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@folkofalltrades

folkofalltrades

DIY • make your own • workshops • ancient skills • new techniques • sustainability • simple living ↟

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Soil testing⁠ ​•⁠ Clay, sand, or loam - what have you got? No matter what you want to grow, in our opinion it all starts with soil. ⁠ ​•⁠ Dani took this picture of someone demonstrating a soil texture test, also called a ribbon or sausage test during a PDC Dani attended in March last year @retrosuburbiaofficial ​•⁠ It's a simple but effective way to determine how much clay is in your soil; no clay at all and the soil just falls apart, while a long ribbon that doesn't crack indicates lots of clay. ⁠ ​•⁠ This is useful information to know because some crops will grow better than others in your soil type, and the type of soil can give indicators as to whether you need to focus on improving drainage. Luckily even very poor soils can be fed, built, and nourished to grow healthy and nutritious food. Adding compost is recommended no matter what kind of soil you have.⁠ ​•⁠ #soil #soiltest #growing #veggies #homegrown #vegetablegarden #organic #organicgardening #backtobasics #simpleliving #natural #diy #makeyourown #sustainability #greenliving #sustainableliving #simplelife #eco #voluntarysimplicity #homestead #plasticfree #waronwaste #zerowaste #retrosuburbia #permaculture #permacultureaustralia #PermacultureSouthAustralia #adelaide #southaustralia #folkofalltrades

Fresh plum wine • There is a glut of stonefruit, and particularly plums, around us at the moment. To give us a break from eating fresh plums (and continue our experiments in wild fermentation) we took a leaf from the book of @milkwood_permaculture and @sandorkraut and made some fresh country wine. • Basically you take some organically grown fruit (in our case plums and a couple nectarines) and cover them with chlorine-free water and a bit of sugar. The key thing to do is stir a few times a day to stop any unwanted mould growing on top of the floating fruit. The yeast you need to ferment the fruit is already present on the skin, and as the fruit breaks down it releases all its delicious sugars and flavours into the liquid. • You can drink it whenever you want, depending on how sweet or boozy you like it. This batch went for 6 days at 22 degrees or so, and is a nice balance between a bit of sweetness but also some kick. • We've put a link to Milkwood's blog in our bio - why not give it a go if you've got more fruit than you know what to do with - particularly if you can't give it away due to fruit fly restrictions. • #wine #countrywine #plum #harvest #fermentation #wildfermentation #guthealth #probiotic #backtobasics #simpleliving #natural #diy #makeyourown #sustainability #greenliving #sustainableliving #simplelife #eco #voluntarysimplicity #homestead #plasticfree #waronwaste #zerowaste #retrosuburbia #permaculture #permacultureaustralia #PermacultureSouthAustralia #adelaide #southaustralia #folkofalltrades

Greenhouse maintenance • Our DIY greenhouse has been going strong for over 2 years now, but we also learnt a few things about the effect of this extreme environment on materials. • The recycled windows are holding up well externally, but the interior was never designed or painted to tolerate such wet conditions, so Dani has dug out the rotten wood, filled with a linseed-based putty and painted thoroughly. • We were glad to see the cob wall (sand and clay pushed against a stud wall backed with corrugated iron) has stood up incredibly well, despite being exposed to so much moisture. • Unfortunately the original shelves we chose for holding trays of seedlings were not suitable for the level of water and the salts that come from the potting soil. Unbeknownst to us the metal was merely painted, not powdercoated, so eventually started to peel. We removed the old shelves and gave them to a neighbour who will use them in his garage. • The new shelves are galvanised steel, which should last much longer and rust far less. They are also a more suitable size at just 30cm wide, which is perfect for vegetable and tubestock seedling trays. • Finally we took the opportunity to install a trough worm farm, as detailed in our previous post. It is catching 90% of the water emitted by the misting irrigation system, and providing nutritious worm wee / tea for growing seedlings • #wormfarm #maintenance #greenhouse #seedlings #growing #veggies #homegrown #vegetablegarden #backtobasics #simpleliving #natural #diy #makeyourown #sustainability #greenliving #sustainableliving #simplelife #eco #voluntarysimplicity #homestead #waronwaste #zerowaste #retrosuburbia #permaculture #permacultureaustralia #PermacultureSouthAustralia #adelaide #southaustralia #folkofalltrades

