8 jobs to do in the garden before the end of summer

It’s true that 2020 saw us all spending more time at home and in our gardens, so what did we enjoy about it? What did our gardens provide us, beyond a sanctuary of green? What did we improve on and what’s still on the to do list?

There are a few things lingering on my list that I’m yet to get done in my garden this summer, and finding the perfect grafted Hass avocado is one of them. In the meantime, here are eight jobs I’m getting done before summer’s out.

Irrigation and La Nina

If you’re a hand-waterer then this summer’s La Nina has probably given you a bit of time off – the east-coast rains have been giving our gardens a soaking. If you haven’t already, turn down your irrigation system to avoid overwatering lawns or garden beds. Some systems have rain sensors so will be already adjusting their watering duration to suit the weather. To make the most of this rainfall, take your indoor plants outside for a good wash on the next rainy day and they’ll love you for it.

Harvesting summer annuals

Eggplants have been thriving in the steamy weather. Photo: Alex Carlyle Photography

I’m seeing plenty of eggplants and tomatoes ballooning on their vines, as well as beans, pumpkin, okra, passion fruit and a variety of leafy greens sprouting throughout all our gardens, rapidly ripening in this steamy weather. Once these are finished come the end of summer or early autumn, our beds will need to be topped up with fresh compost, cow manure, worm castings and some organic veggie fertiliser and soil conditioners in preparation for autumn planting.

If you’re keen to grow some autumn veggies, now’s the time to get planning – buy the pots or make the beds, do the soil prep and order your seeds for planting in a couple of months. Remember, you’ll be planting winter annuals this autumn. It’s already too late for most summer crops to go in now, but get cracking on some autumn growing.

Lawns and top-dressing

Our lawn has loved the ample sun and rain of late and looks vastly different this year. I’ll be busy aerating compacted areas, fertilising and adding a quality top dressing over the next few weekends.

Potting up and repotting plants

Repot plants with fresh premium potting mix and water in well with some seaweed solution. Photo: Urban Growers

While our plants are actively growing throughout summer and we have wet weather to keep them hydrated, now would be a great time to get repotting and potting up. Remove your plants from their pots and tease off about a quarter of the old potting mix from around the root ball. Repot them with fresh premium potting mix and water in well with some seaweed solution. Mix a quarter of a bag of cow manure to every bag of potting mix for plants that love water. Avoid doing it on a hot day and water the plant the day before.

Pruning deadwood

You’ll need a sharp pair of secateurs, a saw and or some good loppers. Have a close look at your trees and shrubs and then remove dead branches and crossing branches that are rubbing. What to prune and when depends on the plant type, but taking out old dead or diseased wood will open up the tree for light and allow new growth to thrive.


Healthy soil is your priority focus as a gardener, so build it up with rich, organic matter such as compost, manure, worm castings and mulch. A great combination of these nutrient-dense ingredients will build excellent soil structure, which will provide water and nutrients to plants. Adding organic fertilisers and soil conditioners will boost nutrients.

How to grow Hass avocados

Try your hand at growing your own avocado tree. Photo: iStock

If you love a bit of smashed avocado like the rest of us, and you have the space, then try growing one. You can buy grafted trees that fruit sooner, rather than growing from seed.

They do best with an A and B type planted close by for pollination, but most cities on the east coast have plenty of varieties growing in backyards, so you’re pretty safe with the one type.

Keep an eye out for good-looking specimens at your local nursery and choose the ideal size for your home and variety for your climate.

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Garden: Rain turns March from busy to frantic


With rain in January and February this year conditions are absolutely ideal for starting March gardening activities 10 to 14 days earlier than normal.

The soil temperatures have cooled improving seed germination and root growth on transplants and with everything so well watered gardening is easy with digging no longer a real chore.

We have not enjoyed such a start to autumn for several years. If you are wanting to start a new garden or replant existing gardens that need reinvigorating or simply planting winter crops the time is fast approaching.

