Kirsten

How to plant a tree, Milkwood style

Postedby on in Milkwood
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Planting a tree is a simple act. But, as we’ve learned on a site that’s sometimes less-than-welcoming to tree establishment, there’s ways, and there’s ways that work. Last week, with our Permaculture Design Course students, we planted oak trees. And for this site, there needs to be a little more involved than poking holes in the ground and inserting acorns into them…  How to plant a tree, Milkwood style - Dig a hole twice as deep and wide as the pot of the seedling you’re planting. This creates a loose soil zone around the root ball for easy growth and good water holding ability - sprinkle a small handful of gypsum in the hole. Gypsum starts breaking up the clay around the edge of the planting hole to help new roots penetrate outwards - Mix up spadeful of compost with the soil you’ve removed from the hole, at a ratio of about 1:5....
gregf
Monday morning peak group shot Murundaka web
It’s a tale of two commutes. At 7:30am on Monday March 31, Banyule City Councillors Tom Melican and Craig Langdon stood outside an apartment complex at 42 Bamfield Road, Heidelberg Heights, about to join the rush of workers heading into the city. They couldn’t have looked more different. Cr. Melican wore a bright red T-shirt and black lycra bike shorts, the colourful garb of a serious cyclist. Mayor Langdon was dressed in slacks, shirt and tie, appropriate attire for driving into the city. Posing at the start of the race, 42 Bamfield Road (not all participants pictured). The councillors were part of a group of locals who had organised a “race” to Journal Café on Flinders Lane in the CBD. The aim was to compare different modes of travel in peak hour, including bikes, electric bikes, various combinations of public transport, and cars. In total, 20 people took part in...
Imarni
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More pictures, some from the from the garden displays, some from the stalls and others from the indoor display in the actual Exhibition buildings, we didn't spend too long indoors, as beautiful as flower arranging is it isn't something I can acheive easily so doesn't interest me quiet as much.  But I did appreciate the beauty of the flowers.Outside Tesselaars. Yes I did buy some bulbs....I love this colour.Not so sure if these were scented didn't think I should check!Pretty Gerbera's.I think I like Tulips even better when they are slightly open showing their little black insides.Dahlia's at the base.These Orchids took me back 32 years old when I was a child flying on Thai Airlines.I swear this one has a face and is smiling at me! Can you see it?So much vibrancy!Original link...
Kirsten
milkwood shiitakes vitD1
As if growing your own mushrooms wasn’t excellent enough, there’s also a way you can further increase their Vitamin D content… simply by putting them in sunlight. And not increase that Vitamin D by a little bit, either. We’re talking a bigtime boost in nutrition here.This technique applies at least to shiitake mushrooms (our favourite) and button mushrooms, but may also apply to other types of mushrooms too. But shiitakes and button (field) mushrooms are the ones that have been most studied on this front, so let’s go with what we know. We first heard about this technique via the fabulous Paul Stamets of Fungi Perfecti. And to us, it just goes to show yet another level of amazing that the world of mushrooms has up it’s sleeve (or gills, I suppose). So – the summary is this: When exposed to sunlight for two days, shiitake and button mushrooms...
Imarni
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Yesterday I went to the Melbourne garden show with my eldest son and a friend, we caught the train and were all (bar the teen) first time novices at using the MYKI train system.  Now I know I can do it I think I will be off to Melbourne more often!  I dislike driving so the train is bliss! Although not so much the metro train, but the trip from Ballarat is awesome. Nice scenery and not too long.  I will do this in 2 parts so firstly we have the garden displays.Bit of a native feel here, this wasn't my favorite although I guess it's do-able at home.Same garden, I do like the pond though.This I liked, the sound of the water early on in the show was relaxing, later on too many people to hear it!I would like one of these, very pricey though the rustic bowls...we also...
Kirsten

