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Earth Garden Autumn 2019

EARTH GARDEN is Australia’s original journal of sustainable living for householders seeking a more eco-conscious lifestyle. For more than 40 years the supportive network of Earth Gardeners has been guiding and reflecting the movement away from high- consumption lifestyles.

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4 Issues

in this issue

3 min

Dear readers, Welcome to the Autumn issue of Earth Garden. I’m writing this in the middle of the Wet Season here at home in early February, with cool, drizzly weather, giant growth spurts overnight on our garden trees, and a huge croc preventing us all from surfing today at Cable Beach. By tomorrow the Tropical Low off the coast will have slid past towards the Pilbara coast and turned into a category three cyclone. And our asparagus patch will be weeded and ready to give us fresh asparagus spears for the next six weeks. Meanwhile, a long way south and east on the Murray River, my sister Sarah has just taken over a caravan park at Cobram. She says it’s been over 40°C for a week now and tomorrow is headed for 46.…

5 min
earth mail

THE VALUE OF NETTING I visited a friend’s garden today and saw a striking example of fruit protection versus fruit loss on one of their apple trees. Richard MacEwan. *Remember: wildlife-friendly netting has a mesh size of less than 5 mm. If you can poke a finger through the netting, it is not safe for wildlife. PEACHY KEEN Collected a few peaches today…! Adam George Mouth is watering! Meredith MacGregor Yummmmmmm. Belinda Mustac. My peach tree blew over last season. Envy! Linda Hendrix. JANUARY HEATWAVE: CANINE STRATEGY My best mate Ned still isn’t a fan of no-dig gardening, and in this 40°C+ Adelaide heatwave he’s started digging holes under my fruit trees to stay cool. So I’m taking advantage of his hard work by filling them back in with a bio-char/terra-preta soil mix. At the rate he’s digging I will have the whole yard covered…

7 min
on the vine

DIGGERS HARVEST FESTIVALS Our good friends at Diggers have some delightful festivals on in southern Australia this autumn. Starting on 2 and 3 March, explore the beautiful hot and cool summer flowering borders and join in a free tour of Cloudehill Gardens, at Olinda in the Dandenongs near Melbourne, with its creator, Jeremy Francis. There will be free mini workshops including flowering perennials, attracting pollinators, bulbs, creating garden posies and much more. It’s a must for flower lovers and gardeners. Bring the family to the Dandenong Ranges for the day and enjoy a picnic on the lawn at Cloudehill. Cloudehill Gardens are at 89 Olinda-Monbulk Rd, Olinda,Victoria. HERONSWOOD HARVEST FESTIVAL Join the heirloom revolution! Celebrate the Diggers homegrown harvest at Heronswood – the home of the Diggers Club on 9 and 10 March. With…

3 min
rye flour shampoo

IT SEEMED so unlikely that I actually laughed as I read about it – rye flour as a shampoo? Whatever next? Pancakes as underwear? Bread as a hat? But then I thought – why not? If it doesn’t work, I can wash it again with proper shampoo from a plastic bottle. To be honest, the proper shampoo in a plastic bottle had been worrying me for some time. It is full of chemicals of doubtful provenance and made the skin on my face itch. But shampoo has to come from a factory in a plastic bottle, doesn’t it? Surely you can’t clean your hair with flour? Well, as it turns out, you can clean your hair with flour. It binds with the dirt and oil on your scalp and then it rinses…

1 min
how to wash your hair with rye flour

Rye Flour Shampoo: 2 heaped teaspoons of rye flour in a glass. Mix to a shampoo-consistency paste with warm water. Rub half the mixture through your hair. Rinse. Repeat. Apple Cider Vinegar Rinse: 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar in a litre of warm water. Pour over your hair, leave for a minute, rinse. That’s it! For maximum showering efficiency I line up the glass of rye flour, a teaspoon and a jug with the apple cider vinegar in the shower, then add warm water as I need it. You do need to make up this shampoo every time you use it. Storing a rye flour and water mixture will cause it to ferment, and then you will be washing your hair in sourdough starter, which is a whole other experiment.…

4 min
tiny house touring on vegie oil: harry jakamarra part two

WE’VE been living in the truck with our dog Bess for five years now, travelling around Australia. We’ve slowly added the finishing touches to the truck. It has a homely, rustic interior. The couch, which doubles as a milk-crate pantry, is made from hardwood fence palings. I salvaged these from my uncle’s old fence when I helped him build a new one. The steps up to the bed, which double as a seat and storage, are made from an old pallet. Electricity is free from the sun, topped up by a charging relay connected to the alternator. I installed a solar system from Rainbow Power Company. There are two 210W panels fixed to the roof and the switchboard is housed inside a box made from the old fire engine tool lockers. “House…