This is our waste-free issue of Pip Magazine.
We have articles on reducing waste in the kitchen, we look at how to keep waste-free pets and how to reduce the waste of our most precious resource, water.
The whale on the cover represents the animals that will benefit from us choosing to reduce waste in our lives.
We also have lots of info about growing food including how to grow food that is nutrient dense, a guide to growing potatoes and a feature on some great herbal teas you can grow yourself.
We look at environmental guilt and how to manage it and we also get back to basics and go through Bill Mollison’s permaculture principles explaining them and how to implement them into your life. And for those who are a bit crafty, we have some patterns for winter woolen knits and crochets.
All this and much more in issue 14 of Pip magazine.
This is our waste-free issue of Pip Magazine.
When I put together an issue of Pip, I hope to create a beautiful publication full of ideas, inspiration and information about living more sustainably using permaculture principles. I hope that in each issue there is at least one idea that you can take away and implement into your life to help create positive change in the world.
In this issue we are focusing on waste reduction. I put a whale on the cover because after reading about a dead whale found with 40 kilos of plastic in its belly, I thought it was a strong symbol of what our wasteful culture is doing to the environment.
We look at not only reducing physical waste in our dayto- day lives (Waste Not: Reducing Waste in the Kitchen, page 42 and Waste-Free Pets, page 74), but also reducing water wastage (Reducing Water Waste, page 36). In nearly all our articles we are looking at projects and activities that ultimately reduce the amount of waste we create, from making and growing our own food, to making clothes and practicing permaculture.
It feels difficult to reduce your waste when you go to the shops and everything seems to be individually wrapped in plastic. Recycling was once an important part of the waste hierarchy, helping keep resources from landfill, but Australia is experiencing a recycling crisis as countries that once took our recycling waste are now refusing it. With China enforcing tight restrictions around the types of recyclable waste they will accept, and India and Indonesia following in their footsteps, a lot of our recycling is being sent to landfill despite our best efforts.
Most plastics are down-cycled, meaning they can only be turned into one more item before eventually going to landfill. Moving away from plastic altogether is the preferred option. Buying less, and using more of what you have might seem like old-fashioned notions, but in this modern world they may be exactly what we need on our journey to reducing plastic and creating less waste. You may not be ready to have all your rubbish for one year fit into a small jar, but there are lots of simple and easy solutions to start reducing waste in your life.
There is so much focus on reducing waste at the moment, but what is often forgotten is the waste of our most precious resource of all: water.
Every living being needs water to survive. Yet it is a finite resource, shared between an ever-growing population, all of whom are using it every day. If we’re going to continue to be able to all live on this planet, we need to look at managing water in a more sustainable way.
The reuse of household greywater for irrigation is a simple method of wastewater recycling that can be adopted by anyone who has a patch of earth to irrigate, from small inner-city gardens to large-scale rural properties.
The humble potato is a staple in the diets of most Australians. It makes sense then to grow them at home. The benefits of a freshly dug spud go beyond the incredible flavour; when you grow your own potatoes, you know exactly what type of soil they came from and what they have been exposed to. By avoiding the use of pesticides and herbicides you can eat your potatoes, skin and all, knowing that you are getting maximum nutrition without ingesting any nasty chemicals.
Originally from South America, there are around 3000 varieties of potatoes worldwide, with around 20 varieties to choose from in Australia. Choosing a variety to grow will depend on how you like to eat them. Floury potatoes with their higher starch content are good for mashing, baking or making chips. Waxy types hold together better after cooking and are good for potato salad or gratin. Whatever variety you choose to grow at home, you’ll be doing yourself a big favour by avoiding the conventionally grown potato as it is routinely featured in ‘top 10 veg to avoid’ lists due to chemical use in production.
Vegetables, fruits and grains are a major source of vital nutrients, but generations of intensive agriculture have depleted our soils to historical lows. As a result, the broccoli you eat today may have less than half the vitamins and minerals it would have had less than a century ago. We can grow our own vegetables using lots of compost and avoiding chemicals, but how do we really know our soil has enough of the appropriate minerals in the right balance to grow truly nutrient dense food?
Nutrient dense food has its full complement of minerals and is the best kind of food to keep you healthy. For food to be nutrient dense, it must be grown in soil that has an abundant and balanced supply of minerals. If key plant nutrients in the soil are lacking or way out of proportion, then the food produced in this soil will not be nutrient dense.
There is also a biological side to it that is equally important to plant health and ultimate food quality. However you first need to bring the minerals into proper balance, then the soil food web (worms, nematodes, algae, amoeba, fungi, bacteria) comes into healthy balance too. When it comes to micro-life, there is rarely a need to import them. When the soil is favourable to the proper organisms, they will predominate, appearing as if from nowhere. Soil biology can greatly assist the plants in assimilating nutrients, but only after the minerals have been brought into balance.
• July: Beetroot, lettuce, mustard greens, onions, peas, radish.
• August: Artichoke, asparagus (crowns), beetroot, cabbage (summer varieties), capsicum (undercover), chilli (undercover), eggplant, kohlrabi, leek, lettuce, melon (undercover), parsnip, peas, potatoes, radish, rocket, spring onion, strawberry (runners), sunflower, thyme, tomato (undercover).
• September: Artichoke, asparagus (plant cloves), basil (undercover), beans (after frost), beetroot, broccoli (summer variety), capsicum (undercover), corn (after frost), carrot, celeriac, celery, chicory, chives, chilli, coriander, cucumber (undercover), dill, eggplant (undercover), endive, fennel, horseradish (crowns), Jerusalem artichoke (plant tubers), kohlrabi, leek, lettuce, melons (undercover), mustard greens, parsnips, peas, potatoes, pumpkin, radish, rhubarb (crowns), silverbeet, spring onion, strawberry (runners), sunflower, tomato (undercover), turnip, zucchini (undercover).
BOTANICAL NAME: Eruca sativa. Eruca is the old Latin name for rocket and sativa means cultivated.
Despite renewed culinary interest in rocket, it is not a modern plant. It has been eaten for its tender though acrid leaves for at least 2000 years throughout western and eastern Europe.
A low annual herb, rocket is also called roquette and arugula. There are approximately 20 different varieties. A few different species of the genus Eruca are grown for salad in places like Crimea and Azerbaijan.
This book is one family’s guide to reducing waste in our lives. It’s not judgemental; they’re not telling us what to do. They are just giving us the information, advice, recipes and projects we’ll need to start making change. They explore every aspect of our homes and provide us with simple, practical ideas for reducing waste and finding or creating alternatives—from making staples from scratch, buying food with no packaging, making your own personal care products, growing your own food, to sewing and mending clothes.
You can choose the recipes and projects that suit you, whether it be to make your own toothpaste, bottle up your own tomato sauce, make your own dishwashing powder or share your waste-free ideas with others. With beautiful photography and design, this book gives you both the inspiration and the information to make a start right now.
Purslane (Portulaca oleracea) can be seen as an annoying weed, but for those in the know, it is an abundant source of valuable vitamins and nutrients and is a tasty food source. Also known as pigweed (not to be confused with pigface, Carpobrotus rossii), it is a vigorous annual plant that grows like a ground cover and can be eaten raw or cooked. Highly revered in Mediterranean and Eastern cuisines, it is almost unknown to the Australian palate.
Where To Find It
Purslane has adapted to a variety of climates, from arid to tropical, temperate and Mediterranean. It’s a succulent and can survive the extremes of seasonal monsoons and monthlong droughts.
It can be found in most parts of Australia and all over the world. It pops up in summertime where there is bare soil and it grows extremely well under any condition (sun or shade, rich or poor soil, watered or not).