Creating the plot

Hi – my name is Julie.

I live in the Barossa Valley, South Australia.

This pic is when we were putting together a no-dig plot this season.

I am an avid organic gardener and often referred to as the recycling queen.

I was co-owner of a small nursery propagating ‘edible’ plants for several years and hold a T.A.F.E. Certificate III in horticulture.

My mission is to encourage as many people as possible to start organic gardening. This will improve both our individual lives and the wellbeing of our personal and global environments.At my computer

This is me at my computer – a bit cleaner than I usually look when I’ve been in the garden for a while. But I like to get a bit or dirt under my nails and smell the wonderful scents of my organic garden.

I look forward to your comments and hearing about what you’re doing in your garden – it makes this fun and interesting for everyone.

I plan to post regularly, so come by and visit often. I’ll have tips for organic gardening, recipes and of course my own daily / weekly updates of my organic garden.

The pics below are when we were renting, but my life was too dull without a veggie garden, so my husband (at the time) built me this frame in September 07.

Plot in Sept 07

And I turned it into our organic veggie supply (below) by end of November 07.

Plot in Nov 07

Most of our vegetables are now coming direct from my organic veggie garden, straight to our dinner table – loving it!




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36 Responses to “About”

  1. Have just discovered your site and love it. Will be a regular visitor. Inspiring site….

  2. I have had an awakening regarding our “carbon footprint” and also, via “The Art of Simple Food” a desire to have a garden this year, so will be visiting your site often for information on how to it organically.
    Thanks for your site and all of the info, Julie.
    Kitnet/Mary =)

  3. Hi mum! I’m supposed to be doing my psych assignment but I decided to look at your website instead, its way more interesting! In all this time you’ve had it up I’ve never looked at it, but it’s great to see you making a difference in peoples eating habits. Love you mummy! =) Ps. all you parents out there that are trying to make your kids eat veggies and failing miserably… try growing your own and get the kids involved, I don’t like veggies much but I’m loving the organic stuff that comes out the garden. Also, all kids love snow peas and they’re heaps easy to grow and pick and they have pretty flowers too!! xox

  4. Thanks Julie for a great site with lots of great information, inspiration, know how and guidance.

  5. Julie, thanx for your newsletters and blog. I have had a vegie patch most of the time, but now I’m starting to do it organically. Pse keep the giudance coming.

  6. Hi There from Ontario Canada! I came across your website while I was searching for information about organic vegetable gardening. I don’t know one thing about gardening but I’m willing to learn so thank you for this site and all it contains! Can’t wait to get my hands dirty 🙂

  7. Hi Julie! thanks alot for all the guide i’ve reiceved til this far, I think you’re such a generous person with sharing information publicly. I’m just a cook who loves and enjoy great food! I conscider myself very lucky to have bumped-into this site. It’s quite interesting and helpful I must say. Im just about to start growing my own veggies the organic way with help i got from you. I love herps very much and I’m intending to grow my own with the guide i’ve received from you so far. Just keep us posted, I love this site…

  8. julie ,you area breath of fresh air,i spent the first 55 years,born and raised in miami ,florida.a city girl with a country heart.dedicating my life to my children eating well,and animal rescue,dreaming of the day i could put my hands in the soil.going on my 60th year i have purchased 36 acres of landin n.folrida.26 for my wildlife rescue,and sanctuary, 3 for my private no kill dog,cat rescue and 1 1/2 acre organic garden.7 acres for my farm animal for milk ,eggs and cheese.im getting a late start and finding it harder than i thought .a one woman show here.check out my video on youtube”pampered abandoned pets and wildlife”nice to meet you.i need all the help i can get.im more passionate about my garden than my animals.i’ll be watching and learning. christine

  9. Hello my dear jullie i hope your doing well to the peolpe for the all world cany work with you in KENNYA please thang God for you to work to the people God bless your work God Bless you familly bye

  10. Hello julie i hope your doing well for your work in kenya im doing well for my PROJECT So thangs for you work wen i read a but ogarnic i Stert project a but GREEN HOUSE
    FOR now i have .15 peolpe wii are working to gather so GOD BLESS YOUR WORK

  11. Congratulations for being a part of NATURE. The work on organic gardening being done by you is extremely commendable and emulative. I am a Soil Scientist from India and consultant on organic agriculture with extreme love and passion for NATURE.
    I strongly believe in recycling process in nature. I have conceputualized the customized vermicompost production as a potential technique to fertilize crops. Would you be interested, please feel free to contacat me.

