Earth Garden

Spring 2021

EARTH GARDEN is Australia’s original journal of sustainable living for householders seeking a more eco-conscious lifestyle. For more than 40 years the supportive network of Earth Gardeners has been guiding and reflecting the movement away from high- consumption lifestyles.

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in this issue

2 min

Dear readers, Welcome to the Spring issue of Earth Garden. As I write, half the Australian population is in lockdown, and the depths of winter are making their impact felt too. It’s not an easy time to be thinking about a natural lifestyle, the outdoors, freedom to enjoy Nature in all her glory, or to even contemplate travel. Of course, we feel slightly guilty living in Broome in the Kimberley and not having experienced a single lockdown, or even any real restrictions. It seems so unfair that Melbourne people — and now Sydneysiders — must bear the brunt of the lockdowns. I send my deepest, heartfelt best wishes to all readers struggling with the various impacts of Covid — we are all thinking of you, wherever you are. I can only…

5 min
earth mail

Email your letters, messages and snaps to editorial@earthgarden.com.au or post to PO Box 1318 Broome, WA, 6725. Dear Earth Garden, I am a 74 year old woman, I live in Bellingen, New South Wales, and I’ve been an enthusiastic reader of your magazine for many years. I love the fact that over all these years you have been like a loyal friend to so many of us who appreciate nature, our environment, and the idea of organic gardening to preserve our health, without poisoning habitat and food source for wildlife and beneficial insects! I have been spreading the word about your wonderful magazine from day one! I used to work in the print media for 40 years:The Australian, The SMH, and many glossy magazines. So believe me I know the amount of…

5 min
on the vine

SOLAR KOALA EAR TAG The World Wide Fund for Nature-Australia recently announced an investment of over $1 million into innovative projects designed to help wildlife survive and recover from bushfires. The nine innovative projects range from a koala location tag, powered by a solar panel the size of a five cent piece, to temporary cardboard homes for wildlife, to a study examining the role of wombat burrows in helping animals shelter from fires and predators. “As part of our vision to Regenerate Australia, we’re re-imagining how to solve the challenges facing our wildlife and wild places,” said WWF-Australia’s CEO Dermot O’Gorman. “Bold new ideas are crucial to help restore species and landscapes, build their resilience, and adapt to a changing climate. That’s why, coming off the back of the 2020 bushfires,WWF ran a…

6 min
ecoburbia ecstasy

A GEOGRAPHIC community – could being exclusive ever be more inclusive? I gave a TEDx Perth talk in 2013 about the incredible geographic community of Hulbert Street, in South Fremantle. Imagine a street so connected that 30 households organised a Sustainability Fiesta for 7,500 people. It was a magical place. At the end of the talk I said: “When I tell this story people always say ‘I’d like to do that but I don’t live in Freo . . . but my street’s too wide . . . there are too many cars . . . and there’s that really strange family that live at number 14’.” I can only say one thing: “We did it and I know you can do it too!” Well Tim and I moved from Hulbert Street…

1 min
setting up the dream

THERE was just something special about this place. I stood up on the hill. At that moment I felt I was meant to find this place and that this challenge is definitely one I needed to accept. As I approached the biggest of the wild blackberry bushes on the property — and definitely the biggest blackberry bush I have ever seen — I was reminded of the many times I spent as a child sitting on the back steps of my parents’ house, next to my mum with my palm facing upwards on her knee as she patiently dug out what felt like hundreds of blackberry thorns after I had been picking and filling empty ice cream containers of blackberries from our garden. I picked a ripe blackberry, closed my eyes…

6 min
weaving, yarning and community fibres

PERFUME of drastically overgrown jasmine overwhelms my senses yet I can’t bring myself to trim back any vines. The unruly formation they have chosen, wrapping intricately around the verandah posts, reminds me perfection is not natural. Beneficial pollinator flowers pop up through rainbow chard stalks in my vegie patch, fruit trees aren’t pruned and scarlet runner beans are growing along the ground instead of vertically up a trellis. I’m taking time to live without structure and order, without pressure or expectation, time to just be. At work, preschool children and I count the overlapping petals on yellow dandelion flowers and examine soil consistency by sifting particles through our finger tips. There are discoveries around every corner. Hover flies visit the insect hotel and lizards bask in the sun at the lazy…