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DAY 11: 7 Ways to Fire Proof Your House & Group Presentations (PDC 2010 with Bill Mollison and Geoff Lawton)

Only one more sleep before the course is over…

Today there was excited buzz in the air, and it seemed like the group was slightly less focused on the lecture. The reason, I am guessing, is this afternoon’s session when we got to present our designs to the group. Many (most) of the people haven’t done a group assignment since school days, let alone stand up and talk about it. The pressure was on.

If this wasn’t enough, today is the last full day of the course, and it is set to conclude with a party at which everyone will have to present a talent, otherwise we don’t get our PC certificate! All of a sudden, the classroom and the lunch break were enlivened with people sitting in circles and sketching to prepare for their presentations. Music instruments made an appearance, women spinning Hoola Hoops on the lawn, didgeridoo and guitars. It was great! So cheerful, energetic and…very human.

The morning lecture discussed the risks of bush fires and how to survive them. If you are designing for a region with dry hot spells (like Melbourne region, for example), you will need to have a plan for bush fire shelter.

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What to Plant in September: 59 Spring Vegetables to Plant Now in Sydney (Temperate zone)

September is a big planting month around here, so let’s get right into what to plant in September in Sydney. Here is a whopping list of 59 spring vegetables, herbs and flowers to plant right now.

1. Amaranth

amaranth (194/365)
amaranth (194/365) by jenni ripley

Where: sow in garden after risk of frost has gone
Harvest: from January

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Five Ways to Beautiful and Productive Balcony Gardens

Rastafarian Balcony Garden - Jamacian radio station
Rastafarian Balcony Garden – Jamacian radio station by cecilia macaulay

Like millions of people, I live in a city apartment with limited access to land. Fortunately, like millions of people again, I have an outdoor balcony, and it’s a growing opportunity not to be missed.

This weekend I really took the time to clean my balcony, take stock of what pots I have, and decide what I want to grow this summer. My main objective is to produce the most food possible, but also to create a beautiful sanctuary, where I can enjoy my morning tea or read a book.

I wanted some inspiration for this project, so I went looking around the web for ideas on how other people created their balcony getaways. Here you go, a gallery of beautiful and inspiring balcony gardens we can learn from.

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What to plant in August around Sydney (temperate zone)

August is the time to bring out seed catalogues and start to envision what the garden will look like in the summer. Exciting! This year I am ordering my seeds and seedlings from Diggers, and I would highly recommend it to those looking for quality organic and heirloom seeds. Give your garden a strong and natural start!

On to the planting/planning list, graciously provided by Gardenate.

1. Asparagus

Asparagus by Bianca

Where: sow in garden, or plant as crowns; frost tender
Harvest: from 24 months (!!!)