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Rural People and Issues : Gardening

This section contains articles on country gardening. There are hundreds of other useful articles in our lifestyle file. If you're looking for something in particular then use the search box above. If not, then browse the article titles and see what there is to help you. If you can't find an answer here then why not ask in our discussion forums? One of the very friendly and helpful members is sure to be able to help you.

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The humble earthworm (eisenia foetida) plays an important role in the garden.

September to November heralds new growth in the garden and the cycle of creation begins again. 

Have you ever considered that our food supply could be impacted in the same way? 

The 100 Mile Diet,was a one year experiment by a Canadian couple in eating food grown within 100 miles.

Aside from the obvious benefit of free plants there are several reasons why you would want to harvest your own seeds.

Moon gardening or lunar gardening, as it is sometimes called, is one of the oldest gardening practices, dating back to the Babylonian era.

Imagine being able to taste your fruit and vegetables before purchasing them. 

With colder weather approaching lettuce is a commodity in the organic garden which goes off the menu.

It has been said that the most important ingredient in preserving olives is patience - six months worth to be exact.

Winter is a time of rest in the garden but for gardeners it is a time to do repairs and prepare for the upcoming growing months.

There aren't too many, now 'middle aged', kiwi kids that can't remember their mothers in the kitchen bottling the 'summer harvest' for winters consumption.

Avoiding the twelve most pesticide laden fruits and vegetables can reduce your pesticide exposure by up to 90%.

The worldwide organic food market has been growing at a rate of twenty percent per year, since 1990, and accounts for one to two percent of total food sales.

Nothing screams autumn like the musky-sweet scent of homegrown grapes, hiding in amongst their leafy surrounds and just waiting for the keen eyes of a backyard treasure-hunter. 

As a home garden specimen tree, the persimmon offers not only a plentiful source of fruit heading into the winter months but also a brilliant display of colour as its foliage turns in the autumn. 

Maturing in late autumn to early winter, and with good storage potential, it is a handy substitute for cucumbers and zucchini in the months when these vegetables are absent.

Tamarillos are subtropicals, tolerating only light frosts, and are also sensitive to high heat environments and drought conditions.  They will not tolerate waterlogging or having wet feet either, and being large-leaved, smallish trees or shrubs with soft, semi-woody and fairly brittle stems, need protection from wind as well. 

Did you know you can get dwarf almond trees? Did you know they're quite easy to grow? Did you know they're delicious?

Easy to grow and delicous to eat, but did you know rhubarb can also be used as a natural cleaner, soap ingredient and for pest control?

In terms of fruit and vegetable production, the late winter and early spring months can be deceptively sparse but loquats can fill the gap.

Did you know that blackcurrants have some lesser-known relatives which are much milder on the palate and can even be eaten as a fresh dessert fruit? Enter the red and white currants…

I’ll be spending most of my weekend in the kitchen, engulfed in a cloud of steam, with a sticky bench and even stickier complexion. Is it worth it? Absolutely.

 February is indeed the month of ‘peak plum’ and I’ve just spent the last week bottling, jamming and dehydrating the last of the rooftop haul.

The dark red, velvet-skinned, late season peach beloved of many a Kiwi has recently undergone a name update, bringing it firmly in to the 21st century. Sanguine peach, blood peach, Pêche de Vigne (peach of the grapevine; vineyard peach) or simply, as I heard recently – purple peach – call it what you may, this fruit holds a special place in the hearts of countless New Zealanders.

For cold-hardiness and reliable production of relatively sweet, juicy fruit, you can’t go past a Meyer, and they are a great starting point.  But what of the other, lesser-known, but no less interesting members of the lemon clan?             

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