Tag Archives | Household economy

Busy lil bees

The quinoa is finally ready so Mitch and Sanami spend a morning harvesting. Mitch has spent much time in Japan since 2002 and is happy to be able to practice his Japanese, impressing all of us.

quinoa harvesting

Sanami is one of the MIAOWs (Melliodora Interns and Other Workers) currently working, learning and sharing with us. She has been in Australia for two months. Before Melliodora she was helping out at Birrith Birrith.

sanami
Sanami and Anna have been up to all kinds of wonderful mischief including cutting up the last of the apples to dehydrate in our fancy dehydrator ie. up on the roof.

apple dehydrating

Anna, also a MIAOW, has a PDC and has spent time at the Permaculture Research Institute. Anna used to work in Melbourne as a wind engineer where she designed wind farms and wind monitoring campaigns, but now likes to spend her time immersing herself in the sensuality of soil.

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We have been harvesting the last of our corn this week. Drying some for seed and cooking

corn shucking

and blanching some before freezing it for use over the winter months.

corn blanching

We have successfully experimented cooking in a GoSun stove that was gifted to us.

solar cooking

solar cooker

We netted the fig trees, though sadly we lost kilos and kilos as it rained (hooray!) and the water penetrated them causing them to ferment on the trees. Fig chutney anyone?

fig nets

We encouraged people to boycott shopping at the supermarket by setting up our table of bulk food on the same day as people come by to collect their veggie boxes.

bulk food

And when we needed some quiet we sat down to the meditative task of separating grains, as a bag of flax seeds had been contaminated with wild oats.

quiet work

We had a meeting with Annie Raser-Rowland and Adam Grubb to discuss their exciting new project.

Annie and Meg

We started work on rebuilding a jetty for the dam.

building jetty

And before the cooler months start, we harvested the honey from the hives. 117kg so far from 7 hives.

SuMitchBees

su bees

anna david honey

sanami honey

That’s it from us for now. We hope all is deliciously sticky and sweet in your lives too.

2

The home economy

Ta da! Kamut bread fresh out of the wood oven ready for lunch. We’re all starving today, having built up quite an appetite.

Su bread

We’ve been harvesting pears, nashis and apples and are now removing the nets from all the trees.

net removal

Above left is Taron. Taron’s been spending every Tuesday here at Melliodora since he was 4 years old. Don’t you wish that your parents had arranged such schooling for you when you were growing up? We look forward to watching him continue to mature into a wise, thoughtful, creative and healthful young man.

Taron

We’ve been marvelling at the colours of the quinoa plants, waiting for their leaves to drop so we can harvest the seeds. Did you know that you can eat the young leaves of the quinoa plant, too?

Quinoa

We’ve been tending to the seeds we planted a week ago, as they slowly and miraculously grow into our winter veggies. On this tray Mitch holds leek, cabbage, beetroot, cauliflower and broccoli.

Mitch

We’ve been harvesting corn, which we are now drying to cook and make into tortillas, and to save as seed for next year.

corn

And we’ve been having meetings with our accountant who assures us that our home economy is in great shape. David adds, “This home-based and community way of life with more exchange and less money is healthier and more fun at the same time in that it builds household resilience and community connection. The big surprise for some is that it might be the most effective political action we can take to create the world we want and stop supporting the world we don’t.” If you’re interested in reading more of David’s writings on the issue of the household economy you might be interested in his essay, Household economy counts, originally published in#123 of Arena magazine.

Leunig

OK, let’s eat. Please, come and sit with us a while as we talk and gobble and share stories. There’s a spare plate next to me. Itadakimasu!

lunch

 

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A day in the life

It’s been a big week at Melliodora.

We are still coming to terms with Venie’s passing. Kevin Childs, in The Local magazine, wrote a beautiful account of Venie’s funeral, which you can find on page three here.

Earlier this week we had two MIAOWs (Melliodora Interns and Other Workers) arrive. Brianna is an architect from Brazil who is passionate about permaculture. Before she arrived in Australia Brianna spent over a year volunteering in Asia.

