Wednesday 30 September 2009

Diana’s Garden Party

We met today at Fern Avenue Community Garden to celebrate the wonderful world of organic vegetable gardening, friendships, sharing, swapping, good food and comradeship, together in the world of organic veggie growing.

We planned to meet again at Fern Avenue on Sunday the 25th of October at 1pm to share and chat about our summer kitchen gardens.

Why do we kitchen garden?, we want to eat delicious, nutritious, home grown food.

We want to share this food with our family, friends and neighbours, we want to eat the healthiest food that we can.

Here is a collage of all the delicious food we shared today.

Thank you everyone for sharing your gardening experiences and your delicious recipes.


Dianas Party

Monday 28 September 2009

Welcome to Purple in our Spring Garden

Purple sprouting broccoli, flame mustard greens, society garlic chives, purple tatsoi, lettuce, violas, pepino blossom & lemon blossom.

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Friday 25 September 2009

4th Saturday and 4th Sunday of the Month

I love the 4th Saturday and the 4th Sunday of the Month!

Why?, well on these day there are local food Markets.

Fullarton Park Community Centre has many local food stalls.

Heather Welsh who sells and knows almost everything about Herbs now has a stall with many unusual herbs on sale.

There is a lady from Meadows who sells eggs, rhubarb, flowers, jams and lovely plants.

I always buy homemade egg sponges and blackberry pies for my Mum cooked by a lady from Uraidla.

I buy olives from a family from the southern suburbs.

Sunday the market is at Stirling.  I think you all know the charm of this special market.

Diana and Jen are usually selling their organic seedlings and the next best stall at the markets is a young couple who make and sell all sorts of organic pies.

Local food, friendly growers, good produce, people to chat too and a totally good place to shop.

Thursday 24 September 2009


South Australian Food Convergence, February 2010

“‘From Plains to Plate’ will bring together community, business and government to discuss the issue of strengthening South Australia’s food systems in the face of intensifying environmental, social and economic challenges.

The principle objective is to contribute to the development of a South Australian food policy that will provide for healthy, sustainable and resilient local food systems for the Adelaide plains and other regions of South Australia. The convergence will identify existing resources as well as current and future needs of South Australia’s food systems, and through sharing skills and information build networks to practically address these issues.

During the forum, speakers and experts from a range of fields will discuss how local producers and successful government policies and programs can complement community activism in providing accessible healthy food and the necessary skills to cultivate resilient communities.”

“Call for workshops and presentations

We are currently seeking expressions of interest from farmers, gardeners, planners, activists, permaculturalists, cooks, community workers, health professionals, teachers, policy makers and others to participate by offering workshops in your field of interest.

If you:
- are involved with projects that aim strengthen local food systems, (including community gardens, co-operatives, cow-shares, fruit and vegetable exchanges, guerrilla gardening, community-supported agriculture or more); or
- have practical skills to share, (including on gardening, design, composting, livestock, preserving, roof gardens, community building or more); or
- have a food-security concept that you would like to initiate or share; or
- can offer a professional or community perspective on food issues and challenges

We want to hear from you

For more information, or to register your interest in presenting, please forward your name, organisation, contact details and a short summary of your proposed topic to Joel.

Organisational support

While “From Plains to Plate” has been initiated by community environment group Friends of the Earth, it is growing into a broad coalition committed to developing local responses to food production and security. We are currently seeking organisational support and partnerships, please contact us for more information.

Wednesday 16 September 2009


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I have included some photos here to show you how beautiful it is at Nirvana Farm.

Deb always runs the best courses in the world. So treat yourself to an educational course in beautiful Nirvana.

A walk around Nirvana is the best retreat you can treat yourself too.

Here are the details, there are still some vacancies.

NIRVANA ORGANIC FARM (click here to see more)

National Winner of the Organic Federation of Australia Awards of Excellence as the leading Organic Educator.


Beyond Organics

Sunday, Sept 20th 8.30am – 4.30pm $100

One day course to introduce the practical concepts of the biodynamic methods to farmers & gardeners. The biodynamic method is a modern organic approach that creates a holistic approach to building healthy soil, plants, animals & humans. Includes notes, biodynamic preparations, lunch & teas.


Sunday, September 27th 9.00 -12.30 $40

Practical guide to establishing & maintaining a productive & healthy vegetable garden. Our climate offers many opportunities to grow food for your table all year round. Discover what plants to grow, and when. Practical tips & ideas.


Sunday, September 20th 1.30 -5pm $40

Working with the rhythms of nature can develop your skills in fine tuning your garden and can add a new dimension to your gardening experience.


Sunday, October 11th 9.00 -12.30 $40

Reduce water use by learning the principles of composting & mulching, techniques & materials used & how they can be used most effectively on your garden or farm.


Sunday, October 11th 1.30- 5pm $40

Soil underpins all gardening activities. What is a healthy soil? How can I improve my soil? Develop skills to monitor and improve your soils so they hold more moisture produce healthy plants.


Sunday, October 18th 9.00 -12.30 pm. $40

Practical guide to growing fruits, nuts & berries. Establishing, maintenance, ground covers, soils.

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Sunday October 25th 9.00 – 12 30 $40

All you need to know about getting started with poultry. Includes breed selection, housing, feeding, breeding, pests.


Sunday, November 8th 9am 4pm $95

The ideal way to recycle your garden prunings .A introduction to natural fibre weaving. Includes techniques, suitable plants & other materials to make baskets, fences & trellises. Includes all materials, lunch & teas.

