SEASONAL EATING – The flavour and environmental benefits of eating with the seasons

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Embracing seasonality is about understanding the cycles of the land and the climate – even, or especially, as it changes – and knowing they have the ability to make things taste the best possible versions of themselves.

Seasonality has a unique ability to present fresh foods to you at their highest peak of tastiness. Winter frosts bring out the sugars of sprouts and parsnips; sunshine doesn’t just sweeten summer’s peaches but develops an authentic depth of flavour, too.

Immersing yourself in seasonal produce can be a much- needed reminder of how much potential there is in seasonal cooking and eating, and in the joy these foods bring. Use winter’s wealth of deep green (or purple, or red) leaves to wrap up bundles of warm savoury fillings. Shred them for dumplings and serve with an aromatic broth.

REBUILDING – Creating a small and sustainable home as a female owner-builder

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One owner-builder’s story of creating a small sustainable home for herself using her experience and love of permaculture.

Megan Cooke spent 17 years building her dream home and permaculture garden with her husband-at-the-time. Then they separated, and she had to leave it all behind. She took everything she’d learned in the first build, and in her many years as a horticulturist, and started again.

She has now built a solar-passive rammed-earth studio home, with a vintage caravan called Frankie for her teenage daughter, on a smart block inland from the Mid North Coast of New South Wales.

‘When I met my ex-husband it was our dream to build an earth house with permaculture gardens. For 17 years I had put my heart and soul into building the three-bedroom, one-bathroom home with ensuite, plus a studio downstairs that I rented out as an Airbnb and taught my permaculture workshops from.

HELP & HEALING – How accepting help allowed a family and their farm to heal and regenerate

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There’s a successful shared-farming arrangement playing out in Lismore, NSW that was born out of a pretty extreme set of circumstances. But it proves that if we can shed the societal expectation that all exchanges around gain need to be financial, the benefits can be life-changing.

In the northern rivers of New South Wales lies a thriving certified-organic 16-acre farm. On it Mark Bayley is continuing the work he and long-time partner Sara Tindley started almost 10 years ago when they acquired an old macadamia orchard in search of new beginnings.

With a shared commitment to regenerate and heal the land, the couple cleared the majority of the ageing 1200 nut trees to make way for native and endemic plants, earmarked and began work on rainforest regeneration areas, planted over 300 new fruit trees and moved a house from Lismore onto the property to make the place their home. Mark and Sara then turned their attentions to market gardening on a one- acre plot, and launched Singing Farmer Organics which they built and grew into viable and rewarding venture.

RADICAL REST – Follow nature’s lead and allow yourself to slow, rest and recharge

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Like nature all around us, we’ve had a busy autumn. We have been frantically storing autumn’s bounty, socialising in the warm weather and ticking off to-do lists. We are ready to curl up in a warm spot and hibernate. But how do we surrender to rest, when it feels like there’s so much to do?

While our work has the incredible potential to be fulfilling and take us where our heart leads, it can sometimes become overwhelming and feel like there’s too much to do right now. Rest can slip right down to the end of the priority list, so it’s important to keep tabs on what working sustainably looks like for you.

We work in a world that celebrates toxic productivity, and we’re made to feel like resting is lazy and that we have to complete a heroic amount of work to deserve it. But we don’t. Rest is a right, not a reward.

LIVING PANTRY – Designing an edible ecosystem in your backyard

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More than just an edible garden, designing a functional living pantry is to create a thriving ecosystem that nourishes itself and all those who visit it.

A living pantry is place of repose, a feast for the senses, a celebration of diversity that not only sustains people, but provides food, water and habitat for an abundance of other species. A garden that is beautiful, practical and productive.

It is a place where you can forage and it is the garden that dictates what’s on the menu. A garden for picking flowers, connecting with nature and drawing food from. Edible perennials, herbs and vegetables grow amongst grasses, flowering shrubs, indigenous plants and annual flowers; a garden that is biologically diverse.

AMANDA JANE REYNOLDS – Indigenous artist, storyteller, possum-skin cloak maker and sharer of knowledge

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Amanda Jane Reynolds is a Guringai Yuin woman. She’s an artist, storyteller, possum skin cloak maker, curator and a sharer of knowledge.

Amanda lives on Yuin Country at Burrill Lake on the New South Wales south coast. She regularly travels to Sydney to maintain her cultural connections to Country and community. Her role as a traditional cloak maker began in her late 20s.

‘I had met and was inspired by some women in Victoria who were tasked by the Old People with bringing possum- skin cloaks back into daily life in our communities.’ She worked for many years doing the support role; curating, storytelling, organising and helping support the vision of these women before she felt like she had earned her place to make them herself.

COSY AND WARM- Easy Fingerless Gloves Pattern

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Wave goodbye to cold hands this winter with these easy-to-knit fingerless gloves.

As we head into the cooler months, do you have memories of your hands being too cold to do a fiddly job, or even so cold that they ache? These fingerless gloves will keep your hands warm and snug while leaving your fingers free to do what they need to do. They’re small enough to keep in a pocket and versatile enough to be useful around the home and outdoors.

If you’re new to knitting, this a great project to start on. The gloves are knitted flat, the pattern is straightforward and the number of stitches doesn’t change. After a night or two with your wool and needles, or on a rainy weekend, you’ll find these gloves will take shape in no time.

NOTICEBOARD

HERITAGE HARVEST

The Heritage Harvest weekend at Sovereign Hill is celebrating the abundance of autumn in an immersive two-day event looking at both food-growing and preserving practices brought to Australia from around the world. The 25–26 May event forms the culmination of the 10-day Ballarat Heritage Festival, which kicks off on 17 May, to commemorate the Victorian town’s rich cultural history.

FUNGI FEASTIVAL

The 2024 Fungi Feastival will run for four weeks between 21 June and 21 July with activities spanning 200km between Eden and Batemans Bay on the New South Wales South Coast – including a course at Pip HQ! From cooking classes, scientific seminars and growing workshops through to truffle hunts, fruiting-room tours and garden-building demonstrations, the full schedule can be found on the event’s website at www.fungifeastival.com.au.

PIP PICKS

QToys
WOODEN MICROSCOPE

This timber microscope allows curious minds an introduction to the world of microscopy. Measuring 27 cm wide and approximately 17 cm in both height and depth, the lightweight design means it can be used on a table or balanced on a lap. It also features an adjustable-height base plate to let kids achieve optimal focus on their subject.

$53.90 www.qtoys.com.au

INTERNATIONAL PROJECTS

If every council supported community-led urban agriculture, what would our cities look like? In Victoria, Canada, the council is getting behind urban food growing because it realises the benefits to the community: promoting health, wellbeing, social interaction and environmental education, as well as increasing food security through the diversification of ecosystems.

The council supports things like urban gardening courses, micro-food forest programs and transformation of grass areas to edible gardens and habitats, as well as the building of rooftop greenhouses. There are no restrictions on beekeeping and urban gardeners can keep up to 15 chickens. The city also helps to make under-utilised lots available for temporary gardens, weaving in edible and pollinator gardening as well as community gathering places into council-managed landscapes. It also offers grants to make this all possible.