Global warming is a global phenomenon but there’s many things gardeners can do to help on a local scale. Jerry uses battery powered tools that can be recharged via the solar power on his roof which prevents greenhouse gas emissions. A push-driven mower also has no reliance on fuels and starts first time every time! Growing plants helps store carbon in soils by taking carbon dioxide in from the atmosphere and turning it into plant tissue. Mangroves are some of best plant communities for storing carbon but trees like eucalypts are great choices with small varieties available for the home garden, and if providing shade on the northern or western side of your house you’ll need less air conditioning to keep cool and save on emissions that way too.
Composting garden and kitchen waste where possible will avoid emissions from councils having to take your waste to the tip. And the compost won’t just increase biological activity, water holding capacity, and fertility of your soil, it will also store carbon! The earth can store ten times more carbon in the soil than it can in the atmosphere. Jerry regularly measures the amount of carbon in his soil and it’s increasing by about 1% each year, which means he’s stopping a huge amount of greenhouse gas getting into the atmosphere just by working in homemade compost.
Choosing the right fertiliser is also important and Jerry uses organic fertiliser like animal manures as they have the nutrients your plants need whilst avoiding the greenhouse gases emitted in the production of synthetic fertilisers. Synthetic fertilisers can also generate nitrous oxide in the soil, a potent greenhouse gas.
The distance food has to be transported to get to you is known as ‘food miles’. The greater the food miles the greater the fossil fuel emissions resulting from the food you consume. But food grown at home only has to go from garden to kitchen! Most of the onions eaten in Brisbane come from South Australia or Tasmania, as they can be unreliable to grow in the Queensland climate. So, Jerry grow subtropical substitutes like spring onion and society garlic that are just as easy and tasty as ordinary onions. Citrus fruits are an internationally traded commodity but with a little space you can grow one at home and they are very rewarding!
Don’t despair about global warming, get into your patch and do something about it.
Yuggera Country | Brisbane, QLD
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