Birthday celebrations can be a haven for single-use plastics. Between balloons, tableware, decorations and gifts, the landfill created in a single day may far exceed what you’d otherwise create, but often and understandably justified by their once-a-year occurrence.
Getting access to pasture-raised pork is far harder than it ought to be, but there are two young Victorians working hard to make a living out of ethical farming. Will and Emma’s work is really important for humans and animals alike. If you were a pig you would go to extraordinary lengths to live on their land, for they raise pigs on pasture as opposed to dark concrete sheds. Will butchers the meat they grow and it’s sold it through a community-supported agriculture (CSA) model. They both have off-farm jobs; Emma works full-time as an environmental campaigner and Will works at a nursery. Their Pig & Earth Farm is located on Dja Dja Wurrung country, just outside of Kingston in Victoria. They are young, passionate and committed to farming that cares for land, pigs and people.
The most important design principle when retrofitting or building a new home is to ‘build tight’. This means eliminating air gaps in walls (due to poorly installed insulation), drafts around doors and leaky windows caused by single-paned glass or aluminium window frames. Things like chimneys above open fireplaces, air vents in older houses and even recessed downlights all release heat from your home leaving it less comfortable in cold weather, so identifying these areas are your top priority when looking to reduce the need for auxiliary heating
With summer comes a bounty of fruit, often in very large quantities. Dehydration is a relatively easy and effective way to make the most of the season’s generous gifts. There are many ways to preserve fruit. You can turn it into jams, jellies, relishes or bottle it whole. But what makes dehydrating a really useful tool to have in your preserving kit is that it gives you a break both from working with hot glass jars, as well as recipes that often require large amounts of sugar.
By using oils and fats readily available, soap can be made at home free from synthetic fragrances and colours and can be used to wash everything from your hair and body to household dishes.
It was 13 years coming, but couple Mara and Ralph have created a sustainable, efficient and loving home that was well and truly worth the wait. I was singing Italian folks songs at the Boite Singers’ Festival when my partner Ralf asked for a second time ‘can we move to the country?’ Thirteen years earlier he’d made the same proposal but I wasn’t ready. On this occasion however, I craved change and the timing was perfect. So by the end of the festival weekend we had found a completely bare 15-acre grazing paddock just a 10-minute drive from the gorgeous town of Daylesford in Victoria’s Central Highlands.
A much-loved permaculture illustrator and educator, Brenna Quinlan’s drawings guide communities away from consumerism and towards living a life brimming with meaning, beauty and community connectedness. Brenna lives at the idyllic Melliodora property established by the co-originator of permaculture David Holmgren and his partner Su Dennett, where she practises, educates and illustrates permaculture. Her articulate watercolour paintings have been used in numerous books including Holmgren’s newest Retrosuburbia, as well as Milkwood: Real Skills for Down-to-Earth living and Farming Democracy: Radically Transforming the Food System from the Ground Up, and in just three short years has cultivated an Instagram following of more than 25,000.
Once you have made your own pasta at home, you will realise that homemade pasta is on a whole other level when it comes to quality and flavour. Not to mention you avoid the plastic and food miles associated with pasta in a packet.