Trough worm farm • One of the biggest issues with worm farms in South Australia and other hot places is the volume of most worm farms is too small, and the worms can’t escape the extreme heat. One solution is to worm farm in-ground, with a holey bucket or similar. • However, if you want to keep worms for their wee (the nutrient rich liquid that washes through the worm farm) then building your own farm could be the solution. • We recently renovated our greenhouse, and took the opportunity to incorporate a worm farm into the seedling shelving. Dani visited legends @artistasfamily last year, and saw that they were catching the drips from watering seedlings in a classic display of permaculture; the output of one system becoming the input for another system. • Our seedling irrigation can go off between 2 and 5 times a day depending on the time of year, so it makes sense to catch all that water, plus all the nutrients that get washed out of the potting soil. The resulting worm tea that trickles into a bucket also makes the perfect seedling tonic, as well as feeding other hungry plants in the garden. • To build the worm farm Sam used rot-resistant cypress cladding leftover from the house build, and made a simple trough that gently slopes down to one end. We lined the trough with leftover pond liner from our green roof project, and made a hole to allow the water to drain into a bucket below via a rainwater tank flange • #wormfarm #compost #greenhouse #seedlings #growing #veggies #homegrown #vegetablegarden #backtobasics #simpleliving #natural #diy #makeyourown #sustainability #greenliving #sustainableliving #simplelife #eco #voluntarysimplicity #homestead #waronwaste #zerowaste #retrosuburbia #permaculture #permacultureaustralia #PermacultureSouthAustralia #adelaide #southaustralia #folkofalltrades

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Basil pesto from maintenance pruning • After a big pruning session we've got way too much basil to use fresh, which is a great time to make a jar of pesto. The word pesto is Italian for pound or crush, and it's where we get the name pestle for that excellent kitchen tool; the mortar and pestle. Using one is the traditional Genovese way to make basil pesto, and results in a chunky and particularly flavourful paste. • Our recipe is just basil, good olive oil, salt, and some kind of nut. Today we used walnuts, but you can use pistachios, cashews, almonds or the traditional pine nuts. If we add cheese it's usually just before we eat it. • Are you growing basil? If so, pruning your plants helps them stay bushy and means they are slower to go to seed. Check out our next post or Facebook for a video of Sam showing you our technique for getting the most leaves out of your basil plants • #basil #pesto #growing #herbs #homegrown #vegetablegarden #organic #organicgardening #backtobasics #simpleliving #natural #diy #makeyourown #sustainability #greenliving #sustainableliving #simplelife #eco #voluntarysimplicity #homestead #plasticfree #waronwaste #zerowaste #retrosuburbia #permaculture #permacultureaustralia #PermacultureSouthAustralia #adelaide #southaustralia #folkofalltrades

Always learning • Sam has made thousands of loaves of bread over the last 10 years, but there is still so much to learn! • We often put vegetables to roast in the oven along with bread (if there is enough room), but this is the first time we've roasted tomatoes at the same time. The huge amounts of steam they give off as they cook have caramelised the crust in the most beautiful way - something that makes a lot of sense when you think about it, but at the same time completely unexpected. • One of our favourite things about 'making' are these little discoveries and improvements. Collected together they mean that the next 1000 loaves of bread will be more delicious and beautiful than the last! • #sourdough #bread #naturalfermentation #breadmaking #rye #ancientgrain #baking #baker #backtobasics #simpleliving #natural #diy #makeyourown #sustainability #greenliving #sustainableliving #simplelife #eco #voluntarysimplicity #homestead #plasticfree #waronwaste #zerowaste #retrosuburbia #permaculture #permacultureaustralia #PermacultureSouthAustralia #adelaide #southaustralia #folkofalltrades

Thanks for another year of learning and sharing together! • Hopefully you've found at least some of our posts and videos useful - we are looking forward to continuing our journey with you into so many topics; woodworking, gardening, natural dyeing, fibrecrafts, preserving, fermenting and much more. • What are you looking forward to learning in 2021? • #greenroof #spoon #greenwoodworking #woodworking #goat #naturaldye #ecoprint #handmade #backtobasics #simpleliving #natural #diy #makeyourown #sustainability #greenliving #sustainableliving #simplelife #eco #voluntarysimplicity #homestead #plasticfree #waronwaste #zerowaste #retrosuburbia #permaculture #permacultureaustralia #PermacultureSouthAustralia #adelaide #southaustralia #folkofalltrades

Ripe pumpkin in December?!⁠ ​•⁠ We've had a good season for pumpkins so far, with strong growth and very little sign of disease. In previous years we have always had to wait until autumn to harvest, but this beautiful Rouge Vif D'Etampes pumpkin was showing all the signs of being ready right now.⁠ ​•⁠ The things we look out for are a firm skin, a hollow sound that shows the flesh has become firm, and most importantly a drying stem. You can see here that the stem is brown and woody, which means it's unlikely to rot and affect the pumpkin.⁠ ​•⁠ This variety - Rouge Vif D'Etampes, has produced 3 of these large fruit from one vine, and this one was a whopping 8kg. We are still testing out varieties that work well for our climate, soil, and gardening habits, but this one seems to be a winner - at least this year.⁠ ​•⁠ What's your favourite variety of pumpkin to grow?⁠ ​•⁠ #pumpkin #growing #veggies #homegrown #vegetablegarden #organic #organicgardening #veggiegarden #backtobasics #simpleliving #natural #diy #makeyourown #sustainability #greenliving #sustainableliving #simplelife #eco #voluntarysimplicity #homestead #plasticfree #waronwaste #zerowaste #retrosuburbia #permaculture #permacultureaustralia #PermacultureSouthAustralia #adelaide #southaustralia #folkofalltrades

