Keeping backyard chickens is a joy shared by many – the site of a flock of ladies scratching around your garden warms the soul (as long as it’s not your vegie garden). There are simple ways to keep your chickens healthy naturally: give them fresh water, clean housing and bedding, and high-quality feed. Allowing exercise through free-ranging, and providing a stressfree environment by not overcrowding, will encourage happy birds. Happy, healthy chickens will provide you with delicious eggs, meat and free labour in the garden for many years.
Garlic planting time is coming around, as is the time when many garlic varieties are sprouting or starting to rot. For many of us this means going without garlic, or searching far and wide for growers who still have stock. Imported garlic is often available at this time of year, but is best avoided as it has usually been irradiated and treated with a range of chemicals to stop sprouting, and to kill bugs and germs.
People find homeschooling in different ways, and for different reasons. I didn’t even know it existed until I went WWOOFing in Spain about fourteen years ago with my now-husband. We lived with a family in the remote Alpujarras mountain region. They practised self-sufficiency, permaculture, holistic management, co-sleeping and homeschooling.
In an age of mass production these makers are keeping these dying arts alive. ‘I’m a fifth-generation cooper. I made my first barrel when I was fifteen, and I came to the trade full-time when I was forty – thirty years ago now. I’m an old bastard.’
Nukazuke or rice bran pickles are a culinary institution in Japan. While they taste sour and salty, like any western-style pickle, nukazuke is a natural, wild ferment.
Seasonal garden guides for all climates.
Rosemary Morrow is an author, permaculture legend, teacher of teachers, aid worker and the patron of Permafund, a charity within Permaculture Australia which raises funds for projects in disadvantaged communities around the world. This septuagenarian is having a brief recharge after working with refugees in Italy and Spain. I asked her what it takes to be an aid worker; it’s not a task for the faint-hearted.
Coriandrum sativum – the genus name comes from the Greek word for bug, referring to the smell of its unripe seeds. Also called cilantro and Chinese parsley.
Watching a chick hatch from an egg is an amazing process, and to be a part of raising your own flock of chickens is an exciting and rewarding experience.
Wild fennel Foeniculum vulgare also called fenkel, sweet fennel, finule, is a hardy, frost tolerant biennial or short-lived perennial in the carrot family. It originated in the Mediterranean basin and has naturalised in many parts of the world. It was first recorded in Australia in 1803, and is widely distributed here. Its preferred habitat is rough terrain: empty lots, beside roads and railway lines, in fields, on hillsides and ocean cliffs. It’s particularly well-adapted to disturbed soils, which has enabled its rampant spread.