Rewilding… for our own sake

Heatwaves this Summer came and went. Mercury reached well over 40°C on several occasion. I know there will be more of them in the future as our climate progresses to unpredictable instability. Meanwhile, we buy another aircon, we sip slushies and we tweet about how hot it is. Who are we kidding? As we put … Continue reading Rewilding… for our own sake

Ancient technique to save your Summer garden

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

Mid-winter harvest (and how a permaculture garden survives six weeks of neglect)

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)

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

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

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

Hydrophobic soil

There’s a spot in the garden that doesn’t hold moisture, no matter how much I water it in. In fact water seems to literally run off its surface or pool on top. This would normally not worry me sleepless if that wasn't for loosing crops to desiccation, starvation or disease, or for wasting energy to … Continue reading Hydrophobic soil

Free plant tonic that you can grow

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

Are you new to simple living?

This column is about our story and how to live a simple life. The word simple should not be heard as basic, restrictive or boring. Simple living doesn't mean you have to give up your smart phone, dress in rags and become macrobiotic.It doesn't mean either 'doing everything yourself' from soap to bread. None of … Continue reading Are you new to simple living?