abc.net.au writes…

“A radical environmental approach to holding water in leaky weirs on a farm — one of only five in the world — has been recognised by the United Nations as sustainable.

Mulloon Creek, near Braidwood in New South Wales, uses the Peter Andrews method of Natural Sequence Farming — growing weeds and slowing the movement of water in the landscape.

The farm has proved itself in the past seven years, increasing pasture growth through the drought and feeding more cattle.

The farm was run down before the owner, Tony Coote, adopted Mr Andrews’s methods to rehydrate the land.

As it sits at the headwater of the Shoalhaven River, it feeds into the Sydney Water Catchment.

“We are making more sustainable agriculture, improving the environment, [producing] cleaner water,” Mulloon Institute chairman Gary Nairn said.

Having left federal politics, Mr Nairn has taken over running the institute that hosts workshops and field days on the farm…”

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bluemountainspermacultureinstitute.com.au writes…

“We are happy to announce the release of the NEW book: Permaculture Teaching Matters, written by Rosemary Morrow and designed by Alba Teixidor.

This book was funded by a crowdfunding campaign early in 2015. It is a step by step guide to assist holders of a PDC to become effective and inspiring teachers. We look forward to them training the next generation of permaculture practitioners.”






Image source

Milkwood writes…

“Greywater is a fabulous, though often underused, household resource that should be used wherever possible. Here’s a home made 3 bathtub greywater system that’s simple but effective.

If you live in an area where water is precious at certain times of year (and when is it not?) then catching, storing and using every drop you can to create a more liveable home and surrounds is an excellent idea.

At Melliodora in Victoria, the studio cottage does its best to do just that, by catching, filtering and re-assigning the greywater to useful purposes in the garden.

While this design will not suit everyone, it will suit some, and it’s a simple, cheap and effective way to deal with, process and make the most of a small household’s greywater…”

Read more


“A forest can feel like a place of great stillness and quiet. But if you dig a little deeper, there’s a hidden world beneath your feet as busy and complicated as a city at rush hour.

In this story, a dog introduces us to a strange creature that burrows beneath forests, building an underground network where deals are made and lives are saved (and lost) in a complex web of friendships, rivalries, and business relations. It’s a network that scientists are only just beginning to untangle and map, and it’s not only turning our understanding of forests upside down, it’s leading some researchers to rethink what it means to be intelligent. ”

Source: Radio lab and listen to the podcast here

Related article : Scientific America

By Greta Lorge

Oddballs of the produce stand, tomatoes and avocados are fruits, as most people know. Yet more often than not they’re found alongside vegetables in savory culinary preparations. Working on this issue of the magazine got me wondering what it is, exactly, that makes a fruit a fruit. It turns out that the plant world is full of strange cases of counterintuitive classification.

Botanists define a fruit as the portion of a flowering plant that develops from the ovary. It contains the seeds, protecting them and facilitating dispersal. (The definition of a vegetable is a little fuzzier: any edible part of a plant that isn’t a fruit.) Subcategories within the fruit family—citrus, berry, stonefruit or drupe (peaches, apricots), and pome (apples, pears)—are determined by which parts of the flower/ovary give rise to the skin, flesh and seeds.

Strawberries and raspberries aren’t really berries in the botanical sense. They are derived from a single flower with more than one ovary, making them an aggregate fruit. True berries are simple fruits stemming from one flower with one ovary and typically have several seeds. Tomatoes fall into this group, as do pomegranates, kiwis and—believe it or not—bananas. (Their seeds are so tiny it’s easy to forget they’re there.)

One might think that owing to their superficial similarities to stonefruits, avocados might be classified as drupes. But no, they’re actually considered a berry, too—with one, giant seed.

So, bananas are berries and raspberries aren’t. Who knew?


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