Category Archives: Off-Farm goings on

Notes from the CSG blockades

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Right now, multiple communities in NSW, QLD and beyond are in uproar and blockade mode against Coal Seam Gas (CSG) exploration – but you won’t see it on the news.

Why not? It’s hard to say – mainstream media is a many-horned creature. But there’s plenty of reporting going on about this citizens uprising all the same. Here’s some leads to look at…  Continue reading

Visiting The Agrarian Kitchen in New Norfolk, Tasmania

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What a gorgeous place this is – bursting with organically grown food, fruit, herbs and animals, and boasting the prettiest cooking school we ever did see.

Just when I thought Tasmania couldn’t get any better…  Continue reading

Insert optimistic metaphor for new life here

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My entire country is in hysterics. Heck, I am nearly in hysterics. It’s election day tomorrow, and it’s likely to be extremely not good. Clearly it is time for seedling porn.

How are your spring babies coming along? Are you likely to match Rob from Warrah Farm’s impressive germination rates on his organic, biodynamic seedlings this year? Hmm, me neither. But it’s something to strive for, in the face of everything…

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Help make the ‘Just Food’ doco and score a Milkwood course voucher

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The excellent crew over at Australian Food Sovereignty Alliance are making a doco that will tackle some very big issues happening in Australia right now. Do we really want a local food system and national food security?

Time to shed some much-needed light on this subject, beyond the 2 minute news grab. Enter the Just Food doco project! There’s a crowdfunding campaign to get it made, and we’re pitching in by offering a bunch of $200 course vouchers for folks who pledge their help.  Continue reading

Eating a pig we named, and bees, and fermentedness

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I’m not sure how she got called Fatso. Probably because there were three of them, and she was the plumpest, by a fair margin.

She was the pig which tended to disregard the electric fence occasionally and go for a wander, delighting in rearranging select parts of the forest garden, causing us to call her all sorts of names, none of them polite…  Continue reading

A visit to Melliodora with David Holmgren

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Recently Nick was lucky enough to hang out with David Holmgren for a couple of days at Melliodora, the superb small-acre permaculture site that David has established with his partner Su Dennett  in Hepburn Springs, Victoria.

Being in the thick of a super-productive, comfortable and energy efficient permaculture system at harvest time was inspiring, to say the least. To add to that, the purpose of the visit was for Dave Jacke to spend time with David and Su while he was in Australia. You can imagine the intensely wonderful conversations that went down!  Continue reading

The Banana Octopus and the Kiama Show

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The delights of the country show are many. For me, though, it’s all about the vegetables. Specifically the vegetables dressed as animals, or people. All the rest of pales in comparison.

Last week I was lucky enough to catch the Kiama show, south of Sydney. Kiama is where we’ll be hosting Joel Salatin’s upcoming Masterclasses, in the Showground Pavilion. Last week however, the Pavilion was in full flight, doing what it does best.. hosting the pride of the regions produce, its finest animals, and a banana octopus.

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EcoPOP – cooling Sydney’s streets…

An ecoPOP is a small and self-contained city oasis, boasting a simple, self-contained system of self-watering fruit trees, herbs, water collection and a worm farm.

Intended to be installed in places like a median strip in a suburban street, they’re designed to incrementally offset the ‘heat island’ effect of urban streets, slow traffic, and create community. Continue reading

Allsun Farm and Us, 2009 – 2012

‘You have to come to the Allsun farm open day’ said my scythe-mad friend Nikki. ‘They’re a microfarm and they do market gardening and all this amazing stuff there with integrated animal systems and they’re just brilliant’.

Hmm, we thought. That sounds kinda interesting. So we side-tracked our road trip to Gundaroo for the Allsun Farm open day. It was a watershed moment for us and the future of Milkwood.

Since that day in November 2009, our relationship with Mike and Joyce of Allsun Farm has taken some interesting and amazing turns, through friendship and mentorship to the point where tomorrow I’m heading there to help host a Market Garden Masterclass with them. Here’s the trajectory in pictures… Continue reading

Meeting The Seed Savers, Jude + Michel Fanton

In a small house in Byron Bay, surrounded by lush gardens sporting edible plants from ever continent on earth, live two of Australia’s living legends. No truly, I’m not being romantic – if i can achieve but a fraction of what these folks have done to create resilience for future generations, I’ll die happy.

Jude and Michel Fanton founded The SeedSavers in Australia in 1986 to preserve local varieties of useful plants, and have since played a crucial role in over 37 countries, within communities and networks motivated to preserve seed sovereignty. Recently I was luck enough to visit them…  Continue reading

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