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The 'grow it at home' revolution has grown exponentially, and it's amazing how many so-called 'experts' are suddenly out there with expensive, impractical advice; eg, fancy espaliers might look good in glossy magazines but are rarely practical, and few fruits really need it. Or raised garden beds - expensive, rarely justified and difficult to implement sustainable practices. I've been promoting food growing for thirty years, in ways that are efficient, sustainable & cost-effective for the majority of householders and landowners.

The threat of more exotic pests & diseases: With globalisation, more 'free' trade and increasing movements of people and products the risk of getting new pests or diseases also increases, and WA has more to lose than other states. Our Department of Agriculture and Food is so concerned it has issued this press release - details here

Own more than a couple of acres? The great news is that funding has allowed for more 'Heavenly Hectares' workshops and Property Planning Courses that will help you get the best out of your hobby farm or small property - click here for details

We really need to re-appraise 'modern' food production .You may know I'm a real fan of Joel Salatin, an organic beef producer from Viginia in the US, who has proven that intensive strip grazing is the way to go and has turned thrashed out grassland into very highly productive and profitable multiple use farmland (his farm is called Polyface - check him out on YouTube). Today I watched this mind-blowing talk by Allan Savory which should get everyone thinking real hard - click here for details - a MUST watch.

Updated fruit-fly fact-sheet. I have updated my fact-sheet on fruit-fly click here for details

'Dwarf' fruit tree varieties. There is some confusion about what fruit trees are dwarf or not. I have added new fact-sheets listing dwarf & semi-dwarf fruit trees - for stonefruits and for apples, pears & citrus

Excessive use of organic matter is a big problem. I have become increasingly concerned about the use of excessively rich 'soil' mixes, especially in veggie beds. The concept of using 50:50 mixes of composts:manures, etc, is not only unnecessary, it's not sustainable and downright damaging to the environment. It's also sad that this practice is being widely promoted in the garden media. Excessive organic matter is a very serious problem - ask the Swan River Trust - it's not just nutrient leaching but also the build up of sludge on the bottom of the Swan & Canning rivers that is helping to kill our waterways, and much of this comes from organic matter. I have also done a number of consults where this type of mix has quickly become anaerobic, clumpy and water repellent. The fact is we only need 10-15% OM for successful food gardening (20% maximum). We CAN grow healthy food successfully in soil-based mediums - we just need to get the OM right and together with soil amendements, cap it off with a water-wise mulch.

Artificial Turf - don't buy it! Before you consider buying artificial or synthetic turf, please watch this video and then do more research - click here to view it. There are enormous health & environmental concerns about using it, and there are nearly always much better alternatives.

Coles & Woolworths continue to be shameless. The two big supermarket chains, despite their hollow publicity claims, are doing everything to destroy food production in Australia and therefore what little 'food security' we have. Their latest attack is by refusing to buy locally grown and canned beetroot, prefering to buy cheap imports. Plus there is the price war they are commencing on fresh fruit & veges, which will have devastating effects on our growers. What can we do? - DON'T buy from them, rather go to smaller grocers or butchers, ideally specialist outlets.

Information & Resource List: I have added a new fact-sheet listing good products & services click here

Sod Culture in Orchards: I have added a new fact-sheet about ground (soil) management: click here

Conifer Die-back Rampant Again: Also called Cypress Canker, this swift and deadly disease is caused by a Seiridium fungus. Unfortunately, many trees are lost because people are told there is no treatment, when just the opposite is true: click here

Insect Pests Coming Indoors: I have added a new fact-sheet on household pests - click here

Improving Our Gutless sands: I have written a new fact-sheet on amending & improving sands - click here

The 'grow it at home' revolution has grown exponentially and it's amazing how many so-called 'experts' are suddenly out there with expensive, impractical advice; eg, fancy espaliers might look good in glossy magazines but are rarely practical, and few fruits really need it. Or raised garden beds - expensive, rarely justified and difficult to implement sustainable practices. I've been promoting food growing for thirty years, in ways that are efficient, sustainable & cost-effective for the majority of householders and landowners.