Ticks. Dead. On contact.

Ticks used to start coming out of winter dormancy in October/November at the farm. Now this year, I saw them crawl on us and our furry animals by the end of August!!! It must be warmer, no doubt. I normally douse my clothes, shoes and hat in heavy duty insect repellent every time I go … Continue reading Ticks. Dead. On contact.

Dry Summer aftermath

I am walking our micro market garden aisles, checking the organic/biodynamic goodies that I will place on our stall table at the upcoming inaugural Yarramalong Market, and I reflect on how challenging it is to grow food… and yet, how seemingly trivial it is when, as a consumer, we pick perfect looking veggies at the … Continue reading Dry Summer aftermath

Easy seed raising mix

I make my own seed raising mix, mostly as I hate carting heavy bags of ready-made stuff, I love making my own, it’s cheaper, and, last but not least, I know what’s in it. I stock up on blocks of premium grade coconut coir (also called coconut peat) ahead of the seed raising season. They … Continue reading Easy seed raising mix

Folding 2017 – boundless gratefulness

Another year draws to an end and we take account at the farm of what went well, what failed and what could have been done differently. Our gardens have been pumping amazingly pretty and healthy crops from biodynamic-enriched soils. Now in the ground are all your Summer goodies: zucchinis, capsicum, tomatoes, chillies, eggplants, basil and … Continue reading Folding 2017 – boundless gratefulness

Permaculture community grows

We’ve only just released into the wild a bunch of extremely talented permaculture graduates, all super keen and skilled to restore our landscapes and community. There is a staggering and growing number of folks who want to be real actors of change in their corner of the World. They want to collect water, reduce waste, … Continue reading Permaculture community grows

Magnesium and Calcium: keystone elements for plant health

Australian soils are notoriously deficient in calcium and magnesium. A simple soil test carried out by a soil testing lab will confirm if your soils are indeed inadequately balanced. I personally think it is worth the expense (somewhere between $50-$200 per test) if you’re serious about gardening ornamentals or edible plants, or growing healthy pasture. … Continue reading Magnesium and Calcium: keystone elements for plant health

Proud to be a peasant

We opened our farm gate in May for International Permaculture Day and we did it again in June, this time as part of the inaugural Central Coast Harvest Festival. From 9am to noon, our farm gate opened for visitors to tour our gardens and have a feel for what permaculture gardening, farming and living look … Continue reading Proud to be a peasant

Autumn Bounty

Our gardens are pumping with the cooler temperatures and this much-needed rain. We’ve only lost a few crops to the sudden season change, mostly zucchinis and we’re now planting salad greens, celery, leek, cabbages, garlic and many more Winter goodies. I love Autumn! Basil has been coming out of our ears this summer and it … Continue reading Autumn Bounty

Farm animals and heat waves

Chooks, ducks, rabbits and dogs (and certainly others) don't sweat to cool their body temperature... they pant. When they don't succeed at cooling down, well, they die of heat exhaustion. It's very quick and mostly irreversible. We love all our critters here and we care for them. None of our animals are confined in temperature-controlled … Continue reading Farm animals and heat waves

Keeping the soil food web alive

It took me six years of gardening to come to the conclusion that my garden watering schedule was detrimental to my soils. I saw "watering" the garden as a mean to "provide moisture to the plants". I forgot that the soil micro organisms need a drink too." A large number of the plants survived on … Continue reading Keeping the soil food web alive

Perennial leeks for the subtropical garden

From twelve little ‘leeklets’ planted two years ago, I now grow our year-worth supply of leek for our family. Unlike annual leek that are slow growing, grown from seeds and intolerant of subtropical heat, perennial leek grows a bit smaller and thinner, with more green than white part, and they remain unfazed by our summer … Continue reading Perennial leeks for the subtropical garden

Insect hotel for habitat and resilience

We recently hosted a small party of permaculture aficionados who came to spend a few hours with us here, share a meal, tools, skills, conversations, friendship and fun... Kids played together, hammering nails into wood and going to and fro the sand pit, patting baby chicken and rabbits along the way, brushing against the plants … Continue reading Insect hotel for habitat and resilience