Weed issues will be a problem for most gardeners over the next month. Tackle them with gusto and within a week or two your garden should be weed free ready for planting.

To repeat I started tackling potential weed issues within two hours of the rain stopping and they are already fast disappearing.

I had literally thousands of weeds emerge after the January and February rains. Within a few days of the weeds emerging I lightly sprayed and within the week a weed could not be seen.

Half an hour spraying is far superior to hours of digging out mature weeds and having to cart them out to the landfill.   

Once you have tackled the weeds give the garden a good spring clean, pruning as required, raking up surplus leaves, turning beds and introducing fertilisers and other necessary ingredients to improve the soil.

A beauty: Ruby saltbush.

From early March to early May it is a great time to be planting whether in the vegetable, bulb, flowering annual or herb gardens or planting generally throughout the garden.

The vegetables that can be planted now are many and varied. Beet root, broccoli, brussel sprouts, cabbages, Chinese spinach, endive, lettuce, leaks, onions, parsnips and silver beet are all best planted this month for optimum results.

Further broad beans, cauliflower, celery, cress, French beans, parsley, peas, potatoes, radish, shallots, spring onions, swedes, sweet corn and zucchini can also be planted now.

Nurseries are likely to be still be a week or two away from totally restocking with seedlings until once the weather has cooled to the low-mid 30’s.   

In the flower garden the diversity is huge. Old summer favorites such as petunias, gazanias, Sea-side Daisies, verbena and marigolds can be planted however many gardeners thoughts should already be turning towards planting the vast array of Winter and Spring flowering annuals.

Stocks, alyssum, primula, lobelia, pansies, viola, ageratum, anemone, snap dragons, calendula, candytuff, carnations, corn flowers, cineraria, chrysanthemum, gypsophila, helichrysum, linaria, lupins, nasturtiums, nemesia, poppies and wall flowers are other winter flowering annuals that can be planted from now onwards.

Annual wild flowers should also be sown this month, including the ever popular Sturt’s Desert Pea, everlastings and many other Central Australian flowering annuals.

Roses should continue to be dead-headed if already flowering. To improve your March/April rose display prune immediately if pruning wasn’t undertaken in February. Follow pruning with a side-dressing with a complete NPK rose fertiliser.

Nice: Button grass.

Prune and fertilise your roses now and you will be rewarded with a magnificent April flush of blooms.

Sweet peas are best planted over the next 5-6 weeks along with snow peas, commencing planting from the first week of March. As the soil temperature slowly cools germination rates quickly become high. Plant, water in and almost totally refrain from watering as over-watering will cause the seeds to rot.

Sweet peas are traditionally planted on Saint Patrick’s Day on the 17th March.

In the general garden take advantage of the recent rains and plant to your hearts content. Planting now your plants will quickly settle with little stress and quickly burst forth with new growth.

We are likely to get some warm weather but not the 40 degree days we had at the beginning of March two years. The rain has most definitely brought the planting season forward by at last 2-3 weeks.

Buffel – get rid of it.

Most nurseries will be well stocked with last Autumn and Spring propagated plants just waiting to be planted. Many gardeners believe that their Autumn plantings of native plant stock establish better than Spring plantings.

Food plants including grape vines, fruit trees, tropical fruiting species and citrus can all be planted now. Your tropical species including guava, banana, pawpaw and mangoes if planted now will be well established prior to the cooler months arriving.

Citrus, fruit trees, olives, grape vines and lawns should all be fertilised if not already undertaken. It’s also an ideal time to plant new lawns .

Lastly after this recent rain pest problems are likely to explode and gardeners need to be vigilant and take decisive actions to limit pest and disease problems. More on that next week.

PHOTOS: For those who start a garden from scratch, here are a few plants to keep, including the Three Cornered Jack (at top) because the orange tailed black cockatoos love them.

