All Blog Posts (1,790)

Some interesting facts about Comfrey

Hi all I just kicked off a research program that seeks to realize the untapped potential for comfrey, an ancient Russian herb.  If you’re interested in supporting my efforts, a grass roots citizen science project, and have a few bucks to spare please support my pledgeme campaign here -…


Added by Tim on March 22, 2015 at 1:42pm — No Comments

Passive solar

House design is an integral aspect of permaculture with passive solar and other low energy input designs. The conundrum is that we really need different designs for winter and summer. In Japan we have cold dry winters and hot muggy summers so the Japanese approach was that it was better to be cool in summer and freeze in winter. If I paint the west facing wall matt black the concrete will absorb heat during the day and radiate half of it back into the house at night. In summer a white wall…


Added by Suburban Micro Food Forest on March 5, 2015 at 3:58pm — No Comments

Arid micro-climate

Water melon and cucumbers have done well in the searing heat by the west facing wall of the house. Everything else seems to struggle. It's all about trial and observation. I want to avoid being dependent on hand watering if possible. I'm considering another grape or peach against this wall as they seem to be able to find water.

Added by Suburban Micro Food Forest on March 5, 2015 at 3:52pm — No Comments

refusing to die

The banana roots and taro I chucked in the soak hole to die have revived and are doing well. It's the lowest point of the site so they must be getting water. Should have put them there in the first place. As Jacques Cousteau said 'Life is very persistent.'

Added by Suburban Micro Food Forest on March 5, 2015 at 3:47pm — No Comments

The garden grows

Well, now that we are at the end of December, my garden is finally starting to take off :) I started planting Labour weekend, but everything I planted failed to grow and some things were taken out by the thousands of little slugs I have living in my woodchips. After talking to friends, I think the plants failed to grow because the ground was covered with mulch and took longer to warm up. Plus the garden is exposed to the sou-wester winds, soil is a bit compacted etc etc. Next year I will…


Added by Sarah Walsh on December 31, 2014 at 10:45am — 1 Comment

Spring update

Have constructed more terraces for annual veg beds. Big problem germinating seeds this year. Kali's toms have self sown along with lettuces left to go to seed. Now have comfrey and seaweed tea barrels for fert. 99% ground covered with weeds but removed some to make clean terrace beds. Still adding grass clippings and coffee. I miss my chickens.

Added by Suburban Micro Food Forest on December 5, 2014 at 11:08pm — No Comments

Permaculture property for sale

5 acres and 5 bed house for sale Paremoremo - suitable permaculture with good water catchment, space for zone 1 veg garden zone 2 fruit trees and zone three livestock plus forest. email for details

Added by Suburban Micro Food Forest on December 5, 2014 at 11:02pm — No Comments

The garden

So, after getting the food forest started, it was time to start on the vege garden. First I layed that old carpet and underfelt all over the ground in the backyard to kill off the grass. I had hoped it would kill off the grass completely by September when I planned to start double digging, but by the end of August the grass was brown and in some places it had decomposed, but…


Added by Sarah Walsh on September 27, 2014 at 2:20pm — 2 Comments

election day activities

voted early last week so spent the morning gardening:)

the forecasted bad weather never eventuated and enjoyed a glorious sunny day. planted pip grown blackboy peach and apricot trees at home, dug out couch from saffron bed and buried Bokashi bucket contents & coffee grinds into one of the fallow beds earmarked for potatoes at the community garden.

transplanted self sown perpetual spinach, ragged jack kale and chamomile - all originally grown from seed Kali shared with… Continue

Added by Megan on September 20, 2014 at 7:28pm — No Comments

The food forest grows

Another mandarin - Burgess Scarlet, is added to the citrus family.

Then I start digging more…


Added by Sarah Walsh on September 20, 2014 at 3:04pm — 1 Comment

The start of a food forest...

Well, we have finally moved, and I have a Lot more room to play with. Half an acre, in fact.

