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Earth Garden Winter 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

2 min

Dear readers, Welcome to the winter issue of Earth Garden. I’ve just been looking at the colourful images of Jill Redwood’s divine preserved fruit. Her winter stores of bottled apricots, nectarines, plums, and more are the perfect reminder of why the arrival of winter is a great time in southern Australia. When fresh fruit and vegies are slowing up, you can wander around the pantry shelves and start pulling out preserved treats. There are plenty of stories in this issue to do with preserved foods. There are so many ways to bottle sunny produce from summer, and they all lead to delightful tastes — and healthy gut flora! In our house the freezer is our chief preserving weapon. Judith and I both juggle quite a mixture of projects so we don’t always have…

5 min
earth mail

LONGTIME EG SUBSCRIBER Hi Alan and Judith, I have every issue of EG and I’m a long term subscriber. Moving from 300 acres (most a wildlife sanctuary, registered with the Wildlife Land Trust) to a suburban block has meant a fair bit of adjustment. The new place had no garden area really. The front yard was compacted, although the back yard had much better soil. I have just done the final touches on building food gardens and pathways of wood chips. So far we have had two crops from the gardens I built. My mantra is:“If you can’t eat it, don’t plant it.” Ian Brothers, Cowra, NSW. Hi Ian, We’ve often seen your name pop up on our subscription lists over the decades and we appreciate you supporting EG all this time. It’s…

7 min
on the vine

‘SAVE THE BEES’ RAISES HOPES IN GERMANY Environmentalists in Germany are celebrating a decision by Bavaria to adopt a series of measures to ‘save the bees’ that may revolutionise farming practices across the country. “This is a milestone for nature protection and a fine hour for citizen law-making in Bavaria,” said Ludwig Hartmann, of the Green party, one of the initiators of a petition that prompted the move. “This is a reason to be joyful, but also an incentive to jointly advance further important projects for the protection of our environment and the climate.” The petition’s adoption into law won praise from campaigners across Europe who said they aimed to copy it. The petition received support from 1.75 million Bavarians – more than a fifth of the state electorate – and was thought…

6 min
tiny houses barrelling along

IT SEEMS talk about tiny houses is everywhere right now . . . even mainstream real estate media are embracing the concept of tiny houses and are featuring more and more stories about successful living in a tiny house. Recently, Australia’s first ever Tiny House Festival was held at Bendigo Racecourse, where a dozen of Australia’s tiny house manufacturers showed their wares, together with displays related to living on a much smaller scale than most visitors were used to. “There is nothing as powerful as an idea whose time has come …”—Victor Hugo The Festival, whose attendance was much greater than the organisers expected, presented a treasure trove of ideas from international and local speakers. People relating their actual experiences gave way to a sold-out seminar from the guru of tiny houses…

6 min
plant and eat your dandelions

THE LAST occasion Julein and I got together we were searching for that one ripe gooseberry by torchlight in her enormous suburban backyard. The most recent visit had us embarking on a hunt for boysenberries. Julein reached in under a repurposed bird cage protecting the berries from an array of pests and with a smile a mile wide she handed me the juiciest berry imaginable. This delicious delight was accompanied by a suggestion to “enjoy this boysenberry like it’s the only one you will ever eat, savour the flavour, really taste what you are eating and then send it to your belly”. I sure did! Julein mentioned her elderly neighbour has returned to gardening after she offered him homegrown vegies over the fence and believes it’s made him healthier and happier. We…

1 min
lulu’s turn

IT WAS Lulu’s turn to baby sit. Cows take it in turns to baby sit the calves while the other mums wander off to graze. It is a great system and I have seen one cow looking after 30 calves on her own. Lulu is one of our house cows (we have two) and she isn’t the best of mothers. She happily strolls off leaving her calf to its own devices. Our Belted Galloway bull, Cardigan, is running with the cows at the moment and he is being very attentive to Lulu. She is due to come into season over the next couple of days. Cardigan is helping Lulu baby sit. He is showing just what a conscientious, caring, New Age father he is. Far be it for me to tell Lulu…