This year is International Year of the Family Farm, and two recent reports, from United Nations and European constituencies, make the case for a return of support for smallholder farmers.
Decide what size and shape you’d like your flags.
I’ve spent the last seven years wandering the world, teaching people from all walks of life how to use plants to dye cloth. I didn’t carry dye materials between countries because most plants yield some kind of colour and it’s better to investigate local species than import dyes, especially when producing some dyes may compromise their source environment.
Permaculture is a design system for sustainable living and land use that is being applied to every aspect of life, but it is best known in its application to food production, at scales from the garden to the farm.
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?
I could not believe how easy this is to make. Now I never buy ricotta, it just doesn’t compare to what I make at home. This is best made with whey (a by-product of cheese production) but failing that use full cream un-homogenised milk.
Many wild plants are considered weeds in Australia, but their medicinal uses are powerful. They flourish in abundance, enabling people of all kinds to use simple and effective medicine while ‘weeding’ our landscapes.
Robin Clayfield has just released the third edition of this book. The information is drawn from years of experience in gardening, cooking, design, research, teaching and creating. This is a tome of information, covering everything from permaculture principles and ethics, through hands-on practical gardening advice, to everything you need to know about cooking and catering.
I think that if any of the readers of this magazine were asked if they ate local food most would say ‘yes, I shop at the local farmers’ market, grow my own vegies, swap with friends and support local businesses’. I would have said the same a year ago, but I decided to put my ‘eat localness’ to the test and to eat only local food for a month.
Permaculture design is about solving whatever real problems people have. My clients are mostly mainstreamers, so their problems aren’t of a vegetable nature. They are; ‘My children don’t listen to me’, ‘I’m always rushed’, ‘Life is such a chore’. If good design creates cared-for, surplus-sharing people, Bill Mollision would be pleased.