Real World Gardener Make Your Own Beeswax Wraps on the Good Earth

June 23rd, 2017

REAL WORLD GARDENER Wed. 5pm 2RRR 88.5fm Sydney, streaming live at www.2rrr.org.au  and Across Australia on the Community Radio Network. www.realworldgardener.com

REALWORLD GARDENER NOW ON FACEBOOK

The complete CRN edition of RWG is available on http://www.cpod.org.au/ , just click on 2RRR to find this week’s edition.

THE GOOD EARTH

Make Your Own Beeswax Wraps

 

Plastic is back in the media as being bad for the environment, so much so, that some countries have banned the use of plastic bags.

Why? Because it never breaks down, instead it turns into smaller and smaller particles which our wildlife consume. 

 



Some sea creatures mistake soft plastic bags floating in the ocean for jelly fish with dire consequences.

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Soft plastics such as what you use for wrapping your sandwiches are just as much of a problem as the bags because, it doesn’t break down ever.

So what else can you wrap your sandwiches in other than putting it in a plastic container?

 

 

I talk with Margaret Mossakowska, Director of www.mosshouse.com.au and course coordinator for Permaculture North in Sydney.

 

You can spend the dollars and buy the ready-made beeswax wraps, or you can do it yourself quite cheaply.

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Margaret's tip for lunchwraps.

You can buy beeswax from markets and bee-keepers associations.

What you'll need:

Densely woven cotton cloth-about the thickness of a man's business shirt or cotton bedsheet.

Cut them into squares 40cm x 40 cm.

Place the cotton squares between several lavers of greaseproof paper and sprinkle grated beeswax over the cloth.

Spray a couple of times with Jojoba oil for ease of spreading.

Place some butchers paper over the greaseproof paper and iron to heat up the wax so it's absorbed into the cloth.  Then it's ready to use, just mould it into shape for wrapping sandwiches or other food except meat and cheese.

 

So go on, kick the plastic habit and make some beeswax wraps yourself If you have any questions about beeswax wraps, or have some information to share, drop us a line to or write in to 2RRR PO Box 644 Gladesville NSW 1675 

 
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Real World Gardener Make Your Own Green Wall in Design Elements

June 1st, 2017

REAL WORLD GARDENER Wed. 5pm 2RRR 88.5fm Sydney, streaming live at www.2rrr.org.au  and Across Australia on the Community Radio Network. www.realworldgardener.com

REALWORLD GARDENER NOW ON FACEBOOK

The complete CRN edition of RWG is available on http://www.cpod.org.au/ , just click on 2RRR to find this week’s edition.

DESIGN ELEMENTS

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Floriade Venlo photo M Cannon

Green Walls

You may not have thought of the idea of having a green wall in your garden.

You might’ve thought that they were really expensive.

 

Some facts first about green walls.

Green walls can provide:

• aesthetic improvements

• protect the building they are attached to because they shield the the building or fence from the sun.

• reduce building heating and cooling costs due to increased insulation

• increased property value

• a place to grow food

• rain water run-off management and water filtering/pollution reduction

• habitat creation and increased biodiversity

• cooling effect

• cleaner air, with less pollutants

 

But did you also know that green walls suit any size garden, even if you have a large garden?

Why?

How do you achieve this?

 

Let’s find out? I'm talking with Peter Nixon from Paradisus garden design. www.peternixon.com.au

 You can make your own green wall using recycled material or you can buy ready made ones from the big box stores that have garden supplies.

They’re fine too.

If you have any questions about green walls, why not contact Peter or email us here at realworldgardener@gmail.com

 
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Real World Gardener Create an Outdoor Room in Design Elements

May 19th, 2017

REAL WORLD GARDENER Wed. 5pm 2RRR 88.5fm Sydney, streaming live at www.2rrr.org.au  and Across Australia on the Community Radio Network. www.realworldgardener.com

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The complete CRN edition of RWG is available on http://www.cpod.org.au/ , just click on 2RRR to find this week’s edition

DESIGN ELEMENTS

Outdoor Rooms-Including the Kitchen Sink

 

Whatever you think an outdoor room is, it’s probably not going to have all the bells and whistles of the kitchen you have in your house.

