GROW FOOD slow food Have your garden and eat it too. A practical guide to organic gardening in the sub-tropics with step-by-step instructions and delicious seasonal recipes. Come with me too on some of my travels in Australia, Europe, Asia and beyond.
Rain coming across the Tweed Valley
It rains a lot in the sub-tropics.  Mullumbimby, where I live in northern NSW, gets an average of 1,731 mm per year- London has 583 mm – something my UK relatives find hard to believe. Why on earth would I move there, because they are thinking that , based on the UK experience, it must rain almost constantly?  Not so.   Of course it is a lot warmer –  the average maximum being 23.7oC compared to 14.7oC for London.  The rain also falls in roughly the same number of days as London – with the reality that we get lots of fast and furious downpours – and then they are over as fast as they came, and the sun comes out and the steam starts rising.  Not much of the grey drizzle days that I remember so vividly from my childhood.  And, even when it rains it is warm.

We have had a recent dry spell, but this weeks’ thunderous storms have, almost overnight, turned the browning paddocks into a shining emerald lushness.  Why?  It is not just the plants having their thirst quenched, but something else rather wonderful going on.This wonderful phenomenon of nature occurs when rain falls through an electric storm and converts nitrogen in the air into the soluble nitrate form – which is then more easily absorbed by plants.  So it’s not just your imagination that everything looks greener after a storm-it’s Nature at work.


Flossie has found herself a dry spot!