Humus, humility and climate change

By Clive Blazey, Founder of The Diggers Club

When I went to school it was by tram and on the way home I used to call in on my grandfather, who was always out in his very neat vegetable garden, forking the soil and picking his vegetables.

This is not something my father continued and so he didn't pass any of these skills on to me. It wasn't until I walked into the Melbourne Botanic Gardens when I was about 20 years old that I made up my mind to become a gardener.

I was overwhelmed by the beauty of the garden, the solitude of the space and, of course, the birds, ducks and swans that were completely at home in the gardens.

It was then that I decided I wanted to create a garden as beautiful as the Melbourne Botanic Gardens.

Now I strongly advise you to visit any of our 150-year-old botanic gardens in Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne or Adelaide, just so you can get a feeling of how beautiful a garden can be. Our modern suburban gardens have evolved ignoring this incredible legacy, which is sad because these botanic gardens have some of the finest examples in the world of garden landscapes with mature trees and shrubs.

However, when it comes to edibles, everything has changed and it is not a change for the better — it is a monumental threat to our very existence.

Our disconnection from our food supply has only happened since the 1950s. Back then we grew most of our fruit and veg at home; now only about 5% of the food we eat comes from backyard gardens.

But we have lost far more than control of our food supply — we have disconnected from our environment. The Greek word for ecology literally means “The study of our homes”.

Not houses mind you, but the connection between plants, animals and humans in the space we describe as home. It is part of the bigger picture we call the environment. It's incredibly interesting.

For example when you see a flower you want to pick it, but that flower was not created for you or me, it is there to attract an insect, a butterfly or bee that will use the nectar in the flower to feed its young and, in the process, pollinate that plant and fertilise the seeds to create the next generation.

So just the simple act of picking flowers disturbs the ecology of your garden.

When you dig the soil, you disturb the worms and literally millions of other tiny creatures in the soil who are all working to create fertile soil. The plants that we grow create the oxygen we breathe, they create the soils that grow our food, and create a habitable planet.

Just outside your back door is a world teaming with life, that helps you to better understand yourself and your place in the world.

Therein lies the problem: our leaders who are disconnected from the food they eat and its soil (its Humus), these Humans have lost their Humility.

No other species that loses its connection to its food supply has survived. So our greatest threat from a heating planet is the lack of humility; our leaders misunderstanding man's proper place in our environment and the belief that all-powerful humans can continually manipulate the planet on which we live.

Clive Blazey (3 July 2017)

Sign up for our email newsletter

FREE 2017 SEED Annual

Email info@diggers.com.au to request a free copy of our 2017 Seed Catalogue. Just remember to include your name and address. Help us preserve heirloom varieties by growing them in your garden. 

More

"Monsanto's Roundup weedkiller caused cancer"court says

By Clive Blazey, Founder of The Diggers Club

‘The Good Life’ … the birth of Diggers

By Clive Blazey, Founder of The Diggers Club

10 things to do in the garden this long weekend whilst everyone else is watching the Cup!

By The Diggers Team

Becoming a ‘hands-on’ gardener again

By Clive Blazey, Founder of The Diggers Club

Botanica Europe - French and English Garden Tour

By Talei Kenyon

Botanica New Zealand garden Tour

By Jill Woodlands

Fathers Day Competition Winners

By The Diggers Club

Free air conditioners in our gardens

By Clive Blazey, Founder of The Diggers Club

Grow a Garden - Your New Years resolution for 2017

By The Diggers Team

Grow Your Own From Seeds Corporates Don't Own

By Clive Blazey, Founder of The Diggers Club

Having someone else grow our food is going to kill us!

A century ago only about 10% of us had sedentary jobs but today that figure has risen to 90%.

How did your garden look this summer?

By Clive Blazey, Founder of The Diggers Club

How science ruined tomatoes

By Clive Blazey, Founder of The Diggers Club

In The Garden - Highlights at Cloudehill in December

By Jeremy Francis, Cloudehill's owner and creator.

In The Garden - Highlights at Cloudehill in November

By Jeremy Francis, Cloudehill's owner and creator.

In The Garden - Highlights at Heronswood in August

By Robyn Fox, Heronswood's Kitchen Gardener

In The Garden - Highlights at Heronswood in September

By Robyn Fox, Heronswood's Kitchen Gardener

In The Garden - Highlights at St Erth in April

By Tina Thanos, St Erth's kitchen gardener

In The Garden - Highlights at St Erth in August

By Tina Thanos, St Erth's kitchen gardener

In The Garden - Highlights at St Erth in May

By Tina Thanos, St Erth's kitchen gardener

In The Garden - Highlights at St Erth in September

By Tina Thanos, St Erth's kitchen gardener

Is gardening the secret to a long and healthy life?