But, say your outdoor eating space is best at the back of the yard or down a flight of stairs, what do you do then?

best-outdoor-kitchens-designs-amazing-ba

 

 

 

Australia is too sunny to always be eating indoors so you might think about doing a bit more than the good ole’ BBQ.

Let’s find out?

 

PLAY: Outdoor rooms_10th May 2017

 

That was Matt Leacy Principal Landscape Designer and Director of Landart Landscapes.

 

You may not want to go the whole hogg of fridge, dishwasher and fancy BBQ in your outdoor room, but I think the Pizza oven sounds like a great idea. 

simple-outdoor-kitchens-ideas-L-shaped-o

Soon you’ll be making your own pizza dough, and buying a pizza peel, that’s one of those wooden or metal spatula type implements that puts your pizza into the pizza oven.

Whatever you do in your outdoor room, don’t forget the garden.

 

An outdoor room without a garden is just to droll to contemplate.

If you have any questions about outdoor rooms write in to realworldgardener@gmail.com

 
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Real World Gardener Collecting Mushrooms in the Good Earth

May 5th, 2017

REAL WORLD GARDENER Wed. 5pm 2RRR 88.5fm Sydney, streaming live at www.2rrr.org.au  and Across Australia on the Community Radio Network. www.realworldgardener.com

REALWORLD GARDENER NOW ON FACEBOOK

The complete CRN edition of RWG is available on http://www.cpod.org.au/ , just click on 2RRR to find this week’s edition. The new theme is sung by Harry Hughes from his album Songs of the Garden

THE GOOD EARTH

Mushroom picking sounds like a great idea, but around the world, people die from eating poisonous ones.

Not only do you need to know where to go but also how to tell which are poisonous and which are not.

Authorities recommend to only forage in the supermarket aisles or buy a mushroom kit and grow your own!

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Saffron Milk Cup Mushroom

However, if you go out with a knowledgeable guide, you may be able to enjoy this pleasant past time without fear of keeling over.

 

Let’s find out.

I'm talking with Margaret Mossakowska, Director of Moss House and Living Skills Coordinator of Permaculture North.

In Australia, cool climate pine forests are the best places.

State owned forests have public access and picnic tables for you to enjoy your mushrooms after picking them.

Forests need to be 10 - 20 years old so that the fungal networks have had time to re-establish after the intensive agriculture that's involved in starting forest plantations.

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Slippery Jack Mushroom undersides.

 

Saffron Milk Cap mushrooms (pictured above) exude an orangey white sap when cut.

This sap oxygenates to a green colour, so it's not mouldy.

These are the easiest to identify. 

 

Slippery Jack Mushrooms (pictured here) don't have gills on the underside but more of a foam structure.

You can also find mushrooms where horses and cows are pastured. these are mostly button mushrooms and harder to identify.

 

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TIP: Cut the mushrooms instead of pulling our digging them out. By doing this you're letting spores for future generations of mushrooms remain in the environment where they grow best.

WARNING: Only ever go collecting mushrooms with an experienced guide.
Do not rely on guide books for collecting mushrooms.
They’re very easy to misidentify.

Margaret says that when she takes people out foraging for mushrooms, that she asks them to tip out their collected mushrooms onto a blanket.

By doing this, Margaret can check each and everyone one of them to make sure that they’re not the poisonous ones.

If you have any questions about mushroom picking or have some advice or photos to share, why not drop us a line to realworldgardener@gmail.com or write in to 2RRR P.O. Box 644 Gladesville NSW 1675.

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Real World Gardener Delicious Dragon Fruit is Plant of the Week

April 24th, 2017

PLANT OF THE WEEK

Dragon Fruit 

Hylocereus undadatus

 

Not every plant that gets featured in this segment is your typical perennial, whether it’s a shrub, bush or ground-cover.

 

From time to time, we like to delve into the unusual but ornamental and sometimes just downright functional and even edible.

 

Some fruits come from trees, think peaches, apples pears: 

 

Some from climbers, -passionfruit, raspberries, 

 

A a few others grow on cacti.

