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. [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]