It’s been hectic for me this year helping so many new gardeners keen to learn to grow food with live chat coaching calls all over the world. I’ve loved every minute so I’m playing catchup with newsletters and this one is packed with tons of resources for you to dig into and keep you learning! I share some of the projects and articles I’ve been busy writing; new videos I’ve filmed for you to enjoy; details of my weekly radio plant chat on ABC FM; answer a reader question on spring onions; share planting tips + a time-sensitive flash sale offer with bonuses I’ve created that finishes midnight Friday 28th August. Jump in!
Gardening and Sustainable Living Bundle (Time-Sensitive!)
Have you been thinking about your food security this year? In recent months so many people have reached out for help to start growing food for health and living more sustainably. New priorities! Perhaps you are looking for helpful resources to expand your skills to grow edibles, medicinal plants and be more self-reliant. Whether you’re a beginner gardener or wanting to layer your learning, there’s no better time to invest in knowledge to sustain your own wellbeing. A garden is one of the best ‘classrooms’ to learn in. Personally, I take time to read, research and study every year so I can stay healthy and grow the most nutritious food possible. I wanted to share one of the resources I’ve invested in.
I partnered with Ultimate Bundles this year to release my recently published organic gardening eBook as one of 33 resources in a bundle of gardening, sustainable living, and homesteading eCourses + eBooks. If you’re interested in growing food, preserving techniques, healthy soil, planning, and optimising small space gardens, you can check out the Gardening & Sustainable Living Bundle here. 21 eBooks + 7 eCourses + 5 printables and planners for just US$19.99. At a genuine 95% discount but only until Friday, August 28th at 11:59pm EST). This is the last time these resources will be on sale. Learn more here!
My Special BONUS Gifts
If you decide to get your Gardening and Sustainable Living Bundle, I am going to make it even better value! Just email me your Order ID and I’ll send you a BONUS set of 5 Gardening Resources + a Companion Planting Chart. They complement the other products in the Bundle so you can widen your learning experience. Here’s a list right now so you know what’s coming if you decide to purchase! What you’ll get:
- Companion Planting Made Easy (39 page eBook)
- How to Fertilise and Maintain Your Container Gardens (2 page PDF Tip Sheet)
- How to Grow Microgreens Tutorial and Tips (3 page PDF)
- Prevent & Fix Leggy Seedlings Check List (3 page PDF)
- How to Test and Balance Your Soil’s pH (2 page PDF)
- Companion Planting Chart + Natural Insect Repellent Tips (1 page printable)
Many readers got their Bundle earlier this year when it first came on sale and I got fantastic feedback! I was thrilled to hear how so many of you loved these bonus products I’m personally offering, as well as the digital resources inside the Bundle to help you grow more food, save money, and gain greater food security. When you buy one of these digital bundles you are supporting many small family businesses directly. At this challenging time globally, when so many small businesses are hurting, you’re helping make a positive difference. So thank you!
Mondays On ABC Radio
On Mondays, I invite you to listen to ABC Radio Sunshine Coast (90.3 FM) and tune in from 5.50pm for a bite-sized ‘Plant of the Week’ segment. I chat with radio host, Sheridan Stewart to share quick tips on growing a different plant each week plus other skills like propagating, using herbs in the kitchen and pruning. You can listen in live. I also post tips on the plant of the week on my Facebook page, so if you’ve missed these, check out recent posts.
Edible Flowers & Small Space Gardening
As face-to-face workshops were cancelled due to lockdown, I have been busy filming and producing content locally. Check out these online resources with many of my videos and tips on growing flowers and how to use them in the kitchen and small space gardens.
- Beautiful blooms: How to grow and use edible flowers (My interview with Living Smart)
- My YouTube Channel (latest videos) (To keep up with the upcoming videos please subscribe)
Latest Articles to Dig into
- Beneficial Insects – Why We Need them in Our Gardens: Insect populations are in trouble around the world. It’s worse than many of us imagined. In this article, I share some of the findings from a 2019 global review where scientists revealed the leading causes of insect declines in recent decades based on data in 73 different studies. It appears the decline in numbers and diversity is accelerating, so I encourage you to learn why this is happening and what we as individual gardeners can do about it.
