Coffee Grounds
Tree following - April 2014

Tree following – April 2014


A full week of rain in Melbourne marked the transition from an Indian Summer to Autumn proper. It felt like the soil itself let out a welcome sigh of relief, as a contestant drizzle eventually soaked the earth until it could hold no more. The best (or worst) sign of this is when find a heap of dead worms on your back porch on the morning after a big storm.

Now soaking the soil with rain water…

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JN12 Egg Incubator Review
Japanese quail newly hatched
Can U spell or waz up heh?

Seeing an obvious spelling mistake like ‘Voltoge’ instead of ‘Voltage’ is normally a cause for concern. Especially if it is on the top of your product for all to see; if they can’t get that right, what else did they miss?

Well the instructions are absolute crap(yet funny to read), but all the pieces were there so  no problem getting to the point of plugging it in and…

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The Fig Tree Vending Machine

The Fig Tree Vending Machine


Hungry? Just grab it!

You see how it works, just like a vending machine. Sure it’s only working a few weeks a year, but nature doesn’t work on our timetable. She does it when ever she bloody well wants!

fig tree fruit

Here are some handy instructions to follow:
1. Approach tree with ripe fruit
2. Pick off the fruit you want to eat
3. Discard any feelings of guilt for not having inserted notes or coins – our…

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It’s a Fruit – It’s a Vegetable. Whatever

I’m surprised that Solanum betaceum (Tamarillo), does not feature more often in permaculture systems. They are a fast growing small tree with good drought resistance, thrive in a strong wind when kept in bush form to about 2 meters, and of course, they make delicious fruit – sweet tomato with a hint of sour!

Now the tree in question is the first one of its kind to grace my garden, and seeing how I am the happy parent, here are the happy snaps throughout the fruit growing season.

So how good is this tree? Let’s have a look at some random facts that you possibly don’t need to know but will be compelled to read, at which point you will be unable to resist buying my latest book from Amazon or iTunes (aka resistance is futile).

1. Your fruit basket just got more interesting

You see people bringing fruit to the office all the time, so how many of them have apples, oranges, maybe figs if your lucky. How many of them have a Tamarillo? Good chance it is none, which makes your snack all the more interesting, plus its got a heap of vitamins and other junk like that.

2. Plant one when you get a new cat or dog

The Tamarillo tree will last you about 12 years, which is ideal for charting the lifecycle of a new family pet. Whichever one dies first, replace the other one at the same time!

3. A solarium is out of the question

The Tamarillo tree does not like the kind of relentless Summer sun that visits me here in Melbourne, Australia. During our most recent heatwave, i.e. 40+ Celsius days with strong dry wind gusts, the poor tree was wilted and about half the fruit dropped. It even burned some of the fruit that would later ripen. If you get these kinds of weather conditions, then try and place the tree in partial shade, or even as an understory plant.

4. ‘Ahh me arms!’

The Tamarillo is more productive with a hard prune after each growing season. Fruit sets on new growth, so the more you cut back to the trunk, the higher the number of individual fruit next year. If you want fewer but larger fruit, then do a partial prune.

5. Survive another day of the zombie apocalypse

And like any other food producing tree in your garden, the Tamarillo provides yet another source of sustenance you for and the family/community. The one sitting in my yard started giving fruit after 12 months, about 3 kilos worth, and will increase this amount year on year for some time yet.

Add it to the apples, cherries, figs, and things that come out of chickens. A great tree to include in the forest garden!

Are you growing a Tamarillo tree? What’s it doing for you?

Tamarillo – 5 Reasons Why You Need a Year Round Tomato It’s a Fruit - It’s a Vegetable. Whatever I’m surprised that Solanum betaceum (Tamarillo), does not feature more often in…

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Published in new Poetry Anthology

Published in new Poetry Anthology

sunset of our lives

There are few things as satisfying as finding a bulky package in the mailbox, opening it, and finding a book in there with your name in it. This is what happened to me just a few days ago, and I wanted to share the experience with you as soon as possible.

On the cover is the title – Memory Weaving, with the by-line An Anthology of Dementia Journeys.

And from the back cover, what’s it about?


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The Mad Adventures of Chilli the Blind Chicken - Part 1

The Mad Adventures of Chilli the Blind Chicken – Part 1

blind zombie chicken

Spare a thought for Chilli, the ISA Brown x Leghorn x Australorp chicken who became a blind sometime after her first birthday, possibly during Melbourne’s Xmas heatwave. Not sure exactly when or how it happened – I was having a great old time in Gelnelg, Adelaide with the family at the time, and during my weekly reports from Dad, got the news that Chilli ‘wasn’t quite right’….

Indeed, on my…

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Spider and the Grape Vine

I’m sure spidey did a great job keeping off the aphids and other little bugs from the grape vine.

Spider and the Grape Vine

I’m sure spidey did a great job keeping off the aphids and other little bugs from the grape vine.

They Remain

under stars

orange flames lift up

cold memories

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Visiting a hillside Backyard Permaculture in Hobart…

Visiting a hillside Backyard Permaculture in Hobart…

Originally posted on Milkwood: homesteading skills for city & country:

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This place! These people! Recently I was lucky enough to hang out at Good Life Permaculture’s HQ, based in a backyard in the hills high above Hobart, Tasmania.

Hannah and Anton are busy turning a steeply sloping backyard into a patch of edible awesome – complete with veggie beds, food forests, chooks, ducks and bees……

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