Making laundry soap to reduce waste

We have been very lucky here to host Isa from Brazil who taught us and our PDC students how to make basic laundry-type soap from used cooking oil. Used oil (cooking oil) is not easily disposable. You can compost it with lots of wood chips. I suppose you can give it to your chooks in … Continue reading Making laundry soap to reduce waste

Enriching our resilience

Here is a collection of pictures from our part-time PDC. Every day we start with a practicum session – we get our hands dirty, we energize our body and ground ourselves with skills that enrich our resilience and perpetuate traditional life skills. Last week, we were blessed to be able to visit Jacky, Gary and … Continue reading Enriching our resilience

PDC Jilliby 2016

We kick-started our part-time PDC last week, hugging close to our outdoor stove and wrapped in blankets (the sun was a tad shy!). Right here on our farm, there is a large multi-purpose carport that, in true permaculture spirit, fulfills many functions. And one of them is to host our class.   There are also … Continue reading PDC Jilliby 2016

A market to grow farmers

We’re away on a trip overseas and in the small town where we are there is a farmers’ market twice a week. Yes, twice a week! Locals come and get their fresh produce, have a chat with the farmer and other patrons of the market, they meet friends or make new ones. I find this … Continue reading A market to grow farmers

We think, therefore we eat

A major ingredient in simple living is mindfulness... this means to pay attention, to engage our mind, to be aware, switched-on, to think and deduce. It also means to make informed choices, and sometimes to accept some compromises. When it comes to eating, we’ve now come to doing it robotically, without thinking. We blindly believe … Continue reading We think, therefore we eat

Hibernation – a necessary ‘people care’ period and a system-design appraisal

What happens to our pastured chickens when we're stuck in bed with the flu, there's a phenomenal rain storm outside and their shelter is flooding..? We enter into our fourth Winter here at Valley's End and our family will soon slide into Hibernation Mode, time during which we go quiet, we introspect, we reflect, we … Continue reading Hibernation – a necessary ‘people care’ period and a system-design appraisal

Chicken feet in Permaculture

Permaculture teaches us that there is no such thing as waste. In our attempt at living more simply, more ethically, and more sustainably, we’ve been raising several batches of Sussex chickens, a heritage dual-purpose breed good for eggs and meat (and aesthetics too… those chooks are stunning in the lush green background of our paddocks!) … Continue reading Chicken feet in Permaculture

Settling into Autumn

Here is a collection of pictures taken today... See you at one of our courses to learn more about permaculture design, forest gardening or simply to hang out in our beautiful little valley! Part-time Permaculture Course held on our farm in Jilliby (NSW Central Coast) – 6 August to 12 November 2016 Residential Permaculture Course … Continue reading Settling into Autumn

Enrolling now

We’re now accepting registrations for our annual part-time Permaculture Design Course (PDC). This course is part-time, meaning it takes place every Saturday (except during school holidays) from 9am to 5pm, starting Saturday 6 August 2016, ending Saturday 12 November 2016. The course will take place on our farm (Jilliby – Central Coast, Australia). It is … Continue reading Enrolling now

Double digging for bio-intensive garden

Composts, animal manure, green manure, cover crops, no dig gardening… there is a plethora of options when it comes to raising, naturally, the fertility of our soils. The year we established our veggie patch we did no-dig gardening, the second year we did trench and leap-frog composting, last year we did crop rotation… This year … Continue reading Double digging for bio-intensive garden

‘Drone’ view of our food forest

I love climbing… trees, rock faces, boulders. Sadly, the responsible mother that I have become now keeps all climbing gear well away, stored in a plastic box in the shed! Well, except today! I went up a tree, took a drone-view of our work in the veggie patch and the food forest, and then... well, … Continue reading ‘Drone’ view of our food forest

To print or not to print?

Ever since I started teaching in 2010, I have been agonizing over making or not promotional flyers for my courses. There are always many tricky hurdles to go through and many dilemmas… Do I really need to print flyers? How will I design them? How many flyers do I need? 50? 100? 500? more? My … Continue reading To print or not to print?

Recruiting new intern

Bushfire season will be closing soon and with this we can resume our intake of interns/wwoofers. Last year, Kelvin stayed with us for eight months, weaving his presence into our daily family patterns, becoming one of us, learning, teaching, providing us relief and support, sharing stories, humour, silences, recipes and wisdom… We did so much … Continue reading Recruiting new intern