Chris McLeod

500 Days of Food Forest

500 days in the growth of a food forest 2015 Jan update Permaculture Organic The idea started from sheer curiosity. I had always wondered, how fast does the food forest grow? I really had no idea. What better way to satisfy my curiosity than start taking daily photographs and then morphing those many photographic stills into a short video? Thus the project was born and 500 days has now passed […]

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Fernglade Farm – Water Storage Systems (Victoria, Australia)

by Chris McLeod Spring has arrived early this year. As I write this article, I’m sitting out in the food forest writing on a warm, late winter’s evening, supervising the chickens and pondering the future summer season. You see, water is a critical system at the farm here, so it is often on my mind.

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Let’s Talk About Collapse

I’m a reasonably even tempered sort of a bloke, but recently I’ve been feeling a bit, well, shall we say, unsettled. The feelings began after reading David Holmgren’s essay Crash on demand. It was no less than a moral call for action. At first the article really irritated me and I couldn’t quite put a finger on it. It wasn’t even that I reckon calls for action based on morals […]

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Fernglade Farm – Autumn Update (May 2014, Victoria, Australia)

Well, the summer just past was interesting. Heat and drought were constant companions in all parts of the Australian continent other than the Northern Territory. Down in the south eastern corner of the continent the farm here had to deal with 10 days of temperatures exceeding 40°C (104°F) during January and February. At one point in early February a bush fire came closer here than I was comfortable with and […]

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Opinions Are Not Facts – Failing the Aircraft Test

A wild apple tree, on the side of the road Not far from where I live, there is a wild apple tree. It is an old, well established tree that is in such an odd location that it can only have ended up there by pure chance alone. As you can see from the photos, it reliably produces plenty of apples, which are crisp and tasty. A few days ago […]

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Fernglade Farm – Mid Summer (January) 2014 Update (Victoria, Australia)

The author, testing out the new sprinkler Australia is a country of extremes. One part can have floods, whilst the other part is having massive bushfires and heatwaves. In Southern Australia, where I am, summer comes with extreme heat and the potential of very little rain. So a lot of my summer activity involves dealing with the heat, lack of rainfall and the possibility of bushfires. Bushfires of the sort […]

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Temperate Food Forest Growth Video Project (Victoria, Australia)

Almonds A food forest is a lovely and interesting place to visit. Unfortunately, visitors only ever see the food forest as it is on that particular day when they visit. For example, if a person visited the food forest here today, they would see lots of ripe citrus, almonds, pears, plums, apples, peaches, nectarines and apricots. However, things would be quite different if their visit was a month later. This […]

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Bottled Sunshine – Preserving Fruit Goodness

There’s not much better on a cold winter’s morning than breakfasting on preserved summer fruits. But just how do you go about preserving that essence of summer sunshine? A summer job that has just been completed here in my corner of Australia is that of preserving fruit. There are many ways to preserve fruit, but one of my favourites is bottling (also referred to as canning).

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Weeds – What Are They Good for? (Victoria, Australia)

The subject of ‘weeds’ has always seemed to me to incite far more controversy than it should. The best description of a weed is, “a plant out of place”. It seems to me that if you have a weed, then you have an available niche in your garden that an unwanted opportunistic plant has taken advantage of. To remove that unwanted, opportunistic plant, you have to perform the act of […]

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The Accidental Permaculturalist (Victoria, Australia)

Raised rock beds provide a solid but permeable edge Many years ago, out of a desire to be able to plant more fruit trees, I purchased a forested block of land. It wasn’t a particularly good bit of land, or even well adapted to my desires. What the property had in its favour was that no one else wanted it (having been on the market for a long time), and […]

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Of Mice and Men and Chooks

Some of the motley chook collective A good mate of mine described the chook (chicken) collective here as a “motley collection”. I’m unsure whether this was a compliment and didn’t care to ask. Different breeds of chooks are really valuable though as they all lay eggs during different times of the year. So, with a mixed batch of 14 chooks there is probably only about 1 week every year when […]

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Fernglade Farm – Winter 2013 Update (Australia)

The rains turned up here in Victoria, Australia, in April and then kept on pouring. So far this year has seen almost no rain over summer and then about 600mm (2 foot) since about the middle of Autumn. In addition to that, winter maximum temperatures have set new records (which date back to the 1860s). The climate here is turning strongly Mediterranean. As you’d expect, everything is growing strongly although […]

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