Heirloom Seeds – an Amazing Journey of Discovery into a Lost World


Red bananas
Purple carrots
Yellow beetroot
White egg plants
Multi coloured corn
Lemon tasting cucumber
Brightly coloured spinach
Fully ripe yellow tear drop tomatoes
Fully grown, tiny compact capsicums

They are all examples of old heirloom varieties of fruit and vegetable – you won’t find them at any supermarket.

To grow heirlooms is to challenge one’s experiences and senses.

Want to start growing heirlooms? Check out The Diggers Club for information and seed purchases.

To grow only non heirloom varieties, is frankly to be boring. You can disagree.

DIY Bean and Peas Climbing Trellis


This post is not a ‘how to build’ instructional guide on building your own trellis.  I am no expert.

This was my first attempt of building a climbing frame from tree branches that had blown down in storms. I just decided to give it a go. The string is unbleached and organic so hence will break down in time in the garden.

Is it toddler proof? Not really up to a grade 4 or 5 toddler destruction storm but should be OK for the winds we regularly get around here.

Underneath my home made trellis, our Little One and I planted more snow peas.

Thinking it may become a statuette feature in the garden when covered in snow peas.  I’ll post photos in a couple of weeks.

Happy gardening 🙂

My Favourite and Easy Way to Save Tomato Seeds


Simple and effective are adjectives that describe my gardening preferred style.  I am not retired.  I have a business and I am a Mum to an active toddler.  Even though I am passionate about sustainable living, it needs to also be time effective.  Hence why I mostly opt for easy and effective solutions.

Hence saving food seeds to plant for next season, needs to be quick. So this is what I do for saving tomato seeds:

* Slice tomatoes in half (or quarters for larger tomatoes) and squirt the seeds onto paper towels.
* Try to evenly spread the seeds around with your finger.
* Allow the seeds to completely dry onto the paper towels.
* Fold up each paper towel to fit into a small clean recycled jar. Store safely.
* Make sure the jar is labeled with what seeds are inside.
* Next season take the paper towels out of the jars.  With scissors cut small sections off the towel – only having a couple of seeds on each section.
* Plant each section of seeds into your prepared garden bed.

I also find this method easier for planting and allocating space between plants.   If more than one seed germinates from each section, I then just thin out the plants (choose the healthiest looking plant and remove the rest from that section).

* NOTE You need to make sure your tomato seeds come from open pollinated or heirloom tomatoes.  Don’t try this with grocery store purchased tomatoes.  Otherwise you might get a great bushy plant with no tomatoes.

Pretty easy hey!?!

Self Seeded ‘Volunteer’ Plants

My friend and prominent Australian sustainabity blogger Gav (Greening of Gavin) has recently written about ‘volunteer food’.

Volunteer food?  Gav has coined a new phrase for self seeding edible plants – plants that grow up in your garden by themselves (seed left in the ground from the actual plant from previous seasons).

This has got me wondering, what ‘volunteer food’ is growing currently in your garden?


Currently in my garden rockett (as per photo), cherry tomatoes and zucchinis are growing in many places I haven’t planted them.

Some plants I have removed, some transplanted and some are left to grow just where they are.

It would be interesting to know, what volunteer food is growing in different garden locations around Australia and the world.

Have You Heard of the Fruit Called Pepino?

Rain is forecasted for the next couple of days.  Rain falls on our roof, as our little one sleeps for an afternoon nap – ohhhh the serenity!  All of which gives me a moment to write and share with you.

Days of continuous rain is a great time to transplant clippings and seedlings – giving the plant’s roots a chance to adjust before the hot sun returns.

I’ve now transplanted my pepino clipping, given to me at Saturday’s Seed Savers.



Pepino fruit isn’t widely known here in Australia.  The pepino plant is an evergreen shrub (almost a ground cover) and originates from South America.  The fruit is as juicy as a water melon and has a light, sweet taste.

After I tasted my first pepino, I knew I had to grow them – especially as my neighbour has them growing successfully in her front yard.

Apparently the plant grows and fruits quickly – won’t have to wait years before you can enjoy the fruits of your labour (yes the pun was intentional).

This is where I will be growing my pepino plant:


I’ll let you know how it goes…..

Update On Our Native American Seed Planting Experiment


Apologies for my recent ‘silence’ after my last post about my Native American inspired seed planting experiment – it’s the silly season for work.

Here is a quick run down on the experiment:

Apparently the Native Americans, always planted corn, beans and squash together.   The corn stalks became ‘stakes’ for the beans to climb.   The beans produced nitrogen needed by the corn and squash (and helped stabalised the corn from winds). The squash’s (or in my case, pumpkins) large leaves acted as a mulch, suppressing weeds.

The corn is now approximately 1.5 meters high with the beans using them nicely as stakes.   The pumpkin look happy too.  The only setback was a tremendous wind storm we had a little while back.  Corn was flattened!  I attempted to save them using bamboo stakes, which has appeared to work well (beans have however used the stakes too).  Had we not had the wind storm we would never need the stakes.  I believe the experiment was successful.  So much so I will continue to plant this combination going forward as it is a great garden space saver – three crops in one area where I would usually only grow pumpkins.





Planting Seeds Like the Native Americans

At the beginning of October, I planted corn and pumpkin close together, in one section of our garden.

Corn stalks soon to be growing next to pumpkins and beans

As you can see, the corn has sprouted (so has the pumpkin but they can’t be seen in the photo).

Today looking at the corn sprouts, I remembered an article that I read some time ago.

Apparently the Native Americans, always planted corn, beans and squash together.   The corn stalks became ‘stakes’ for the beans to climb.   The beans produced nitrogen needed by the corn and squash (and helped stabalised the corn from winds). The squash’s (or in my case, pumpkins) large leaves acted as a mulch, suppressing weeds.

So today while looking at the corn sprouts,  I decided to plant two bean seeds close to each sprout.

Let’s see what happens with my corn, beans and pumpkin combination…..

Corn, pumpkin and beans planted together - inspired by the Native Americans