Monday 18 December 2006


I have already booked in to go to this - it looks fantastic.
Beyond Organic: authentic food from paddock to palate
US-based organic guru Eliot Coleman and best selling author and Cook's Garden columnist for the Washington Post, Barbara Damrosch will present a lecture and two workshops.
Lecture: Beyond Organic- Authentic Food Thursday 22 March 2007 7pm
Eliot and Barbara will speak about authentic food, growing it for yourself
and growing it for others
Tickets $30 including refreshments. University of Adelaide,
Waite Campus, Urrbrae
Workshop:Food in the Garden at Coriole Vineyards Saturday 24th March 2007 Noon to 4.30
Enjoy lunch prepared with food from Coriole Vineyards and other McLaren Vale growers, followed by a workshop on kitchen gardening Tickets $75 (Limited places)
Workshop:Managing the Market Garden Sunday 25th March 2007 10am to 4.30pm
A workshop on planning the economically viable market garden and managing vegetable production. Coriole Vineyards McLaren Vale Tickets $120 including morning tea and lunch (Limited places)
Bookings on line
or phone (08) 8388 0119

Check out the website of their farm and philosophy at:

Sunday 10 December 2006


How did your garden go during the recent hot weather?
One day last week I sprayed the whole garden with one of those hose-on packs of seasol, mixed with a liquid called 'WormWorks', that my sister-in-law had given me months ago for my birthday. We (the garden and I) smelt pretty organic for a few hours and I did wonder if it was really any use. Then the hot weather came and I went into total hibernation inside, with my friend the airconditioner (evap, of course). I barely emerged for 48 hours until this morning (Sunday). I will tell you what I found - everything blooming happily, even the little lettuce seedlings (not that they were blooming with flowers, just with life!). So amazing is this that I thought I should share it with you. Now I am on the lookout for something to spray on me to make me flourish when its 40 degrees.

Wednesday 6 December 2006

Strawberry Planters and Another Grey Water Tale

Thought you might like to see my home made strawberry planters so there is a picture attached. I'm quite happy with their recovery after transplanting and they are easy to move into or out of the sun on really hot days.

Also, I can sympathize with Kate in her plight to save her washing machine water for the lawn - I had a similar bout of frustration in attempting to get my grey water onto our garden. Firstly, it is 50 meters from my washing machine to the garden. Not a problem I thought, so off I went to Menzel's seeking advice about piping etc. I ended up bringing home 5o meters of large spiral tubing so large you can almost put your fist in it - this is apparently so there is no back pressure on the washing machine motor causing it to burn out. However I have nowhere to store this so it is in permanent position down the side of our townhouse fence. The next problem encountered was the lack of downward slope so whilst the water does run onto the garden I am left with a very full pipe of water at the end of the washing! Still it's worth a try.

Tuesday 5 December 2006

Maggie & Bob's Garden

As you can see our garden has two beds. We try to grow some tomatoes, lettuce, spinach, spring onions, beetroot, herbs, celery & a few other things. The beds are surrounded by dog wire. On really hot days we cover the centre bed with shade cloth.

We have just bought some 10m wide bird netting (Rare Fruit Society @ $5 per metre for members) to stop the voracious blackbirds. We will use the netting when we have small plants. We have dripper hoses in both beds which makes watering very easy (once per week for an hour or so; slightly more when hotter).

We hope you have a wonderful festive season & may there be some rain for all gardens.

Maggie, Bob, Tara & Niki

Click here to see some photos of our garden

Monday 4 December 2006


OK so I decided today was the day to send the washing machine water out onto the garden. Very commendable and about time too, you say.

I keep a lot of watering system bits and pieces on the shelf so I can connect just about any 2 (or more) pipes of almost any diameter together so I set to the task happily. To avoid the nasty side- effect of the water not being able to get away quickly enough and flooding the laundry I decided to use 25mm black pipe (rather than the more common 19mm). Problem 1 : no 25mm pipe. Remedy - a quick trip to the hardware shop (and I still forgot to post those letters on the way). $16 to buy 8m - enough to do 2 jobs really but I forgot to measure how much I needed before I went.

I have a few 25mm fittings left over from the days when I was related to a nursery - at least 20 years ago - and to think I almost threw them out once ! After sticking the ends in a jug of boiling water everything slipped into place like a hand in a glove. I had planned to poke the pipe out through the dog flap but found that poor, old Jessie couldn't get in or out with it in the way. Problem 2 was immediately solved when I realised that a nasty hole in the flywire could be put to use and hey presto the washing machine water would now flow out onto the lawn.

Problem 3 : maybe the water gushing out would put a hole in the lawn. Solution - put a spiked click on spray on the end that could be stuck in the ground wherever the water was needed instead of just swooshing out in one place. Easy - I have fittings for any contingency and my lack of spacial comprehension is no match for my ingenuity and persistance. I think that, over the next hours I pieced together every combination of possibilities and every time there was a vital piece I didn't have. My head was dizzy and I couldn't think straight until I realised I hadn't stopped for lunch and it was 3pm. Wow, water re-use is such fun. Satisfied and clear-headed again I tackled the task with renewed energy and, by ransacking one of my hoses in search for a particular brass connector, I completed the job way ahead of dinner time and only $16 above budget.

The Test : find some clothes to wash and test the system. Beds were stripped and sheets gathered in a washing frenzy. I got my chair positioned on the verandah so I could see the water coming out as the cycle progressed. On the radio people were talking about how they had done just what I had and their lawns were green and damp. With a little splutter the moment had arrived - water was beginning to come out. Then it stopped before enough pressure built up to do more than dribble from the spray. I watched and waited... another dribble and then hey a bit of spray - that's the way, I thought. I watched that pipe for the whole cycle and do you know what? I reckon I have the most water-efficient washing machine in the world because it uses hardly any water! And guess what else? Yes, I remember now that that's why I bought that machine 12 year's ago - it IS the most water-efficient washing machine in the world and it will never keep any part of my garden alive. For that $16 I could have bought 16,000 litres of water and spent the afternoon in the pool !

Sunday 26 November 2006

Showgrounds Farmer's Market Organic Salad Bowl

Voted best, most colourful & nutritious organic stall. Best service & the friendliest stall holders. Wonderful, healthy eating from organic seedlings.
Thanks Diana & Jen

Voted by Maggie & Bob

PS Organic Salad Bowl stall closed on 3rd of December for 1 day holiday then back on 10th December.

Click here to see some Farmer's Market Photos

Every Sunday, 9am to 1pm at the Wayville showgrounds .A wide range of organic produce and products available. Entrance is only from Leader Street. More details are available on the website:

Wednesday 22 November 2006

Fun and Sharing at Fern Ave

What a wonderful day, here are some photos to celebrate good times.

Thanks again to all the wonderful cooks, fire stokers, paddlers and oven builders.


These are great, Maggie ! I have put them up with the other photos so when you click on the 'photos' link they will come up .


Saturday 14 October 2006


The Food Forest is a permaculture farm near Gawler


Permaculture Design Course, Jan 2007With David Holmgren, the Brookmans & guest presentersFor more info see their website