Macro to Micro: Introducing Eco-Social Matrix

The Eco-Social Matrix (ESM) developed by permaculture designer, Robyn Francis, provides a useful tool for bioregional planning, human settlement and ecovillage design, transition initiatives, and for thinking more deeply about the consequences of where we live in terms of accessing our needs and interacting with community

Natural cleaning- simple, safe and inexpensive

My grandmother was a great source of practical wisdom — born in the 1880’s she grew up in a world kept clean and hygienic with simple natural ingredients and common household items.  The world changed post WWII as we entered the era of booming corporations, consumption and petro-chemical products.  Suddenly the washing had to be …

Davidson Plum – Rainforest flavours

Davidson Plum Davidsonia pruriens var. jerseyana  A bombshell of colour and intense clean, tart flavour, Davidson Plum has become one of my favourite bushfood fruits in the kitchen. This tall (3-4m) slender rainforest plant will grow and bear in the tiniest garden space. It prefers a semi-shady location and does well under the canopy of …

Ozone – a silent peril at ground level

Robyn Francis reports, March 2012 We learned of the importance of ozone in the stratosphere when it depleted to allow harmful levels of ultra-violet rays to reach the earth’s surface, so ozone up there is a good thing, but not so good closer to earth in the troposphere. At ground level ozone is killing trees …

Piggies at Work

Photo journal of a pig tractor garden Pigs are amazing biological ploughs – their snout is exceptionally strong and designed for excavating the earth in search of tasty morsels buried underground, especially tubers and roots, and also fungi and insects. In Permaculture there is frequent reference to use of pigs as tractoring animals and I’ve …