We believe that the urban garden is one of the solutions in the face of rising cost of living. By applying permaculture principles in the design and lifestyle, we seek to maximize onsite resources to meet most of our needs with minimal impact on the land.

Friday, 24 February 2012


I've been thinking about this blogging thingy and wondering if I should keep it going...I'm sure I'm NOT alone..hahaha!

Things have changed since my daughter entered the world. She has been my world and my passion for gardening seems so dim in comparison. However, the trees that we planted are yielding fruits and we have been enjoying great harvest despite not putting as much work into the garden.

I'm rethinking my strategies in the sustainable garden...and something is on the horizon! I'm excited! :)

Thursday, 19 February 2009

Schedule for March & April 2009

7th March - Meeting at Megan's place to learn about preserving the excess summer harvest.
- also to discuss the schedule for the rest of the year.

4th April - Harvest festival at Clarie's place (Feilding) to share all the yummies from our gardens.
- Sorry I won't be able to share in this celebration- my baby is due to arrive at this time!!

An email will be sent out with the details of the meeting locations. Contact me if you need more information.

February 2009 Meeting - Urban Vege Garden Tour

We visited 4 urban productive gardens - each had its own merits and beauty. But all were very productive. 3 out of the 4 gardens were tended by male gardeners. I guess there is hope for my lovely husband yet (tongue in cheek!). I think an annual garden tour at about this time of the year is great. I'll factor this in for next year's timetable.

Keep sowing seeds for lettuces, radishes, the fast summer crops. You'll still get a crop or two of those.

Also we briefly talked about winter planting.

Now is the time to put the winter vegetables in if you haven't done so. Sow seeds for the brassica families, leeks etc. I'm thinking of planting a crop of potatoes, not sure it's too late...if I get round to doing it this weekend.

Wednesday, 29 October 2008

Urban Permaculture Meetings 2008-2009

At the last meeting, we came up with a tentative meeting schedule for the next few months. The meeting date is always the first Saturday of each month at 2:30pm unless specified. Please contact me for meeting addresses.

November - Farmer Cedric's Organic Dairy Farm, host by Susan and Cedric
- also bring any excess seedlings to share and exchange
December - Ocean Organics home garden, host by Judith

January - Holiday
February - Planning the winter garden, host by Esther and Matt
March - Raising Pigs, making Salami, host by Susan and Cedric and Karine Chagne
April - TBC
May - Harvest Festival, host by Clarie

Thursday, 16 October 2008

The urbanpermie is back!

I've been out of action for a while for a very good reason - I was having such bad all day sickness! I'm now into the 17th week of the pregnancy and my energy is finally returning. Also I can now sit infront of the computer for a longer period without feeling so sick.

Naturally as a result of the past few months of inaction, my garden is also in a state of neglect. For a the first time in many months, my husband and I spent some good hours trying to catch up with lost time. We were pretty amazed that within a few hours, the garden was looking quite acceptable again. We're convinced that Permaculture principles works!!

All through winter, the chookies in the chook tractor were working around the vegetable beds, so I have well mulched, fertilized vege beds ready for planting. What I need now are seedlings for planting.

All the fruit trees are doing really well this year. I think it's because the Tree lucerns are doing their job in providing wind shelter. The pear tree is looking exceptionally well - it could be the comfrey plant planted at the base of the pear tree. I'll now work towards planting comfrey at the base of all the fruit trees. Having said that, the mandarine tree was loaded with fruits late winter has suddenly taken a turn for the worst and died. Not sure why.

As for the chook family, one chook died in winter. It was the weakest link and it just wasn't strong enough to withstand the constant wet and extreme cold we had this year. Sadly another chook was eating it's own eggs and were extremely noise, so it went too. That's a blog entry in itself. We are left with 3 chookies at the moment.

I guess that's me for the moment...

Monday, 28 July 2008

Bicycle Energy

Just imagine- bike for an hour and power the house lights for a week! This is a reality for a man who found a solution to stay fit and solve a power crisis.

Check out the free plans to design bicycle energy systems for your home. You may be able to save some money this winter.

Tuesday, 22 July 2008

Milk Tonic for good health

Tiger’s Milk, an old naturopathic convalescent tonic for a perfect breakfast. A convalescent tonic was traditionally used to build people back up after an illness or stress, including childbirth.

Per person
2 x raw egg yolks (from free range eggs
½ - ¾ cup of milk, yoghurt or kefir
2-3 tablespoons of blueberries (fresh or frozen)
1 teaspoon to 1 tablespoon of coconut oil

First blend the yoghurt and berries until smooth, then add the egg yolks and coconut oil and blend until combined. It’s important to not over process the egg yolks so always add them last.

If you or a family member is allergic to dairy, you can replace the milk with almond milk or rice milk. To make either of these even more nutritious, culture them using Kefir grains or culture first. A less ideal option is to replace the milk with fresh or frozen orange juice – this works best as an afternoon snack rather than breakfast. You can also add some frozen banana for children (or fussy adults).

Matt and I love it. We find that the coconut flavor stands out the most. The shake has a beautiful purplish color, so quite appealing. We can hardly tastes the yolk. The natural yogurt and kefir give a tarty taste. If you like it a bit sweeter, adding some banana will do the trick, and I can imagine it going very well with the coconut flavor.

Thursday, 17 July 2008

Making Friands

A good lemony muffin recipe by Pat Churchill to use up the excess egg whites and lemon rinds. Nothing goes wasted.

Lemon Friands
180g Butter
200g icing sugar
50g plain flour
pinch salt
1/2 tsp lemon essence
120g ground almonds
zest of 2 lemons
5 egg whites
extra icing sugar

Preheat oven to 180C. Lightly grease muffin tins.
Melt the butter, then set it aside to cool.
Place butter, ground almonds, zest, essence, sifted icing sugar and flour into a mixing bowl.
Lightly beat the eggs whites till frothy and stir into the other ingredients till combined - don't over mix.
Spoon into greased muffin tins and bake for 25-30 minutes till a toothpick inserted in clean when removed. Allow to stand for five minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool.
To serve, dust with icing sugar and accompany with whipped cream ans seasonal fruit.

Sunday, 13 July 2008

It's Snowing in Palmy!

Oops, I mean it's hailing down like dogs and cats. I was so exciting that I rushed out barefooted with my camera!! The next thing, I felt my feet hurting - it felt like I was walking on ice (which I was!!) I simply couldn't contain my excitement. Next thing I knew, I ran to my neighbor's place, and invited her out to play in the ice with me. Oh oh, I could see my footprints. I felt like a child jumping up and down in joy after receiving a most precious present!!

Back to School....

Not quite. But I love blogging so much that I have enrolled to learn about web design and writing for the web with the Open Polytechnics. A bit radical, you might say. Firstly, I feel strongly that my writing has tonnes of room for improvement and secondly I like to have more control over the template (the control-freak part of me is emerging here). And I really can't believe that there is JUST THE COURSE for me!! So, why wait??

Both papers (web design & writing) are online papers, work out quite well as I do enjoy sitting long hours infront of the screen especially in winter. If everything goes as per planned, I should graduate this coming November.

On top of that, the one year Plant Propagation Course is also starting this week. So, I'll be just a tat busy the next 6 months.

These activities should be enough to keep my out of winter blues!!