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.
The fruits and aromatic leaves of the tropical and subtropical rainforests of Eastern Australia provide a whole new palette of spices, fragrances and flavours for the adventurous cook. These uniquely Australian flavours, merged with the creativity stimulated by living in a multicultural society, readily give rise to an endless array of culinary innovations.
Muscovy ducks are a popular animal in many permaculture systems as they perform multiple functions, especially in the orchard or food forest. They are also a pleasure to watch waddling around the garden.
I love bamboo: growing, eating, crafting, building, and listening to the sounds of creaking culms and rustling leaves in the wind. It provides me with microclimates, windbreaks, privacy screens, animal fodder, wildlife habitat, an endless supply of mulch, delicious tender eating shoots, lots of materials for the garden and building small structures. My patch also sequesters the amount of CO2 generated by two overseas work flights to Asia each year, or one flight to Europe or the Americas, to teach permaculture.
What is permaculture? Is it gardening, is it chooks and composting, or as one concerned Japanese mother put it ‘angry people growing vegetables’? It must be something more. How did two plant lovers in Tasmania create something that grew so big?