Simple living

Down to Earth – a guide to simple living

This very practical and beautifully presented book by Rhonda Hetzel is packed with good advice on all aspects of sustainable living for both home and garden. Chapters include: finances and budgeting; organising and de-cluttering; making your own cleaning products and soap, and growing, preparing and storing food. An excellent reference for homemakers of all ages.

Rhonda also writes regularly for the Australian Women’s Weekly. Down To Earth

Organic garlic for sale


New stock will be available around December 2011.

Once again, we have a small quantity of our own certified-organic ‘Italian White’ garlic for sale direct to the public. This variety has a lovely flavour and has been grown under strict organic conditions on Australia’s east coast*. Organic garlic is rich in antioxidants and the health benefits of garlic have been known for thousands of years.
Organic garlic can be used in food preparation or you can separate the cloves and grow your own garlic in autumn for next year. You can order 400 gram bags of garlic knobs to be sent by mail in a padded bag.
Ridgie-didge Organics Manning River – OGA Producer 371A

* Imported garlic is fumigated or irradiated, and some of it has been bleached. By the way, Elephant Garlic (that has huge cloves) is not garlic but a leek with a garlic flavour, and it does not have the same health-protecting properties of true garlic which is why we don’t grow it.

Australian organic garlic

Bag size: 400g

Price: $20.00

Postage: $7.50

Organic school gardens

gloves As some readers know, I have been kept very busy this year writing the Organic School Gardens program for the Biological Farmers of Australia to teach children how to garden for a sustainable future.

This program is unique, as it is provided free to all schools across Australia – it is non-commercial – it features practical and easy-to-use online resources and lesson plans suitable for Australian schools, plus a separate set of lesson notes for teachers, and
it is the only Australian school garden program written in line with organic standards.
BFA’s program is designed to be adaptable to all schools, including children with special needs and schools with very limited resources, and it is designed to integrate with other subjects in the curriculum, making learning fun and more meaningful for students.
Gardening expertise is not necessary to conduct this program. In going through the lessons and supervisor notes, teachers and volunteers will learn how to garden organically themselves.

BFA’s Organic School Gardens Program can be accessed and downloaded simply by going to:

The last three lessons in the program will be available to schools at the beginning of October in time for the next school term, and from later this month I will be able to spend more time writing posts for my blog. I’d like to thank all of you for your patience while I have been working on this project.

Almost time to plant garlic

Soils for garlic need plenty of mature compost added, and they should have a a soil pH close to neutral for good growth and a rich supply of antioxidants.
The health benefits of garlic have been known for thousands of years, and this humble herb has been immortalised in carvings in Egyptian pyramids. We grow our own garlic because imported garlic is fumigated or irradiated, and some of it has been bleached.
Garlic is a member of the onion family, but it is more closely related to leeks in that family. In fact, Elephant or Russian Garlic (which can be identified by its large cloves) is not garlic but a leek with a garlic flavour, and it does not have the same health-protecting properties of true garlic.

Garlic for sale

We grow the ‘Italian White’ variety because it has a lovely flavour and suits our local climate. After filling our wholesale orders this year, we have kept a small quantity of certified organic garlic for sale direct to the public. You can buy 400 gram bags from us for a limited time.

Australian organic garlic
Australian certified organic garlic

• We have now sold out of garlic. New stock will be available around December 2010.

Perfect Christmas gift

Looking for the perfect Christmas gift for someone who enjoys gardening?

EasyOrganic_cover.inddThe new edition of my book, ‘Easy Organic Gardening and Moon Planting‘ would be an excellent choice. This book is not just about growing food – all your garden will benefit from organic cultivation. It has 500 pages packed with easy-to-follow guides and secrets on how to maintain good health in your whole garden so that all your plants become naturally pest and disease resistant, and more tolerant of climate change while saving water.
The monthly gardening diary of what to do when for all climate zones can be used with or without moon planting, and there are spaces in the diary for you to add personal notes and reminders. For more information about this book, see: Recommended reading.

Cara at WAHMania has a small quantity of stock and, for Australian orders placed before this Friday, books will be sent by Express Post to ensure that they arrive in time for Christmas. To order merely click on the ‘Buy the book’ panel on the right hand side of this page.

Competition winners

eoged2.jpgRead the prize winning entries here  The winners of the WAHMania book giveaway have been chosen and the winners notified.

The question asked was, ‘why organic gardening/farming is best’.   It was very difficult to choose the winner, as there were so many high quality entries.  Because of this, we decided to award two runners-up prizes of a copy of the first edition of Easy Organic Gardening and Moon Planting (with best gardening days to 2010).

Congratulations to all winners, your prizes will arrive shortly.

Catching up

eoged2sm.jpgI’ve had to neglect my blog somewhat in recent months as I have been kept busy preparing and promoting the new edition of my book Easy Organic Gardening and Moon Planting, which was released last Monday. I wrote the book to encourage more Australian and New Zealand gardeners to have a go at organic gardening and discover how easy it is, and how it is better for our health and the environment. For details, click on the ‘About’ button at the top of this page.
WAHMania’s competition to promote the new edition has now closed, and we will be announcing the winner here on Thursday, 12th March.
With the weather cooling slightly, I am looking forward to being able to spend more time catching up with my own gardening, and helping readers with any gardening problems.

More frogs…

It has been raining for the past ten days and I don’t want to seem ungrateful after so many years of drought but, I am anxious to get out in the garden again and get my hands dirty. At least the frogs are thoroughly enjoying the weather.
I really enjoyed visiting the Frogs Australia Network website, as it contains information about an amazing number of frogs, and you can listen to individual frog calls to aid in identification.

Pumpkin update

Now that the pumpkin vine is dying off, we are able to find the entire crop – 27 pumpkins from one vine. Compost and plenty of water are the secrets to healthy pumpkin growth. Despite prolonged periods of rain, the vine has remained healthy without a hint of mildew because full access to nutrients has provided the vine with a healthy immune system. The only down side to this luxurious growth has been that it has provided a multitude of places for our chooks to hide their eggs.