Summer can be a deal-breaker when it comes to growing moisture loving seedlings and plants. Unless you have a reticulated drip-irrigation system –which I don’t have, you need to water the veggies quite often to expect a decent harvest. Often that means those fragile seedlings get damping off problems or mildew when you sprinkle water … Continue reading Ancient technique to save your Summer garden
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
We come from families of farmers and gardeners and they are, like everybody else, growing old. They’ve always managed their gardens the same, traditional, way ; carting in wheelbarrow-full of composts and manures to enrich the soil, ploughing with a rotary hoe, planting densely, weeding by hand, etc. The older they're getting, the lesser the … Continue reading Design from patterns to details
We're back from a long trip and I come home to a garden that is pumping food (and some weeds too!). During that time we've been away, I believe the garden survived on its own, fed by the diverse organic matter and soil biota which I have lovingly helped establish and by the occasional rain. … Continue reading Mid-winter harvest (and how a permaculture garden survives six weeks of neglect)
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
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
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
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?
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
Permaculture teaches us to integrate rather than segregate... this articles describes how we, at Valley's End, have integrated previously-acquired management skills and tools into our permaculture context.
Last post I wrote that design isn’t drawing. I’d like now to go into further details on this topic. We’ve all seen pretty permaculture designs on the web (although only the nice ones get published!) and it is true that a majority of permaculture graduates follow that pathway of drawing up a design which they … Continue reading Fostering your innate abilities
Designing in permaculture is all about ‘observe and interact’, and it takes a funnel approach. First we observe what is outside the perimeter of our property boundary – these are the broad patterns of climate, sun patterns, regional winds, landform, structures, dangers, etc. Then, we zoom into our property and observe its microclimate, soil types, … Continue reading Designing in permaculture
Comfrey is the plant every garden should have. I dug out a clump a few weeks ago, and the root snapped. Still, I had in my hands a 56cm long taproot! Now all of you gardeners should go “whoa!” for you know that the deeper travel the roots, the more drought-resistant the plant is. It … Continue reading Free plant tonic that you can grow
After two years of careful observation, note taking and lengthy consideration, of weighting pros versus cons, input versus output and budget versus dreams, here we are with 28 trees to plant in our fruit forest. The photo doesn't do it justice - there are indeed 28 trees there. We bought them small for they stand … Continue reading Planting for resiliency