  12. Julie – hi from Vancouver, Canada. I discovered your website when looking for organic veggie gardening tips. When I saw pictures of your garden with frames set up for scarlet runner beans I knew we would get along! I have been growing scarlet runner beans for the past 10 years or so but they are not that popular here. My parents grew them at home in England and I wanted to carry on that tradition when we came here and fortunately the seeds are available at our local garden centre. We usually get an abundant crop butI have noticed that they do not seem to do well when the summers are very hot. (Vancouver normally has a very temperate climate like England but with global warming it seems to be becoming more extreme). It is not for want of water as they were thoroughly watered every day. So I am wondering how you cope in Australia where I presume you have a very hot, dry climate?
    I would love to hear your answer on this and look forward to chatting more about all aspects of organic gardening as this is a big part of my life.

  13. Hi Maggi,
    yes, it’s often very hot during summer here in South Australia – sometimes we get a week, even two weeks in a row of days around or over 40 degrees C (104 F), so it can really be a challenge growing vegetables.
    The scarlet runner beans don’t seem to mind too much though. As long as I keep the water up to them, they do OK. Sometimes flowers will drop off, but it looks like I’m going to get a second flush of beans now – early autumn here – as they’re covered with those very pretty flowers again!
    The temperature is much milder now, with days ranging from 20 – 30 degrees, so perfect for veggies.

  14. hi julie
    i started a hothouse in jan, sprouted toms cucumbers an a few oth things everything went well then once my plants were about seedling size everything went down hill, even my herbs started dying, were on tha gold coast!! what am i doing wrong!!! we live in a rental so r limited to space for a garden hope u can help.

  15. hi! julie. this is raj. i have 25 acres farm land.i have got registered my land to get organic certified.i am planning to grow valueable vegetables there.i am happy to get connected with you.

  16. Hi Linda,
    you haven’t given me a lot to go… and I’m not really familiar with tropical gardening, but I may be of some help to you.
    In January here in South Australia it’s way too hot to have anything at all in my poly tunnel. I move everything outside (under shade-cloth mostly) in October, before the really hot weather hits. So has it got too hot in your hothouse?
    Another problem can be if there’s no air flow. Do you have windows or some other ventilation in your hothouse?
    As for seedlings – they can suffer from a problems like damping off (which it sounds like could be your problem). It is a fungal problem which spreads really quickly in over-wet compost and high temperatures. To help prevent it you need to get some air flowing, use good hygiene practices and don’t sow your seeds too close together. Given that you live in the tropics I’m wondering why you need a hothouse, but perhaps that’s just my ignorance.
    Hope this has been of some help.
    Julie http://www.1stoporganicgardening.com

  17. Julie, I was just passing thru, stopped by your affiliate page… It’s not properly proportioned for browsers… mine anyway.

    I’ve been gardening with raised beds/french-intensive for several years… Your site and material look very good…

    Thank You, Long Life & Great Ideas

  18. Hi Julie,
    Can you give me any tips on how much water I should put on my watermelons? I’m from Southern California and it gets hot here like there. My soil is not sandy or clay. I’m bad at over watering or not watering enough.
    I’m glad I ran across your site and your blog.

  19. Hi Julie, just bought your ebook with the bonus option and wow!, amongst the thousands of ebooks on my HD this would be the most practical, helpful and informative I have received.
    This priceless practical information will be used by this fellow Aussie to embark on a healthier lifestyle.
    Home grown and organic really do taste much better than supermarket acquired foods.
    Thanks for a great download,
    Robert from Victoria

  20. im having trouble with my blue berry lpants they want to grow but now they are turning brown >>> whats up any idea ???? marvin

  21. Hi Julie, I would like to know if you can give me information on things that can be grown indoors and/or in very small urban spaces for a blog post I am writing. Please contact me — thanks!