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Tom (who’s camera shy) is from Castlemaine. He has a PDC, and has experience gardening, and with chickens and goats. When asked why he wanted to come to Melliodora, Tom said that he wanted to understand the property, the way elements interact, and to immerse himself in functional design language. Welcome both!

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When you call the HDS office on Tuesdays and Thursdays, it’s highly likely that Meg will answer the tromboncino phone. Meg has worked here in the office before. It’s great to have you back as part of the team, Meg.

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Our intern Mitch has been with us since September 2015. If you’d like to know more about what Melliodora interns do, have a read of the Melliodora Apprentice Journal. When Mitch isn’t working or updating his journal, he likes to play hide and seek. Here he is hiding in the corn while David tries to find him.

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If you don’t already subscribe to Pip Magazine, we highly recommend you grab yourself a copy. Pip has plenty of goodness to offer in the way of vital food for thought. The latest issue, whose theme is inspired by Nick Rose’s book, Fair Food: Stories from a movement changing the world, brings together ‘a collection of ideas and stories about people working hard to create a Fair Food future’, writes editor Robyn Rosenfeldt.

The magazine has gathered a great collection of people who are showing fair and sane alternative ways to producing and acquiring food. Along with Penelope Dodd from ‘Produce to the People’ and Angelo Eliades from ‘Deep Green Permaculture’ Melliodora’s own local food advocate, Su Dennett is profiled. Su has been working at the Rocklyn Yoga Ashram this week where a PDC is taking place. We miss you here in the office, Su!

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And here, quiet as a mouse deep in thought is David working on his upcoming book RetroSuburbia: a downshifter’s guide to a resilient future Due to be released later this year, the book highlights the ongoing and incremental changes we can make to our built, biological and behavioural landscapes as we collectively strive to rebuild our household economies.

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That’s it from us here today. We hope your soils are rich and fertile and your larder filling up with bottles of summer loving.

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Permaculture activism in the Brown Tech Future

Keynote Address to 12th Australasian Permaculture Convergence

Penguin Tasmania  March 2015

Outline

Over the last 8 years David Holmgren’s Future Scenarios work has provided a framework through which permaculture, transition and kindred activists have better understood, navigated and even taken advantage of the chaotic changes unfolding in our world driven by peaking resources, environmental tipping points, economic contraction and geopolitical instability.

His more recent (2013) essay Crash On Demand: Welcome to the Brown Tech Future triggered a global debate in the peak oil blogosphere and more locally (eg Great Debate at the Melbourne Sustainable Living Festival) about local adaption vs grand global plans.

In this keynote David Holmgren builds on the lessons of 40 years of permaculture and kindred activism to articulate how the bottom up permaculture strategies that focus at the personal, household, enterprise and community level can be effective where mass movements to demand top down change are repeatedly derailed or simply reinvent the problems in new forms ( the solution becomes the problem).

At a time when environmental activists are feeling increasingly embattled and desperate, the opportunities for permaculture have never been greater. Are we ready to use whatever agency remains at the personal, household and community level to turn the problems into solutions?

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Permaculture design system and activism

Permaculture is a design system for sustainable land use and living.

It articulates and applies the design principles of nature in new ways appropriate to the energy descent era of industrial civilisation. These design principles are embedded in an ethical framework derived from the commonalities of indigenous and traditional cultures of place.

Permaculture activism uses global understanding to inform local action at the personal, household and community scale to create models capable of viral proliferation.

Permies seeks to create the world we do want by direct constructive action rather than stopping the world we don’t want by restrictive action. Permaculture’s popularity especially with environmentally aware youth over three generations can be partly attributed to a “good cop/bad cop” synergy with more conventional oppositional activism. Thus those who have done their time in direct action in the forest (or shale gas blockades) are often supported by those who spend their positive energy on the permablitz front line.

Similarly for more mature people, being the change we want to see in the world is far more empowering, than using all our capacity and credentials to push for policy change from the top down.

