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Earth Garden Spring 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 Spring issue of Earth Garden. Who’s got a new project ready to go? A garden bed? A strawbale home? An arbour? Maybe an asparagus patch? It’s the time of year when we brush away winter cobwebs and all have a little spring in our step. Speaking of asparagus, I’m keen to renovate our patch. We germinated Mary Washington seeds about eight years ago. The seedlings grew into big healthy crowns that give us big feeds of yummy spears. We go through periods of cutting spears every morning for weeks on end. A chook egg, some lightly fried Bietola spinach, and a little shaved parmesan on top of the poachie. That’s just about my favourite breakfast these days. Our friend John Curran, introduced us to the wonderful Bietola…

2 min
earth mail

MULTI-GENERATIONAL EARTH GARDENING Mum turned 90 on 5 July — an avid reader of yours forever! She loves Earth Gardening — she’s always in the dirt and worms, she lives life with the chooks and gets online occasionally. Many thanks for her years of joy, as she passed it down through the ages. Kind regards to all, Jan Morris. Hi Jan, We have happy memories of all those years ago when you had the Boot Guards stall across from ‘Earth Garden’ at the Seymour Alternative Farming Expo in central Victoria. We love hearing about active older Earth Gardeners still getting their hands in the dirt. Best wishes, Judith and Alan. CHEAP TANK GAUGE How to tell what level your water tank is at any one time. A float on the inside connected to a pulley and…

1 min
simple and yum

When you have just one egg in the fridge and one red apple and you feel like something sweet for 9’sies. 15 minute pink lady apple vanilla pikelets. 1 egg makes four good-sized light and fluffy pikelets. Two eggs and you get eight. The addition of apples and vanilla gives them a unique flavour and the egg goes a lot further. RECIPE I mixed in a bowl:1 egg lightly whisked1/2 cup milk1/2 teaspoon good vanilla essence1 pink lady apple roughly peeled and grated2 tablespoons sugar. Then gently fold in 1/2 cup of self-raising flour. Mix and add more milk or flour if needed. Fry in a bit of butter and turn when you see bubbles. Sprinkle with sugar before serving. I’m surprised how one egg and one apple can make four large pikelets. Juliana…

6 min
on the vine

SUSTAINABLE HOUSE COSTS LESS THAN $1,000 If Rob’s not tinkering with his house, he’s looking for “beautiful stuff to build with”. Old packing crates, pallets, rocks, recycled windows — anything goes. It’s taken the Tasmanian more than a decade to gather the materials from the tip shops, construction and demolition sites and friends’ places — but he’s not precious about time because it’s all come at an incredibly low cost. “The whole house has cost less than a $1,000 to build,” says Rob, who wants to go by a pseudonym to protect his privacy and avoid council scrutiny. The place is a hodgepodge of styles, from modern tiles to Middle Eastern carpets, but Rob describes it simply — “nice”. “It’s very beautiful and nurturing to be in. And it’s vastly, vastly different from…

3 min
guerilla market gardening

How can we put our values, our interests and our passions into action we asked ourselves . . . let’s start a market garden! IN THE SPRING of 2018, nine young Melbournites came together over a shared concern for the current state of our food system and the impact that it has on the environment, the community and our health. We were fuelled by a desire to make a change, however small, and to gain experience as growers and market gardeners along the way. So we decided to start our own market garden! We were fortunate to have among us two very big sharehouse backyards, one in Thornbury and one in Fairfield, so we thought why not start the market garden in those yards. Over weekly delicious home cooked meals we began…

5 min
nic’s pallet sheds

NIC wanted some small sheds on his rural property, and being a sensible man, didn’t want to spend much money to build them. Nic is a ham radio enthusiast and wanted a radio shack to set up and tinker with his collection of vintage radios and connect with the world. Nic’s wife Tanya is a garden enthusiast, currently transforming a bare paddock into a food forest, and she needed a garden shed. Nic has managed to build both of these structures with very little financial outlay, and has diverted a lot of waste from landfill by building the sheds mostly out of discarded wooden pallets which he picks up at the back of his nearest big-box hardware store, always stopping to have a poke through the skip bin as well and…