Upcoming courses

Tuesday, 15 Apr 2014 - Saturday, 19 Apr 2014

Saturday, 26 Apr 2014

Saturday, 26 Apr 2014 - Sunday, 27 Apr 2014

Sunday, 11 May 2014

Saturday, 31 May 2014 - Saturday, 26 Apr 2014

Saturday, 14 Jun 2014

Saturday, 12 Jul 2014 - Sunday, 27 Jul 2014

Saturday, 12 Jul 2014 - Saturday, 19 Jul 2014

Friday, 12 Sep 2014 - Saturday, 29 Nov 2014

Blog

Greg's Edible Front Yard

Dan recently visited Greg's front yard in Footscray and shot this little clip.  Wonderful how many edibles he's stacking in in a way that meets aesthetic and privacy criteria too.

Annie and Adam's front yard and letterbox ecology

When you have a biodiverse food forest full of beneficial insect attracting companion plants, even the letterbox can become a source of amazement, love, life and death in microcosm. See what Adam found in the mail today...

And here's some pictures from a couple of weeks ago in the garden...

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Finally, mulberries!

The fruit season is warming up.  We've already mentioned strawberries and loquats, and now the first of the mulberries are here!

Check out this wonderfully laden street tree:

The Weed Forager’s Handbook

The Weed Appreciator's Handbook by Adam Grubb and Annie Raser-Rowland

Adam from VEG and his partner Annie have written a book on edible weeds, and it's now available...

The Weed Forager’s Handbook: A Guide to Edible and Medicinal Weeds in Australia by Adam Grubb and Annie Raser-Rowland (foreword by Costa Georgiadis)

$21.95, plus $3 postage within Australia


Published by Hyland House, 2012 (Flexicover, 166 pages) ISBN: 9781864471212

Featuring:

  • Full colour photos and botanical illustrations
  • Detailed edibility and medicinal notes on 20 main common weeds, plus another 14 short profiles
  • Delicious and easy recipes
  • Remarkable tales from history and folklore!

Step into the world of our least-admired botanical companions, peel back the layers of prejudice, and discover the finer side of the plants we call weeds.  An astonishing number are either edible or medicinal, and have deep and sometimes bizarre connections to human history.

But how do you distinguish a tasty sandwich-filler from its dangerous look-alike?

Which of these garden familiars is the most nutritious vegetable ever tested by the US Dept of Agriculture?

How do you cook with delicious nettles without fear of being stung?

This book reveals all this and more, and will forever change your concept of where to go looking for lunch.

Pre-release praise:

Costa“In other words, if you eat, then this book is a must-have companion.” ~ Costa Georgiadis, host of Gardening Australia, from his excellent foreword(!)




David Holmgren“This handbook is the essential text for both novice and experienced wild food foragers. The guidelines, excellent ID photos and choice of most useful and common species will give the novice confidence while the facts and recipes will extend all but the most advanced weed aficionados. For the gardener tired of joyless weeding Adam and Annie open our eyes to the fact that the problem can indeed be the solution.” ~ David Holmgren, co-originator of the permaculture concept 

There's also an accompanying website where you can look at more photos of the weeds, check out distribution maps and order the book: www.eatthatweed.com 

Adam is running several upcoming workshops, check out our upcoming workshops page.


Automatic VEG Bed & chook watering system: A four-minute Crash-Course!

Yesterday Dan shot this little clip of the just-completed VEG bed irrigation and chook watering system at Auburn South Primary School in Melbourne.

This morning's effort - deck beds



It's all happening this weekend - Catch us at Stringybark, Spring Fling or Spring Fest!

This weekend (October 20th & 21) VEG will be out in force, with day one of our flagship two-day Intro to Permaculture on Saturday and a presence at the Stringybark festival all weekend and both Spring Fling in North Melbourne and Whitehorse Spring Fest in Nunawading on Sunday with a stall and lots of free talks.  At Stringybark on Saturday Dan will be presenting on Growing your own Fruit Forest then at Spring Fling Dan will take to the stage re the power of chook, creating an edible oasis in your back yard, and growing fruit trees in pots, while at Spring Fest Kim will talk compost and Isobel growing subtropical edibles in Melbourne.  Hope to see you at one of these events spread out right across Melbourne!



Phil's Kitset VEG Bed

Thanks to Phil from Highett for putting together this awesome album of photos from the kitset VEG bed he's just finished putting together in his front yard!

From this...

To this!


Happy growing Phil - may your veggies flourish!



VEG Design Solutions - Part Three

When designing edible gardens, a site-specific problem will often crop up. One of the most enjoyable aspects of permaculture design for us is devising site-specific solutions to those problems. In this short series we give examples from our experience in Melbourne, with a new one whenever we get around to it...

Part Three – How to Drain a Duck Pond without getting Poo on your Hands

The Site-Specific Design Problem

The problem was how do you drain a duck pond in a way that

a) directs the overflow to the same exit pipe as when you drain it totally
b) doesn’t involve reaching your hand to the bottom of a pond full of duck poo
c) lets you easily drain out every last millimetre of sludge, and
d) lets you refill the pond without having to wait around to turn the tap off when it’s full

Here's the design in which this conundrum arose.  The duckpond is just above the tank in the lower left (under an apricot) and the infiltration path/trench it feeds is the worm-like thing curving up and around under the fruit trees...

The Site-Specific Design Solution

After trying a few ideas that were expensive and only partially effective, the solution came to us.  We added a bathplug to the lowest point on the base of the pond, which would mean draining every last millimetre of water when it was opened up.  We then crafted a short length of 50mm PVC pipe with a rubber adapter that pushed snugly into both the pipe and the plughole.  In a single system this both defined the overflow point and allowed the whole pond to be drained by simply lifting the pipe up.  We then added a simple twist timer on the inlet pipe meaning you can pull the overflow pipe / plug out, let the pond drain in about 1 minute, twist the timer to however long it takes to full the pond, shove the overflow pipe / plug back in, and walk away.  It works so well we’ll be using it in future duck ponds for sure.



Here's an album showing the installation of the pond...

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...and here's a youtube of what the ducks do when the plug is pulled.


Three bed install record

This morning two VEGers (Michael & Dan) installed three roughsawn VEG beds (1.2m wide by 2.2m long by 40cm high) in record time - four hours from arriving to leaving.  All fully leveled on secure chocks with internal bracing to prevent movement over time, a double layer of special fabric to prevent the couch grass from entering, and a double handfull of both blood & bone and rock dust per bed.  Happy growing to Tricia their happy owner!

The VEG Chook System Book - Free download

We recently put a few photos of some of our chook systems together into a little booklet.  The photos are accompanied with text orienting folk planning for chooks to some of the key considerations and some of the tricks we have picked up during the last seven years designing and implementing chook systems across Melbourne.  As of right now you can download this booklet as a free PDF ebook (just like our VEG 2012 portfolio) by clicking on the image below (warning - it's 33 megabytes in size). Enjoy, hope it is of use, let us know if you need a hand, and happy chickening!