Angela Christensen

Angela Christensen holds a Masters degree in Sustainable Communities where her passion lies in small-scale, sustainable agriculture. When she isn’t playing with her two young children, she is kept busy gardening, canning, cooking and generally hanging out in nature.

Growing Vegetables with Children

bright green herbs grow closely together in pots.

Vegetable gardens not only bring fresh, seasonal produce to your table and immense satisfaction to your soul, but they can be inspirational and educational for your children. Working with compost, worms, water, seeds, insects, plant growth and the final fruits of your labour instil in children not only the importance of being involved with their…

How to Make a Homemade Solar Oven, out of Cardboard!

Bread baking in a carboard box solar oven, seen from above.

The sun has poured its energy onto the earth for billions of years. The radiating warmth from the sun heats water, warms homes, and grows food. Amidst sweltering summer heat, a solar oven or cooker is a fantastic way to prepare a meal without heating up your home. There are myriad solar ovens available for…

Vegetable Garden Basics: How to Grow Potatoes

Lush potato plants growing in a no dig garden

Digging up fresh, earthy potatoes reminds me of hunting for Easter eggs as a child. The whole process of learning how to grow potatoes from start to finish is exciting really. Maybe because they are not the typical seed but rather a sprouting tuber that can be planted whole or cut apart. Maybe because they…

Getting Started with Fermented Vegetables

A jar of shredded cabbage and grated cabbage in brine, ready to ferment

Lacto-fermentation is an ancient craft; the results can be as different as the vegetables you use. Little is required to get started except for wide-mouth jars, some kind of wooden tamper, non-iodized salt (to prevent clouding) and fresh organic vegetables or fruits.

What’s So Special About Sprouted Wheat?

a sieve full of sprouted wheatberries. The sprouts are just sprouted with the sprout perhaps one third to half as long as the seed.

Sprouted breads are not a new phenomenon. In fact, they have quite ancient roots. The use of sprouted grains in bread can be traced back to the Essenes, a Jewish monastic group that prospered from the second century BC to the first century AD. They sprouted the grain before grinding it into dough and baking…

Vegetable Garden Basics: How to grow carrots

A boy holding out a bunch of freshly harvested carrots

Carrots are a timeless vegetable. They add heartiness to a mid-winter stew or just the right amount of crunch to a summer salad. Most people think of carrots as long and tapered and of an iconic orange colour. However, carrots can also be colourful and round! Learning how to grow carrots is a relatively simple…

Getting Started with Backyard Chickens

A young white Silky pullet free ranging in front of the skirt of a scare crow.

Raising organic, backyard chickens is one of the best decisions you can make to live more sustainably. Not only do they eat your vegetable scraps (in addition to a little grain), but they also pick snails and slugs from your garden, give you fabulous manure to add to your compost pile, and even lay eggs…

How to Grow Garlic

A clump of flowering garlic plants

“Tomatoes and oregano make it Italian; Wine and tarragon make it French. Sour cream makes it Russian; Lemon and cinnamon make it Greek. Soy sauce makes it Chinese; Garlic makes it good.” ~Alice May Brock With winter on the horizon, the anticipation of hearty chowders, spicy chilis and rich, filling pastas gets me excited to…

How to Make Your Own Compost: From Waste to Wealth

a double handfull of finished compost

Every year, large amounts of organic wastes head to the landfills, taking up extraordinary amounts of space and creating methane off-gas. It is estimated that about 60% of a household’s waste is organic. In Australia in 2006-2007, 13.6 million tonnes of organic wastes went to landfill (PDF, 880KB). Learning how to make compost decreases the…

How to Grow Cucumbers – Rambling or on a Trellis

Cucumber vine growing on a trellis, with a single cucumber hanging down in the middle, ready to pick

Crisp, fresh-from-the-vine cucumbers are the epitome of warm summer evenings. From the gourd family Cucurbitaceae, cucumbers can be pickled or sliced and depending on the variety, can be cylindrical or elongated in shape. Traditionally thought of as an out-of-control vine rambling across the yard, it may surprise you to know that cucumbers also grow exceptionally…

How To Grow Strawberries in Your Backyard Food Forest

Stawberries growing in two containers, photo by Ewen Roberts

One of the expectant joys of summer is a juicy, bright red strawberry that tastes like it was kissed by the sun. Farmed strawberries are typically grown with a lot of chemicals, which makes growing your own all the more appealing. Learning how to grow strawberries in your own garden is relatively simple and comes…

Organic Vegetable Gardening For Beginners

Gardening Australia: Home Vegetable Garden the Complete Guide to Organic Vegetable Gardening, by Annette McFarlane.

Growing your own food is not only self-satisfying and rewarding, but it also provides food security. Using organic methods to grow food ensures that it is free from chemicals and contributes to a healthy environment. Organic gardening nurtures ecosystems and maintains the health of the soil, insects, water and people in the environment. With the…

Choosing Fruit Trees for Small Gardens

It is no great surprise that most of us love the notion of large orchards set with plump, sun-kissed fruit and the delights they bring us; however, with plots of land getting smaller, orchards are often more of a dream than a reality. Fortunately, we can enjoy delectable fruits from the smallest of yards or…