Pushback from conventional activism

While the support for permaculture and positive environmentalism in general has grown stronger in recent years, there is also a pushback from those committed to the top down and oppositional strategies. The argument is that composting your garden may be good for you but it does little to help bring about the necessary structural changes in society that, it is argued, can only come through big processes such as

  1. corporate capitalism making big bucks doing good,
  2. top down policy reforms driven fearless political leaders or
  3. mass movements threatening revolution to force change at the top.

Those committed to these pathways argue theirs is the best. Often the pathway of changing the world by changing ourselves is ignored or denigrated as self obsessed navel gazing.

In the permaculture movement the value of this DIY approach is taken for granted but permies often have difficulty in articulating to others why this approach is at least as important as the other three in shaping a more positive future for ourselves, humanity and nature.

I want to go one step further to articulate why the DIY and DIO (doing it ourselves) approaches of permaculture are the most efficient, resilient and empowering ways to focus our own limited power in the world.

Activism that is good for our bodies and our minds is fun and empowering, and makes us more self reliant, and resilient in the face of uncertain futures, is a much easier sell than activism that involves self sacrifice for some larger collective good. In this sense permaculture shares some common ground with green corporate capitalism’s focus on rewards as a motivation even if the rewards are primarily non monetary.

If our experiments in DIY self-reliance are successful, others without as much innovator tenacity can copy what we do without having to make so many mistakes. The issue of whether our solutions are scalable beyond the non monetary household and community economies to the monetary economy, let alone corporate capitalism is less important than whether our solution can replicate virally to achieve scale in numbers

Big solutions to big problems often recreate the problem in a new form. Small scale solutions have the advantage of being site and situation specific and being more amenable to incremental organic adaptation with less risk that failures causes higher order systemic failures. For example local raw milk Community Supported Agriculture system have some real (very low) risk of causing illness but large scale corporate supply systems of industrial milk have created problems where large numbers of people spread across countries become sick before corrective responses can be enacted.

In addition there is strong evidence many successful small business get started in the household and community economies of gift, exchange and reciprocity before growing into the monetary economy. In the future, two processes suggest this might be the main mechanism by which we grow a new monetary economy. Credit crunches from deflationary economics eliminate bank finance for small business so the bootstraps DIY approach is the only option. Secondly the capacity of governments to enforce regulatory barriers that currently stymie home producers going commercial, will be unsustainable.

What we do in our own households, with our family and informal community networks is simple and small scale so that it largely can occur

  1. without the permission of the banks who -through their lending – determine what does and what does not happen in the credit driven monetary economy,
  2. and without the knowledge of the corporate competitors who stand to lose market share,
  3. and mostly under the radar of the government regulators whose function is to secure the market for bank financed corporate investment.

The potential for mass adoption is the test that most political activists want to see before they will accept any value from DIY approaches. Can we persuade everyone to grow their own vegetables? What if everyone had a wood stove? Is there enough land in the city to grow all the food? How will it help us close down a brown coal power station?

Mainstream political action focuses on persuading the majority because the majority is always the biggest game in town. This focus on majorities is strategically useless for smaller order players like environmental and social activists. Apart from the need to counter the massive propaganda might of the strongest lobby groups, it ignores an important trend in affluent, notionally democratic nations at least since the thatcherite/reganite revolution of the early 1980’s . A simple or even large majority is not enough to persuade elite power structures to roll over and implement policies that directly threaten their own power (eg Iraq war 2003).

On the other hand the DIY approach has some important advantages as a political change pathway. Firstly the DIY approach that reflects permaculture ethics and design principles behaves as a systemic strike of labour, skill and capital against the debt financing by banks, globalized production controlled by corporations and central government taxation dependent on constantly rising GDP. I have argued in Crash On Demand, that a 50% reduction in consumption, work and investment by 10% of the global middle class could be enough to severely undermine the power of these global systems (that are already teetering due to the massive global unpayable debt burdens)

Whatever the effects on centralized systems, the experience of building the parallel systems from the bottom up will expose the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats through a rapid learning cycle. In the process we can better articulate a larger scale public policy agenda that would allow the next level of adoption and adaption as well as clarifying the design characteristics necessary for any truly useful larger scale government or corporate driven solutions.