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Wine bottling! • This year was our biggest grape harvest by far, thanks to local legends 'The Producers' in McLaren Vale that let us 'glean' their rows after the machine pick. Gleaning goes back thousands of years, when traditionally landowners and farmers would allow members of the community to collect whatever had been missed during the main harvest. • With the help of some friends we picked around 250kg of grapes, giving us approximately 100 litres of finished wine. • In the past we've always just saved some cleanskins (wine bottles without labels) to bottle our 2 dozen wines, but this year we needed significantly more bottles! • We really wanted to avoid buying new bottles, as one of the best parts of making your own is reducing all the associated waste that comes with large-scale production: • Step 1 - Collect bottles • Step 2 - Soak overnight in cold water (we used Dani's big copper dye pot) • Step 3 - Remove labels. The best tool for this job is a paint scraper, and to remove the metal sleeves on the necks we used a narrow screwdriver to peel them off. • Step 4 - Scrub off label residue and clean. Hot soapy water, a metal scourer and bottle brush make this a very easy job. • Step 5 - Sterilise bottles. Sam has a product called StarSan that is used all the time in homebrewing, and is a greywater safe phosphoric based cleaner that does not need to be rinsed. • Step 6 - Fill bottles with wine and cork. It turns out you can put corks into screw cap style bottles just fine. We soak the corks in steriliser to clean them but also because it helps them slide in easily. • Step 7 - (optional) Ask a friend to paint portraits of your goats, make them into a label, and apply with homemade water-flour-vinegar glue - thanks @karrinott • #wine #winemaking #shiraz #bottling #preserving #gleaning #handmade #madebyhand #backtobasics #simpleliving #natural #diy #makeyourown #sustainability #greenliving #sustainableliving #simplelife #eco #voluntarysimplicity #homestead #plasticfree #waronwaste #zerowaste #retrosuburbia #permaculture #permacultureaustralia #PermacultureSouthAustralia #adelaide #southaustralia #folkofalltrades

Avoiding supermarkets⁠ ​•⁠ One of the things we love most about growing our own food is the ability to avoid leaving the house for our basic needs. This also saves a surprising amount of time, which we can spend gardening :)⁠ ​•⁠ This is also a double-edged sword though, as we don't visit the farmers market very much anymore. If you're not growing your own or enough to cover your needs, then farmers markets, CSA's and box schemes are our favourite ways to get local, organically produced food.⁠ ​•⁠ A few legends growing in our neck of the woods are @villagegreensofwillungacreek @cockatoocreekfarm and Heirloom Harvest - check them out online or @willungafarmersmarket⁠ ​•⁠ #growing #veggies #homegrown #vegetablegarden #organic #organicgardening #veggiegarden #GoSouthGoLocal #fleurieu #backtobasics #simpleliving #natural #diy #makeyourown #sustainability #greenliving #sustainableliving #simplelife #eco #voluntarysimplicity #homestead #plasticfree #waronwaste #zerowaste #retrosuburbia #permaculture #permacultureaustralia #adelaide #southaustralia #folkofalltrades

We love making our own festive gifts especially beeswax wraps and gift and produce bags. If you'd like to learn how to make them, we have a few spots left for our workshop this Wed 16 Dec, Walkerville, only $8. Grab your ticket at the link in our bio. ⁠ ​​•⁠ #Beeswaxwrap #Festivegift #diygift #naturalchristmas #ecochristmas #natural #craft #gift #decoration #christmasdecoration #naturalhome #ecochristmas #greenchristmas #backtobasics #simpleliving #natural #diy #makeyourown #sustainability #greenliving #sustainableliving #simplelife #greenchristmas #voluntarysimplicity #homestead #plasticfree #waronwaste #retrosuburbia #permaculture #adelaide #southaustralia #folkofalltrades

A very special festive market • We live in an Aldinga Arts Eco Village on Kaurna Country around 45 minutes south of Adelaide. It's a lovely spot, and we feel very lucky to be part of such a close-knit and thoughtful community. • One recent example of the community coming together was a Twilight Trail market held out the front of people's houses, where people could sell their art, craft, food and anything else they had to offer. It wasn't advertised externally, because COVID, but lots of villagers turned up and supported our wonderful makers and creatives. • We sold our wooden spoons, and it was by far the most successful market we've ever had. Hopefully we can invite all you lovely people in our online community next year! • Photo credit for pic 2 and 3 @ninapullen :) • #spoon #spooncarving #greenwoodworking #handmade #madebyhand #craft #GoSouthGoLocal #fleurieu #ecovillage #backtobasics #simpleliving #natural #diy #makeyourown #sustainability #greenliving #sustainableliving #simplelife #eco #voluntarysimplicity #homestead #plasticfree #waronwaste #zerowaste #retrosuburbia #permaculture #permacultureaustralia #adelaide #southaustralia #folkofalltrades

