Archive for April, 2009

Sustainable Garden Award

April 15, 2009

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“…They said you’d never make it…”

A huge thank-you to the Whitehorse City Council who awarded us this honour. And a thank-you also to Neco for the prize of the gift voucher.

The level of excellence that I saw that night across the community was brilliant. It is inspiring to think that there are so many individuals, households, schools, community groups and businesses who are actively engaging with ideas of sustainability, environmental awareness, and ecological responsibility.

This council is clearly committed to moving forwards in respect to our collective contributions to making a difference. This is truly an example of the ‘grass-roots’ at work!

Huzzah!

And really, this was not hard work. Our urban farm is not just about providing us with some vegies. It is about making less of an impact on the planet by reducing ‘food miles’. It’s about reducing, re-using, and recycling. And it’s about giving back something to Mother Earth.

For us, this is only the beginning. Our home has a long way to go before we are truly making less of an impact. Once the garden is truly established, the dwelling space needs attention: insulating the house from heat and cold, efficient and low-impact heating/cooling systems (using passive and active systems), water recycling, and so on.

It can all be done, and all within budget – it just takes a little brain-power and some time. Yes there are expensive hi-tech ways of doing things – but there are also lots of “lo-fi” ways. And herein lies the beauty of the internet…….

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Snail Ale

April 15, 2009

I thought we were going to get a bumper crop of broccoli this year – that is until half my seedlings were ravaged by wee little critters that crawl in the dark and moist.

Well, I couldn’t wait for the ducks for ferret out all the pests, so I turned to the very next best solution: Snail Ale.

The high sugar content of beer, lemonade, etc attracts the snails, slugs, and a variety of other insects (including wasps). Essentially they drown! No pesticides or nasty chemical pellets needed.

Its very easy, and there are two methods.

The simplest would be water and sugar (a lot of sugar) in a container and left out. Soft drink (lemonade, etc) would also work, but would be relatively expensive.

I find that this purpose is great for bad (infected) batches of home-brewed beer, or when relatives turn up for dinner bringing a 6-pack of Budweiser, VB, or any other horrid commercial beer.

A batch of Snail Ale Premium Braggot Mead

A batch of Snail Ale Premium Braggot Mead

You can buy little traps in Hardware/Gardening stores for such a purpose – but  find its best to recycle old ice-cream containers. The new ones have the little flip-top lid, which works great for keeping the rain out. I bury the containers in to ground level, making it as easy as possible for the critters to climb on in.

I believe the trick with making these work is in strategic placement. It has to be near enough to the susceptible vegies, but not so close that they decide to have a munch on your seedlings on the way to the honey-pot.

Oh, and a note – please do not feed the pickled slugs to your poultry. The last thing you need is drunk chooks!

Anyone feel like creating an urban farm?

April 15, 2009

Ever had the urge when looking at a discarded piece of land to create a food oasis? So often in our urban landscape, land considered unimportant, is forgotten behind some security fencing with only weeds (sometimes very tasty ones) being produced or as the unofficial local rubbish dump.

Here is a story about a rubbish dump turned into a evolving urban farm.

http://www.alemanyfarm.org/

A short video of their journey

http://au.video.yahoo.com/watch/2815681/8182020

If anyone knows of land that could be turned into a urban farm in the Eastern suburbs of Melbourne, please let us know, I would LOVE to be involved in turning a forgotten piece of land into a thriving food oasis, that not only feeds locals but teaches them about how to produce their own food and live substantively!

Who’s bugging us?

April 14, 2009

Does anyone know what this bug is?

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A must visit site.

April 14, 2009

I Love This Site.

http://www.happyearth.com.au/

They have a slide show of what happened over their first year.

A wonderful oasis, makes me crave creating a food garden in at larger block of land.

Who has visited our garden?

April 13, 2009

I trimmed back the wormwood a few days ago as it was taking over the pathway and the chook house. Later that evening I selected cuttings and stripped the remaining wormwood to dry the leaves.
Something shiny on one of the leaves caught my eye ……. 9 dark grey shiny eggs.

Does anyone have any idea what insect would have laid their eggs on a wormwood plant?

I have saved the leaf in a jar, hoping to see what hatches, but if anyone has any clue as to what insect is attracted too rather then repelled by a wormwood, please let us know.

insect eggs on our wormwood plant

insect eggs on our wormwood plant

Enjoy the abundance without the work.

April 1, 2009

Had to share this article with you from The New York Times.

A Locally Grown Diet With Fuss but No Muss

Eating locally raised food is a growing trend. But who has time to get to the farmer’s market, let alone plant a garden?

That is where Trevor Paque comes in. For a fee, Mr. Paque, who lives in San Francisco, will build an organic garden in your backyard, weed it weekly and even harvest the bounty, gently placing a box of vegetables on the back porch when he leaves.

Read the rest of the story here.

Would you like enjoy the abundance without the work?

We are only to glad to help …….. have a look at our previous post and let us know how we can help you have a yummy garden.