Bean Tipi: the harvest

Postedby on in Milkwood
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It’s a cubby house, but also bee forage, a shade structure for tender herbs, a plentiful source of dinner beans, and seed saving stock, too. Hooray for the Bean Tipi! And I don’t think our summer garden will ever be without one, from this year onward. They’re far too much fun.To think that only 3 months ago this bean tipi was but a hopeful stick construction… The beans we planted were blue lake (which look like normal green beans, to me) and scarlet runners (the ones with red  and black seeds).  The ones at the top that are well out of reach are the self-selecting seed to be saved, I’ve decided. But all the ones within arms length are dinner. And breakfast, and lunch. It’s amazing how versatile the green bean can be, really. With sardines at breakfast, salad at lunch, added to everything and also eaten raw. Yum. This bean tipi has...
Kirsten
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Hey great news – Australia has it’s very own, brand-spanking new Permaculture Magazine. It’s called Pip, and we love it. Pip is going to come out twice a year (to begin with) and offer a stack of info as well as glimpses into fabulous permaculture gardens, projects, people and more…As well as being a lovely read (on 100% post-consumer recycled paper, of course), Pip also has the potential to be a powerful and central point of independent news, innovation and resources for the Australian permaculture community. Well worth supporting then, wouldn’t you say? At the moment, the easiest way to get your hands on a copy of Pip is to Subscribe online. However Pip are also looking for outlets all over Australia, so if you know somewhere that should stock the funkiest new little mag in town, hassle them till they get it in. Thanks. Oh and also, the word on...
scarecrow

Autumn Equinox

Postedby on in Scarecrow's Garden
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The new seedlings that have been planted out are thriving in the warm autumn soil and with the hope of rain soon they should put on good growth before the frosts of winter hit. Old metal stool frames provide temporary support for the Vege Netting until I have time to put more Hoops over the beds. Friday morning was the Autumn Equinox so we are all systems go for winter. Summer was very long and hot I have to wonder what sort of winter we are heading into. Seeds Sown: 18th to 21st March: seeds of root crops and perennialsLotus Sunrise Lotus pedunculatus Green HarvestLovage Levisticum officinale Cornucopia SeedsLucerne Sequel Medicago sativa Green HarvestOnion Cipollini Red Allium cepa from Greenpatch Organic SeedsOnion Cipollini Yellow Allium cepa from Greenpatch Organic SeedsRadish French Breakfast Raphanus sativus DT BrownRadish Long Scarlet Raphanus sativus DT BrownRadish Mila Raphanus sativus Country ValuePotting On: Seedlings:Alyssum Carpet...
Imarni

The Harvest Festival.

Postedby on in A Sustainable Journey
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On the weekend the eldest and youngest child and myself visited the harvest festival at the local community gardens, there was a fair across the road selling excellent second hand books, I got a great slices book for school lunches and also 6 novels for the kids, a bargain at $2 per book.Then over to the market where after a 5 minutes of looking around a professional photographer came up and asked if we minded being used in a photo shoot for the sustainability departments photo library. Of course we didn't! Eldest quickly warmed to the idea of being a model and youngest strutted his stuff with no problem at all, I cannot wait to see the final pictures!  I was used for a few pictures but quickly disgarded my modelling looks are long gone, the kids made fantastic models and as the photographer set them up I quickly took...
Kirsten

Fermentation Workshop: 26 Oct: Sydney

Postedby on in Milkwood
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Title: Fermentation Workshop: 26 Oct: SydneyVenue: Studio Neon / SydneyCategory: Fermentation WorkshopDate: Oct 26 2014 - Oct 26 2014Time: 10:00am - 4:00pm Description: Join us for a delicious day of hands-on fermenting - you'll learn how to make everything from krauts to kombucha and kefir too, and we'll send you off with everything you need to get fermenting at home. Take one look around your kitchen and you’ll find pre-fermented foods in nearly every cupboard. Pickles, sourdough, cheese, yoghurt, kimchi, sour cream, miso as well as beer and wine. Have you ever thought of making these from scratch but have no idea where to start? Well, wonder no more! We invite you to join us for a hands-on day of skilling up in all things fermented, taught by friendly experts to ensure your future fermenting success. In this workshop you will learn all about: - Sauerkraut- Brine ferments- Dill Pickles- Milk...
Kirsten