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Kitchen Garden: If music be the food of love, play on

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Phoenix Sculpture Garden

Mt Glorious

Phoenix Sculpture Garden is a contemplative paradise located 632 metres above sea level at Mt Glorious with views across to Moreton Bay and Stradbroke Island.

The sculpture collection includes over 100 alabaster, bronze, marble and onyx pieces which sit perfectly within the unique mountain landscape.

Graham Radcliffe is the resident sculptor at Phoenix Sculpture Garden and Art Gallery. Trained in Italy, he and his wife have created a place of peace and tranquility in their rainforest oasis.

There are magical pathways winding across the hilltop property, complete with stepping stones, wooden bridges crossing streams and a grassy lookout.

There are magical pathways winding across the hilltop property, complete with stepping stones, wooden bridges crossing streams and a grassy lookout.

Phoenix Sculpture Garden

59 Fahey Rd

Mt Glorious

Opening hours

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Discovery Garden seed kits are back

Mini collectables are back for 2021 with supermarket giant Woolworths announcing Discovery Garden seedling kits would return to stores on Wednesday.

Customers collected millions of the eco-friendly kits during the program’s inaugural campaign in 2019 however, they missed out last year due to the global pandemic.

Of the 24 vegetable, herb and flowering plant varieties available in this new collection, 21 seedlings are bee attracting.

Woolworths Chief Marketing Officer Andrew Hicks said this year the company hoped the seed kits would get Australians thinking about the critical role honey bees play in supporting food supply.

“With so much of our floral resources decimated by recent droughts, bushfires and floods, our focus this year is to encourage pollination through our bee-attracting seedlings and replenish local gardens and community flora,” he said.

“The Woolworths Discovery Garden program is a part of our ongoing commitment to sustainability, which aims to not only have a positive impact on the planet, but start conversations among families that result in positive change for the local environment to help create a better tomorrow.”

Australian Honey Bee Industry Council chair Trevor Weatherhead said the Discovery Garden program to help raise the awareness of the importance of protecting our bees and the role bees play in pollination and food security.

“The program works to support ‘Healthy Bees – Healthy People’,” he said. “Honey bees do more than produce honey, they play a vital role in the pollination of many of our foods. In fact, one in three mouthfuls of the food we eat relies on honey bees for pollination.”

Father-of-two Damien Weston said he felt a responsibility to teach his children – Harry, 8, and Elizabeth, 6, (pictured with friend Rachael Huggins, 7) – about the importance of supporting our food chain.

“To understand their environment and where their food comes from and taking responsibility for part of that process while realising it’s not just the farmers who make fruit and vegetables is important,” he said.

Customers can collect one seed kit for every $30 spent in store of online.

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Us President Donald Trump orders 244 statues for Garden of heroes, including Abraham Lincoln, Walt Disney, Hannah Arendt, Woody Guthrie

A White House spokesman did not return a request for comment on Trump’s thinking behind picking Guthrie, who died in 1967.

Known for his left-wing sensibilities and influential style of songwriting, Guthrie penned Old Man Trump in 1950 after moving into the Beach Haven apartment complex in Gravesend, Brooklyn.

Woody Guthrie hated Donald Trump’s father and sang about his racist rental policies.

The complex was owned and operated by Trump’s late father, Fred Trump, and Guthrie said the real estate tycoon discriminated against Black New Yorkers by segregating his units along a “colour line”.

“I suppose Old Man Trump knows just how much racial hate he stirred up in the bloodpot of human hearts, when he drawed that colour line here at his Beach Haven family project,” reads the verse of the Guthrie tune.

Most of the other individuals on Trump’s list of “American heroes” are conservative stalwarts, such as late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia and Barry Goldwater. There are also some Founding Fathers on the list, including Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin.

But there are some other eyebrow-raising picks beyond Guthrie.

There were several entertainers, including Louis Armstrong, Lauren Bacall, Humphrey Bogart, Ray Charles, Aretha Franklin, Charlton Heston, Alfred Hitchcock, Bob Hope, Elvis Presley and the host of game show Jeopardy!, Alex Trebek, who died in November 2020.


