Spring Propagation

Spring time is here and its a great time to propagate your plants.

We will show you how to take cuttings from your Heart Leaf Philodendron.

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1. Take a 5-10cm cutting from your healthy plant ensuring that you cut below a node, as this is where the roots grow from.

 

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2. Leave the cutting in water in a warm spot, but not in direct sunlight. This should take a few weeks before roots begin to grow.

 

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3. Once roots have formed plant this in a well drainingpotting mix. We like to add some play sand to our mix to help with drainage.

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4. Choose a position for your new plant in a well lit space, but not in direct sun. Water when top soil is dry.

 

Happy planting. xx

How to Care for your Fiddle Leaf Fig

The ever popular Fiddle Leaf Fig is a great feature plant for you home. However we are frequently asked about tips on how to care for these plants.

The Fiddle Leaf fit is a reasonably low-maintenance house plant but of course it can have some problems if it is not in the right location. Here are some tips on how to care for your Fiddle Leaf Fig.

1. Location

Your Fiddle Leaf will like a space in your home that is bright and with lots of light during the day, but do not place this in direct sun as this can burn the leaves.

2. Leaves are collecting Dust

Like other furniture in your house that can collect dust so can your plants. It is important to wipe the dust from the leaves of your Fiddle Leaf Fig.  Dust on the leaves of your plants diminishes the ability of the leaves to function and the plants ability to breath. Dust blocks the breathing pores (stomata) and can reduce the amount of light that can feed the growth-activating cells within the leaves. Wipe the plants leaves with a damp cloth to remove dust. We do ours once a week.

3. How often should it be watered

The easiest way to tell if you plant needs watering is to stick your finger in the soil and if the top 5cm is dry then its time for a drink. We give ours a good soaking in the bath tub rather than just dribbling water on top. Only water every two weeks in winter and once a week in summer. Fiddle Leaf Figs also like humid environments so don't forget to mist your leaves, especially in winter when you have the heater on as this can dry the plant out.

4. Brown Spots are appearing on the leaves?

Brown Spots on the leaves of your plant could indicate a number of problems, however the main cause of this is due to water. It could be from over or under watering your plant. Follow the tips above and you should see these clearing up.

4. Where can I buy a Fiddle Leaf Fig

I would recommend buying a Fiddle Leaf Fig from an independent nursery. They can usually order in plants at your request. You can also buy on our Plant Nursery online here.

 

 

 

Fermented Foods

With our face paced lifestyles, stress,  bad diets, over prescribing of antibiotics we have created the "germ-free" environment.  Increased chemical/synthetic fertilizers used in farming, and  everyday toxins have all begun to take a toll on our gut health.

Research is showing that our gut bacteria is less diverse that what is has been previously , which could be a direct link to the increase in so many chronic health conditions.

Today we chat with Imogen McKee from Fermentagious who runs Fermenting Classes at Paleo Cafe, Townsville... 

What Are Fermented Foods?

Fermented foods come in all different shapes and sizes. Examples of fermented foods include - beer, wine, cheese, miso, fish sauce, soy sauce, yogurt, sourdough bread, sauerkraut, kimchi, tempeh, - the list can go on. Traditionally these foods were fermented using age old traditions that generally took time. Biologists and chemists began research fermentation and essentially managed to isolate the specific chemical reactions, and hence the bacteria strands that catalysed such reactions e.g. yeast. Before yeast was chemically isolated - sourdough bread was made by mixing flour and water and letting it sit on your bench top. By doing so the mixture would attract wild yeast within the environment which would essentially take the place of the now chemical yeast.  [IM]

Where Have All the Fermented Foods Gone?

The mass production of food these days which includes the use of preservatives largely now has replaced the need to ferment foods. Secondly - we pasteurize alot of foods with good bacteria in them these days to increase shelf life and with the introduction of refrigerators, preserving foods isn't as big of a deal because we can easily go to the supermarket. We very much live in a convenience era where seasonal foods aren't as big as what they were previously. We have evolved as a culture from hunters and gathers, to an agricultural society to now having supermarkets at our finger tips. [IM]

Why Eat Fermented Foods?

