This understated star of fermented foods has been around for centuries, providing extraordinary bacterial assistance to the human microbiome. If you’re into living, probiotic foods and you already have a sourdough starter bubbling away on your kitchen bench or a…
More and more people are willing to spend the extra money for organically grown and prepared food, with an Australian industry now worth $2.6 billion annually. So what’s all the fuss about and are there genuine reasons why we should be choosing organic?
Know the type of timber you’re burning and you will know your ash. If you are burning hardwoods like eucalypt, then you will make a nice dense wood ash that has many of the minerals in it that the trees had. Softwoods like pine are okay, too, but will create a lighter, finer wood ash. Never use wood ash produced from timbers that are treated, stained, painted or otherwise tampered with – they’re very toxic and that kind of ash needs to go in the bin. If you use the commercially available charcoal, briquettes or heat beads in your fire, dispose of that ash, too; they can have added chemicals.
Vitamin C is a vital nutrient we can’t do without. The body cannot make it or store it, so it’s important to include vitamin C regularly in your diet. While scurvy is thought of as a thing of the past, it can still be found in today’s refugee camps where people don’t have access to fresh fruit and vegetables. While the body needs vitamin C for healthy function of the tendons, ligaments, skin and small blood vessels, it’s probably best known as a boost to the immune system.
WINTER WONDERINGS Should I be doing anything different in winter to keep my chickens happy? Hens can be fed more in winter, around 1.5 times what you normally feed them. They need the extra food to keep warm, recover from…
There’s nothing better than coming home to the enticing aroma of dinner cooking. Not always about convenience, the key to slow cooking is a lower temperature over a longer period of time which both slows ourselves down and allows us to draw more nutrients from the food we eat.
The upsurge in the human desire to reconnect with nature and our food is heartening. After the devastating bushfires experienced by so many, is it possible for humans to also reconnect with fire? After a bushfire season like we experienced…
In a world of a changing climate and an increasingly politicised and broken food system, regenerative agriculture is a large-scale example of practices we can adopt in our own backyards which are beneficial for both our health and our environment.
Questions answered by Emily Stokes COMPOST What’s better, a compost pile or a worm farm? It depends on how much material you have. An effective hot compost pile needs to be at least one metre by one metre at the…
Becoming an urban forager means tapping into a resource of free and abundant food. But whether it’s foraging edible weeds, redistributing excess produce or even diving into a dumpster, there’s far more you can gain than just a free meal.
The savvy urban forager can dine out on gourmet cheese, berries, herbal teas and locally grown olives without ever stepping foot into a shop. But the philosophy goes further than just eating for free. You’ll reconnect with nature, save food going to landfill, learn plant names growing in your yard, parks and bikeways and connect with your neighbours.
More than just a food fad, sourdough is an ancient practice of breadmaking that has captured our imaginations for centuries.
Among many things, a sourdough starter bubbling away on your kitchen bench means you’re taking care of your gut health through the proper preparation of grains. You’re connecting with nature in the form of the microorganisms and wild yeasts that are hanging out in your kitchen, and you’re slowing your life down in a nourishing way.
The unusually named pigface (Carpobrotus glaucescens, or carpobrotus rossii), also called karkalla, sea fig or sea bananas, is a succulent groundcover found in most parts of temperate coastal Australia. Its flowing green leaves and bright pink flowers are hard to miss as you walk the sand dunes for your ocean swim. This edible Australian native bushfood can also be easily grown in your garden.
Does what we eat affect the health of the planet? With agriculture producing an estimated 15 percent of greenhouse gas emissions, you could say it makes a significant difference to the planet’s health.
Heating your house, heating water and cooking are major users of energy in your home. Using wood to create some or all of this energy use can be one of the simplest ways to increase your household self-sufficiency.
Conversation has been a powerful tool for bringing about change in the life of Nicky Harris. A conversation with a neighbour was how she discovered permaculture. Conversations, workshops and TAFE courses have all been part of Nicky’s journey to learning an incredible range of skills. Conversation is where she finds joy when talking to customers who buy the nutritious and delectable treats she sells from her market van. For Nicky, conversation is both the journey and the destination.