Also on the list: political theorist Hannah Arendt, whose 1951 book The Origins of Totalitarianism enjoyed renewed sales in 2017 after Trump became President.

The site for Trump’s requested sculpture garden has yet to be determined.

When he first announced plans for the garden last summer, Trump painted it as a response to Black Lives Matter protesters, whom he claimed were waging a “merciless” war against “our national heritage” by tearing down some monuments honouring leaders of confederacy.

“These statues are not ours alone, to be discarded at the whim of those inflamed by fashionable political passions; they belong to generations that have come before us and to generations yet unborn,” Trump said in his statement about his original executive order on July 3. “My Administration will not abide an assault on our collective national memory. In the face of such acts of destruction, it is our responsibility as Americans to stand strong against this violence, and to peacefully transmit our great national story to future generations through newly commissioned monuments to American heroes.”

Here is the complete list:

Ansel Adams

John Adams

Samuel Adams

Muhammad Ali

Luis Walter Alvarez

Susan B. Anthony

Hannah Arendt

Louis Armstrong

Neil Armstrong

Crispus Attucks

John James Audubon

Lauren Bacall

Clara Barton

Todd Beamer

Alexander Graham Bell

Roy Benavidez

Ingrid Bergman

Irving Berlin

Humphrey Bogart

Daniel Boone

Norman Borlaug

William Bradford

Herb Brooks

Kobe Bryant

William F. Buckley, Jr.

Sitting Bull

Frank Capra

Andrew Carnegie

Charles Carroll

John Carroll

George Washington Carver

Johnny Cash

Joshua Chamberlain

Whittaker Chambers

Johnny “Appleseed” Chapman

Ray Charles

Julia Child

Gordon Chung-Hoon

William Clark

Henry Clay

Samuel Clemens (Mark Twain)

Roberto Clemente

Grover Cleveland

Red Cloud

William F. “Buffalo Bill” Cody

Nat King Cole

Samuel Colt

Christopher Columbus

Calvin Coolidge

James Fenimore Cooper

Davy Crockett

Benjamin O. Davis, Jr.

Miles Davis

Dorothy Day

Joseph H. De Castro

Emily Dickinson

Walt Disney

William “Wild Bill” Donovan

Jimmy Doolittle

Desmond Doss

Frederick Douglass

Herbert Henry Dow

Katharine Drexel

Peter Drucker

Amelia Earhart

Thomas Edison

Jonathan Edwards

Albert Einstein

Dwight D. Eisenhower

Duke Ellington

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Medgar Evers

David Farragut

The Marquis de La Fayette

Mary Fields

Henry Ford

George Fox

Aretha Franklin

Benjamin Franklin

Milton Friedman

Robert Frost

Gabby Gabreski

Bernardo de Gálvez

Lou Gehrig

Theodor Seuss Geisel

Cass Gilbert

Ruth Bader Ginsburg

John Glenn

Barry Goldwater

Samuel Gompers

Alexander Goode

Carl Gorman

Billy Graham

Ulysses S. Grant

Nellie Gray

Nathanael Greene

Woody Guthrie

Nathan Hale

William Frederick “Bull” Halsey, Jr.

Alexander Hamilton

Ira Hayes

Hans Christian Heg

Ernest Hemingway

Patrick Henry

Charlton Heston

Alfred Hitchcock

Billie Holiday

Bob Hope

Johns Hopkins

Grace Hopper

Sam Houston

Whitney Houston

Julia Ward Howe

Edwin Hubble

Daniel Inouye

Andrew Jackson

Robert H. Jackson

Mary Jackson

John Jay

Thomas Jefferson

Steve Jobs

Katherine Johnson

Barbara Jordan

Chief Joseph

Elia Kazan

Helen Keller

John F. Kennedy

Francis Scott Key

Coretta Scott King

Martin Luther King, Jr.