Cucumbers are coming thick and fast with this stunning weather we've been having • Our cucumbers always seem to do well in December, but heatwaves often kill them off by the New Year. Hopefully this La Niña year allows them to live a bit longer than usual. • Right now though it is preserving time, as this is too many cucumbers to eat fresh and we don't know how long the good times will last. • Our general recipe for pickling most things is around equal parts vinegar and water, a bit of salt and sugar, and maybe some mustard seeds and peppercorns. We heat the liquid until it is boiling, drop the cucumbers in either sliced or whole, and wait until the mixture comes back up to the boil. Then we pack them into pre-sterilised and warmed jars, and put the lid on quickly. This works 95% of the time, and the ones that don't work get put in the fridge and eaten first. • Any fantastic pickle recipes out there that we are missing out on? • #cucumber #pickle #pickling #preserving #growing #veggies #homegrown #vegetablegarden #organic #backtobasics #simpleliving #natural #diy #makeyourown #sustainability #greenliving #sustainableliving #simplelife #eco #voluntarysimplicity #homestead #plasticfree #waronwaste #zerowaste #retrosuburbia #permaculture #permacultureaustralia #adelaide #southaustralia #folkofalltrades

Growing chicken food • Sprouted lentils (and lots of other sprouts) make excellent chicken food now there are less greens for them to find in their run. We soaked the lentils overnight in water, then spread them out on a seed raising tray with newspaper at the bottom and a fine sprinkling of potting soil. Once they got to about 5cm we started feeding them to the chooks. The chickens were cautious at first, but once they tasted the greens they tucked right in. • This is a great use for those pulses that might have been sitting in the cupboard for a number of years, or if you've got access to unsorted lentils that still have stones and weed seeds mixed through. Our lentils came from Sam's cousins farm north of Adelaide, straight out of the field and into a bakery bucket. • What other sprouted seeds have people tried feeding their chooks? • #chicken #chickens #isabrown #flightoftheconchords #homegrown #backyardchicken #organic #organicgardening #backyardpoultry #backtobasics #simpleliving #natural #diy #makeyourown #sustainability #greenliving #sustainableliving #simplelife #eco #voluntarysimplicity #homestead #plasticfree #waronwaste #zerowaste #retrosuburbia #permaculture #permacultureaustralia #adelaide #southaustralia #folkofalltrades

The tomato harvesting begins! • We've been picking tomatoes for over a week now. What's the secret? Dani sowed seeds in July so we could get them in the ground as soon as possible, and since planting we've been diligently pruning and tying them up. • Every time a tomato sends out an extra shoot from it's armpit it diverts energy away from fruit production to growing more stem and leaf, so we prune our tomatoes to only double leaders and tie them to structures so they don't need to fight gravity and waste energy. • If you're keen to follow the best method we've found for pruning and staking, check out the video we posted back on October 16 - link in our bio • https://www.facebook.com/271582826739274/videos/795785134552925 • #tomato #staking #pruning #growing #veggies #homegrown #vegetablegarden #organic #organicgardening #veggiegarden #homestead #backtobasics #simpleliving #natural #diy #makeyourown #sustainability #greenliving #sustainableliving #simplelife #eco #voluntarysimplicity #homestead #plasticfree #waronwaste #retrosuburbia #permaculture #permacultureaustralia #adelaide #southaustralia #folkofalltrades

Mulberry Saison for summer⁠ ​​•⁠ A saison is a style of beer originating in France, where it was traditionally brewed to be a low alcohol thirst quencher for the seasonal workers on farms. Nowadays it tends to be a little boozier, but retains some of that farmhouse funkiness from the specific kind of yeast used.⁠ ​​•⁠ This saison was fermented with over 1kg of early Chinese Mulberries, which has imparted this gorgeous colour, as well as delicious acidity and fruitiness.⁠ ​​•⁠ If you'd like to taste fruit beers then check out whatever is being made locally - @nolaadelaide often stocks some excellent examples ​​•⁠ #beer #saison #mulberry #fruitbeer #hops #fermentation #brewyourown #wildferment #wildfermentation #homebrew #grainfather #backtobasics #simpleliving #natural #diy #makeyourown #sustainability #greenliving #sustainableliving #simplelife #eco #voluntarysimplicity #homestead #plasticfree #waronwaste #retrosuburbia #permaculture #adelaide #southaustralia #folkofalltrades

