Hyland House remains one of the oldest surviving independent Australian book publishers. No longer a general trade publisher, Hyland House has over recent years increasingly focused on its specialisations in Horticulture, Gardening and the Environment, Animal Behaviour and Pet Care, commissioned Organisational Histories, and a narrow range of ‘How-to’, Practical Lifestyle books. Hyland House publishes all my books.
I regularly write for Organic Gardener magazine which is published by The ABC. It’s a great magazine written for the intelligent gardener and presents practical and clearly written articles with excellent photos of organic gardening and lifestyle. All sorts of eco-living issues are also explored, such as organic food, renewable energy, permaculture, organic farmers markets, environmentally friendly home products, and eco-travel. Some of the articles that I have written can now be found on line, if you want to read some more of my articles just click here.
This is the website of the Victorian Herb Society, a big, active society with lots of members that meets on the first Thursday of every month.The Society aims to educate and inform its members about all aspects of herbs including organic cultivation and their uses in cooking, medicine and craft and more. The group has been active for more than 30 years and a few years ago asked me to be their patron. I’m not sure what a patron does, but I was honoured to be asked and happy to help whenever I can. The Society has been recognized by the Garden Plant Conservation Association of Australia
as the official custodian of the genus Salvia and they have salvia gardens in several different parts of Victoria. Click here for more information on the Salvia Study Group
The intention of the website is to provide information about, and to sell a diverse range of seed for the Melbourne and Central Victorian region. Their seed is different from that available from some other sources as they have set up their own Seed Production Area (SPA) so that their seed is not taken from remnant populations of indigenous flora. For more information about their SPA and the steps they have taken to make the seed as genetically diverse as possible, visit the site, look at the beautiful pictures and learn about the years of work that have been undertaken in order to establish this fledgling business. The catalogue page is a work of art, as well as being an easy way to order seed. Go to Victorian Native Seed
The Australian Garlic Industry Association was incorporated in 1991 and has since devoted itself to the promotion and development of the Australian garlic industry. The introduction of cheap, bleached imported garlic into Australia in the mid 1990’s saw a massive decline in local production causing many garlic farmers to move out of garlic production. Today, the Australian Garlic Industry and garlic farming is on the comeback trail with local growers producing delicious and varied varieties of garlic for the local market. This garlic is hugely superior to imported garlic, both in quality and because it hasn’t been sprayed with sprout inhibitors or soaked with methyl bromide, a banned chemical in many countries. The AGIA is a non profit organization run by a board of elected growers. Our aim is to further strengthen the local garlic industry and to encourage investment and grower opportunities. I encourage all garlic growers, wholesalers, producers and more to join the AGIA to help them, collectively, to develop this productive, visionary industry. With strong industry support the AGIA can seek further essential R&D, lobby Government support for their local industry and develop new market opportunities locally and overseas.Australian Garlic Industry Association
The Heritage Fruits Society is Melbourne based. It aims to conserve heritage fruit varieties on private and public land. They help and encourage society members to research the many varieties and to inform the public on the benefits of heritage fruits for health, sustainability and biodiversity. The Heritage Fruits Society maintains and promotes the heritage collection at Petty’s Orchard in Templestowe, Victoria, Australia. Petty’s is one of Melbourne’s oldest commercial orchards, and it holds the largest collection of apple varieties on mainland Australia, with more than two hundred varieties of old and rare apples. The Society has an Antique Apple Tasting Festival at the end of March every year and they also hold regular grafting days at different venues and send out an e-newsletter. A really good hardworking society that is doing the vital job of conserving so many of our old fruit varieties.
Landshare Australia is based on the concept of Landshare that began in the UK two years ago where it has now grown into a thriving community of more than 57,000 growers, sharers and helpers across the country. It brings together people who have a passion for home-grown food, connecting those who have land to share with those who need land for cultivating food. So if you have a spare piece of land but don’t have the knowledge or the time or the interest to grow your own food, then through Landshare you can find someone who does. Landshare was first launched in New South Wales and has just recently been launched in Victoria. There are 729 members so far. Landshare is for people who are passionate about growing their own vegetables, have land to share, want to be part of a growing community or can just help in some way.
CERES is an award winning, not-for-profit, environment and education centre and urban farm located by the Merri Creek in East Brunswick, Melbourne. Built on a decommissioned municipal tip that was once a wasteland, today CERES is a thriving, vibrant community. They have a brilliant website, so if you can’t visit the actual park, then go to the website and see what they are about. Everything from green technology, farm and food, permaculture nursery and education programs as well as the fair food movement. Subscribe to their newsletter to keep up to date with all they are doing.
Sustainable Gardening Australia is a not for profit, non-government organisation that is dedicated to changing the way we garden. Their vision is a world where people cultivate their gardens in sympathy with the natural environment by following the seasonal rhythms of the land, its ecology and its climate.Their mission is to enhance the natural Australian environment by promoting the benefits of sustainable horticultural practices. SGA is totally committed to achieving real, continually improving and easily understood environmental solutions for gardeners. They do this through their website, with numerous fact sheets and other activities. SGA certifies nurseries, landscapers and public gardens, so go to their website to see a list of green nurseries, green landscapers and public gardens.
Green Harvest is one of my favourite places to shop on line. They are great for plants and seeds, but I like them especially for organic pest solutions. They have everything from netting to bags, from moth to mouse traps, and even solutions for fruit fly and termites. They are Australian owned and operated and organically certified with BFA – ACO in Australia. Every year in July I look forward to their free Australian Organic Gardening Resource Guide. It is full of organic gardening products and hints, to help you grow nutritious, chemical-free vegetables and fruit. Just ask for a copy and they will send it anywhere in Australia.
Karen designs beautiful, edible gardens. Visit her website to find out more. As she says: ‘It’s time for a new kind of suburban garden, one that feeds us, body and soul, and is sustainable in these times of climate change, irregular rain and temperature. The enormity of the changes that we need to make can seem overwhelming, but we can begin the way all the best changes are made; gradually.’
Stephen is forging ahead after his unexpected and foolish dismissal from Gardening Australia. If you want to see what he is up to, read his regular plant profiles or attend one of his many enjoyable and informative talks, go to his website
more links to come…