Russell Kirk

Jeane Kirkpatrick

Henry Knox

Tadeusz Kościuszko

Harper Lee

Pierre Charles L’Enfant

Meriwether Lewis

Abraham Lincoln

Vince Lombardi

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Clare Boothe Luce

Douglas MacArthur

Dolley Madison

James Madison

George Marshall

Thurgood Marshall

William Mayo

Christa McAuliffe

William McKinley

Louise McManus

Herman Melville

Thomas Merton

George P. Mitchell

Maria Mitchell

William “Billy” Mitchell

Samuel Morse

Lucretia Mott

John Muir

Audie Murphy

Edward Murrow

John Neumann

Annie Oakley

Jesse Owens

Rosa Parks

George S. Patton, Jr.

Charles Willson Peale

William Penn

Oliver Hazard Perry

John J. Pershing

Edgar Allan Poe

Clark Poling

John Russell Pope

Elvis Presley

Jeannette Rankin

Ronald Reagan

Walter Reed

William Rehnquist

Paul Revere

Henry Hobson Richardson

Hyman Rickover

Sally Ride

Matthew Ridgway

Jackie Robinson

Norman Rockwell

Caesar Rodney

Eleanor Roosevelt

Franklin D. Roosevelt

Theodore Roosevelt

Betsy Ross

Babe Ruth


Jonas Salk

John Singer Sargent

Antonin Scalia

Norman Schwarzkopf

Junípero Serra

Elizabeth Ann Seton

Robert Gould Shaw

Fulton Sheen

Alan Shepard

Frank Sinatra

Margaret Chase Smith

Bessie Smith

Elizabeth Cady Stanton

Jimmy Stewart

Harriet Beecher Stowe

Gilbert Stuart

Anne Sullivan

William Howard Taft

Maria Tallchief

Maxwell Taylor


Kateri Tekakwitha

Shirley Temple

Nikola Tesla

Jefferson Thomas

Henry David Thoreau

Jim Thorpe

Augustus Tolton

Alex Trebek

Harry S. Truman

Sojourner Truth

Harriet Tubman

Dorothy Vaughan

C. T. Vivian

John von Neumann

Thomas Ustick Walter

Sam Walton

Booker T. Washington

George Washington

John Washington

John Wayne

Ida B. Wells-Barnett

Phillis Wheatley

Walt Whitman

Laura Ingalls Wilder

Roger Williams

John Winthrop

Frank Lloyd Wright

Orville Wright

Wilbur Wright

Alvin C. York

Cy Young

Lorenzo de Zavala

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Trump Biden 2020

Understand the election result and its aftermath with expert analysis from US correspondent Matthew Knott. Sign up to The Sydney Morning Herald‘s newsletter here, The Age‘s here, Brisbane Times‘ here and WAtoday‘s here. 

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Fragrant Shoalhaven garden roses showcase 2,000 years of cultivation history

After the region’s struggle with bushfires and COVID-19, Shoalhaven residents at Merribee Gardens are delighted with their bumper crop of old-style country roses.

With more than 1,200 rose bushes, owner Lucy Marshall explained that history played a large part in the garden.

“Roses have the most extraordinary history to them. They’ve been under continuous cultivation for well over 2,000 years,” Ms Marshall said.

“There are roses in this garden from the 13th century.

“To me it’s an extraordinary link back to people from that time, who also appreciated the scent from those roses.”

A beautiful bouquet of fresh fragrant roses.(ABC Illawarra: Sarah Moss)

It all began in 2000 when Ms Marshall and her husband Richard, who were busy running an international business, finally found their dream home.

“We wanted to be away from Sydney on the weekends and were looking for a country property,” she said.

“We finally found a tiny dairy cottage on two and half acres of untouched pastureland on the Shoalhaven River, a couple of hours south of Sydney.

A splendiferous garden displaying rose bushes planted in rows.
Rose bushes at Merribee Gardens are planted in rows for ease of picking.(ABC Illawarra: Sarah Moss)

A garden inventory

During the COVID lockdown Ms Marshall undertook an inventory of her garden.

