Month October 2018

Choosing The Best Tomato For You

tomatoes
When it comes to growing tomatoes, there are so many varieties to choose from and it can be hard to know where to start. Our deep love of the tomato, coupled with the tomato’s ability to mutate readily, has led to it being carefully selected and saved to create well over 3000 different varieties. Whether you are bottling, value-adding, selling or eating fresh, there are a vast selection of colours, shapes, and flavours to choose from. This is our guide to help you choose the best variety for your home garden, balcony or farm.

In The Garden: November- February

map of aussie
November: Basil, beans, beetroot, cabbage, capsicum, carrot, cauliflower, chives, coriander, cucumber, lemongrass, marjoram, mint, oregano, parsley, rosemary, tarragon, and thyme, English spinach, kohlrabi, leek, lettuce, onion, parsnip, pumpkin, radish...

Homemade Crackers

crackers
When we’re doing our best to make everything from scratch with the most wholesome ingredients and to avoid processed food and all the plastic trappings it brings, there is one food that can be our undoing. It’s that ultimate versatile snack food—crackers.

The Tropical Permaculture Guidebook

We are very conscious that climate change will hit the tropics, and especially the most vulnerable, very hard. The aim of the Tropical Permaculture Guidebook (TPGB) is to be part of simultaneously creating lifestyles that contribute to environmental regeneration rather than climate change and degradation and provide resilience and proactive adaptability in facing current challenges.

Save your seeds: Onion

onion
Onion is a hardy biennial from the southern parts of Russia and Iran. It was disseminated by the Indo-European hordes in their numerous migrations. Very ancient forms of onions are still for sale in Middle Eastern markets. Onions were considered sacred and were eaten in copious quantities by the Egyptians who honoured them in some of their monuments.

Eat your weeds: Yellow Dock

Yellow Dock is originally from Europe and has a wide array of medicinal uses. Traditionally it was for skin conditions (especially psoriasis), as a blood purifier, a slight laxative, cholagogue (to promote secretion of bile) and as an astringent bowel tonic. My favourite way to use it is as an iron tonic (the root) and as food (the seeds). You can also pick the seeds in late summer and use them to make flour. You can use them as a substitute for rooibos tea as well. Once the seeds are harvested and processed, store them in an airtight jar.

Charlie Mgee

Performing
In his career Charlie Mgee has performed to a crowd of 10,000 ‘doof heads’, to five-year-olds in a kindergarten class, to Vandana Shiva at a Seed Freedom conference. His music has even been played at a UN official ceremony. How did he end up playing songs to such diverse audiences?

Reading Landscape With David Holmgren

landscape
Permaculture invites us to slow down and really take stock of what is happening in a place before we go about changing or developing it. Whether a garden, farm or something else, we start by asking what is unique about this place and how did it get to be the way it is now? Finding answers to these questions is not always easy and is a once-strong skill modern humans have mostly lost.

Urban Farming: Spoke & Spade

plants
Simeon Hanscamp finished his university degree and was searching for meaningful work. He took a short business course, worked on a market garden, studied online with Curtis Stone (the urban farmer, not the celebrity chef), watched a bit of YouTube, and decided he would have a crack at setting up an urban farm.

Permaculture animal: Guinea Pig

guinea-pig
Guinea pigs are voracious eating machines! They eat grass, weeds, vegetables and also mixed grains. Avoiding grains is completely possible and doesn’t seem to have any negative consequences. Food waste in the form of vegetable and fruit scraps mean another fertility cycling opportunity (that waste could be from a local cafe or restaurant). 15 guinea pigs will convert 20 kgs a week into hundreds of fertiliser pellets—a lovely landfill reduction for your local community, and fertility for your landscape!