An organic guide to knowing, growing and using garlic, from Australian Whites and Tasmanian Purples to Korean Reds and Shandongs.
I am thrilled to say that my new book has been released and is in bookshops and can be purchased online from my website shop . If you would like your copy signed to a specific person, then send me an email through the contact page. I’ll be talking about garlic and the book on radio over the coming weeks and there will be reviews in newspapers and magazines, so keep an eye out for them.
The book has taken me three years to write, but has been much longer in it’s gestation. It covers everything from more than 50 different cultivars of garlic, to
guidelines for growing organic garlic around the country as well as interviews with
twelve Australian garlic growers telling you how and where they grow their garlic.
There are also recipes for cooking, preserving and smoking garlic and even making your own black garlic as well as medicinal uses and an extensive list of growers and suppliers.
This book starts to make sense of the confusion surrounding garlic and explains that garlic is not just garlic, it is Creole, Rocambole, Purple Stripe, Turban, Silverskin and more.
These are a couple of short extracts from the book, starting with Garlic Thoughts Read more
Bull’s Blood beetroot
I was leafing through the book I wrote with Pam Vardy, Community Gardens: A Celebration of the People, Recipes and Plants because I had been thinking about refugees and immigrants and how much they have enhanced our lives. Since the new government has been in power (and to some extent the previous government) the rhetoric has again resembled that of the Howard government and the Tampa. It was the events surrounding Tampa that prompted Pam and myself to get together and combine our skills (hers in interviewing and cooking, and mine in gardening and writing) to produce a book that show cases just a few of the very many ways that people from other cultures and countries have added to our lives and lifestyles in Australia. To highlight this, I thought that from time to time, by taking extracts from the book, I would focus on unusual individual plants or ways of using plants that we would not otherwise have available for our gardens or meals. Read more
Review by Gail Thomas
Eager to keep their Italian traditions alive after coming to Australia in 1965 Lina and Tony Siciliano started a new life together in suburban Essendon. With only a small garden they yearned to grow their own food so in 1981 acquired a barren block of land in East Keilor where they planted fruit trees and vegetables and raised chickens. Thirty years on and the couple have transformed the site into a profitable business boasting a productive bounty of 400 olive trees, an orchard, vegetable garden and their Rose Creek Estate vineyard.
Taking a month by month approach author Gabriella Gomersall-Hubbard has documented the family’s sustainable way of life from preserving – think big tomato day and sausage making – to producing olive oil and wine. Colour photos throughout capture the essence of the Siciliano’s seasonal activities in the garden and kitchen while traditional recipes reinforce that achievable goal of growing organically, knowing where your food comes from and ensuring low food miles. Try a spicy pasta with potatoes and cavolo nero or the slow cooked capretto with fresh peas.
Review by Penny Woodward
This lovely book is full of delights. For those of us lucky enough to have visited Rose Creek Estate, to have met Tony and Lina, and eaten their food, this book is a wonderful evocation of their lives and lifestyle. Read more
Your garden should not only be beautiful to look at but also a dynamic, balanced haven for all creatures (and plants) big and small.
These a just a few short extracts from my book Pest-Repellent Plants
from Chapter 1 Pests plants and predators
I hope this book will encourage you to embark on a journey of discovery, a journey that will add a fascinating new dimension to your gardening experience. Start by closely observing your garden and its inhabitants.
Everything in your garden depends on the other garden occupants and interacts with them. From the lowliest worm, centipede and ant … beetles, caterpillars and bugs … to frogs, lizards and birds … and finally to you. Your observations will show you the complexity and fragility of your garden ecosystem and some of the astonishing relationships that exist between insects and plants. Forget about bombarding everything that moves with a cocktail of the latest pesticides.
Instead, experiment with growing various masking and insect-repellent plants as well as plants that attract predators into the garden. Gradually you will build up a complete ecosystem where plants, pests and predators live in balance and remedies are needed only when this balance is upset.
By Gail Thomas for Australian Horticulture.
(reproduced with permission)
If the pests are taking hold, this useful reference has plenty of quick and easy organic solutions to getting the upper hand in both the garden and home.
With a host of ideas, strategies and answers this new revised edition has been updated and expanded, documenting more than sixty relevant plants along with traps, barriers, sprays and more to assist in addressing all manner of pest problems while maintaining a healthy balanced lifestyle and garden.
Penny Woodward who has a wealth of knowledge, having penned seven herb and garden related books has divided the plants and recipes in this volume into four categories; those that will kill pests, actively repel them, those that can mask the scents of plants targeted by pests and those that will kill or control fungi and bacteria.
Importantly it is imperative to take a holistic approach in maintaining a balance between pests and predators and the book also features tips and safety guidelines when making and using homemade pesticides.
The comprehensive A-Z of plants and organic remedies is fully illustrated with clear colour photographs throughout and also includes recipes using many easily accessible household ingredients including coffee, bicarbonate of soda, milk, molasses, flour and garlic. Read more
My new book has finally arrived on the bookshelves around Australia. This is the second edition of the book of the same title that sold more than 20,000 copies with three reprints. This edition is completely updated with new information and new photographs. It covers the philosophy of pest-repellent gardening, that the garden should be a haven for all creatures and plants, big and small, not a battle ground. That sprays that kill (even organic ones) should be a last resort. That gardeners need to concentrate on healthy soil and healthy plants, as well as a diversity of planting, including predator attracting plants. We also need to provide homes and food for frogs, birds, lizards and bats, all of which feed on pests. Then the book looks at masking, repelling and killing plants and their numerous uses. As well as other solutions such as traps, trickery, netting and barriers to keep pests away from our precious plants. And common household items that are organic and can also be used against pests: soap, molasses, coffee, bicarbonate of soda, copper, sulphur and even water, to name but a few. The final section looks at the pests.
I encourage you to spend time in your garden, get to know your insects, as not all insects are pests and only spray once you have tried all the other solutions. Ask your local library to get a copy, buy the book from your local bookshop or buy it online in our store. Pest-Repellent Plants