Fermented foods are high in good bacteria which is what our gut needs to absorb and digest our foods to the best of their ability. [IM]


Tips on introducing fermented foods into your diet?

Fermented foods can be incorporated in a number of ways - vegetable ferments can be added to salads or as a side dish to any type of meal, kombucha can be consumed daily whenever, making your own yogurt - can be used at breakfast/as a snack, literally it is up to you how and when you you eat them.[IM]


Imogen's basic recipe for kraut:

You will need

  • 1 Kgs of Cabbage
  • 1.5 TBS of Salt - put this into a small dish
  • Widemouth Jar ( 1L )

Method:

Chop all your cabbage up - reserve the outer lay leaves in tact if possible. In a big mixing bowl - place a layer of cabbage (roughly two handfuls) and sprinkle some salt over.

"Massage"/ crunch all the salt over the cabbage.

Repeat this process with all of your cabbage to pull the water out of the cabbage. When you have completed this you should be able to squeeze a handful of cabbage and water should drip out of it. Let it sit for an hour or two, squeezing it sporadically with your hands to get the last bit of the water out of it.

Pack your kraut into a widemouth jar (I use the old 1L coconut oil jars) - use a rolling pin to bash in down as you go to pack it all in tightly, you don't want to have any air pockets. You want to leave about an 1inch headspace at the top of your jar. Ideally, you should have pulled enough water from the cabbage to ensure all the kraut is submerged however you might need to top it up with salt water brine (1 cup of filtered water to 1 tsp of salt).

When you've packed it all in to jars, cut the outer cabbage leaf to the size of the top of the jar and use it as a seal - you want to keep all the cabbage beneath this, inevitably you will get some floaties which is OK but the more contact with air the greater chance for spoilage.

Lastly - once you have packed it into the jars, sealed it with a cut-to-size cabbage leaf, then you need a weight to assist with forcing the water out and keeping the cabbage submerged. I usually use a smaller jar filled with water to do this BUT if I have used smaller jars then I just push down the kraut twice a day with my CLEAN fingers.

Once you have put your weight on, cover the kraut with a tea towel and place out of direct sunlight in your kitchen.

After the first few days you will notice bulk bubbles appearing - this is a great sign that its fermenting smile emoticon Push down on on the kraut during this time to get any trapped gases out.

Leave it sit on your bench for 1-4 weeks - the hotter your kitchen the less time required the colder your kitchen, the longer fermenting time frame.

Somethings you might notice -

  • A white film/scum might develop on the surface - just skim it off, its a yeast that forms due to air exposure, your ferment underneath will be perfectly fine.
  •  Floaties - try skim these out as the can cause mould/spoilage.
  • The smell can be quite a punch in the face - totally normal

Happy Fermenting


Imogen Mckee

Imogen Mckee



DIY KOKEDAMA

Kokedama is a traditional Japanese art form that uses moss as a container for a plant. They are a great way to bring some greenery into your home. Herbs work really well in these and are great to hang in the kitchen. Be sure to choose a plant that suits the environment in which you plan to hang the ball.

WHAT YOU WILL NEED

  • A plant
  • 7:3 ratio of peat soil  to  bonsai soil
  • sphagnum moss (soak in water)
  • scissors
  • cotton thread
  • twine
  • a bucket of water
  • mixing bowl

STEP 1. Shake the soil from the plants, being careful not to disturb the roots.

STEP 2. Mix water, peat soil and bonsai soil until the soil is wet enough so you can mould it to achieve a ball shape, which is larger than the root ball of your plant.

STEP 3. Make a hole in your ball to fit the roots of your plant or pat soil around the roots to form a ball.

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STEP 4.  Make a small square of moss on a flat surface and place your ball in the middle.  Keep adding moss around the ball and wrap with string. It’s a little tricky holding it all together, but the aim is to keep adding moss and wrapping the twine around your ball until you achieve a round shape.  Cut the string once you have made a round ball.

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STEP 5. Re-attach some loose string and knot it on either side to create the ‘hanger’. Hang it up in a space in your home.

Maintenance Tip:  To keep alive remove the plant from its hanging hook and soak in a bucket of water two times a week for half an hour.