermo, was about a student artist — Maggie Prendergast.

Maggie’s senior thesis for her art degree was entitled  “Photosynthesis”.  She created a vegetable garden as public art in the Arts Quad.  She wished to raise issues of land use, sustainability and local food production.  She apparently followed the inspiration of Franz Haeg, and architect who planted a series of gardens called Edible Estates, which encouraged people to replace their lawn with a vegetable garden.

On this note..a new piece of art is under development in my own backyard…my partner has just constructed a new raised bed and we have just filled it with a mixture of topsoil and compost from the local council green recycling site…

further installments to follow!

Growing Your Own Organic Vegetables….Hot Topic


This week an article in the New Zealand Herald newspaper reported that it is ‘trendy and hip’ to have raised garden beds and to plant in containers. Do not forget the compost and mulch we were urged. Raised beds are considered

• Ergonomic
• Great for keeping out small children and dogs

Cats are another story…We are told not to worry if our vegetable patches are not as lush and neat as the photos in the glossy magazines. Do your tomato plants look like the latest ground cover?

Like anything – for perfectionists and procrastinators -JUST DO IT – and perfect as you go!

In the Huffington Post I discovered a new word. LOCOVORE seems to mean someone who eats locally grown food. There was a discussion about

• “ethics” of eating locally rather than supporting energy-sapping transportation of food across many miles.
• Energy efficiency
• Supporting more ecological farming practices
• Reduction of excess packaging
• Avoidance of pesticides and other toxins
• Greater connection and accountability regarding more humane treatment of livestock and workers
• Supporting local community had a discussion about fruit trees in your garden. Regarding overwhelming bounty…give it away not only to friends and family as suggested…what about the local retirement village, foodbank or school? Bottle, jam, stew and freeze…it is a lot of work on a hot summer’s night…get your friends around? Ask your local garden centre for best growing tips for your area – regarding soil, climate, fertilizers etc.

A couple of days ago while visiting a yoga studio in Hawaii I started to converse with an older lady who had come to a class that was about to start. She spontaneously wanted to share with me about “a very interesting article that she had just read…” about opening up more land locally for people to lease small lots to grow their own food. Well, that was a sign post to me that this is a HOT TOPIC!

This lovely lady went on to talk about the need for us to return to more natural ways of GROWING OUR OWN FOOD.

Ecological Gardening is defined as growing food using scientific ecological principles.Natural ecosystems are very diverse with lots of intricate interdependent relationships existing between all components. That is to say the interconnectedness of all things is a necessary part of the system’s sustainability. Any discourse on Quantum Physics will remind us that nature will fill any voids. Keep on planting or be forever pulling weeds.Ecological gardening combines natural weed management, soil ecology and crop management. It is very easy and requires minimal time and effort.

Sally Dutton has degrees in both Marine Biology and Chiropractic. She loves to share knowledge about being healthy and healthy lifestyle practices.