Growing food

Backyard permaculture – pre-design thinking

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Now that I’m half way through my Permaculture Design Certificate (PDC) theory, I’m about to take a really good crack at some intentional design in terms of applying permaculture principles in an average sized garden. Below,  is the layout of the productive backyard that we now have after five-six years of ad-hoc design with permaculture principles in mind, […]

Growing food

Upfront-worthy veg

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We’re the hippies of the hood perhaps, with our mostly native rambling front garden but I decided to forge on a bit further and gently introduce some vegetables as it’s a great growing site. It’s a first for me in an Australian garden growing vegetables in the front (did it in the UK as we […]

Growing food

Why failing to grow is a yield too

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Back in Autumn 2015, I tried growing burgundy Okra from seed and a late winter planting. Fail. Not just me either, I shared some seedlings and no one had any luck.  I tried again in Spring, again sharing the few that had germinated through the local community produce share. I’m hopeful of finding out whether […]

Farm Life

Branch by branch: backyard chickens

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I can hear it. That sound, of happiness and curiosity that I’ve missed so much. Those dark intelligent eyes and witty ways. Absent from my daily life for five years. Three chickens joined the garden yesterday, and my heart is brim full. Still cautious and alert in their new surroundings, so only a quick photograph […]

Growing food

Small and slow: garden to farm

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Having been here at our house for around five years, after downsizing from a large property, it has felt at times like a slow journey to transform  a garden devoid of anything but a few fruit trees into a backyard farm. Looking back at what I began back then, learning about building soil in the […]

Growing food

Strawberries in the summer time

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It was 39 weeks ago was when I held these sweet warm garden-grown strawberries in my hands. The first strawberry has braved its happy blossom open to the sun in expectation of bee visitors, and plum trees are warming their buds, preparing to unfurl their blooms into a blue sky. The night are still snappishly cold and […]

Growing food

Forking carrots

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This may look like a simple bunch of carrots. But these wonderous pointy specimens are an artifact. An artifact of my learning. Every forking time I grew carrots, they were completely forked. In two countries, in different soils. Absolutely forking forked. Looking like some sort of twisted mandrake root destined to be thrown screaming into […]

Growing food

Autumn festival of edibles

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I have barely been in the garden this week, leaving the house in the morning and back when it’s dark, picking lettuce for lunches with a head torch like a leafy explorer.  Autumn though, has got it handled. She just keeps on giving.

Growing food

All I am saying, is give okra a chance.

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Ever the optimist,  I’m giving growing okra another try. To me, they are enchanting pods with magical qualities, but others say they are slimy and horrible and evil with no redeeming personality.  So, what makes these star-shaped pods the Jekyl & Hyde of the food world?  After encountering less than fresh pods, I can see where this […]

Growing food

Sweet potatoes

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Introducing the latest in hipster drinks, I call this the sweet potato latte…ha ha ha…no actually… I’m sprouting a sweet potato with a view to growing them along the 9 metre by 1m area beneath our fruit and nut trees. I have been meaning to try this for a long time, but recently inspired by yet another […]