PODCAST EPISODE 2: Manuka King Rob Waddell from Grand Ridge Nursery
It was three years ago that I met nursey owner, bee lover and plant genius Rob Waddell at the Coonara Beekeeping Club in Ferntree Gully, Victoria. As plants are the key to making bees happy, I was struck with Rob’s incredible wealth of knowledge, especially when it came to Australian natives and the magical Manuka tree responsible for the medicinal variety of honey that we should all be tucking into as wintertime hits. For this reason, I am beyond delighted to introduce Rob to the BEES WITH BEN podcast!
Rob Waddell is a passionate bloke, a generous soul and a lover of nature. He is the owner of Grand Ridge Nursery at Seaview which stocks an incredible selection of native plants and provides a wonderful tree planting and propagations service. With an incredible amount of knowledge under his belt, Rob is the perfect guy to help you with your native plant needs, and a local go-to for tips and information on the remarkable Manuka plant. And if there is one thing that Rob and I have in common, it’s a love of Manuka. And so much of what I know about Manuka, I learnt from Rob! In fact, I recently planted 100 trees myself, based on his advice, on my family’s property in the Yarra Valley, and I am dying to see them grow over the years.
As Rob’s website states, the Chinese proverb tells, “The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now”. So why is right now the (second) best time to plant your Manuka trees? Manuka partnered with hungry bees makes the kind of magical honey that not only tastes great but has countless antiviral, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant medicinal benefits and qualities. Manuka honey is produced by bees that pollinate the flowers of the manuka bush (Leptospermum scoparium) which is native to New Zealand and south-eastern Australia. So, what makes manuka honey special? Manuka’s unique trait is its high antibacterial quality – its active ingredient, Methylglyoxal, is most likely responsible for these effects, and this honey variety has traditionally been used for wound healing, preventing tooth decay, soothing sore throats, and improving digestive issues. Strong stuff!
So, with the chills of winter setting in, now is the perfect time to listen in on Episode 2 of the BEES WITH BEN podcast as I chat with Rob about the countless benefits of magical Manuka honey, the best way to plant Manuka trees, the ins and outs of running a nursery, and why native plants should hold a special place in all Australians hearts. Tune in! x https://anchor.fm/ben-the-beeman