David Holmgren’s House Tour

It’s the biggest hectare I have ever seen!

David Holmgren describes his passive solar house design
David Holmgren describes his passive solar house design

David Holmgren’s farm “Melliodora” is located in Daylesford, VIC. It covers mere 2.5 acres, yet it took us 5 hours (!) to briefly discuss its design and features. David’s house is open for tours once a month, and is well worth it. The tour can be booked on his website, come and see for yourself, if you like. Or check out some photos and facts below :)
Continue reading David Holmgren’s House Tour

Photos from “THE FARM” in Summertown, Tennessee

Sun design on a side of the round strawbale house
Sun design on a side of the round strawbale house

“The Farm” is the oldest (formal) intentional community in the United States. Founded in 1971, it covers 6 square miles of beautiful rolling hills near Summertown, Tennessee. Thus it’s been 43 years in the making — forming, storming, norming and performing. As one of the men we spoke with put it, “Any issue that can arise in a community — they’ve experienced it.”

My partner and I have visited The Farm to participate in “The Farm Experience” weekend; below is a glimpse of what lies beyond “The Farm” gates… Continue reading Photos from “THE FARM” in Summertown, Tennessee

What to Plant in May: 12 Cold Weather Roots & Vegetables to Plant Now in Sydney (Temperate Zone)

1. Garlic

DSC_0143a
DSC_0143a by zdjecia Jacka P

Where: plant gloves directly into the soil
Harvest: from November Continue reading What to Plant in May: 12 Cold Weather Roots & Vegetables to Plant Now in Sydney (Temperate Zone)

What to Plant in April: 15 Autumn Vegetables & Herbs to Plant Now in Sydney (Temperate Zone)

It’s not quite winter yet, but there is a definite feel that it’s coming. The morning air is chilly and crisp, and it’s almost time to bring out the warm comforter blanket. What I love about Autumn and Winter seasons are those delicious opportunities for soups and stews. Given my Russian heritage, I would like to share this Bortsh (Борщ) recipe that makes frequent appearance in our household. It’s healthy, it’s in-season and it tastes great!

Borsch recipe
image by http://www.ayurvediclight.net

Ingredients (4 servings):

  • 1 beetroot
  • 2 carrots
  • 4 medium-sized potatoes
  • 1 onion
  • 4 cloves of garlic (can put more!)
  • 1/2 head of cabbage (or silverbeet, as we have discovered)
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1/2 to 1 cup of tomato paste (can also add fresh tomatoes)
  • 2 table spoons of vinegar
  • 2 table spoons of olive oil for shimmering vegetables
  • dill, parsley, black pepper and salt to taste

Preparation

  1. Peel and cut potatoes, set to boil in about 4 cups of water
  2. Peel and thinly slice beetroot and carrots. Heat up oil in the pan and shimmer beetroot and carrots on low heat for at least 10 minutes (or until tender). Add vinegar and lemon juice to the mix. This will release the deep red colour of the beets.
  3. Cut the onions and add them to the carrot & beetroot mix about 5 minutes before they are done
  4. When ready, transfer the carrot & beetroot mix to the pot with boiling potatoes
  5. Add salt, pepper, cabbage, tomato paste to broth and cook on medium heat for about 20 mins
  6. Now the secret ingredient: cut raw garlic, dill, and parsley into small pieces. Put in a cup and mix well. Let them sit together while the broth is boiling.
  7. When broth is almost ready, add the secret ingredient mix. It will add a lot of flavour to the soup, but don’t over-cook it! After 3 mins, turn off the pot and let it sit for 10-15 mins on the stove.

Serve with toast and sour cream for a truly Russian experience. Enjoy!

And now, on to the planting guide…

1. Beetroot

Harvesting Beetroot
Harvesting Beetroot by amortize

Where: sow directly into the soil
Harvest: from August Continue reading What to Plant in April: 15 Autumn Vegetables & Herbs to Plant Now in Sydney (Temperate Zone)

What to Plant in March: 15 Summer and Autumn Vegetables to Plant Now in Sydney (Temperate Zone)

1. Kale (Borecole)

kale
kale by kusine

Where: grow in seed trays, and plant out in 4-6 weeks
Harvest: from July Continue reading What to Plant in March: 15 Summer and Autumn Vegetables to Plant Now in Sydney (Temperate Zone)