While we were still house hunting I started watching videos about permaculture orchards and gardens on Youtube and stumbled across a new idea (well, new to me) called 'Food Forests'. The idea is, instead of planting fruit trees with grass or maybe a herbal ley underneath, you plant all the layers you find in a forest: tall trees, short trees, shrubs, vines, ground cover, root crops. You also…


Added by Sarah Walsh on September 20, 2014 at 2:49pm — No Comments

4 roses surplus to requirements

Smooth variety, thornless and scented. Please contact me if interested

Added by Sarah Louise Rose Yates on July 6, 2014 at 12:26pm — No Comments

Winter diary

Have dug in the sheet composted coffee grounds and grass clippings. I think it makes a better veggie bed combining the organic matter with the topsoil although no-dig purists may disapprove. Have planted out a lot of self sown corn and lettuce seedlings and mixed the corn with broad beans. Need to add squash for the Mexican triumvirate. The whole site is covered in weeds now and we are finally getting some mandarins, lemons, limes and oranges. 

Added by Suburban Micro Food Forest on July 2, 2014 at 9:42pm — No Comments

Gluten free

Junko has researched and perfected a number of gluten free bread and cake recipes to get me off the wheat energy roller coaster. I don't fall asleep in the afternoon now and my bakery bill has dropped. She's using mixtures of spelt, rye, rice, corn and potato flours. Some taro and a couple of bananas have survived where I chucked them in the corner soak hole where the run-off ends up. Comfrey is everywhere. I miss my chickens - if anyone in Akl needs to get rid of a couple of layers please…


Added by Suburban Micro Food Forest on July 2, 2014 at 9:41pm — No Comments

Food security news

I produce a facebook blog posting news articles on global food security issues. Feel free to post any articles you come across that are specific to the topic and properly researched.!/pages/Food-Security-News/199771066772925

Added by Suburban Micro Food Forest on April 5, 2014 at 10:24pm — No Comments

Permaculture lifestyle block

In order to fund our planned move to a potential permaculture block I am back selling real estate on Auckland's north shore. I did this job back in the 90's in Epsom/Remuera. If you have a question about the market or would like to know what your property might be worth, email me

Sorry for the commercial, but it's for a good cause :-)

Added by Suburban Micro Food Forest on April 5, 2014 at 10:16pm — No Comments

Endless summer

Another long dry summer. A mowing contractor is adding regular loads of grass clippings. Kali's heirloom tomatoes have been fantastic - we can't keep up with them. Interestingly they have very thick skins and the birds have left them alone. We peel them by dropping them in boiling water for 10 seconds. Had loads of acid free with basil and various dressings and buckets of the deepest red tomato soup we've ever seen. Thanks Kali! A local I met has saved me a black variety. My corn all dried…


Added by Suburban Micro Food Forest on April 5, 2014 at 10:09pm — No Comments

Homemade Greek Yogurt (Cream Cheese)

Have you ever thought about how companies make normal, store-bought cream cheese?

Na, I don’t think about it either.

I’d rather make my own awesome, home-made cream cheese!

It is super, super, super easy.

There are just two steps. That’s right, folks. TWO STEPS. Heck, you can either say it’s just one step.



To make home-made cream cheese you just transfer a container (about 1 kg) of PLAIN yogurt into a…


Added by Irina Beckner on March 24, 2014 at 11:30pm — No Comments

Gluten-free Gingerbread Muffins






Mmmm. Gluten-free Gingerbread Muffins.

Or are they cupcakes?


There is no difference between muffins and cupcakes sometimes. Just add some frosting to this muffin and you’ll have yourself a Gluten-free Gingerbread Cupcake.

This recipe uses my wonderful sugar substitute …


Added by Irina Beckner on March 19, 2014 at 8:00pm — No Comments

Best Gluten-free Peanut Butter Cookies

This amazing creation of peanut-buttery goodness, coconut, oats, and chocolate chips uses my famous Date and Fig Puree. You can use other sweeteners like honey, maple syrup or bananas, but I found that the Date and Fig Puree gives the cookies the best flavor.

These cookies are really fast and easy. I made them after…


Added by Irina Beckner on March 19, 2014 at 8:00pm — 2 Comments

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