The garden, which is one paddock back from the Shoalhaven River, has rich soil permeated by river silt during the 1874 and 1974 floods, plus 170 years of dairy cow manure.

“The land had 170 years or so of dairy farming, so we have remarkably balanced soil, neither acidic or alkaline,” Ms Marshall said.

“We now have, on seven and a half acres of land, well in excess of 10,000 boxwood plants and 1,283 rose bushes. I know that absolutely because I had to do the audit about two months ago.

“Once we start propagating, obviously it’s going to go up.”

Trees and topiary line the main street of a large garden
Merribee Gardens has four full-time gardeners, four casual permanent part-time staff in sales and hospitality, plus Richard and Lucy Marshall who operate the business.(ABC Illawarra: Sarah Moss)

Which roses make the cut?

Ms Marshall, who chose the roses for Merribee, was particularly attracted to French roses from the 19th century.

She was also very impressed with Empress Josephine’s rose garden at Malmaison, where history tells us she had every rose known in the world at the time.

“She had Redouté, the painter, paint them all,” Ms Marshall said.

“She had a plant hunter who went around the world and found them all. She planted them all.

“It’s an extraordinary thing.”

Ms Marshall, however, has much stricter standards.

“I choose the roses with a few different criteria,” she said.

“One: definitely scent — there is not one rose at Merribee that does not have a fragrance. It is just not allowed.”

A woman wearing blue, holds a vibrant bouquet of fragrant garden roses.
Roses in Merribee Gardens date back to the 13th century.(ABC Illawarra: Sarah Moss)

There are also very few modern roses at Merribee Gardens.

“I do tend to go for ones that have some form of history attached to them because I do love the story related to them,” Ms Marshall said.

And finally, colour.

“Colour, definitely, it has a lot to do with it but I don’t plant by colour,” she said.

“The fact that we can acquire a rose bush that gives us that same scent and link back 2,000 years to a Roman Emperor, or someone else, is the ultimate luxury.

“I just find it extraordinary.”

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A veteran landscaper on the key elements needed for a lush garden

Some of his ‘softening’ has involved the removal of various pieces of hedging. There’s even a chance his box parterres might go in order to make way for more flowers and organic shapes of clipped greenery.

Current restrictions mean that, not only am I unable to visit to see the latest developments, but Bangay isn’t in the garden either. When COVID-19 restrictions put an end to his landscape design work in Victoria, he flew to Darwin to quarantine for two weeks and is spending three weeks working on gardens in New South Wales instead.

Calamagrostis ‘Karl Foerster’ and Helianthus grosseserratus in the pool borders in summer.Credit:Simon Griffiths

He is in Sydney when we speak and it’s killing him not being at Stonefields during what is, there, a particularly moist spring. But his husband, Barry, stayed home and sends him “a million photographs every day” so he knows that the tulips are just finishing (“I missed them all”) but that the camassias are out in abundance.

He’s had word that the Allium ‘Purple Rain’ (“alliums are rapidly becoming my favourite bulb”) will be flowering within days, that the 100 new lilac trees, mostly of the ‘Congo’ variety, are about to break out in huge bunches of grape-like mauve flowers and that the perennial beds are warming up for their main summer and autumn show.

Stonefields By the Season illustrates much of this too. While Simon Griffiths charts the garden across the course of a year in photographs, Bangay dispenses practical advice and reflects on his changing design philosophy, including what he would do differently if he were starting over.

The growing popularity of loose, naturalistic landscapes – in particular the move towards large drifts of grasses and perennial flowers that has been gathering pace in Europe since the 1990s – has been but one of the influences on Bangay over the years.

More borders leading out to the dried-off valley in summer.

More borders leading out to the dried-off valley in summer.Credit:Simon Griffiths

He says he has also been inspired by the growing emphasis being placed on soil health. While Stonefields has well-drained, rich volcanic soil, Bangay says it is made better still with the addition of homemade compost, which encourages healthy populations of microbes and helps plants survive through our increasingly hot and dry summers.