Fermentation Workshop: 31 Aug: Sydney

Postedby on in Milkwood
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Title: Fermentation Workshop: 31 Aug: SydneyVenue: Studio Neon / SydneyCategory: Fermentation WorkshopDate: Aug 31 2014 - Aug 31 2014Time: 10:00am - 4:00pm Description: Join us for a delicious day of hands-on fermenting - you'll learn how to make everything from krauts to kombucha and kefir too, and we'll send you off with everything you need to get fermenting at home. Take one look around your kitchen and you’ll find pre-fermented foods in nearly every cupboard. Pickles, sourdough, cheese, yoghurt, kimchi, sour cream, miso as well as beer and wine. Have you ever thought of making these from scratch but have no idea where to start? Well, wonder no more! We invite you to join us for a hands-on day of skilling up in all things fermented, taught by friendly experts to ensure your future fermenting success. In this workshop you will learn all about: - Sauerkraut- Brine ferments- Dill Pickles- Milk...
Kirsten

Fermentation Workshop: 29 Jun: Sydney

Postedby on in Milkwood
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Title: Fermentation Workshop: 29 Jun: SydneyVenue: Studio Neon / SydneyCategory: Fermentation WorkshopDate: Jun 29 2014 - Jun 29 2014Time: 10:00am - 4:00pm Description: Join us for a delicious day of hands-on fermenting - you'll learn how to make everything from krauts to kombucha and kefir too, and we'll send you off with everything you need to get fermenting at home. Take one look around your kitchen and you’ll find pre-fermented foods in nearly every cupboard. Pickles, sourdough, cheese, yoghurt, kimchi, sour cream, miso as well as beer and wine. Have you ever thought of making these from scratch but have no idea where to start? Well, wonder no more! We invite you to join us for a hands-on day of skilling up in all things fermented, taught by friendly experts to ensure your future fermenting success. In this workshop you will learn all about: - Sauerkraut- Brine ferments- Dill Pickles- Milk...
Kirsten
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Young country wine is a simple ferment composed of fruit, sugar, water, air and time. With the help of the naturally occurring yeasts on the skins of the fruits, these simple ingredients can be transformed into a delicious good-time brew…As with all wild fermentation, you can make this brew a number of ways, and produce a number of results. Get creative and enjoy the many possible flavours. This recipe is a bit like the wine equivalent of sourdough You’re not introducing any additional yeasts to do the work – instead you’re working with the wild yeasts in the air, and on the skin of your fruit. On some fruit, like some plums or muscatel grapes, you can actually see the ‘bloom’ which is the naturally occurring yeasts that the fruit produces to out-compete other microorganisms which might want to grow there. But other fruits have these natural yeasts on them too,...
Imarni
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I have been a bit slack of late with my cooking with class cooking!  So I have made these over the past few weeks, all very nice although I didn't have a "terrine" for the Zucchini Meatloaf or in fact even know what one was so I used a square ceramic dish and then it all fell apart when I dishes up because I was a little over zealous with the Zucchini I added - kids loved it though!Thai sausage rollsVery tasty, these went fast and I forgot to photo on the night so had to use next days left over rolls to picture.Choc drop oat cookies - second attempt the first lot I put too close together and it was all one big mess, best cookies ever - kids loved these.Yes it looks a bit like a dogs dinner - I didn't enjoy the taste so much, but I was...
Kirsten
CropFest Facebook
Cropfest is all about celebrating the three legged carrot, the eggplant with a nose and all those perfectly good veggies which don’t make it to market because they don’t ‘look right’. It’s going to be a big evening of hands-on cooking classes, live music and making merry, right in the heart of Sydney… Did you know that 20 – 40% of our vegetables get discarded before they get to market due to imperfect appearance? This does an injustice to both our farmers and to our environment, as it affects how much needs to be produced, and what farmers get paid, and the associated environmental impacts of both. Youth Food Movement Australia have created this event to shine a light on the fact, and to celebrate the wonky vegetable in force. As said, there’s all sorts of live and hands-on stuff happening, music, cooking classes, and food by some of our...
Kirsten