  22. Hi Julie, I’m a new subscriber & enjoy all your gardening tips.

    The tip of adding pine needles to a blueberry patch to raise the acidic level is great! AND Mother Earth provides this so abundantly.

    My question is,what other way can this be done apart from pine needles?
    I mean preparing the earth prior to planting the blueberry seedlings.

    Thank you,


  23. Dear Julie,

    I receive the go organic club newsletter regularly and love your work. I decided to write and ask for your help.
    Me and my husband bought a house with a garden recently and plan to grow organic plants. The garden is currently overgrown with grass and weeds. Is there any chance to make the soil usable for planting without using herbicides?
    We would be very grateful for any suggestions.
    Thank you in advance,

  24. I found what I was looking for at your site. thank you and i do plan to start growing my veggie. thanks for all you do. may God bless you.

  25. Hi Julie,

    I am a Singaporean living in the US and I\’ve been looking for the Polygonum leaves / also known as Laksa leaves for years. I was wondering you you know any one in South Florida that has the leaves.

  26. Hi Louise,
    see my reply comment to the post I did on Laksa plants. Just use the search box and type in “laksa”.
    Hope it helps you.

  27. Hello Julie

    I have just started a vege garden in the back yard. I would like to know if you have a receipe that I could make up for keeping the little bugs/moths off the tomatoes, luttuce, capsicums, brocolli etc.

    I have seen one somewhere where there was garlic mentioned. Could you please advise, as I would very much appreciate your help.

  28. Hi Margaret, you need to be fairly careful when you decide to spray anything on your organic garden – even if it is an organic solution. You don’t want to be deterring beneficial insects. So it pays to learn which insects are harmful and those that are beneficial in your garden.
    That being said, take a look at my web page on pest and disease control. You’ll get some useful information here: http://www.1stoporganicgardening.com/pestcontrol.htm

    warm regards,

  29. I have cousins living in Tasmania who are now
    grandparents and maybe great grandparents.

    My sister in Ft. Collins, Colorado keeps up with them better
    than myself.

    Enjoyed seeing the picture of your raised gardens.

    I understand Central Florida might be similar as to
    growing zones as where you reside.

    Blessings, Gerald Landis, Apopka, Florida, USA

  30. Hi Gerald,
    yes I believe Florida has similar growing conditions as we do here in South Australia… pretty cool hey? Tassie’s a beautiful place, but a little on the cold side for my liking. It’s pretty cold even here in winter, so I wouldn’t want to go any colder… brrr
    Nice to hear from you.


  31. This is a wonderful, organic gardening site and thank you for sharing your success and challenges. My husband and I in Michigan are buying a house and we are very interested in solar and wind energy. Keep on doing what you do!

  32. Forget about all those organic veggies, I love your Barossa Valley, South Australia wines. Seriously though, for all those poor city people that don’t have any space to grow veggies, you can sprout seeds. This is Baby Veggies without earth, pests & getting your hands dirty.

    Can you tell the city folks about Seed Sprouting, Julie?

  33. thanks Pip. Yes, the Barossa is a gorgeous place to live or visit. I think many city people can still grow some of their own organic vegetables…. you just have to get a little more creative with the space you have. Even if it’s just a sunny windowsill or balcony. I’ve just been reading an ebook about growing your own food in just 8 square feet – enough to feed a family and all with just 8 hours work per year. Yes, you read right – 8 hours per year! Take a look.
    As for seed sprouting; well it doesn’t get any easier than this. Take a clean jar, add a tablespoon of mung beans and soak overnight. In the morning cover the jar opening with cheesecloth or similar material and secure with a rubber band. Drain the water. Each morning half fill the jar with water, swish it round and let drain. After 3-5 days (depending on the temperature) you will have sprouts ready to use. So easy!

  34. Hi Julie,

    Found your site by accident and love it.
    Added a link to it on my webpage.

    I will visit often.

  35. A useful blog! I am into gardening and I think the information here is very useful for me to have a thorough understanding of my garden.

  36. Some of the most popular and useful kinds of organic garden fertilizer include seaweed powder, fish emulsion and bone meal, soybean powder and rock phosphate.

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