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Letters To The Editor

We’d love to see if we’ve inspired you to embark on any projects. The letter of the issue will receive a limited-edition Pip magazine print featuring archival inks on textured 300 gsm rag paper. Email your letters and photos to

Note from the north

Thanks for your latest edition, I’m loving what you’re doing. I have saved my own seeds for years, but got slack after moving and was caught wanting when the pandemic caused a seed crisis. As a person who would only buy and use one packet of seeds, I was incredulous when I couldn’t source any – even online! Unfortunately, most people who bought up big on the seeds would probably never use that many, and many seeds got wasted. Thankfully, a few of my seed-saving friends saved the day.

I would love to see some more articles featuring Darwin and its surrounding areas. Our climate is a bit different to places like Cairns, Katherine, Kununurra or Broome. Soil health, like most tropical arid climates, is devoid of nutrients but, with lots of composting, we can get it into shape and grow lots of wonderful fruit and vegies.

It also amuses me that something like a southern-grown lettuce is really popular, when we have so many greenleaf alternatives common in southern Asia that grow like weeds up here in Darwin. Anyway, keep up the good work. It puts a smile on my face whenever your magazine hits the newsagent’s shelves.

Craig Ryan
Darwin, NT

Starting point

Thanks to your Ethical Marketplace pages, I ended up buying a solar electric system from Teho. I wouldn’t have had any idea where to start if I hadn’t found the company via your website, and I was really impressed by dealing with them. Thanks for the tip! I’ve also recommended them to my builders.

Ingrid Cheng
via email

Starting point

Grateful distractions

I am so thankful the complimentary digital subscription of past and present issues during lockdown. I live in New South Wales and have been really struggling mentally over the past few weeks. This has given me some projects to think about, some time away from my own thoughts and some positivity during these very uncertain times.

Thanks so much Pip team! The best magazine (and community) ever!

Eliza Weekes
via facebook


Love and learn

Love and learn

Hi Robyn, I discovered Pip only recently when I picked up Issue 20 halfway through last year. I see myself as fairly well versed on most things homegrown and sustainable, but more than a couple of ah-ha moments while reading through the mag – which is beautiful to look at and so well presented – means I’m now hooked.

Having discovered I could overwinter my eggplants (Noticeboard, Issue 20), and doing exactly that, I was moved to write to you after recently picking my first eggplant of the season, which is bigger than last year’s and from a much stronger and healthier plant.

Since becoming a Pip reader, I’ve acquired my first-ever nut tree (Get Cracking, Issue 20), have upped my seedsaving game (Brains Trust, Issue 21) and even convinced my son to make me a movable box to raise seeds in (Make, Issue 21) after realising I didn’t have the perfect permanent spot to put a small greenhouse.

I love the ideas and am always inspired when each new issue comes out – my only gripe is that it doesn’t happen often enough!

Thanks for being a source of positivity in these otherwise difficult times.

Jenny Shoemark
via email

Cautionary tale

Cautionary tale

In the article in your last issue on fermented compost tea (Pip, Issue 22), there was a recommendation to add fresh chook manure to the mixture. This is a bad idea, considering E.coli and Salmonella are present in manure, and might breed up to larger numbers in the anaerobic brew. If this is then put on fruit or vegetables to be consumed by people it may very well cause serious illness.

Permies like talking about how good healthy soil smells – maybe the same heuristic approach should be used to judge something as foul smelling as anaerobic ‘tea’? That’s not scientific, but it’s likely a good guide. Sewage and anaerobic teas smell bad for a reason.

Greg Bell
via email

Fair point, Greg. And something anyone who’s brewing manure fertiliser at home should be aware of. Although three or more weeks of active fermentation should be enough to sufficiently reduce any risk. Watering the soil and not the plant is always a good idea, as is thoroughly washing harvested vegies before consuming.


We asked our social followers how happy gardening makes them

Teresa Kenyon I’ve been gardening in the rain in Te Aroha, NZ. It’s the only time I can breathe freely in the garden without hayfever, asthma and sneezing. My husband thinks I’m mad!

Rosalindentree Deeply happy and fulfilled! Satisfied and connected! Joyous and always astounded with the aweinspiring wonder of the natural world’s magic and daily surprises. Keeps me childlike!

Lisa Holmblad It also has health benefits and, if it’s done in a community garden or allotment area, you’re bound to gain social benefits too.


Your place to share inspirational ideas and earth-conscious care with the Pip community

Proud permie

The best thing I’ve learned or refreshed what I already knew has been based around dealing much more efficiently with waste. I’m proud to say I have not put one single piece of paper, cardboard or recyclable packaging into my bin in well over two years now!

Proud permie

I’ve been documenting it on my Instagram account @thinksmallproductions and have not only had far better success using the waste in compost and in raised beds (which I’ve set up using the hugelkultur method), but am very excited to see the grand success I’ve had with my free gardening. We now eat between 50–75 percent off our own land.

Obviously this has come about from a thoroughly wholistic approach including permaculture principles, sustainable living ideas, old-fashion homesteading and keeping poultry.

Our lives have changed dramatically – and for the better. Thank you Pip magazine for being a regular source of knowledge and inspiration!

Donna Kelb
Childers, Qld


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