Demonstration wicking bed •  We built this little wicking bed as a way to show all the layers and materials for one of our workshops. Despite having used wicking beds for nearly 10 years, we were amazed to see the wicking actually taking place - moisture being drawn up through the soil even though the water level had dropped. •  Making a wicking bed this small is not something we'd recommend for growing veg - even though it's tiny it still weighs about 15kg, and is too small to grow anything except lettuce, herbs, and spring onions. Nevertheless we thought you might be interested to see how one is put together. •  We drilled a hole in the waterproof layer (in this case a sturdy plastic crate, which also forms the frame of the wicking bed) where we wanted the overflow to be, and attached a rainwater tank flange to form a good seal. We then filled the base with scoria to act as a water reservoir, and covered this with non-woven geotextile so the soil doesn't fall down. Next came our potting media, to which we added perlite and vermiculite for water holding and aeration. Finally some lettuce seedlings and seed, as well as a strip of hessian for aesthetics and to protect the plastic from degrading in the sun. •  Have you got a wicking bed? They can be a great way to grow food if you have contaminated soil or mobility issues that don't allow you to garden in the soil. They are far superior to raised beds, but growing in the ground is still our favourite for scale, interaction with soil life, and minimal use of non-renewable resources. •  #wickingbed #raisedbed #savingwater #gardening #growing #veggies #homegrown #vegetablegarden #organic #organicgardening #veggiegarden  #backtobasics #simpleliving #diy #makeyourown #sustainability #greenliving #sustainableliving #simplelife #eco #voluntarysimplicity #homestead #retrosuburbia #permaculture #permacultureaustralia #adelaide #southaustralia #folkofalltrades

Exploring Australian First Nations wood crafts •   We've learnt from Kaurna and Ngarrindjeri people that the end of winter is a traditional time to cut bark from trees. Around here Karra (River Red Gum) is often used, as it is thick and separates from the wood easily without compromising the health of the tree. •   There are stunning examples of shields, canoes, and bowls that were cut from trees before invasion that are still visible on Country, as well as recent work by craftspeople and artists; @jamesptylor does some beautiful work you can check out on insta, and we are lucky enough to have a Kaurna shield by our front door that was carved by artist Corey Turner. •   Being an avid woodcarver, Sam was interested to try making a small bowl using these local techniques. It isn't our knowledge to share how exactly to do this, but let us know if you are interested in attending a workshop and we can work with the Kaurna community to organise something for next winter. • #kaurna  #handmade #craft #woodworking #greenwoodworking #handtools #timber #wood #homestead #backtobasics #simpleliving #natural #diy #makeyourown #sustainability #greenliving #sustainableliving #simplelife #eco #voluntarysimplicity #homestead #plasticfree #waronwaste #zerowaste #retrosuburbia #permaculture #permacultureaustralia #adelaide #southaustralia #folkofalltrades

Spoon trade! •   This stunning eating spoon was made by Julian of @littlebear_sloyd in Narrm (Melbourne) •   Swapping spoons is quite a thing in the spoon carving world - a great way to learn how other people approach form and function. This ebonised eucalyptus is eye-wateringly thin in profile, yet still very strong. •   Sam sent a @barnthespoon  inspired fig-shaped spoon that he carved in Lemon Scented Gum in return. Any other spoon carvers out there want to do a trade? • #spoon #spooncarving #trade #woodworking #greenwoodworking #handtools #timber #wood #homestead #backtobasics #simpleliving #natural #diy #makeyourown #sustainability #greenliving #sustainableliving #simplelife #eco #voluntarysimplicity #homestead #plasticfree #waronwaste #zerowaste #retrosuburbia #permaculture #permacultureaustralia #adelaide #southaustralia #folkofalltrades

The first garden berries are coming!  •   This is Youngberry, which came from a school kitchen garden where Dani used to teach. There is a thornless and thorned variety, and we have both growing to see if there is a productivity difference. At this stage they seem pretty equal, though we gave the prime spot to the thornless one :) •   Youngberry tastes like a mixture of raspberry and blackberry, but is more drought tolerant and fruits very early in the season. •   Check out the structure we've got supporting them - it's steel reinforcing rods hammered into the ground, and then reinforcing mesh welded to the rods at two heights to control the sprawl and keep the berries up off the ground. The reason we made this kind of structure is that we've got termites around the place so didn't want to sink timber posts into the ground. It's working really well so far. • #berry #youngberry #fruit #trellis #growing #homegrown #organic #organicgardening #homestead #backtobasics #simpleliving #natural #diy #makeyourown #sustainability #greenliving #sustainableliving #simplelife #eco #voluntarysimplicity #homestead #plasticfree #waronwaste #zerowaste #retrosuburbia #permaculture #permacultureaustralia #adelaide #southaustralia #folkofalltrades

We won because of you!⁠ ​•⁠ Last night we were honoured to receive an Onkaparinga Business Award for Best Eco-Friendly / Sustainable Business⁠ ​•⁠ It's because of your support, votes, and testimonials that we received this recognition, so thank you!⁠ ​•⁠ It was also really nice to hear about all the local businesses in our region, and reminded us even more how important it is to support your local community, whether that is where you spend your money or where you spend your time⁠ ​•⁠ #Onkaparinga #GoSouthGoLocal #onbusinessawards #ONbusiness