All courses are held at NIRVANA ORGANIC FARM


UBD 157:G7. Exit from SE Freeway at Stirling, turn right at roundabout & travel 3.5 km.

The courses are practical, ‘hands on’ conducted by experienced biodynamic/organic farmers, Deb & Quentin. Their successful small holding has been run under BIO-DYNAMIC principles since 1983.

The 4.5 ha property provides the ideal classroom filled with practical examples of how goals can be achieved & gives inspiration into this GARDEN QUALITY FARMING to both gardeners & farmers alike.


DEB OR QUENTIN PHONE/ (08) 8339 2519

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Sunday 13 September 2009

Nourishing our Bodies

Nourishing our Bodies - Food Matters -You are what you eat.

This week we have eaten out 3 times with friends, some things I ate were not too bad but mostly what I ate did not taste like food at all.

I need to get back in the kitchen and make some nourishing soups, casseroles and salads.

When we cook we add handfuls of fresh herbs from our garden, we buy organic flavourful meat and eggs.

We cook with spices and good oils, we add fresh veggies from the garden.

Our meals are full of colour, flavour and nutrition.

We always eat heaps of salad from the garden because we love the flavour of bitter, sweet, spicy greens and the fresh enzymes these fresh veggies add to our diet.

We want to grow everything, I want to process and save everything.

We will know doubt have a hot summer ahead of us.

How much food do we really need?

Can we save some water and energy by just making do with seasonal produce or is freezing excess food a viable option?

Can we maintain good nutrition from our herbs, sprouted seeds and tougher veggie plants?

We can probably maintain good nutrition with far less food than we normally consume.

So to move away from the thought of chemical filled processed food, I have made a collage of our Spring Garden to share with you.

It is a beautiful SPRING Sunday in Adelaide today, Happy Gardening.


Monday 7 September 2009

Making sauerkraut

The Roman emperor Tiberius always carried a barrel of sauerkraut (lacto-fermented cabbage) with him during his long voyages to the Middle East because the Romans knew that the lactic acid it contained protected them from intestinal infections. In ancient Rome, sauerkraut had a reputation as a food that was easy to digest. In China, they fermented cabbage 6000 year ago… [from the book ‘Nourishing Traditions’ by Sally Fallon, page 92..93]. Sauerkraut is also an excellent source of Vitamin C, and so was carried on board sailing ships once the link between the disease ‘scurvy’ and lack of Vitamin C was established as the cause of teeth-loss and declining health of sailors on long sea voyages.

Somewhat more recently, my wife’s relatives in Germany stored cabbage for the long cold winter months by making sauerkraut and storing it in the cellars beneath their homes in the village. The particular large conical cabbages they use are unknown here in South Australia, but are commonly available from gardening shops in Germany, from whence my small store of seed came.

These cabbages grow to over a metre in diameter, and the cabbage head can weigh many kilograms. If left too long in the garden, they also fill up with slugs and earwigs or bolt to seed as Spring brings warmth to the soil.

DSCN0005Making sauerkraut is labour-intensive, as the cabbage must be cored, washed, shredded, mixed with whey, sea-salt and caraway seeds then pounded with a wooden pounder to release the juices. It is then pressed tightly into wide-mouthed jars with the wooden pounder until within 25 mm of the top of the jar then covered tightly and kept at room-temperature for three days. It may be eaten immediately but improves with age.

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We don’t have a cellar to keep things cool, but we did pay a chap $200 to cut a trap-door into the floor space on the cooler southern side of the house through our wooden floor; we keep the finished sauerkraut down there between the foundation piers.(Also stored down there are rice, sultanas, grains, olives and other lacto-fermented vegetables and meats that we are still experimenting with…)

It’s also a handy spot to store very large cooking pots that don’t fit into the kitchen cupboards.

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Sunday 6 September 2009

The Joy of Winter Rain in Adelaide

Adelaide Hills and Plains are green and lush after all the beautiful rain we have had.

The centre of this collage is of my 2 favourite winter mustard greens, the red is called flame tree mustard green and the green is mustard lettuce.

I have eaten the red flame tree leaves every day in my winter salads, they are delicious.

We shall be saving the seeds to share next year.

My favourite neighbour cows look so healthy as they munch away in the brilliant green paddocks of Urrbrae High School.



Thursday 3 September 2009

Nourishing our Minds

Lately I have been thinking a lot about the way we "live".
Sometimes I feel overwhelmed by the way I see that we humans are harming each other, ourselves and the planet.
Excess almost everything is killing us.

I was watching a Lonely Planet episode where Ian Wright ventures of into an icy wilderness dog trek with a very experienced sled driver.
The first thing she said was. “Think basics!
We need to think about the basic things we will need.
Some shelter, some food and good clothing protection.”
She also said "I love going out into the wilderness, it helps me find myself again."

I think many of us really do not know who we are and what we really need to be happy.

I am reading Matthieu Ricard's book titled "Happiness. A guide to developing life's most important skill".
Here are some quotes from the introduction
"achieving durable happiness as a way of being is a skill. It requires sustained effort in the training of the mind and developing a set of human qualities, such as inner peace, mindfulness and altruistic love."
" this book is intended for the heart and mind of anyone who aspires to a little more joie de vivre and to let wisdom and compassion reign in her or his life".

Many of the members of our group already practice meditation and experience how nourishing it is for them and those around them.

I found this video of Matthieu Ricards called Change your Mind Change your Brain: The Inner Conditions for Authentic Happiness.

This is an excellent talk to help us nourish our minds in the same way that we nourish our soil, so treat yourself to spend a long tea break and enjoy what this “jolly good fellow” has to say.