Mark Tupman

The Art of Making Fine Compost

Up close and personal with the saprophytic fungi that is a feature of good compost.

Few things have stood the test of time like the practice of turning organic material into compost that can be used to benefit plant growth. We are continually discovering more about the wonderful properties of good old compost and it remains a most important input, that growers have at their disposal. So what is this … Read more

Save the Seed

A vegetable garden with lots of flowers and plants going to seed.

Anyone with access to a garden can save seeds. It’s easy and there are numerous reasons as to why it’s important to do so. Once upon a time gardeners would have to save their own seed if they were to keep growing their favourite vegetables, flowers and herbs. Under this rich tradition a vast diversity … Read more

The Life of Organic Matter in the Soil

The life of organic matter in the soil - photo of a hand holding rich fresh dirt with worms

Decomposition – The After Life of Organic Matter in the Soil. There are different metabolic pathways that organisms employ to obtain energy from organic materials in the soil environment. The balance between these modes of decomposition determines important soil characteristics and the availability of essential plant nutrients. Under aerobic conditions, respiring organisms such as saprophytic … Read more

All will be revealed!

Photo of lush bushy healthy young trees

Have you ever grown something that, just doesn’t look great, or perhaps starts off ok, then succumbs to some sort of condition before coming to fruition? I think this is a scenario all growers encounter somewhere along the line. To deduce what’s missing we might try and visually diagnose what’s wrong, do some research, carry … Read more

The Organic Economy

A bowl of organic figs - green and bright pink.

“You are what you eat… and you are what, what you eat, eats… and you’re even what, what, what you eat, eat, eats… and it repeats, it repeats, it repeats!!!” (Charlie Mcgee – Formidable Vegetable Sound System) In nature, organic systems are made up of living organisms that organise resources in the environment for their own means. Every … Read more

Crop Rotation and Companion Planting

Crop Rotation and Companion Planting

It’s well established that biodiversity plays an important role in the health and resilience of living systems. The combination of organisms (or organisers as I like to think of them) and the different roles they play makes for a productive, dynamic program. Having a diversity of plants supports a diversity of microbe and animal life … Read more

It’s All Good!

Little girl offers a homegrown gooseberry fruit.

It’s a wonderful thing that living production systems provide a solution to so many of our modern woes – climate change, pollution, dwindling resources, species extinction, feeding a growing population and well-being to name a few. Essential functions carried out by the vast array of living organisms (organisers) we share this planet with underpin our … Read more