Garlic harvest 2020!   •   We pulled these beauties out of the ground on the weekend, after having stopped watering for 10 days so they could start to dry out.    •   Our bulk producer was once again a beautiful long-storing purple variety we originally got from @thefoodforest and have planted for the past 3 years.   •   We were also impressed with the bulb size of a new variety we have trialled called Melbourne Market Garden.   •   The garlic is now hanging up under the carport where it doesn't get any sun, but has plenty of air movement for quick drying. This is key for long-term storage success, and given this warm weather should only take a couple of weeks. • #garlic #garlicharvest #veggies #homegrown #vegetablegarden #organic #organicgardening #homestead #backtobasics #simpleliving #natural #diy #makeyourown #sustainability #greenliving #sustainableliving #simplelife #eco #voluntarysimplicity #homestead #plasticfree #waronwaste #zerowaste #retrosuburbia #permaculture #permacultureaustralia #adelaide #southaustralia #folkofalltrades

We do really love our veggies, which is why a lot of our space is dedicated to growing them. But outside of the neat market garden rows we love a sprawling and mixed polyculture of flowers, medicinal plants, and herbs. ⁠ ​​•⁠ This patch is between two very small avocadoes, and is a tangled and ever-changing mix of English mint, sage, calendula, and snapdragons. Some of our other favourites include yarrow, comfrey, borage, lemon balm, chamomile and catmint. ⁠ ​​•⁠ It's so lovely to walk out and see the insects enjoying the flowers, and the birds enjoying the insects. This patch also provides lots of herbs for the kitchen and herbs for healing and tasty teas.⁠ ​​•⁠ What are your favourite herbs and flowers to grow?⁠ ​​•⁠ #growing #herbs #flowers #homegrown #herbgarden #polyculture #organic #organicgardening #homestead #backtobasics #simpleliving #natural #diy #makeyourown #sustainability #greenliving #sustainableliving #simplelife #eco #voluntarysimplicity #homestead #plasticfree #waronwaste #zerowaste #retrosuburbia #permaculture #permacultureaustralia #adelaide #southaustralia #folkofalltrades

Chocolatey Acacia spoons⁠ ​​•⁠ A branch had snapped by the side of the road as we drove to the Southern Flinders Ranges a few weeks back, and inside was this beautiful two-tone wood that is quite characteristic of many Acacias.⁠ ​​•⁠ These and other serving spoons went off to @sagehouse_aus where we hope they will cook and serve many delicious meals⁠ ​​•⁠ #spoon #spooncarving #woodworking #greenwoodworking #handtools #timber #wood #homestead #backtobasics #simpleliving #natural #diy #makeyourown #sustainability #greenliving #sustainableliving #simplelife #eco #voluntarysimplicity #homestead #plasticfree #waronwaste #zerowaste #retrosuburbia #permaculture #permacultureaustralia #adelaide #southaustralia #GoSouthGoLocal #folkofalltrades

Green roof on our shipping container! •  We've wanted to build a green roof ever since we saw them in Norway and Sweden back in 2012 (third picture). It can be a difficult and expensive addition to a residential house, so we decided to install one on our repurposed shipping container, which we use as a workshop. • The roof structure was built in Autumn 2019, planted that winter, and has now filled in pretty nicely with beautiful local native grasses and groundcovers. Over time we should see greenery cascade over the fascia and the roof structure itself disappear. Birds are already nesting under the eaves and butterflies and insects frequent the rooftop garden. • If you'd like to know more about how it was constructed, the materials we used, plant species, and costs please let us know and we will do a more detailed post soon. • #greenroof #livingroof #rooftopgarden #growing #nature #biodiversity #habitat #revegetation #architecture #greenarchitecture #Design #homestead #backtobasics #simpleliving #natural #diy #makeyourown #sustainability #greenliving #sustainableliving #simplelife #eco #voluntarysimplicity #homestead #retrosuburbia #permaculture #permacultureaustralia #adelaide #southaustralia #folkofalltrades

Replacing plastic with wood! •   The plastic door shelf in our little bar fridge recently cracked, and despite trying to glue it back together we decided it would be better to replace the whole thing with timber.  •   The same Tassie Oak timber parquetry that we used to make koji trays was also just the right width and thickness for this project, so Sam cut it to size and created these wedge shapes to accept the moulded plastic of the fridge door. •   Rarely does a timber project that requires accuracy in measurement go smoothly (for Sam anyway!), so we were pretty stoked that it fit the first time. Careful measuring and a test fit before the components went together was key in making this a relatively quick fix. •   Now we are looking around wondering what other dodgy plastic components we can replace with beautiful timber... • #shelf #diy #repair #woodworking #handtools #timber #wood #homestead #backtobasics #simpleliving #natural #diy #makeyourown #sustainability #greenliving #sustainableliving #simplelife #eco #voluntarysimplicity #homestead #plasticfree #waronwaste #zerowaste #retrosuburbia #permaculture #permacultureaustralia #adelaide #southaustralia #GoSouthGoLocal #folkofalltrades

