Sustainably Organic?

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I live down the road from Bill Mollinson, the guy who invented permaculture. Permaculture is gardening without chemicals, insecticides and with as little human interference as possible. Permaculture principles helped establish the organic gardening movement in Australia and a successful alternative to industrial farming.

The organic trend has led to a staggering amount of magazines on the subject. Each time I go to the newsagent I find another one propping up the shelves. They include:

Wellbeing Organic Garden
Organic Gardening
Grass Roots
Warm Earth Organic Gardening
Biodynamic Growing
Earth Garden
Good Organic Garden

Seven organic gardening magazines amongst all the other specialised gardening magazines. Why does a small Australian market need so many organic gardening journals?  Every single one of these magazines, at some stage, has featured articles about building a wood fired oven, keeping chickens, companion planting, seasonal planting, creating compost, keeping ducks, rural living, preserving fruit, bee keeping, no-dig gardens, bugs and weeds, building a trellis, farmers’ markets, sustainability and (for the glossy magazines) a celebrity gardener with a regular column.

Why don’t they all combine their talents and distribute one fat organic magazine each month with a few videos on YouTube?  This would cut down on paper, eliminate repetition and be more environmentally sustainable. After all, organic gardening doesn’t require seven magazines to tell us something Bill Mollinson accomplished without them.

Sue Bell

Sue Bell is an entertainment writer and author of Backpacked: A mostly true story, Beat Street and When Dreamworks came to Stanley.

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