A Permaculture Kitchen Garden for LoveGrub

[caption id="attachment_1157" align="aligncenter" width="500" caption="Lovely lettuce seedlings. Soon to be in LoveGrub sandwiches! "][/caption]

Around the corner from the community center where we run our Sydney courses is a funky and friendly little cafe called LoveGrub. Down the side of LoveGrub lies a little strip of dirt which the cafe have claimed as their garden. One day LoveGrub asked us “erm, don’t suppose you could turn our little garden into a happening thing, could you?”

Good Wood

[caption id="attachment_1121" align="aligncenter" width="500" caption="Recycled bridge beams: all de-bolted, squared up, and ready to build our house."][/caption]

Natural building is a conundrum. In every sense of the word. Pick an aspect of modern western building, and then try and find an economically priced, ethically viable and completely non-toxic solution with a minimum of embodied energy. I am telling you now, dear reader, that for many materials you will be looking for quite some time.

Off-gassing plastics, sealants, wood products impregnated with (organic) poison to prevent critters eating it, pipes that leach, insulation with massive embodied energy or just a prohibitive price tag. It seems frequently that while building our tinyhouse we keep running into these problems. Why is the simple act of building a small and simple home which is ethically sourced, economically priced and which won’t poison its residents such a hard thing to do?

Living close: strata title permaculture

The too-hard basket seems often applied to fledgling aspirations of creating bountiful gardens in rental or strata title properties. Which is really quite understandable, in some ways. To succeed in such ventures one needs to effectively communicate with (sometimes dubious) landlords and fellow residents, which is no small thing.

Recently, though, we came across Lucinda’s garden, which is a beautiful example of such communications gone right. A small space, strata-title, yeehar permaculture garden in the heart of northern Sydney.

BioFertilizer Recipe #1

[caption id="attachment_912" align="aligncenter" width="500" caption="BioFertilizer all sealed up and ready to go..."][/caption]

We’ve brewed up our very first batch of BioFertilizer at Milkwood! Our carefully collected, simple ingredients are all in a big vat next to the woolshed, fermenting merrily. In two months time, we should have 200 liters of concentrated fertility, ready to dilute and spread across Milkwood’s creekflat and ridge. Fingers crossed.

The march of the yabbies

Nick and some new friends from the creek

Recently we’ve un-ravelled one of the mysteries of nature that’s been plagueing us for years here at Milkwood. How is it that if you build a dam or a pond, in the middle of nowhere, that over time it naturally becomes inhabited with water-loving creatures like yabbies? How do they know the new water source is there? Can they smell it? Is there some sort of inter-species bush telegraph? This one really had us stumped.

But now, we’ve seen it for ourselves, so we can tell you too. In certain conditions, the yabbies just walk there.