Now the weather is warming up we are loving drinking water kefir again. It doesn't ferment nearly so well over winter for us, which is not so bad because we don't feel like drinking it as much. ⁠ •⁠ Now is a great time for putting mulberries and loquats into kefir as the first fruits of the season. Mulberry might just be our new favourite :)⁠ •⁠ #kefir #waterkefir #fermentation #wildfermentation #health #guthealth #probiotic #homestead #backtobasics #simpleliving #natural #diy #makeyourown #sustainability #greenliving #sustainableliving #simplelife #eco #voluntarysimplicity #homestead #plasticfree #waronwaste #zerowaste #retrosuburbia #permaculture #permacultureaustralia #adelaide #southaustralia #GoSouthGoLocal #folkofalltrades

We started a King Stropharia / Wine Cap mushroom bed back in mid August (you can check out our post from August 17). •   Since then the mycelium has done an excellent job colonising the straw, and we've kept it moist through weekly waterings, and covered with hessian so the blackbirds didn't dig the whole bed up. •   This week we noticed a bump pushing the hessian up, and since then have been harvesting these tasty mushrooms almost every day. The last bed we tried was not a success as it was too far away and we forgot to water it, but this time we had it in an area we saw a lot and have been rewarded with this fantastic fungi • #mushrooms  #kingstropharia  #growingmushrooms  #winecapmushrooms  #growing #fungi #organicgardening #homestead #backtobasics #simpleliving #natural #diy #makeyourown #sustainability #greenliving #sustainableliving #simplelife #eco #voluntarysimplicity #homestead #plasticfree #waronwaste #zerowaste #retrosuburbia #permaculture #permacultureaustralia #adelaide #southaustralia #GoSouthGoLocal #folkofalltrades

Baby goats! •   These two wonderful kids are Josi and Wattle - half Toggenburg like their mum Cypress, and half Saanen like their dad Buck Rogers. •   They were born yesterday at midday, with no assistance or anyone in attendance, and were standing almost immediately. They've been showered in scratches and cuddles, and seem keen to play. •   We will try to restrain ourselves, but there will be more baby goat photos to come :) • #goat #urbangoat #babygoat #kid #goatkid #toggenburg #saanen #homestead #backtobasics #simpleliving #natural #diy #makeyourown #sustainability #greenliving #sustainableliving #simplelife #eco #voluntarysimplicity #homestead #plasticfree #waronwaste #zerowaste #retrosuburbia #permaculture #permacultureaustralia #adelaide #southaustralia #GoSouthGoLocal #folkofalltrades

What to do with 6kg of Kohl Rabi that's about to go to seed? Make kraut :) •   We love kohl rabi - that bulbous brassica that tastes like broccoli stalk, but 6kg all at once is too much even for us. The early warmth this spring caused dozens of plants to set seed, so we had to move quickly before the core became woody. •   The leaves and stalks went to the goats, and we diligently peeled the tough outer skin and grated the bulbs. We added around 1% salt, and the shredded kohl rabi provided the liquid to cover everything with brine. • #sauerkraut #kohlrabi #fermentation #wildfermentation #guthealth #probiotic #veggies #homegrown #homestead #backtobasics #simpleliving #natural #diy #makeyourown #sustainability #greenliving #sustainableliving #simplelife #eco #voluntarysimplicity #homestead #plasticfree #waronwaste #zerowaste #retrosuburbia #permaculture #permacultureaustralia #adelaide #southaustralia #GoSouthGoLocal #folkofalltrades

Please vote for us! We've been shortlisted for the ON Business Awards and we'd love your votes for Folk of all Trades. Link in bio. Thank you :)⁠ ​​•⁠ #homestead #backtobasics #simpleliving #natural #diy #makeyourown #sustainability #greenliving #sustainableliving #simplelife #eco #voluntarysimplicity #homestead #plasticfree #waronwaste #zerowaste #retrosuburbia #permaculture #permacultureaustralia #spooncarving #gardening #veggiegarden #fermenting #naturaldyeing #smallbusiness #adelaide #southaustralia #Onkaparinga #GoSouthGoLocal #folkofalltrades

Babies need spoons too!⁠ •⁠ We just dropped off a basket full of spoons to @sagehouse_aus including these baby spoons made of Lemon Scented Gum - the leaves smell like lemons, not the wood :)⁠ •⁠ We'd love it if everyone ate with wooden spoons but think it's especially good for babies, who tend to chew on whatever they are eating with.⁠ •⁠ #spoon #spooncarving #woodworking #greenwoodworking #timber #wood #handmade #madebyhand #craft #homestead #backtobasics #simpleliving #natural #diy #makeyourown #sustainability #greenliving #sustainableliving #simplelife #eco #voluntarysimplicity #homestead #plasticfree #waronwaste #retrosuburbia #permaculture #permacultureaustralia #adelaide #southaustralia #folkofalltrades