The response of the centralized power structures to such a systemic strike might be to introduce draconic regulations and politically demonise those pursuing DIY enlightened self interest. We should expect more of this but there are limits to how effective such responses might be. Firstly the diffuse, even invisible nature of many of these personal and household strategies makes them inherently difficult to control. Recent attempts to control raw milk in Victoria are likely to be as ineffective as drug prohibition – every man and his dog now admits has failed despite massive resources and efforts on the part of the state. Secondly demonizing raw milk consumers and gardeners is somewhat harder than doing the same to so-called radical Islamists.

The alternative more hopeful response of centralized power might be to engage in political discourse to encourage the striking minority to come back into the fold. “We need your consumption and your creativity, what would you like to be paid to be part of the Team (Australia)” Being relatively autonomous gives us much more political leverage than being part of a mass movement of completely dependent consumers and indebted workers.

In the Brown Tech future that I believe we are increasingly locked into – nationally and globally – I think there will still be some opportunities for constructive dialogue with those trying to bring about top down change either with/through government or corporations; but we should expect that some of these opportunities will almost inevitably turn the solution back into the problem. In the face of unfolding environmental, geological, economic and geopolitical crises, the ability to ‘speak truth to power’ in defense of dispossessed people and voiceless nature will become more symbolic that effective in achieving resilience let alone justice.

On the other hand, the urgency in building the parallel systems on the conceptual and geographic fringes (edges and margins principle) will grow and the interest from those wanting to participate with their hands and hearts will increase to a flood. The ability to replicate workable alternatives to the strictures of contracting but monopolistic centralized systems will be a challenge for permaculture activists.

At the moment, turning the tide of the majority to our way would be more of a destructive tsunami than a surfable wave. If we can prove to ourselves that we can enjoy life living more healthy and resilient lives, less dependent on centralized systems while massively reducing our ecological footprint in the process, then we provide a pattern than others can copy. At the same time we contribute the diversity of solutions that can model whatever utility and hope remains for system-wide reform and redesign. And if that fails at least we lived the solution and have a multiplicity of lifeboats that give the best chance of saving the useful bits and even the essence of wisdom from a failing civilization for the emergence of the next.

Zooming back from the over-the-horizon big picture to the here and now, I would like to suggest ways in which we can make the DIY and DIO strategies achieve their great potential for positive change.

DIY suggests a learning process with less than perfect results, but if we want others to copy us then the work of reviewing, debugging and refining our solutions is essential. The fact that permaculture has generated a lot of half baked outcomes by people who are “jacks of all trades but masters of none”, is to some extent an inevitable outcome of the experimental and generalist integrated nature of permaculture solutions. However to establish any credibility – let alone have others copy us – requires food gardens that are abundant, compost toilets that smell sweet and lifestyles that are attractive to at least a motivated minority. We don’t need to dumb permaculture down for the masses but it does need to work at least on the terms of those who are interested.

We need to admit and correct our mistakes, and avoid the error of suggesting a given permaculture technique, species or even strategy is applicable everywhere. (It is the principles and ethics that are universal)

Most of all in celebrating our being jacks and jills of all trades, we should aim – at least in maturity – to also become masters and mistresses of one. One trade that can allow us to be truly useful members of relocalising communities where many may not recognize permaculture understandings – let alone p c ideology – as having any value. Energy descent futures, especially of the Brown Tech variation will not necessarily see permaculture as widely appreciated.

While this first issue [specify the issue]is about the reality and perception of effective solutions that have the power to spread, the second is about the degree to which apparently practical and effective permaculture designs are leading to substantial decoupling from the globalized economies that are now degrading humanity’s future.

