Category: Food & Food Support Systems

Shedding Some Light on Food Prices

by Doron Francis, CERES Food Connect Food prices have been going up for some time now. According to OECD data Australia has the highest food price inflation in the western world, and, for the first time, Australia is now importing more fruit and veg than it exports. The reasons for this are many: global demand has pushed up prices as populations increase, severe and prolonged drought locally has lead to […]

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Life at Zaytuna – Meet Red

Editor’s Preamble: People are increasingly disgusted with the cruelty, disease and pollution associated with factory farms. Events like the recent Swine Flu pandemic, which appears to have originated with the world’s largest hog producer, Smithfield Foods, are helping us to see the error of our corporate ways. Large scale of any activity almost always compromises ecological and ethical principles, and the factory farming of sentient beings is a tragic example […]

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An Urban Gardener Feeds a Community

Bronwyn’s urban backyard is teeming with diversity. It is providing local families with nutritious food through her Community Supported Agriculture (CSA), but she doesn’t think she is doing anything exceptional. Students from Mulloon Creek Natural Farm’s Permaculture Design Certificate course recently visited Bronwyn Richards’ home in Braidwood, NSW, Australia. They learnt how an urban gardener manages to provide a constant supply of organic vegetables not only for her own family, […]

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BK Farmyards – a Subversive Urban Farming Concept

Here’s a worrying trend – people growing food in back yards! Whatever next!? Stacey Murphy is obviously an enemy of all that is good in our consumption-oriented world. Almost certainly a deceptively slippery character, she positively oozes with dangerously contagious enthusiasm in this clip about her Brooklyn based urban guerilla BK Farmyards network, who, like the Portland, Oregon YourBackyardFarmer people I wrote about last year, are growing food for urbanites […]

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Life at Zaytuna – Potato Storage Tip

Mmm…. I don’t know about you, but potatoes are one of my favourite foods. Here at Zaytuna we were a tad late in potato planting, so we’re having to cover our potato rows at night – as even here in the sub-tropics we’re getting some winter frosts. A couple more weeks and we should have a good crop to harvest – which will add to all the sweet potatoes and […]

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Permaculture Main Crops of Special Importance – Salad Mallow

Salad Mallow (Corchorus olitorius) (Mulaheyah, Egyptian Spinach, Jews Mallow) Salad Mallow was the first name I knew for this amazing plant and it arrived into our extremely diverse selection of kitchen garden zone one crops in a seed packet from Shipards Herb Farm, Nambour, Queensland, Australia. Isabell Shipard has been a good friend, fellow permaculturist, and an incredible wealth of knowledge on herbs and useful plants for over 25 years […]

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How to Turn Astringent Persimmons into Enchanting Natural Confections, Japanese Style

by Cecilia Macaulay This week I’m shopping for a persimmon tree for the Edible Japanese Garden I’m creating. Of course I will be planting a sweet, rather than an astringent, or ‘shibui’* persimmon. The sweet ones, such as Fuyu, are squat-shaped, and can be eaten either crunchy or yielding. The long-shaped Hachiya variety, the ones Aussies first planted before we knew better (sorry Hachiya), are awfully ‘shibui’. You have to […]

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Jerusalem Artichokes – like Diamonds, are Forever

PIJ #54; March – May 1995; page 47 Margaret Lynch explains how to grow, store and prepare the edible section of what is a truly prolific plant. Helianthus tuberosus is an annual which will tolerate most conditions. Commonly called Jerusalem artichoke, it is known in its native America as Sunroot. Other names include Sunchoke and Suntuber. It is not to be confused with the globe artichoke, Cynara scolymus, which is […]

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Get Behind the Raw Milk Campaign

by Cathé Fish of Practical Permaculture Help Raw Milk Diary Producers in Australia! As you probably know, many small dairy farmers have been forced out of business by big corporate Ag laws, especially those laws that outlaw sales of health-giving raw milk, raw butter, raw cream and other raw milk products. My grandparents had this happen to them. These pasteurization laws take what should be a healthy value added cottage […]

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Strange Fruit

A hard commercial logic dictates that the only way to get good fruit today is to grow your own. by George Monbiot – journalist, author, academic and environmental and political activist I feel almost shy about writing this column. It contains no revelations, no call to arms. No one gets savaged: well, only mildly. The subject is almost inconsequential. Yet it has become an obsession which, at this time of […]

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Look Mom, There’s a Farmer in Our Back Yard

Normally the words ‘business’ and ‘environmentally friendly’ do not fit harmoniously together in one sentence, but here’s a money-making venture with real merit: Donna Smith and Robyn Streeter, of Portland, Oregon, have started a business called YourBackyardFarmer. It’s about growing food in urban areas – i.e. close to where it’s consumed. This is urban farming with a twist! Instead of broken New Year’s resolutions from your derailed intentions of developing […]

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