The winter veg garden is in transition to summer veg. This is how it looked a month ago in peak production - pictured from left to right is a row of garlic, brassicas (cabbage and broccoli), podded and snowpeas, leeks and beetroot.⁠ ⁠ Now we are planting tomatoes, cucumbers, pumpkins and corn, with capsicums, eggplants, and watermelon waiting patiently in the greenhouse until it gets just a bit warmer.⁠ ⁠ If you'd like to start your own veggie patch or increase it's production Sam is running a small workshop at Aldinga library on October 10th, complete with a homegrown tomato seedling to take home. Tickets are only $6 thanks to @Onkaparingalibraries - the link is in our bio :)

First kurti (quandong in Kaurna language) harvest of the season! •⁠   These kurti went into a tangy omelette, which replaced the capsicum and lime we sometimes have with our eggs when we are feeling like some latin flavours. •⁠   The seeds from the fruit will be kept for propagating new trees. The Neville Bonney method we described on our Dec 20, 2019 post gave us a dozen seedlings, ready to plant out next winter. •⁠   #kurti  #quandong  #australiannativefood  #bushfood  #bushtucker  #breakfast #slowfood #localfood  #growing  #fruit  #homegrown  #backtobasics  #simpleliving  #natural  #diy  #makeyourown  #sustainability  #greenliving  #sustainableliving  #simplelife  #eco  #voluntarysimplicity  #homestead  #plasticfree  #waronwaste  #retrosuburbia  #permaculture  #adelaide  #southaustralia  #folkofalltrades

Natural acorn-dyed shibori top!⁠ ​​•⁠ Dani folded the bottom and put on clamps to prevent the acorn dye from colouring those areas. The rest was submerged in beautiful acorn 'tea'.⁠ ​​•⁠ It looks a bit crinkled at the moment because it is 100% linen and we don't have an iron :)⁠ ​​•⁠ #acorns #oak #shibori #naturaldyeing #naturaldyed #naturaldyersofinstagram #plantdye #naturalfibres #naturalcolour #ecodye #naturaldye #plantdyes #botanicaldye #folkofalltrades #backtobasics #simpleliving #natural #diy #makeyourown #handmade #madebyhand #craft #sustainability #greenliving #eco #plasticfree #waronwaste #retrosuburbia #adelaide #southaustralia

Tomatoes in the ground! • After quite a few years of mixed results, Dani absolutely nailed the tomato seedlings this year. They were started inside back in June until all seeds had germinated, then taken outside during the day but brought back in at night. Once they were big enough they were taken out to the greenhouse, potted on twice, and now finally planted deep in the ground, with the two lowest sets of leaves removed and buried to encourage more root development. •  We've also given them a pinch of finely crushed eggshell in their planting holes, plus a top dressing of potash, which induces early flowering. We won't be mulching until the weather is much warmer - right now we want to get the soil as warm as possible. • #tomato #seed #seedling #growing #veggies #homegrown #vegetablegarden #organic #organicgardening #veggiegarden #homestead #backtobasics #simpleliving #natural #diy #makeyourown #sustainability #greenliving #sustainableliving #simplelife #eco #voluntarysimplicity #homestead #plasticfree #waronwaste #retrosuburbia #permaculture #permacultureaustralia #adelaide #southaustralia #folkofalltrades

Serving spoon in Australian native pine - 80 years of growth rings! •   We were driving to the Riverland for a workshop and noticed a branch had snapped off a large Southern Cypress Pine (Callitris gracilis). There's a folding saw in the car for just such circumstances, and Sam cut a section to take home with us. •   After splitting it open we counted at least 80 years of growth, packed into just a 12cm diameter branch! These trees can grow very slowly. •   This serving spoon came out marvellously from a bent section of branch - it's easy to get lost in the grain where it bunches and swirls • #spoon #spooncarving #woodworking #greenwoodworking #handtools #timber #wood #handmade #madebyhand #craft #homestead #backtobasics #simpleliving #natural #diy #makeyourown #sustainability #greenliving #sustainableliving #simplelife #eco #voluntarysimplicity #homestead #plasticfree #waronwaste #retrosuburbia #permaculture #permacultureaustralia #adelaide #southaustralia #folkofalltrades

Saving eggshells for our tomato plants⁠ •⁠ Tomatoes will sometimes get blossom end rot, which is that brown discolouration that appears on the base of the fruit. This is caused by a calcium imbalance; not a disease. ⁠ •⁠ There are two main steps you can take to prevent this ocurring:⁠ •⁠ 1. Maintain consistent soil moisture. This means good organic matter in the soil, deep watering so the roots grow down from the drying surface, and mulching with compost, straw, or wood chip.⁠ •⁠ 2. Increase the calcium available to the plants. We are adding a good sprinkle of ground eggshells to each planting hole, but you could also use oyster shell grit, or a commercially available calcium product.⁠ ​​•⁠ #tomato #eggshell #growing #veggies #homegrown #vegetablegarden #organic #organicgardening #veggiegarden #homestead #backtobasics #simpleliving #natural #diy #makeyourown #sustainability #greenliving #sustainableliving #simplelife #eco #voluntarysimplicity #homestead #plasticfree #waronwaste #retrosuburbia #permaculture #permacultureaustralia #adelaide #southaustralia #folkofalltrades