Home-grown Shiitake Logs: harvest time

Postedby on in Milkwood
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Growing shiitakes on logs is a great idea for any backyard or small farm food system. Partly because after the burst of work needed at the start, you don’t need to think about them for a fair while, until they’re ready. Then there’s the main reason that shiitake logs are a great idea. Because eventually, one rainy day, you get shiitakes. Oh so good… We keep our shiitake logs in our shade house, where we propogate our perennial seedlings and cuttings. This is the only part of our farm that gets misted with water on a daily basis – a necessary thing, in a dry climate like ours. Henceforth, underneath the benches holding pots containing everything from young oaks to arrowroot, is primo shiitake log territory: great airflow shady regularly humidified via the daily misting of the plants above We inoculated these logs with shiitake plug and sawdust spawn and...
Kirsten
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Title: Gourmet Mushroom Cultivation: Sept 2013: SydneyVenue: Alexandria Park Community Centre / SydneyCategory: Gourmet Mushroom CultivationDate: Sep 27 2014 - Sep 28 2014Time: 9:00am - 5:00pm Description: Join us for two jam-packed days of hands-on skills in edible mushroom propagation. Learn how to grow delicious oyster, shiitake and many other mushrooms at home, organically! This practical workshop will take you through the details of home mushroom propagation and introduce you to the fascinating world of fungi. You'll also receive a host of take-home mushroom resources to get you growing.Our approach is designed to ensure a sustainable mushroom supply for your home. We use minimal intervention with our mushroom propagation and focuses on creating resilient strains of mycelium which can better handle natural environments, rather than the climate-controlled approach of conventional large-scale mushroom propagation. By the end of this course you will have the skills to take any suitable store-bought or foraged...
Imarni

The end of my beautiful gum.

Postedby on in A Sustainable Journey
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Over the weekend hubby took on the challenge of chopping down a 30 metre tree.  It was hard work and he hired a cherry picker to cut the branches, it broke my heart to cut it but the base was 80% rotten and the larger branches were occasionally falling.The house is two story so you can imagine the height and it's the tree at the rear.He has started the pruning but this was the view from my bedroom window.  I had Magpie neighbours, their lovely chortle would wake me each day.The cherry picker and hubby swaying about.About half down.Now we have to mulch the lot! Still more tree to come down, we ran out of time and the rest shall be done this weekend, I have plans for a dry creek garden bed plan for the mulch, very excited!Amazingly it all missed crushing eldest child's Fucshias, sadly int he first...
ideasman
Principle 9: Use small and slow solutionsI was very excited to hear that Sandor Katz was coming to Melbourne, and bought tickets to hear him talk as soon as I heard about it, months in advance. For those of you that don't know, Sandor is a fermentation revivalist who loves bacteria - and is a long term AIDS survivor. You might notice a similarity with the facial hair... yes, I was influenced by Sandor, along with the stories of Charles Dickens. The Dicken's era, mid 1800s - is a fascinating contrast to our times. I love seeing BBC videos of the stories and how people lived without abundant fossil fuel energy.Sandor Katz with Richard Telford (2014). Photo: Adam GrubbA little story about how my interest in fermenting came to beInitially, it came from making home-brew beer in the late 80's, mainly because it was cheap. I soon came to realise that,...
Kirsten
Agrarian Kitchen12
What a gorgeous place this is – bursting with organically grown food, fruit, herbs and animals, and boasting the prettiest cooking school we ever did see. Just when I thought Tasmania couldn’t get any better… The Agrarian Kitchen was established by Rodney Dunn and Severine Demanet about 7 years ago, as a destination cooking school where folks would come to immerse themselves in gorgeous ingredients and skills. The activity is centered around the old New Norfolk schoolhouse, which includes a teaching kitchen and dining room, as well as housing Rodney and Severine’s family of two little ones. The schoolhouse is surrounded by a productive and extensive kitchen garden, growing everything from millet to loganberries, as well as a polytunnel for season extension, orchards and pasture. They’re done it all rather well. This place is exquisite. I managed to sneak a peek when I dropped in with Sandor Katz in tow a...

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