Climate change and its impact on all the seasons is a constant thread through the book and Bangay says that hotter and drier weather means he is increasingly turning to plants that can survive through summer with minimum watering. Roses, oak trees and, when it comes to hedges, bay and laurel, are especially useful for this. He says if he were to start again he would be more inclined to incorporate large areas of gravel than water-hungry lawns.

“On my travels to hot dry countries, such as Greece, Italy and parts of the Middle East, I am constantly searching for plants that do well in prolonged hot, dry summers. They are often native to these countries, found along the roadside or on long morning walks before the heat of the day,” he writes in the book.


After 15 years of this sort of finessing, Bangay says Stonefields has a sense of maturity. His hedges and most of his trees are at the heights he wants them to be, and he says people often tell him that the garden looks as if it has “been there for decades”.

And, if he had to sum up the key to this, what would it be? “Good soil, drainage and watering … along with great love and attention.”

Stonefields By The Seasons, published by Lantern Australia, November 3, $59.99

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Riverland teen’s push for sustainable living starts with clothes swaps, compost and community garden

Young women are taking on the war on waste in South Australia’s Riverland region, creating and sharing strategies to change the way locals think about their rubbish.

Sixteen-year-old Deepkiran Kaur is a member of the Berri Barmera Council’s environment and sustainability committee and provides an authentic voice for the youth in the region.

“There’s a lot of older people already on the committee in these leadership positions who are making the decisions, not only for now but for the future,” she said.

Feeding locals waste solutions

The Glossop High School student said food waste was the main issue young Riverland residents were concerned about, alongside the pollution in surrounding areas like the Murray River.

Deepkiran Kaur says a community garden would bring people together and link into her food waste strategy.(ABC Riverland: Anita Ward)

Through Deepkiran’s committee position, she is connecting locals who have food waste to dispose of, to those with compost systems, worm farms or chickens, through a website called ShareWaste.

“At Glossop High School we use food waste from the canteen and home economics facilities for our ag block.

“So, I guess, it already happens but it’s not as widespread as it could be and there’s a great opportunity there.”

Fruit and vegetable scraps on top of a pile of green waste in an wooden compost pile.
People with food waste are being connected to those with composts, worm farms and chickens.(Pixabay)

The teenager would also like to see community gardens started in the Riverland’s council districts to be used in conjunction with the website.

“To have people come together, grow our own produce … and then share the food waste with those who’ll use it; that would be really great.”

Shopping and swapping sustainable clothing

Local agronomist Kimberly Pellosis is using her environmental background to combat a different type of waste — clothing and fabrics.

A woman is standing in the middle of vines, smiling.
Kimberly Pellosis is encouraging Riverland locals to make more sustainable fashion purchases.(Supplied: Kimberly Pellosis)

The former Melbourne resident is creating an official clothing swap in the region to run through Part of Things in Barmera, modelled off a previous exchange she was involved with.

“In Melbourne, the hipster capital of Australia, people love to op shop, so I’m very used to buying clothes second-hand … and doing clothes exchanges,” Ms Pellosis said.

She explained the swap was designed not only to encourage people to donate clothes, but to keep pre-loved items in circulation rather than buying new ones.

Woman looking at dress hanging on rack while standing at store
The Riverland clothing swap would be set-up like a store, where community members can exchange donated items with each other.(Getty: Maskot)

“People register, they bring six good quality items which the volunteers hang on racks, like at a shop,” Ms Pellosis said.

“The clothes are swapped for buttons … which you use as a currency at the event to go shopping for other [people’s donations].

While buying second-hand is the way forward for the young Riverland local, she acknowledges purchasing new items is sometimes a necessity.

“It’s more the culture of being aware of what you buy,” she said.

“Trying to buy local is a great option … and where possible, source local food and natural fibres which are more sustainable.”

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