 

You might think of a prickly pear for cactus fruit, but today’s plant fits into the last category. 

 

Highly ornamental, edible, yet growing on a cactus.

Let’s find out about this plant.

 

I'm talking with he plant panel: Karen Smith, editor of Hort Journal www.hortjournal.com.au and Jeremy Critchley, The Green Gallery wholesale nursery owner. www.thegreengallery.com.au

 

Dragon fruit are considered super fruit, and their flowers are spectacular,so that’s reason enough to get planting one.

Sometimes the flower of this cactus if referred to as "Queen of the Night."

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Dragon fruit flower

This title makes it seems that you have to out there with a torch to observe the brilliance and inhale the perfume. 

But as Karen points out, the flower often last well into daylight hours, so we can all breathe a sigh of relief.

Certainly it last long enough for moths or bats to come by and pollinate it so every gardener can enjoy the unusual fruit.

 
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Real World Gardener Lemon Verbena in Spice it Up

April 17th, 2017

REAL WORLD GARDENER Wed. 5pm 2RRR 88.5fm Sydney, streaming live at www.2rrr.org.au  and Across Australia on the Community Radio Network. www.realworldgardener.com

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The complete CRN edition of RWG is available on http://www.cpod.org.au/ , just click on 2RRR to find this week’s

SPICE IT UP

Lemon Verbena Alloysia citriodora (syn. Lippia citriodora)

This is a herb with a multitude of uses;

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Lemon Verbena photo M Cannon

 

There are a few plants whose leaves are great in cooking, making herbal teas and when the leaves are dried, they’re good for a number of things including pot pourri.

So many uses for just one plant, let's find out more?

 

Ian's mum and dad had a grove of 12 Lemon Verbena trees that grew to 2 metres in height.

The leaves were harvested to make sleep pillows and pot pourri.

Lemon verbena pillows sound devine.

They ‘re made of dried leaves of Lavender (Lavandula vera is the best) to help you sleep, Rose petals for sweet dreams and Lemon Verbena, to help you wake refreshed.

Chopped finely, it makes a neat substitute for lemon zest.

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Lemon Verbena Tea photo M Cannon

Try Lemon Verbena tea; it's very refreshing or make Panna Cotta infused with Lemon Verbena.

To prune your Lemon Verbena tree, just take of the top one-third of the tree.

When it re-shoots in Spring tip prune the branches regularly to keep it bushy.

If you have any questions about growing or using Lemon Verbena, drop us a line to realworldgardener@gmail.com or write in to 2RRR P.O. Box 644 Gladesville NSW 1675.

 
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Real World Gardener Cubeb Pepper in Spice It Up

April 7th, 2017

REAL WORLD GARDENER Wed. 5pm 2RRR 88.5fm Sydney, streaming live at www.2rrr.org.au  and Across Australia on the Community Radio Network. www.realworldgardener.com

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The complete CRN edition of RWG is available on http://www.cpod.org.au/ , just click on 2RRR to find this week’s edition.

SPICE IT UP

Cubeb Pepper (Piper cubeba)

 

Once upon a time, real pepper was adulterated with this spice because it was thought of as perhaps not inferior, but certainly it was cheaper than pepper.

In fact, this pepper was banned by the Venetian Spice Traders!

Why was that?

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Cubeb pepper (Piper cubeba) photo M Cannon

Now the tables are turned and there aren’t too many places where this spice grows and even less places where you can buy it.

Let’s find out what it’s all about.

I'm talking with Ian Hemphill, Director of www.herbies.com.au

PLAY: Cubeb Pepper_29th March 2017

 

Cubeb pepper grows as a vine with heart shaped leaves, mostly in the Indonesian Archipelago.

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Interestingly, it's similar looking to pepper ixcept for that spiked tail.

 

Did you know that the spice blend Ras el Hanout has 20-30 different spices in it and Cubeb Pepper is one of them?

As Ian mentioned, don’t put cubeb pepper in the peppermill and use ¼ teaspoon of this pepper with 1 teaspoon of normal ground black pepper.