In the same way that it is not clear that renewable technologies can proliferate without abundant fossil fuels and debt financing, it is not clear that when we live our permaculture lifestyle we are not just participating in global degradation through more indirect pathways.

I believe the holistic nature of permaculture can allow us to progressively integrate our personal, household, enterprise and communal systems. These systems can more and more support and stimulate, first the non monetary economies, and secondly businesses controlled by natural persons, as we progressively disengage from support for and dependency on businesses run by non natural persons (corporations) that are structurally immune to ethical influence. How to do this with one arm tied behind our back and hopping on one leg is a balancing act to say the least. (eg coming to Tassie on the Ferry)

We need to demonstrate that the DIY and DIO strategies of permaculture are workable, enjoyable and empowering but most of all that they can spread, if not like wildfire, then like a cool burn (or a compost culture) that regenerates the understory of our brittle and flammable communities.

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Great debate, the video

My essay “Crash On Demand” was the primary influence in framing this year’s Great debate at the Sustainable Living Festival in Melbourne,  so we felt that I had to make time to be there (in the middle of our Rocklyn Ashram residential PDC  plus peak fruit and honey harvest).

With an audience of over 250 it was an opportunity to explain the logic of bottom up permaculture activism in response to the energy descent future and hear some of the other perspectives presented. The dichotomy of the unwieldy title, the dreaded C word and the “vote” gave me the gripes, but it was good fun and an opportunity to catch up with Nicole Foss after our joint public speaking tour last winter.

Here’s yours truly kicking off the debate.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=roO5FJZNmBM&w=560&h=315]

For those people who want to see the whole debate (nearly 2hr long, but you should), here is the entire Great Debate (Nicole Foss, about 35 min mark. About 1.20 min mark begins the summing up, voting and Q and A).

[vimeo 119722889 w=500 h=281]

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Aussie St at Rainbow

How come permaculture co-originator (an old codger) David Holmgren is using a surfing metaphor to talk about suburbia at the Rainbow Serpent festival, in the dry inland, to mostly young people who don’t own a house and have most likely recently escaped suburbia to find their way in the world?
David traces the history of suburbia from the 1950’s through to the present and on into a challenging future that is already unfolding using an entertaining and edgy story about his imaginary but amazingly true-to-life Aussie Street.

While many young people are now questioning the idea of debt to become home owners, few can see a pathway forward that will give them some capacity to create the world they do want.
David shows how getting out of debt, downsizing and rebooting our dormant household and community non-monetary economies are the best hedges that ordinary citizens can make.

The idea that these household and community economies could achieve unprecedented growth rates if the monetary economy takes a serious dive, is a good news story you won’t hear from mainstream media. The metaphor of surfing suggests a stronger role for positive risk taking behaviour change without the need for expensive changes to the built environment that few will be able to afford. The permaculture makeover and behaviour change in a retrofitted Aussie St allows the residents to not only survive but thrive through the “dumpers” of the property bubble collapse, climate chaos and geopolitical energy shocks that hit the lucky country in the Second Great Depression of the 2020’s .

An endearing, amusing and gutsy story of hope for in-situ adaptation by the majority of Australians living in our towns and suburbs.

And if you think it is just a dream, check out some of the examples of Aussie Street style retrofitting of the suburb.

Hulbert Street in Fremantle, WA is a great example. Here, a driving force behind neighbourhood remaking, Shani Graham, talks about her experience in a Tedx talkfest in Perth. A permaculture activist in the Blue Mountains in NSW, Paula Ajuria informed us late last year that a neighbourhood retrofit is underway. We are sure there are many other Aussie Streets out there, and hopefully after Rainbow, there will be many more.

Come and see how the real Aussie dreams are made at Rainbow.
See our Event page for more details.