By Clive Blazey, Founder of The Diggers Club

Let’s pretend we believe in climate change, but not at the expense of GDP

By Clive Blazey, Founder of The Diggers Club.

Monsanto’s DDT was banned in Australia in 1987. When will Monsanto’s Roundup be banned?

By Clive Blazey, Founder of The Diggers Club

Our gardening missteps

By Clive Blazey, Founder of The Diggers Club

Should hydroponically grown food carry an ARTIFICIALLY GROWN label?

By Clive Blazey, Founder of The Diggers Club

Summer Gardens at Cloudehill

By Jeremy Francis, Owner and Creator of Cloudehill

Teach your children well

By Clive Blazey, Founder of The Diggers Club

Thanks for 40 years of valuable support for Diggers

By Clive Blazey, Founder of The Diggers Club

The best things in life are free

By Clive Blazey, Founder of The Diggers Club

The corporatisation of our food supply

By Clive Blazey, Founder of The Diggers Club

The potential collapse of organic gardening in Australia

By Clive Blazey, Founder of The Diggers Club

We have been fighting Monsanto for 20 years

By Clive Blazey, Founder of The Diggers Club

Welcome to the university for self-taught gardeners

We gardeners are a critical lot and are very hard to please.

WHAT’S ON - OCTOBER

WHAT’S ON – STAND OUT GARDEN EVENTS AROUND AUSTRALIA

Where does your gardening inspiration come from?

By Clive Blazey, Founder of The Diggers Club

Why a plant based diet leads to a longer, healthier life

By Clive Blazey, Founder of The Diggers Club

Why is it taking so long to revere our prehistoric rainforests from Gondwana times?

By Clive Blazey, Founder of The Diggers Club

Related Articles

Cook’s ‘Gondwana’ Pine

Clive Blazey explains why it thrives in gardens of all sizes and in all mainland capital cities

Growing the world’s most expensive pine tree

Preserving a fossil, or setting gardeners up for failure?

Mountain Range farm and Dapto community farm

Lance Carr feeds refugees — body and soul

My best friends are trees

Clive Blazey tells how prodigious tree growth is dependent on fungal mycorrhizae in the soil

The Bunya Pine: a tale as old as time

Marcelle Swanson shares her personal experience of growing up with a Bunya Pine

The National Arboretum of Doom

Peter Marshall, forester, truffle grower and expert on mycorrhizae gives his forthright view

Trees for small backyards

Clive Blazey explains why trees are the most important element in any garden, particularly in small spaces

Related Magazine

Winter Garden 2017

Trees for a small garden plus truffles, roses, nuts and potatoes
Back To Top
Member Exclusives
COMPLETE SUMMER VEGIE COLLECTION
COMPLETE SUMMER VEGIE COLLECTION
PLANTS: PCOSVP
Grow your own summer vegie garden with this instant collection of our top tasting heirloom vegetables! The pack comes with our three best tasting tomatoes ('Tommy Toe', 'Pink Bumblebee' and 'Crazy Barry'), plus 3 'California Wonder' capsicums, 3 'Listada di Gandia' Italian Eggplants, and 5 Basil speedings plus Heirloom Lettuce Mix and Lebanese C...
Member $39.95
Checking stock, please wait..
RHUBARB GARDEN COLLECTION
RHUBARB GARDEN COLLECTION
PLANTS: PRHCO
Harvest fresh rhubarb all year with this garden collection of rhubarbs. With summer varieties 'Cherry Red' and 'Big Boy' for the warmer months, then abundant short day cropping from 'Winter Wonder' you can grow all your rhubarb needs for the year in 5m square. Two bare root crowns of each, available winter only.
Member $49.95
Checking stock, please wait..
2 YEAR MEMBERSHIP AND FREE POTATO PACK
2 YEAR MEMBERSHIP AND FREE POTATO PACK
Membership: MNE2PT
SPECIAL WEB OFFER- Join The Diggers Club today for two years and you'll receive a free packet of King Edward seed potatoes. This variety is unbeaten all-rounder. Plant them after the chance of frost is over and enjoy your own home grown spuds. You'll also receive our 'Welcome to the Club' gift pack of 2 free packets of seeds, the current Diggers...
Member $79.00
Non-Member $79.00
Checking stock, please wait..