Category 16

Lilly Pilly/Riberry


The fruit of the lilly pilly tree is called riberry, although some call it lilly pilly. There are about 60 lilly pillies in Australia, most in the genus syzygium, and most have edible fruit. Some fruit is overly astringent or bland. The one we will concentrate on is Syzygium luehmannii, small-leaved or clove lilly pilly, but I’ll also recommend S. paniculatum, magenta lilly pilly.

Description – Clove Lilly Pilly

The fruit of S. luehmannii (riberry, or clove lilly pilly) is small – up to 13 mm long, pear-shaped and dull red with one pip. The tree, with its tear-shaped leaves, can grow up to 30 metres in the wild, but in cultivation and as an ornamental street tree it is kept to between 5–10 m. It fruits from December to February.

S. luehmannii trees are generally found in the wild in northern New South Wales and are native to rainforests from Kempsey, NSW, to Cooktown in north-east Queensland. The species also has the potential to be grown in many other areas.

Letters To The Editor

Letters to the Editor

I was lucky enough to discover you through a friend, after she received a subscription to Pip Magazine for a Christmas present. Although initially jealous (she wasn’t much of a gardener), it has been miraculous to watch her transformation. Now she’s the keeper of flourishing beehives.

The article I want to express my gratitude for is A bountiful garden all year round (issue 15), particularly succession planting and stacking in time. Although aware of the idea of these principles, I always thought they belonged more in an orchard setting.

But thanks to the article I’ve had my eureka moment and now, instead of waiting for precious garden real estate to become available while my seedlings outgrow their trays, I will nestle them in under the bigger guys ready to complete their lifecycle. This helps give them protection from the harsh summer sun and prevents the soil washing out after storms, or from an enthusiastic threeyear- old child wielding a hose.

Brains Trust

Brains Trust

Questions answered by Matthew Evans of and presenter of SBS sustainable seafood documentary, What’s the Catch.

When it says pole and line fishing on a tin of tuna, what does that mean exactly and is it sustainable? (Renee, Adelaide Hills SA)

This means the tuna is caught using a mix of old-fashioned and new fishing methods that aren’t indiscriminate, but are sustainable. The important bit is that fish are caught on a fishing rod, not in a huge net, and that is probably the best way to ensure the tuna is caught from a population that is sustainable.

The Art Of Homemade Pasta


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.

Making pasta at home might seem like a lot of work but it is actually much easier than it appears. It’s also heaps of fun and a really great way to spend time with friends. You don’t have to make it every time you need it either, it is possible to make large quantities of pasta in a day’s session and store it in a jar for use over several months.


Nominations are now open for the 2020 Pip Permie Awards. The awards will be presented at the Australasian Permaculture Convergence in Brisbane, in April 2020. There are two awards:

Best Permie Project: Open to projects which are current, create positive change and demonstrate the permaculture ethics of earth care, people care and fair share. Winner receives $250 for their project.

Permie of the Year: For the permaculture practitioner working to create positive change in the world. They will demonstrate the three permaculture ethics in their work, of earth care, people care and fair share. Winner receives a lifetime subscription to Pip Magazine.

To nominate a project or person, email us at with their name, location and age. Include a brief description about what they are doing, how they demonstrate the permaculture ethics and why you think they should win.

Pip Picks: Things We Like

Sleep in creature comfort with a breathable organic wool doona that is 100% natural and compostable. Enjoy the wool filling, sourced from sheep grown on Hollyburton Farm in Victoria, the organic, unbleached cotton casing and the 100% cotton or wool thread used to complete the doona. You won’t find these beauties in any landfill.

There’s a world of difference between a Hollyburton organic wool doona and a washable ‘natural’ wool doona that is treated with a polymer resin (a kind of plastic).

Summer doonas come in 400 gsm, with a double layer for a winter doona.

Permaculture Around The World


Nea Guinea is a non-profit one-acre permaculture farm in Athens that models permaculture practices and offers education programs. Based here is the Mediterranean Permaschool, which offers a range of permaculture education programs for the community, for youth; and also helps organise permaculture courses for refugee camps located in Greece.

Refugee camps are built rapidly but end up being far more permanent than originally planned and are reliant on external inputs. Permaculture courses in these environments can effectively help people develop the skills to transform these camps into eco-villages. They transform their physical and social spaces, grow food, enhance collective resilience, reclaim some control over their lives and begin to heal from the trauma that brought them to the refugee camps.

Sustainable Seafood Buying Guide


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.

But is our abundant Australian appetite for seafood sustainable? Is the fish or shellfish we eat caught or farmed in a way that does not affect the long-term health of the species, or the marine habitat where it is harvested? Current data shows Australian fish stocks are following the worldwide trend of being stressed and over-exploited. We are still eating plenty of species categorised as depleted and vulnerable to exploitation, such as shark, tuna and Orange Roughy.

For the average person, presented with a smorgasbord of seafood to buy in the supermarket, or turned into enticing meals in the restaurant, it’s hard to remember which species of seafood are sustainable. Fortunately, there are some comprehensive guides available to help us make ethical seafood choices. It’s also good to have some understanding of what’s behind these guides and what they mean.


Robyn Rosenfeldt

As I write this, fires are burning out of control around the country, lives have been lost, millions of animals have perished, thousands of homes have been razed to the ground and over 8 million hectares of land has burned.

As we hear more and more about the environmental crises around the world, interspersed with the lack of action by our governments or even an acknowledgement of the cause of the situation, it can weigh heavy on our hearts and minds. For many there is a feeling of grief and despair. But through all this we mustn’t forget the positive. In amongst the ashes people are finding a beauty as they come together with their communities to care for one another and work out how best to support each other in this new future.

Let this be the impetus for change. Let this be our call to action. To come together as communities and make this world a better place. We can’t wait for the government to take action, although we need to try to force them to. We can start where we are and do what we can, together. There are many types of activism and we need to find how we can make a difference in a way that speaks to us (Climate activism: find your calling, page 62).

Kids’ Patch


Our Kids’ Patch winners for issue 15 are Ruby and Rory. Congratulations! You’ve both won a copy of Easy Peasy Gardening for Kids.

In the next issue, we are giving away a copy of Grow Do It, the CD and activity book by the Formidable Vegetable Sound System with songs about growing food, reducing plastic and loving the planet. To be in the running, parents can email a photo through to along with your child’s name, age and suburb.