Seafood has traditionally been a nutritional powerhouse for humans, being high in protein, minerals and vitamins and low in saturated fats. It’s often touted as a food we should be eating to get our omega-3 fatty acids, lose weight or to give our children the best start in life. Seafood is entwined in Australian culinary culture, from smoked salmon and prawns on the barbeque to fish and chips. Australians eat 25 kg of seafood per person each year.
Shamus O’Reilly believes that strawbale is the best natural building material of them all. He recently finished building his own strawbale home for himself and his family. He also builds strawbale homes for other people through his construction company, SO’R Construction. He has repeatedly seen firsthand the benefits of building with strawbale alongside passive solar design.
You’d go a long way to find a purpose-built, permaculture-inspired, organically certified econeighbourhood like Bend. With those credentials, you might expect a remote location, miles from anywhere, but Bend is located in a major town on the NSW Far South Coast, near schools, shops, a post office, library and medical facilities. The aim of this intentionalliving project was to build community, not just build ‘a community’.
Wheat has been an important food for humans for thousands of years. Along with corn and rice, it’s a global staple that makes up a huge part of the diet for billions of people. So why has wheat fallen out of favour in recent years? This once nutritious food seems to be creating a growing incidence of intolerances, gut dysbiosis and life-threatening allergies. Is it possible to eat wheat in a way that can be well-digested and nutritious?
Making your own dairy basics at home can not only save you money on your grocery bill and avoid plastic packaging, but allows you to experience the flavour and freshness of homemade food that will far surpass anything you can buy from the store.
Warrigal greens Tetragonia teragoniodes is a trailing leafy groundcover native to Australia, Eastern Asia and New Zealand – hence its other name, New Zealand spinach. In Europe it is now an invasive species, which belies its historical use as a great source of vitamin C for scurvy-riddled sailors and settlers during colonisation. Botanist Joseph Banks took warrigal greens back to England’s Kew Gardens, from where it became a popular cultivated vegetable for a while.
Bone broth, or stock, is a culinary art and medicinal food that has been used for generations and has recently made a comeback as a popular gut healing food. Broth is made when animal bones are simmered gently for many hours in a pot of water, rendering the minerals and nutrients into a form the body can easily assimilate.
It’s apple season again! Apples eaten in season and fresh are definitely the best for flavour, crunch and vitality. If you have a healthy apple tree at home, you may well be wondering what to do with them all. Never fear, there are lots of ways to use up your apple harvest and preserve the excess.
Food traditions are vital in binding us together as families and as communities. From our very first mouthful, food deeply connects us to other humans. It connects us to our parents and grandparents, connects us to our friends, and can connect us to our children in how we share our food knowledge, habits and values with them.
The humble carrot may be easy and cheap to buy, but the absolute pleasure of picking a few fresh carrots to crunch on straight from your garden and the taste sensation you will receive are well worth the investment of your time.
The method of preserving food with vinegar has only been around since industrialisation. It came in as a quick and easy way to keep food shelf stable so it would be saleable for longer. A much healthier way to preserve your food is through the process of lacto-fermentation. This is how people preserved their food long before fridges and canning became popular. Lacto-fermentation is how traditional sauerkraut and kimchi are made.
SUSTAINABLE ORCHARD, MONGOLIA www.treesoflifemongolia.org Husband and wife team Marlene and Robert Founder started an NGO called Trees Of Life, with the aim of improving quality of life in the Mongolian countryside and giving people self-worth through horticulture and training using…
As we tread upon our soil, plant into it and harvest from it, it’s hard to imagine the myriad of creatures that live within it. Teeming with life, the sheer number and diversity of creatures in our soil is mind-boggling, and these creatures are crucial to the health and vitality of our soil. This interdependent circle of life is known as the soil food web.
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.
Sabar was adopted into the world of permaculture at the age of 12 when he and his brother were orphaned in the 2004 tsunami. He was taken in by IDEC, a centre for permaculture and sustainable living in Ubud, Bali, which became his home and the place where he learned all about permaculture.