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I am writing this editorial outside on my terrace with thick grey clouds above me and sporadic spits of rain falling down. Normally this would send most people running indoors, but this is pure bliss as we’ve been waiting far too long for some moisture in the garden. The temperatures are still a balmy 18 degrees C, but the feel and the sound of the rain on the rooftop, makes me want to savour each drop and watch my parched garden revel in it too. Reports are saying that we will can expect drier and hotter conditions, with the southern countries of Europe experiencing climes similar to North Africa, which means we need to get our thinking caps on when planning new garden designs and different plant strategies. I have seen the problems first hand this year with local farmers struggling to producing their crops and vegetables, having to resort to building poly tunnels not to keep the heat in but to keep it out, using shady compartments to keep air circulation moving. Tomatoes have scorched in the outdoor sun and herbs, including rosemary and oregano, have shrivelled in despair when even three times a day irrigation have not been sufficient for their needs. Worrying times indeed so we must all do our bit perhaps to create shade, conserve water and recycle. One particular friend and farmer does just that. A large cisterna is used as his water holding tank that feeds his vegetables via gravity, as it’s placed high above his fields. He has stocked the tank with a range of cold water fish including koi, and he uses their diluted waste to run into channels within the irrigation, which are then circulated back into the fish tank. The balance he has achieved is remarkable. It means he uses the borehole supply less frequently, keeps the ambience and health of the fish and provides food for his organic plants. Common sense and ingenuity together. There are no fancy valves, electric systems, pressure vessels or manuals, just simple planning and some trial and errors. Perhaps our New Year’s resolutions for 2018 should start with us all thinking a little bit more about the environment, even if it requires some home-made Heath Robinson systems to protect our most valued resources. So, welcome to our third Christmas edition. Where has the time gone? I can’t deny that it hasn’t been a struggle, as unlike any other publication out there, we rely 100% on magazine sales rather than advertising to keep us afloat. So once again I must thank our valued team, past and present, in helping us making this magazine possible and of course, you our valued readers for making us feel that we’re doing a good job. Every edition I learn something new from our dedicated writers, as I hope you do too. My knowledge of plants, succulents, weeds, herbs and geology has increased dramatically since beginning this magazine and I look forward to learning some more. As always, we try to keep the emphasis on the organic, the sustainable, and the healthy living techniques that take us forward into a challenging future. Every one of us help in our own small way to make a better future for ourselves and those to come - this big message starts from the soil. I wish everyone a wonderful, green and festive Christmas and a plant-prosperous and and love-filled New Year of 2018. And remember a plant is not just for Christmas! Much love to you all Justin and the team xxx
I subscribed to your magazine as a gift for my mother. I'd like to tell you that she absolutely loved it