Recent blog posts
Kirsten

How to plant a tree, Milkwood style

Postedby on in Milkwood
1403 pdc treeplant01
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....
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...
Kirsten

Bean Tipi: the harvest

Postedby on in Milkwood
140328 bean tipi harvest01
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
140326 pip mag1
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
image
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...
Kirsten

Fermentation Workshop: 26 Oct: Sydney

Postedby on in Milkwood
fw 1
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
fw 1
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
fw 1
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
milkwood young country wine1
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,...
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
140321 shiitake harvest01
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
mcw 1
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...
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...
scarecrow

Pea Pre-sprouts

Postedby on in Scarecrow's Garden
image
Well so far so good with the pre-sprouted Peas...they were placed on a moist paper towel, wrapped up and put into a ziplock bag (not sealed) and left inside. I had to leave them over the weekend so the shoots were slightly longer than I would have liked. I made sure the soil was wet before planting them out and kept them cool under some shadecloth so here's hoping they grow! Seeds Sown:Mar 12:Broad Beans Coles Early Dwarf Vicia faba from DT Brown Broad Beans Scarlet Cambridge Vicia faba  from Home Saved SeedsSown into loo roll holdersClimbing Snow Peas Mammoth Melting Pisum sativum from Mr Fothergill's that were pre-spouted before planting out into Bed 7Planting Out:Cauliflower 60 DaysCauliflower Violet Sicilianinto Bed 10Perpetual Spinach into Bed 7The next lot of propagation will be Seeds of Root crops  which can be sown from the 18th until the 21st of March. When I shall ...
Kirsten
tomatas
Title: Intro to Organic Market Gardening: Sept 2014: SydneyVenue: Dural / DuralCategory: Organic Market GardeningDate: Sep 11 2014 - Sep 13 2014Time: 9:00am - 5:00pm Description: Learn how to start a market garden from scratch, and take bare ground to thriving, intensive vegetable production in one season. This course is for those who want to establish a viable, small-scale organic growing enterprise. Australia needs more growers who are committed to the ethics of organic growing, and who want to provide their communities with clean local food for a fair price. This three day intensive covers everything from soil health to finding markets for your produce - it's a nuts-and-bolts course filled with solid knowledge and techniques for future growers. You will also leave this course with a swag of resources for your future growing enterprise, and you'll be ready to take action to make your future as a grower happen. You...
Kirsten
teachers
We are excited to announce that David Holmgren, co-originator of Permaculture, will be joining Nick as a special guest teacher on our Winter Permaculture Design Certificate course happening this July in Sydney. Here’s why we think this is such a big deal: David Holmgren, Nick and David Jacke inspecting the Holmgren’s food forest We’ve been lucky enough to have David teach on a few of our Permaculture Design Courses now, and it’s always a very special thing to learn and interact with such a world-class thinker and teacher. One of the things we most respect and admire about David is that he truly walks the walk on resilience and being the change his community needs. Along with his partner Su Dennet, David lives in a beautiful, extremely low impact suburban homestead on the edge of Hepburn Springs, Victoria. David designed this permaculture property (and the house) to provide a resilient,...
Kirsten

Intro to Permaculture: Oct 2014: Sydney

Postedby on in Milkwood
itp
Title: Intro to Permaculture: Oct 2014: SydneyVenue: Alexandria/Redfern area / SydneyCategory: Introduction to PermacultureDate: Oct 11 2014 - Oct 12 2014Time: 9:00am - 5:00pm Description: Join us for 2 days of permaculture design theory and action. You will leave this course with a solid grounding of how you can apply permaculture principles in your home, garden, apartment or farm. You'll also be in an informed position to further your journey into permaculture design.  This course will give you a comprehensive overview of how to apply pro-active, sustainable design techniques to your immediate environment - whether you live in a small apartment, a quarter-acre block, or a rural property.In a rapidly changing world, we are all looking for solutions that can aid our community's stability. We're talking systems for living, architecture, food production, land management and community: Effective ways of growing healthy, organic food in urban environments Regenerative farming that can both feed a...
Kirsten

Intro to Permaculture: Aug 2014: Sydney

Postedby on in Milkwood
itp
Title: Intro to Permaculture: Aug 2014: SydneyVenue: Alexandria/Redfern area / SydneyCategory: Introduction to PermacultureDate: Aug 16 2014 - Aug 17 2014Time: 9:00am - 5:00pm Description: Join us for 2 days of permaculture design theory and action. You will leave this course with a solid grounding of how you can apply permaculture principles in your home, garden, apartment or farm. You'll also be in an informed position to further your journey into permaculture design.  This course will give you a comprehensive overview of how to apply pro-active, sustainable design techniques to your immediate environment - whether you live in a small apartment, a quarter-acre block, or a rural property.In a rapidly changing world, we are all looking for solutions that can aid our community's stability. We're talking systems for living, architecture, food production, land management and community: Effective ways of growing healthy, organic food in urban environments Regenerative farming that can both feed a...
Kirsten

Natural Beekeeping: Oct 2014: Sydney

Postedby on in Milkwood
nbk 1
Title: Natural Beekeeping: Oct 2014: SydneyVenue: Alexandria/Redfern area / SydneyCategory: Natural BeekeepingDate: Oct 18 2014 - Oct 19 2014Time: 9:00am - 5:00pm Description: Join Tim Malfroy of Malfroy's Gold as he leads you through the basics of bee-friendly, natural, organic, small-scale beekeeping. You will leave this course with a competent knowledge of the fundamentals of natural beekeeping, and be ready to take the plunge and keep your own bees, Warré style!The course will focus on a style of apiculture that is exclusively designed for the small-scale beekeeper.Warré beekeeping is a bee-friendly method that aims to care for the bees, allow them to control their own environment, and is a gentler approach than conventional beekeeping, resulting in healthy contented bees, and superb raw honey. This course is a series of presentations that draw a wide perspective on the evolution of flowering plants and honeybees, and the long and rich tradition of apiculture....
Kirsten

Natural Beekeeping: Sept 2014: Sydney

Postedby on in Milkwood
nbk 1
Title: Natural Beekeeping: Sept 2014: SydneyVenue: Alexandria/Redfern area / SydneyCategory: Natural BeekeepingDate: Sep 20 2014 - Sep 21 2014Time: 9:00am - 5:00pm Description: Join Tim Malfroy of Malfroy's Gold as he leads you through the basics of bee-friendly, natural, organic, small-scale beekeeping. You will leave this course with a competent knowledge of the fundamentals of natural beekeeping, and be ready to take the plunge and keep your own bees, Warré style!The course will focus on a style of apiculture that is exclusively designed for the small-scale beekeeper.Warré beekeeping is a bee-friendly method that aims to care for the bees, allow them to control their own environment, and is a gentler approach than conventional beekeeping, resulting in healthy contented bees, and superb raw honey. This course is a series of presentations that draw a wide perspective on the evolution of flowering plants and honeybees, and the long and rich tradition of apiculture....

pcp_button

GrowVegAffiliateAdvert120x60