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Earth Garden Spring 2018

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 Spring issue of Earth Garden. Steven French’s exquisite photo on the front cover captures one of the delights of spring. It’s a time of renewal in many gardens, farms, and courtyards — even balconies — all around the country. A lot of readers have been hibernating over winter, and our garden projects, our building projects, and even our companion animals, have been as dormant as the soil. The low angle of the sun seems to be telling us to take it easy for a while. Being aware of the phase of the moon, or the height of the sun above the horizon are two simple ways we can stay in tune with Nature, even when we feel like our lives are frantically out of tune with natural…

4 min.
earth mail

BROCCOLI FOR DINNER . . . AND LUNCH . . . AND 1.5 kg broccoli! Pretty stoked. Matthew Dawes, Earth Gardeners. Awesome!! Brenton Robert Jacobs You should be excited!! Rhonda Case Wow! Really envious. Ours have only been able to manage a couple of scraggly stalks. Susan Brownhill. Holy moley. Jennifer Matthews. YOU CAN FREEZE AVOCADOES? On a recent trip to the supermarket to stock up on avocadoes (they were on special), I had a TON of people comment on the number of avies I was buying. I replied to all:“Well I’m going to freeze them” . . . BOOM the shock hit and their eyes lit up, so by the end of it everyone in line with me: the cashier, and the lady at the door. So many people don’t know about this: they do not brown, they do not lose…

6 min.
on the vine

HOBART’S MOBILE BARISTA ON MISSION Barista Andrew Doube is taking the concept of a green café to the next level. The keen cyclist has hooked up a tiny coffee cart to his electric bike and is serving hand-ground, pressed espresso in the lush surrounds of Hobart’s parks. The Aroma Roama is an enterprise he has been thinking about for several years. “I’ve thought for a long time that the parks in Hobart are under-used, these beautiful parks that people don’t use as much as they could because there are no café facilities in them,” he said. “For me, a park’s a nicer place to drink a coffee than a café most of the time.” Mr Doube’s business plan is based around sustainability. The locally roasted coffee is organic, and there are no takeaway…

4 min.
do you really need a big house?

WHAT’S the smallest amount of house you need? I must say I despair when I drive through new housing developments and see immense houses being built on tiny blocks with no back yard, three quarters of them facing the wrong way for passive solar gain, and therefore condemning future owners to high energy bills. When we started living the EG lifestyle back in 1978, we wanted to build our own small passive solar mudbrick house, but were rather surprised to learn that the minimum sized house they allowed in our shire at that time was 1200 sq ft (12 squares — 111 sq m). We just didn’t need a bigger house at the time, and wanted to build it cheaply, and quickly. Fast forward 40 years. Home ownership is increasingly difficult for…

7 min.
rare as hens’ teeth

I’ M ONE of those chook owners who likes to have a mixed box of chocolates chook run. One of this, one of that, two of those and so forth . . . it’s because I love them all and love to see a variety of coloured hens cruising the yard free ranging away merrily. I like to think that I have child-friendly, good egg laying, pretty breeds that need preserving all at the same time but that sounds like a lot of boxes to tick. When checking out my breeds-kept compared to the rare breeds trust’s list of poultry I find I do have a few breeds listed on the ‘At risk’ list but I’m thinking I could do better. I can feel another chook-keeping adventure in my waters. IMPORT RESTRICTIONS There…

6 min.
seeds grow networks

DRIVING home along a country back road I noticed a farm gate stall and stopped to buy a few pumpkins. The colour and variety was extraordinary so I selected one of every type. After placing the money in the honesty box I saw a lady sitting on the verandah and thanked her for her lovely homegrown produce. Before I had a chance to load the car she was beside me asking if I would like to try a piece of the grammar pie she’d just baked. We ate pie with a sprinkle of cinnamon and talked ‘all things pumpkin’ for hours. I often think of our spontaneous meeting while picking pumpkins grown from saving those seeds. On a world trip years ago, I visited Dubai and was mesmerised by the exotic…