- Organic Gardening for Healthy Soil, Plants and People: In my latest article in Garden Culture Magazine UK, I share 4 key organic gardening principles that I’ve found make a difference in creating a productive paradise – be it a balcony garden, backyard or larger space. I believe organic gardeners are stewards of the earth. We care about our soil, the health of our plants – particularly edibles, and create an environment that encourages all creatures to live safely.
Gardening Tips for August
Continue planting above ground edibles with the new moon growth phase. Gardening is incredibly relaxing, improves mental health and is the perfect antidote for stress, so make some time to sow seeds or a new plant!
Subtropical SE Queensland – What to Plant Now
READ Gardening Tips for August for what to do now in SE Queensland, pests to watch for and more. (Download PDF)
Subtropical Planting Guide – a laminated perpetual guide to the 5 seasons in SE QLD
For other locations, read my article on what to plant and when.
Is the Sticky Sap in Spring Onions Safe to Eat?
Diane asks: I’ve been growing green onions [spring onions/shallots] in a pot, in my kitchen, for several months now. My green onions have taken off! They have now started producing a thick, clear, slime from the inside. I wanted to make sure that this was normal since they smell right and appear very healthy. I’m assuming this is just essentially the plant’s sap, so if you’re familiar with it, would you be able to confirm what it is? I tried pulling it up on a Google search, but I can’t get any clearer definition as to what it is or if it’s safe to eat.
There’s nothing to worry about and the mucus membrane inside the spring onion (Allium fistulosum) is not only edible but incredibly beneficial for the immune system. There have been several scientific studies on this topic and to quote one study in part:
“Bunching onion [Allium fistulosum L. (Liliaceae)] secretes mucus in the cavities of its green leaves. The effects of the mucus, which is consumed as food, were examined. The mucus augmented the production of tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α and monocyte chemotactic protein (MCP)-1 from RAW 264 cells and of interleukin (IL)-12 from J774.1 cells; however, extracts from green leaves and white sheaths did not. An oral administration of this mucus to mice augmented the immune functions of peritoneal cells by increasing TNF-α and IL-12 production and phagocytosis. It also augmented interferon (IFN)-γ production from spleen cells and natural killer (NK) activity. These results suggest that an oral administration of the A. fistulosum mucus can enhance natural immunity.”
Spring Onions Protect our Health
So basically, what this means is that the proteins contained in the mucus lining have been found in several studies* to have a beneficial impact on cancerous cells by supporting the activity of natural killer (NK) cells in the body. Tumour necrosis simply means the death of most or all of the cells in an organ or tissue due to disease, injury, or failure of the blood supply. So, this vegetable (like other allium species including garlic) may play a role in preventing or destroying cancer cells.
Another study found that the “mucus could stimulate the anti-tumour and infection-preventative functions of NK cells” and supported the body’s immune system. Studies confirmed that it doesn’t matter whether you eat spring onions raw or cooked – they still provide the same benefits.
I grow and eat this vegetable almost on a daily basis. Like all foods, they not only provide us with vitamins and minerals but also medicinal and protective health benefits. I hope that this encourages you to revere this delicious vegetable and enjoy spring onions in your diet.
If you want to dig deeper into scientific studies, you can read more below.
Got a Problem?
Too much shade? Ants, aphids or fruit flies? Too hot or dry? Challenges raising your seeds or seedlings?
Read all past problem-solving articles here. They’re packed with useful tips.
Ready to start sowing seeds and planting? These tutorials may help:
- Seed Starting Guide: Quick Tips for Starting Seeds Successfully
- Growing Your Own Food from Seed
- 3 Steps to Prepare Your Garden for Planting
- 6 Tips for Abundant Edible Container Gardens
- Design Tips for a Productive Kitchen Garden
Dig into my free online Article Library for more topics
Click here to VIEW ALL ARTICLES
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I look forward to sharing more news and ways to grow good health next month.
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© Copyright Anne Gibson, The Micro Gardener 2020. https://themicrogardener.com. All rights reserved.
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