Growing our own

January 2010

For many of us, 2009 was the year we got into planting our own food. We don’t have any numbers for Australia, but we know that in America — thanks maybe in part to Michelle Obama’s organic vegie patch — households with gardens increased from 36 million in 2008 to 43 million in 2009. And then there’s the rise and rise of the community garden.

In Sydney, spurred on by the example of the good people of Chippendale and their head guerrilla gardener Michael Mobbs, the council has appointed a Community Gardens Co-ordinator, Annie Walker (9265 9786) to give people a hand to set up their own community gardens — there are already 13. It’s a good way to make sure the food you eat really is fresh and local and to save money and have fun.

But there is one warning to come out of the American experience. Over there, a lot of novice gardeners bought their seeds from the same supermarkets they were trying to avoid and many of these seeds came from one huge nursery in Alabama. The result was a tomato blight fungus that swept across the country. Source your seeds carefully or, better still, collect your own. And if you want to get into food farming at home, get hold of a copy of WellBeing Organic Garden. It has all you need to know to become a little more self-sufficient in 2010.

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