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  I though that some readers may enjoy this exchange on breathing soil  breathing_soil.pdf

Just added video Diet, Health and Wicking Baskets   21/10/2014
or (faster) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lh2XJwggMEo

The wicking baskets are now in production.  The October newsletter is really aimed at growers who want to run a part or full time business supplying nutrient rich food. Gardeners who just want to buy the wicking baskets will shortly be able to buy on line from www.healthyfoodassociation.com , in the mean time you can buy directly from me by email.

Price is $35 per basket system plus $10 postage up to 5, then free postage anywhere in Australia.

The wicking basket technology has seen some major changes and as I write wicking new baskets are rolling off the injection moulding machines.

I am upgrading the website www.healthyfoodassociation.com to an e-commerce site to provide a direct link between growers and consumers cutting out the middle men.

Here is the front page of the upgraded web but best to go to the web itself.

Diet and Health

colin Austin

 I believe everyone should have the right to healthy food.  Modern factory food is slowly killing us. Throughout the developed and developing world people are suffering from poor health from an unbalanced diet.

Factory food is full of fats and sugars, which are addictive and provide excessive energy but is lacking in the critical vitamins and minerals essential for our bodies to replace cells as they degenerate.  Colin Austin

marketThis web site provides a viable alternative. It allows consumers to choose how they want their food produced and buy directly from the grower without a middle man. It provides a market place where growers can display how they grow food so they are rewarded for the extra nutrient value.

basket and wick


The wicking basket system is recommended as plants are grown in a way that provides the minerals, vitamins and phytochemicals essential for health.

The basket has open sides and base and a wick in the bottom.

hole for wicking basket

This is placed in a hole in a mother wicking bed so the wick is in the water reservoir. Minerals and nutrients are added to the soil in this mother bed which is growing a range of plants which help structure the soil and provide a refuge for the soil biology which is essential to break down the minerals and make them available to the plant.

mature plants 
This soil is left undisturbed so the soil biology, the bacteria, mycorrhizal fungi and worms can flourish.  The basket is sunk just below soil level so when the soil is watered nutrients and soil biology are washed into the basket.


The basket containing mature plants are can be taken home and placed in a water container to make the daughter wicking bed.

This can be at any convenient spot, such as a patio right outside the door, where the plants can be eaten fresh as any time.


The leaves of the plant can be harvested and eaten fresh. The plant will continue to put out young fresh shoots. (Chop and chew)

Some plants like cress make excellent snacks  and can be eaten straight from the plant.

The water reservoir just needs an occasional top up when indicated by the sight tube.

The basket (and soil) can be returned to the grower and replaced with a new basket with fresh plants on a swap and go system.


In the factory food system plants are genetically selected to be mechanically firm and have a long shelf life. 

 Nutrition plays a secondary role. In the wicking basket system specialist plants which are tender and have the highest nutrition can be selects as the plants are always consumed fresh.



Some people may prefer to buy young plants as seedlings while others with the skills, space and time may prefer to carry out the entire growing process themselves.

The big advantage of the system is that consumers with little space, time or skills can enjoy fresh vegetables while skilled gardeners can manage the entire process themselves. 

coversCovers can be placed over the baskets to protect from insects or climate.  Most consumers want to avoid using chemical sprays to manage pests and insects.

The primary advantage of this wicking basket system is that the consumer has a continuous supply of fresh nutritious plants. However is lends itself to plants which are not commonly available as they have limited shelf life. 

Consumers can enjoy the benefits of these beneficial but specialist plants by contracting the growers who no longer run the risk of growing these specialist plants without an assured market.


For more details goto www.healthyfoodassociation.com

We are anxious to build up a network of growers - please contact me

The wicking bed basket - the healthy way to eat

I have just uploaded my latest August newsletter which starts -

Change of plan

This month I wanted to feature the new developments in the wicking basket system I have been working on.  However we have had monster frost up here, most unusual but it has played havoc with my experiments on wicking baskets.  Every day I look at my Google searches on diet and health  and honestly the amount of lies, bogus information and scams about diet is just terrible.

So this month I have changed my plans and will talk about how do we know.



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