Tag Archives | Household economy

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.

(photos from the seasonal cycle course 2013)

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Household economy counts (full text)

AppleMarkAndy Scerri’s critique of Patrick Jones’ articulation of self-reliance, localism, and gift economies (Arena #115) is a familiar argument that has been used over the last thirty years to dismiss permaculture and related environmental activism by more traditional political activists.

The harsh reality is that neither pathway has significantly impeded the headlong rush of industrial modernity towards the ‘limits to growth’ cliff so accurately modelled 40 years ago by Meadows et al. I am more than ready to acknowledge that ‘our’ collective efforts at positive environmentalism during and since the 1970s have so far failed to catalyse the necessary changes in society, but Andy Scerri’s assertion that composting your private garden counts for nothing, reflects an ignorance of several structural and systemic factors driving and constraining social change.

First, if the changes or innovations required do not confer some advantage to the innovators and early adopters then there is little incentive for others to follow their lead.

Second, unless the necessary changes or innovations can be independently adopted by individuals, households and local communities without the resources, support and approval from central authority, then it can always be blocked by established interests that stand to lose by its widespread adoption.

Third, it is extremely difficult, if not impossible, for higher order organisations and governments to mandate a reality that doesn’t already exist as working models. Progressive and integrated adoption and refinement of the myriad of strategies and techniques associated with permaculture, enacted at the household and local level, addresses all three systemic issues.

Continue Reading →

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Retrofitting the suburbs for Sustainability

retro graphic2We have uploaded one of David’s classic articles “Retrofitting the suburbs for sustainability”. As most of us live in the city and that’s not likely to change any time soon, the suburbs need massive retrofitting. David takes an average urban street, plays with scenarios, and shows it’s doable. You can now download the piece, originally authored for the ‘Simplicity Institute Report 12i, 2012.

 

I believe the evidence of global instability leading to energy descent if not total collapse is so overwhelming that it is incumbent on everyone to begin taking personal and household responsibility for reorganising their lives to adapt in place (or consolidate with family or friends).  Paying off debt, teaching our kids to garden, and turning our hobby into a business is not going to solve the problems unleashed by permanent energetic and economic contraction, but after forty years of public policy denial of the limits to growth conundrum by government, the media and other sources of power and public policy, the bottom up adaption strategy is the only one with any remaining utility.

Download and read Retrofitting The Suburbs (PDF 254KB) in full.

 

Also you can explore the subject in the related pieces.

Retrofitting the suburbs for sustainability (adapted from public lecture given at the Aldinga Arts Eco-village in Adelaide in January 2005).

Retrofitting the Suburbs for Sustainability (David Holmgren’s presentation at the The Wheeler Centre in February 2012)

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The household level counts

8673479525_4ea29d4776David Holmgren’s comment entitled “The household level counts” was published in the latest issue of Arena magazine (#123) and following is the first few paragraphs of the piece.

———
Andy Scerri’s critique of Patrick Jones’ articulation of self-reliance, localism, and gift economies (Arena #115) is a familiar argument that has been used over the last thirty years to dismiss permaculture and related environmental activism by more traditional political activists.
The harsh reality is that neither pathway has significantly impeded the headlong rush of industrial modernity towards the ‘limits to growth’ cliff so accurately modelled 40 years ago by Meadows et al. I am more than ready to acknowledge that ‘our’ collective efforts at positive environmentalism during and since the 1970s have so far failed to catalyse the necessary changes in society, but Andy Scerri’s assertion that composting your private garden counts for nothing, reflects an ignorance of several structural and systemic factors driving and constraining social change. Continue Reading →

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Retrofitting the Suburbs for Sustainability (presentation)

David Holmgren gave a Lunchbox/Soapbox talk at the The Wheeler Centre in February 2012, exploring the profound improvements that the application of permaculture principles and strategies could deliver for the sustainability and liveability of today’s suburbs.

Through the microcosm of four adjacent houses in ‘Aussie Street’, Holmgren demonstrates how suburbs can and will respond to the converging economic, energy and climate crises, and discovers how you can stimulate positive household and community resilience in the face of these pressures.

Watch the video and add your comments.

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Treehugger interview in Buenos Aires

Extracted from the original Treehugger interview by Paula Alvarado in Buenos Aires, October 2007.

“Many of the mainstream approaches to how we might make things more energetically efficient and ecologically friendly, although well intentioned, are a waste of time”, says David Holmgren. From a permaculture point of view, that is.

This is because this set of principles called permaculture have a more radical point of view to green. But don’t be scared just yet: we’re not asking that you leave all behind to live in an eco-village in the middle of the country.

Continue Reading →

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