Can I use treated pine in a raised bed garden?

I asked this question of a soil expert, Phil Mulvey, Chief Executive Officer of Environmental Earth Sciences and Phil’s advice is: In regard to CCA treated timber, there has been a lot of research with CCA treated logs and vegetables.  Slow leaching of metals does occur and impacts the soil in contact with the logs (50 mm).  Little uptake does occur to the vegetables but the same issue occurs with roots crops in close proximity to the logs as it does for lead.  The root... Read More

Things that grow up, things that grow down

Things that grow up may (beautifully) be planted with things that grow down. For we city gardeners,this is news we may grab with both hands. It means we can grow more tucker in less space. This natural intensity, easy as it is for us to apply in our urban farms, can bring: plant, insect and bug diversity more competition between pests, and perhaps the triumph of those pests we prefer – the ones that predate the pests which destroy our tucker more birds, particularly the... Read More

Some riches from the day

I’m staying at Varuna House, Katoomba, the writer’s retreat.  It’s the house once owned and lived in by Eleanor Dark and her husband, Eric.  Painted yellow, facing north, set amidst fruit trees and native plants, its a big yellow grin of a place, full of heart, spirit and truly reflecting the courage and independent lives of Eleanor and Eric. And I’ve just got some riches in this heavy fog day with the rain coming down. Liz, one of the folk there who... Read More

Chippo Garden & Compost Workshop Wed 23 March

On Wednesday 23 March – next week – Sydney City Council will hold a workshop about composting and gardening in Chippendale. Commencing at 630 and finishing at 8 pm at the Pine Street Creative Arts Centre, the workshop will enable each participant to express their ideas and opinions and to offer criticisms and to ask questions. The information from the workshop will be used to develop the Sustainable Streets and Communities Plan being prepared for Chippendale by the... Read More

My plan to secure Australia’s food

In a column (Bathurst Burr) I write for an online magazine called, The Fifth Estate, I’ve offered a plan to secure Australia’s food, and it’s here:… Enjoy; may we have action from all that we’ve got in government now and from ourselves, no new committees or agencies  . . . beginning now, Michael  Read More

Asylum Seekers Gardeners

Asylum Seekers Centre gardeners and friends L to R: Teresa, Robyn, Stefan, Vera, Michael, Jessica, Figgy the bird, Auntie Fran When the newly planted food forest at the Asylum Seekers Centre in Surry Hills was launched in December a photo was taken of the gardeners standing in the garden at the front, including Auntie Fran who suggested indigenous food and medicine plants, Figgy the young Figtree bird who was pushed out of its nest by the bully bird from New Guinea, the Koel,... Read More

Bob through the window

Bob looking through my window Bob and Bert, the chooks in the run outside the kitchen window, love to see what’s happening inside the house. Who knows, some cooking may be underway and some tucker may be about to be thrown through the kitchen window to peck? Lottie, who has the blog, A place a day, took this lovely photo through one of the windows (it’s got raindrops on it, so you’re looking through a glass sparkly).  It’s Bob checking things out. Bob... Read More

TAFE Outreach students visit orchard farm

Today a van of we city folk visited an organic orchard run by Jeremy and Antony Wallis, called Colo River Citrus, located at the confluence of the Hawkesbury and Colo rivers, in one of the most beautiful small valleys I’ve seen within an hour’s drive west of Sydney. Tafe’s Outreach Program in association with Cafe Cana are running a sustainable living course and I’m teaching it with Paddy Lane. Our visit today was a chance for the students to see how oranges... Read More

Food scarcity in Australia soon

The ABC has initiated a terrific documentary on food production in Australia and worldwide and the first installment, Selling the farm, is here:… Some data in the program comes from Julian Cribb in a new book to be published this week, The Coming Famine, by University of California Press and the CSIRO. As far as my research shows the only government exploring Australia’s food growing capacity is Victoria’s.  It’s not on the agenda of the main... Read More

  • Michael Mobbs

    Michael is a former Environmental Lawyer who is uniquely placed to consult in four main areas:

    • Sustainability Coach and Speaker,
    • Sustainable Urban Farm Design greening, watering and cooling the cityscape, roads, parks, suburbs,
    • Major Projects Consultant Commercial and Industrial,
    • Residential Sustainability Consultant.
    For permission to re-print any articles or to book Michael for a speaking engagement go to Contacts. Please ensure all quotes from Michael's blog include a reference to