Category Archives: Gardening on a Budget

Renting chickens (because a mortgage is enough commitment already)

For the last four weeks, we have been hosting two chickens, Henrietta and Lily, from Book-a-Chook. And like any new parent, I’ve been harping about them to everyone I meet: Henrietta is greedy, pecky, and sprints like an Olympic athlete, … Continue reading

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Localism’s the new black: Millie Ross’ The Thrifty Gardener

Gardening books are either aspirational or educational. With its brightly coloured pages and photos, Millie Ross’ The Thrifty Gardener comes across as aspirational but unlike other aspirational gardening books, striking architectural plants and stunning aspects do not feature. Instead, The Thrifty Gardener’s aesthetics lean … Continue reading

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Leaf harvest

Autumn has come to an end before I even had a chance to write another seasonal thrills without frills. The asparagus and the rhubarb is starting to die down and the trees have dropped their leaves all over the lawn. … Continue reading

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The indestructible spring onion

Spring onions are hardy plants. Once established, they’re drought tolerant, snail resistant, and they grow back after a decent trim. It always baffles me whenever I see spring onion seedlings at a nursery. Why do people pay money for seedlings … Continue reading

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My dad’s mini greenhouses

Dad is a Jim’s Mowing man. He’s also one of the thriftiest gardeners I know. I don’t think he’s ever bought a bag of compost or a plant; most of his specimens come from seeds or cuttings or are castoffs … Continue reading

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Striking betel leaf cuttings

It’s lunar new year this weekend and one of my favourite snacks to eat from the street-festival vendors is bò lá lốt, beef wrapped in betel leaves. I’ve recreated it at home, using Luke Nguyen and Mark Jensen’s recipe (via Secrets of … Continue reading

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When life denies you lemons…

Growing food to save money seemed like a smart idea until I discovered that planting a lemon tree and getting it to bear fruit are two different things. It’s been three years since Dad put in a Eureka for me … Continue reading

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