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 editorial@pipmagazine.com.au

Start where you are

Thank you for sending me a copy of your first magazine. I loved every page because Pip speaks to everyone who wants to live sustainably and not just to those who live on acreage.

I was listening to David Holmgren way back in the 70s and I wanted to live his way then, but it wasn’t to be. Now, at 74, I can and at last I am starting to put together a new and better way to live. It will take me a few months to get into the growing and habits of my new life.

I have so many ideas, I have just finished a course with Milkwood and I learned so much. I’m so glad I’ve found Pip to keep me on the right track. My youngest daughter lives on acreage and she and I are going to help each other – I’m on a small suburban block. I love what you and your team are doing to make a difference for so many people who have ideas and just need the way forward.

Beth Brewster

via email

It’s so great to hear you are finally getting the chance to live the way you have been wanting to for so long. There is so much you can do on a suburban block and often that size block can be much more manageable to maintain. I’m glad to hear you and your daughter will be helping each other.

Robyn

Can it

I love your magazine and get a thrill when it arrives in my letterbox each issue! I’ve been a subscriber for the past three years, so I apologise if it has already been covered, however I’d love some information relating to canning. In particular, suggested water-bath canners and pressure canners. Is this the only method of preserving without refined sugars? How long do canned items remain suitable to eat? Do you know if there are books for keen market gardeners with excess yields who wish to go down this long-term storage path?

Kylie Goudswaard

via email

Hi Kylie, great question and no, we haven’t looked at canning in any depth before, although we have covered all sorts of preserving from bottling, fermenting and dehydrating. Watch this space.

Robyn

Waste away

Finally! A magazine I can devour from cover to cover with so many interesting articles and stories. Curled up on my lounge, coffee in hand, I turn off Netflix to read Pip.

There are so many reasons to love this mag; I love the feel and texture of the recycled paper. I love the work of the cover artist, I love the articles – especially the ones on how to be less reliant on store produce and growing my own vegies. I would appreciate ideas on how to create a zero-waste home; this is what I’m hoping to achieve.

Sandy Petersen

via email

Thanks, Sandy. I designed Pip from day one to be a thing of beauty that was a joy to pick up and read. We have a new Ways with Waste section (page 26) and are always on the lookout for ways to reduce our consumption. We’ll keep sharing.

Robyn

Rogue rodents

I was wondering if you have any good advice for getting rid of rats in the garden? We have some unwanted guests that run up and down the corrugated fence next to our vegie patch and really put me off gardening when they stripped our glass gem corn bare. Now they’re starting on our pumpkins. I have tried bait, but why would they bother if there are plump vegetables to eat?

Regarding Beverly Waldie’s question on green choices for washing clothes (Letters, Pip Issue 20). I wonder if you have come across thedirtcompany.com.au? Its products are packed in reusable glass bottles and the refills are soft packs which can be shipped back to the company. It’s reasonably priced and does a great job.

Bek Hudson

via email

It’s hard not to get disheartened when rodents take more than their fair share. But other than using exclusion methods or trapping them, there’s not a lot you can do that doesn’t then pose a risk to native animals which may eat the rodent after it has died.

Robyn

Bruce of bark

I enjoyed reading the article about Bruce Pascoe and the move to reintroduce native grains and flours into Australia’s food systems (Grass roots, Pip Issue 20). I am sure many would be aware of the controversy regarding his book Dark Emu, and I agree with Bruce’s sentiment that debate and discussion can only serve to improve our understanding of the past.

I wanted to share a community initiative that’s honouring Bruce. Artist Catherine van Wilgenburg has created a twometre square Grey Box bark painting of Bruce Pascoe and the residents of Mallacoota have established a gofundme initiative to make this artwork a permanent fixture in the town. I hope others may want to support this initiative.

Sandra Leggat

via email

Bruce really is a legend who deserves recognition and an artwork in his honour sounds like a great idea, especially in Mallacoota, which is one of my favourite towns. Thanks for sharing the project.

Robyn

Social Awareness

We asked our facebook followers about their thoughts on the etiquette of urban foraging

Donna Stapleton I think if it’s hanging over a fence onto public domain, then it’s free to pick.

Kirsty Sharp My philosophy is to ask first, and only take a few. It annoys me when people strip a tree.

Leisha Hain I take a few lemons and leave a coupleof dollars in the letterbox.

Join Our Community

Stay connected at Pip Magazine Community, our closed facebook group, where you can share ideas, information and inspiration for earth-conscious living.

Fair Share

Your place to share inspirational ideas and earth-conscious care with the Pip community I studied permaculture at Central Queensland University and my major project was to design a food forest for an impoverished village in Indonesia’s North Sulawesi.

I was fortunate to be able to spend several years implementing my design before Covid forced me back to Australia, and I’m proud that my work has since inspired others to take up the challenge of developing their own regenerative farming project.

With the help of villagers, we started putting the design into practice in early 2018 by carving swales and planting living fences. It was brutal work in the tropical heat – and a kilometre walk back to our accommodation.

The lessons I learnt and passed on to the small community is that good design must work with nature. This means we planted appropriate trees and shrubs, we carved swales on contours to capture the area’s tropical rain, we removed invasive grasses and improved the soil using organic matter.

The other lesson I learnt was the importance of adopting technologies which are appropriate to the area. For the Kapet Kanaan village, this was developing firebreaks and teaching people how to properly maintain them, and we designed and implemented a robust watering system for the dry season. We developed infrastructure including a fish pond, a hut where we could escape the tropical heat and store equipment, and a living fence with wire in a bid to stop the wild pigs.

As I was leaving the village early last year, couple Arnol and Nia sensed the uncertain times and said: ‘I don’t think we will see you for a long time, however we will maintain the projects you started.’

The challenge for them now is to get their food forest underway. However, with the tropical conditions and the example we established, it’s a really achievable task that will bring great benefits to both the land and their community.

Philip East

Perth, WA

Author

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