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Aussie St Suburbia Retrofit

 

David Holmgren looking short with tall poppies of Tassie permaculture  Hannah Moloney and Anton Vikstom

David Holmgren looking short with “tall poppies” of Tassie permaculture Hannah Moloney and Anton Vikstrom

Hobart July 19 was the final gig of the Foss/Holmgren around Australia speaking tour. With Nicole Foss back to NZ David took the opportunity of extended presentation time (80 minutes) to expand on some of the financial issues covered by Nicole and to add more creative ad lib flourishes to Aussie St.

Described by Brisbane permaculture pioneer Dick Copeman as “the permaculture soap opera” Aussie St is a light hearted but gutsy look at opportunities for creative in-situ adaptation in suburbia to the emerging crises of contracting economics, geo-political instability, peak oil and climate change.

This event hosted by Good Life Permaculture  at Sustainable Living Tasmania was broadcast live on YouTube. Despite the less than perfect visuals (and David being tired from teaching all day on the Good Life Permaculture Design Course)  this broadcast is well worth viewing for anyone who missed the Foss/Holmgren tour.

[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lPrWaCbaBvY]

Note this video has been edited to begin with a brief intro by Hannah before the presentation that runs for 80 minutes with 15 minutes of Q&A

 

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More great books in stock

We love good books at Melliodora, and through our online shop, we would love to share some of the good books we find. You know, we choose what we distribute from our online shop carefully, share what we like and what we think deserves to be distributed. In other words, the items for sale you see at our shop carry our seal of approval. You may have noticed that we have recently added three new titles. You can find more about each item in the shop, but we would like to give you a bit of sales pitch.

Before getting into that, we would like to point why it is a good idea to order books from us.

Sure you may find the same titles sold much cheaply at Amazon and other big online distributors. But do they give back fair share to the authors and publishers? Remember “fair share”? If you want to give as much to those who deserve their share, please choose where you purchase books. At HD we do our best to keep our prices competitive, whilst managing our business ethically, so that authors and publishers are rewarded fairly.

the-weed-forager-s-handbookEnough rantings. First up, we have this elegantly produced The Weed Forager’s Handbook by Adam Grubb and Annie Raser-Rowland. Adam is no stranger in the permaculture scene, having founded the Energy Bulletin (which has morphed since into Resilience.org), the Permablitz movement (with Dan Palmer) and Very Edible Gardens. His partner in crime, Annie, is an experienced gardener and dissatisfied foodie, with a background in art. Together, they have put together a beautiful and informative handbook.

200px-Elizabeth_Blachrie_Blackwell

Elizabeth Blachrie Blackwell

We especially like the look and feel of the book, maybe partly due to its extensive used of those beautifully detailed old botanical illustrations. (The front cover picture, shown here, is Herbarium Blackweellianum by Elizabeth Blachrie Blackwell from 1757).

David Holmgren says this about this pocket size handbook.

This handbook is the essential text for both novice and experienced wild food foragers. The guidelines, excellent ID photos and choice of most useful and common species will give the novice confidence, while the facts and recipes will extend all but the most advanced weed aficionados. For the gardener tired of joyless weeding Adam and Annie open our eyes to the fact that the problem can indeed be the solution.

And the Gardening Australia presenter, Costa Georgiadis.

….. if you eat, then this book is a must-have companion.

See more about them on the Eat that weed website.

Permaculture4inMENNext up we have the Permaculture Handbook: Garden farming for town and country by Peter Bane. Being a long-time permaculture writer, publisher of the Permaculture Activist magazine, teacher and practitioner, Peter may need no introduction. In this book, he crystallises the concept of “garden farming”, and by applying pattern language, developed by Christopher Alexander et al., he adds a new page to permaculture design methods. Based on his own experience and his extensive observation, the nitty gritty of garden farming in suburbs and peri-urban landscapes are convincingly explained.

Here’s what David Holmgren has to say about this book.