Great for those pepper steaks, slow cooked meals and with rich meats such as pork,duck game.

If you have any questions about where to get Cubeb pepper, drop us a line to realworldgardener@gmail.com or write in to 2RRR P.O. Box 644 Gladesville NSW 1675.

 
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Real World Gardener Preserving Summer Fruits

March 16th, 2017

REAL WORLD GARDENER Wed. 5pm 2RRR 88.5fm Sydney, streaming live at www.2rrr.org.au  and Across Australia on the Community Radio Network. www.realworldgardener.com

REALWORLD GARDENER NOW ON FACEBOOK

The complete CRN edition of RWG is available on http://www.cpod.org.au/ , just click on 2RRR to find this week’s edition.

THE GOOD EARTH

Preserving Summer Fruits

Do you have fruit trees in your garden?

Citrus are fruits so you probably answered yes to that.

So what do you do when the fruits all come ripe at once?

Jams and preserves and possibly pickles are the first things that come to mind for most people, but there are a lot more methods of preserving fruit to use later on in the year. Let’s find out about this preserving business.

I'm talking with Margaret Mossakowska from www.mosshouse.com.au 

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I hope that’s inspired you to try several different methods of preserving your fruit.

We didn’t even cover making pasta sauce with all those tomatoes that you’re growing right now.

If you have any questions about preserving summer produce or have some information you’d like to share, why not email realworldgardener@gmail.com

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Real World Gardener What Is Wrong with My Worm Farm?

March 9th, 2017

LIVING PLANET

What Went Wrong with My Worm Farm?

 

So you’ve now got a worm farm but you open the lid one morning and there’s a mass of short fat white wriggling things?

Too awful to contemplate so I'm not posting a picture of the maggots.

Instead, here's a photo of the nice worms that you should have in your worm farm.]

 

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You’re of course horrified and think “How did they get there and why? "

So now let’s find out. '

I'm talking with Sophie Goulding, environment project officer with a local council.

 

You need to get rid of those wriggling things because they’re maggots and they're there because probably you put that dairy or meat product into the worm farm.

Perhaps you did it on purpose knowing that your chooks will really appreciate a feast of protein that those white maggoty things have plenty of.

But if you didn’t, you’re best bet is to remove the maggots and put them into a small bucket.

Leave them to fry in the sun before adding them back to the compost.

If you don't get rid of them they'll get rid of your worms and there goes your worm farm.

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Real World Gardener Vanilla Bean in Spice It Up

March 9th, 2017

SPICE IT UP

Vanilla Bean Orchid Vanilla planifolia

The plant that this next spice comes from originates in the highland forests of Mexico, so that gives you some idea of where it grows best.

Somewhere warm and humid.

But hey, don’t let that stop you from trying to grow it, after all it’s an orchid.

Let’s find out what’s great about this spice. Im talking with owner of www.herbies.com.au Ian Hemphill

 

If you buy imitation vanilla essence then you’re buying a mixture made from synthetic substances which imitate the vanilla smell and flavour.

This often contains propylene glycol which is also found in automotive antifreeze!

It’s mass produced and relatively cheap but, of course, not in the same class as true vanilla extract.

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Growing Vanilla planifolia

If you want to try to grow this orchid, you must be sure to get Vanilla planifolia-used to be called Vanilla fragrans.

The flowers are like a skinny Cattleya (that’s an orchid) flower and they’re yellow.

The plant usually doesn’t flower until it’s at least 3 metres tall and it can reach a size of 20 metres and more.

A friend of mine has the variegated one growing in his laundry that faces north.

Seems to be doing pretty well.

If you're in an area where you can grow this orchid and have it flower, then you'll have to pollinate it yourself to get the vanilla bean.

The only natural pollinator is the Melipone Bee which is native to Mexico and thought to be extinct.

Should your vanilla bean orchid produce a green bean, luck you, but this will have no vanilla flavour.

It takes many weeks of drying and sweating before the pod is ready to be used in cooking.

If you have any questions about growing Vanilla orchids, drop us a line to realworldgardener@gmail.com or write in to 2RRR P.O. Box 644 Gladesville NSW 1675.

 
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