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Earth Garden Winter 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

2 min.

Dear readers, Welcome to the winter issue of Earth Garden. Many readers had such a warm Autumn that Winter is probably a relief. A chance to slip into something more comfortable: some gumboots (but make sure you read what Jackie has to say on page 36). And maybe light the fire for the first time since last Spring. I think the award for grooviest footwear might go to Rachel Altenbacher this issue though — check out her Ugg boots on page 12. At our place, our clobber doesn’t vary much from season to season. But as I write this we’re at one of the year’s most exciting seasonal phases: we have a shade house full of early vegie seedlings ready to be planted out. It’s peak Dry Season vegie time for us right now…

4 min.
earth mail

FROM THE EARTH GARDENERS’ FACEBOOK GROUP . . . UPCYCLE IT We rescued a large rusty water tank from a neighbour in town and turned it into our outdoor barbecue gazebo. Still working on it with a few more things to add, but we love it. The red gum benches were cut on the property by my husband’s dad 30 years ago, so my husband planed them and added legs. JoAnne Bouzianis-Sellick. CAMELS IN THE OUTBACK Greetings, My name is Barry Watts I work as a remote area nurse near Alice Springs, in the Northern Territory. I have been dreaming of a wonderful adventure for most of my life. Many years ago whilst travelling to work I passed a lonesome camel at the Wilton Parachute Centre and was intrigued by the majesty of the animal.…

10 min.
on the vine

LANEWAY FOOD IS FREE Lou Ridsdale has turned her hobby of gardening and self-sufficiency into a not-for-profit: Food Is Free. This new aspect of her life began in 2014, when Ridsdale began putting the surplus vegetables she’d grown on display in the laneway adjoining her rental property, so passersby could take what they needed. Very soon, her modest Ballarat initiative gained traction, thanks in part to her publicity nous and enthusiastic signage, but also through word of mouth. Other people dropped off their produce and the volunteers started trickling in. The initiative is part of a global movement. The US version of Food is Free started in Austin,Texas, in 2012, through community gardens in public spaces. Within two years, the idea had spread to 200 cities around the world, over 26 countries. “Nine…

5 min.
the garden of plenty provides

WHEN it’s cold outside on this little hobby farm I like to fill my mudbrick homestead with aromas and warmth by baking pastries and simmering stews. The newly-constructed rabbit- and bird-proof garden was growing an amazing amount of food so I challenged myself to live out of a compact 7.5m x 2.5m vegie patch for a month . . . with only a handful of store-bought products, fruit and nuts from my orchard, a stockpile of preserves and swapped items. Here’s how it went . . . One of my colleagues heard about the trial and gifted me Ukrainian cucumber seeds and recipes his family brought over when they migrated to Australia decades ago. I was intrigued by how he had kept the tradition of growing and pickling these cucumbers going all…

4 min.
putting down new roots

IT’S NEVER easy to think wintery thoughts in early March, which is when I am usually writing my winter EG article. The summer vegies are thriving at this point, unaware that a cool change awaits them that they probably won’t like. This year, my vegie patch is only just getting started though. We’ve relocated a long way from far north Queensland, all the way to northern New South Wales. Travelling so far to a place you’ve never been, having never set foot outside of Queensland, has been an interesting experience. It’s been fun, one of discovery and endless new things. And it’s been overwhelming, as you realise how many little, everyday things you don’t know when you move to an area you’ve never been to before. You don’t know if this kind…

5 min.
co-housing on the edge of town

OUR family of four – two big and two small – has long been drawn to life on the South Coast of WA, arguably one of the most beautiful spots on the planet. After many camping holidays along this spectacular coastline, and in the towering forests, we asked ourselves – could we actually do this? Could we pull off the big shift? But the thought of exchanging our suburban Perth block for a rural property was daunting – grappling with endless maintenance, potential isolation, and dependent on cars to get anywhere. And then we heard about DecoHousing . . . Intrigued by an incidental Facebook post, we made contact with founding members Pam Rumble and Paul Llewellyn, who had germinated the seed for an affordable, ecologically sustainable co-housing project in the…