Of all the permaculture books from Australia, America and around the world, this one most completely fills the big space between my own articulation of permaculture theory in Permaculture: Principles and Pathways Beyond Sustainability (2002) and my earlier intimate documentation of our own efforts towards garden farming in Melliodora: a case study in cool climate permaculture (1995). This book is likely to become the classic design manual for those with the energy and enthusiasm to become the garden farmers of the future.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r8zdvj4wxqg&w=560&h=315]

fartThen, the Art of Fermentation by Sandor Katz, who the New York Times once described as “one of the unlikely rock stars of the American food scene”. In this book, Katz covers everything from the benefits of fermentation to human health to practical how-tos. The examples of fermented food and drinks are extensive, from alcohol, pickles, yoghurt, sourdough bread, porridge, amazake, tempeh, salami, natto and many more, which makes this book, the most comprehensive guide to do-it-yourself home fermentation ever published.

With full-color illustrations and extended resources, this book provides essential wisdom for cooks, homesteaders, farmers, gleaners, foragers, and food lovers of all kinds who want to develop a deeper understanding and appreciation for arguably the oldest form of food preservation, and part of the roots of culture itself.

We at Melliodora thought we had incorporated a fair amount of fermented food in our diet, but browsing the Art of Fermentation, we realised we have only touched the tip of iceberg. We must say, the kitchen without a copy of this, is not a kitchen.

6969And the last but not least. Long out of stock title by Joan Webster, Essential Bushfire Safety Tips is back in stock. It is the third edition, revised after the devastating Black Saturday bushfires which claimed so many lives and properties in Victoria in 2009. If you happen to be living in a bushfire prone area like most of us in Australia, and in vast areas of the US and Russia, then this book is the essential resource to prepare for fire. We need to devise our own fire plans, as fire authories are limited in what they can do, especially their ability  to defend you, your house and property from fire, a threat that seems to be increasing in ferocity and frequency as a consequence of global climate ‘weirding’. Even for those who live in urban areas, it is important to understand bushfire so they can decode media reports, and participate in the public discussions and policy formulations.

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Melliodora summer tours

Melliodora house tourThe 2013/14  season of public tours at Melliodora will continue on 12th January. The weather during summer will guarantee good photos for visitors touring through the farm garden system at Melliodora. There are two different tours on offer on the day and many choose to attend both tours.

The morning tour will guide visitors through the way the house functions to support the home-based lifestyle of David Holmgren and Su Dennett, as well as all the visitors and workers at Melliodora. Su will explain the principles behind passive solar house design, as well as show examples of practical applications at work. Ask Su about cooking; making miso, bread making, how to make weeds into ‘gourmet peasant’, etc., her expertise in this area is unsurpassed.

The afternoon tour explores the relationships between plants and animals, landscape and garden farming setups and designs. Along the way, you will see many  practical applications of permaculture principles. To hear David speak in his home paddock challenges and informs, and is guaranteed to be a memorable experience.

The next tours are on Sunday January 12th, 2014. They are always very popular so do remember to book now at our online shop, to secure your place and avoid missing out.

Note, we offer tour vouchers for either the morning, the afternoon, or the two tours on the same day. These vouchers are a great gift idea for the silly season or New Year.   To purchase please email us info[at]holmgren[dot]com[dot]au.

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Be a Melliodoran (for a week): seasonal cycle course

 

DSC00916Join this course for a unique opportunity to share living and learning in a mature permaculture system guided by permaculture co-founder David Holmgren, his partner, Su Dennett and Melliodora office manger, Rick Tanaka, all of whom have decades of experience in self-reliant living. The 7 day residential course takes place at the renowned permaculture demonstration site, Melliodora.

DSC00639Those interested in living the self-reliant lifestyle based on permaculture principles will gain valuable life lessons from the experience. With only 8 places available you become part of the family and interaction with David, Su, Rick and other participants is ‘quality time’.

Participants will be involved in all the tasks and assignments relevant to autumn, with an emphasis on harvesting, processing and preserving the bounty of the season.  DSC00685The course offers a unique opportunity to live and experience permaculture for 7 action packed days.

The 8 places will fill quickly so book early and don’t miss out. More details here.

(photos from the seasonal cycle course 2013)

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