Category: Recipes

Herbs of Zaytuna Farm – Yarrow

Plants have secrets that science is only just discovering, but that traditional herbalists, healers and farmers have known about for millenia. On the first stop of our herbal tour of Zaytuna Farm we met Rosemary, that ancient remedy for memory and concentration. This stop is with my mate, Yarrow. He’s been called a lot of different names over time, and his scientific name is Achillea millefolium. At Zaytuna you’ll find […]

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Vanilla Cultivation: A Practical Guide for the Tropical Homestead

The vanilla orchid (Vanilla planifolia) is one of the world’s most interesting plants. Of the nearly 35,000 species of orchid, the second largest botanical family of plants, vanilla is the only species that produces an edible fruit. True vanilla is a sought after product, usually the second most expensive spice in the world, yet we associate the word vanilla with plain, boring, and commonplace. Native to Mexico and Central America, […]

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The Herbs of Zaytuna Farm – Rosemary

Welcome to Zaytuna Farm. To get here you turned off the highway and drove through rolling hills, covered with macadamia plantations, dairy and beef herds, essential oil plantations of native trees and shrubs, and vegetable farms. You turn into the driveway, and follow the dirt road down the hill until you see the wooden sign for parking. You pull into the shade of some giant bamboo and park your car. […]

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TWO DIFFERENT KINDS OF HEALTHCARE – PART 2

How did we ​​become dependent on the doctor visit and the ​prescription? What happened to the ​ways we cared for ​our families before modern pharmaceutical medicine? ​​When the globalized economy ​replaces local ways of living, ​people ​​exchange ​broad skills and ​community-reliance for specialized career paths. ​​ Instead of ​sharing time and resources ​with ​family and neighbours ​to meet everybody’s needs, ​people start to work jobs to pay for ​basics​ and ​for […]

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How to make your garden have less weeds?

How to make your garden have less weeds?

In crop gardens, we sometimes get into a spatial race with weeds, and the solution is to replace the weeds with “designed weeds” to take up the space. This can be done with green manure mulches to fertilize the gardens and supply quality mulch. This is an example of how understanding the inner workings of weeds allows us to harmonize with natural systems to both repair the earth and create […]

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Humanure part 1: Why should we give a crap?

Permaculture is not just about garden design. Even if you don’t have land or access to land, looking at life from a permaculture perspective can help you to make life decisions and take actions towards  upholding the ethics of permaculture in your daily practices. This article series will take a look specifically at one of these practices which we all share, examine the benefits of changing our habits from a […]

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7 Ways to Use the Humble Choko Vine

Its spring time in Australia, and our area in Far North Queensland has gratefully received a decent fall of rain. I’m gleefully anticipating the springing to life of our un-irrigated areas that had gone dull and dormant during the dry weather. Among other things, I’m looking forward again to abundant chokos. I used to think of choko as a bland, boring vegetable. I didn’t like skinning it, and I didn’t […]

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Horseradish: Why I Should Try It Again

Earlier this year, in the spring, I was able to acquire a handful of horseradish roots to plant in a garden my wife Emma and I were putting together. I’d first encountered it as a plant the year before and was happy discover the leaves were edible with a flavor reminiscent, though milder, of the root. I’d never had horseradish in anything besides cocktail sauce, possibly some other condiments here […]

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Chores by Design

When the concept of sustainability moves past buying things labeled “green” into personal action, the cold hard truth is that our lifestyles need to change as much as the products we buy. Part of living sustainably is adjusting how we do things so that we are less consumptive and reliant on unsustainable systems. Performing everyday tasks — cleaning the floor, washing the dishes, drying clothes, opening a can, making coffee […]

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Pure Hop-iness

When you hear the word hops, you may think of beer or bunnies. While I love the ever-bouncy bunny, I’m referring to the plant version of hops, aka Humulus lupulus. Hops, which are the female flowers/cones of this dioecious perennial, have a distinct aroma and flavor and are best known in the beer brewing world as a stability agent and for the bitter taste, they impart that balances out the […]

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Calendula

Butterfly landing on a calendula flower

Calendula is a bright little member of the Asteraceae Family, which includes stevia, sunflowers, and even lettuces. The name Calendula is actually the genus name for around 20 species of herbaceous plants. The most often recognized and utilized species is the Calendula officinalis (English or pot marigold) and is edible. This is not the same as the French marigold from the Tagetes genus. Calendula is often grown in polyculture gardens […]

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Cosmic Carambola

Carambola in the palm of a hand.

Carambola (Averrhoa carambola), often called starfruit, does seem like a fruit that is out of this world. This beauty is a member of the Oxalidaceae family, and is considered a slow growing, fast producing tree with evergreen foliage. The foliage is light sensitive and most often folds in upon itself as the sun goes down. The carambola is thought to have originated in Sri Lanka and Indonesia, but is also […]

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