Monthly Archives: June 2010

Whole Culinary Garden Workshops held each year in Byron Bay

Tue, 08/06/2010 – Jude Fanton

How to design, install and use a whole culinary garden.
Each week has theory, practicals in the extensive gardens, an exercise indoors and handouts. You’ll go home with seeds and other planting materials. We collect and prepare a vegetarian lunch together from the garden, with many raw foods and ferments. Here is a rough outline of topics we’ll cover, though the garden and your interests and questions will enrich this list!
You may take any one of the workshops as each is exclusive.
Week 1 – 19th June
Whole Garden Design – Creating a Garden of Eden right through to the Magic of Mushrooms
Topics: how to lay out the garden, considering sectors and zones, water, soil fertility, habitat, forest vs vegetable garden soils; vegetarian, vegan and raw food gardening
Garden practical: Tour of garden, observation of design, collection of mushrooms from under the forest,
Lunch: mushroom soup, roasted roots and salad with a ferments of home-made vinegar, starting cottage cheese.
Exercise: Design your place with zones, sectors, etc
Week 2 – 26th June
Rare Roots – Non-taxed underground low-input resources
Topics: Different species that suit this region under these categories: starchy (cassava, taro, sweet potato, yam), nutty (peanuts), spicey (ginger, tumeric, galangal, khaemferia, native ginger).
Garden practical: Digging roots and spices to eat. Where and how to plant.
Lunch: cassava, taro, sweet potato, yam, ginger, tumeric, galangal, khaemferia, native ginger, with fermented daikon skemono and pink ginger pickles
Exercise: Make labels for planting material to take home
Week 3 – 3rd July
Propagation – Eat roots, shoots, leaves, buds, flowers and seeds and multiply!
Topics: How to propagate from cuttings, tubers, rhizomes, slips, seeds
Garden practical: sowing seeds, taking cuttings of herbs, transplanting pineapples, etc.
Food: Curry of pulses from the garden (lima beans, pigeon peas, cowpeas), edible seeds from the garden (mustard, fennel, parsley, etc.); salad of shoots (fennel, parsley, etc.), buds and flowers (nasturtiums, mustard, salvias, etc)., with a ferment of leaves
Exercise: Clean and sort seeds, make and label packets to take home
Miss a Saturday – take a break
Week 4 – 17th July
Fruity Forest – choosing common and rare species that thrive in this climate, conservation of local varieties
Topics: the great diversity of species that will grow in this region; how to plant and maintain fruit and nut trees; conservation of local varieties; greater nutrition in local varieties
Garden practical: observations of fruity forest and of orchard, attaching new labels to trees, collecting fruits; perhaps moving logs; planting a couple of fruit trees in lower pond area – and lemon tree.
Lunch: green pawpaw salad, citrus dressing on green salad, bananas (+ fried green), etc. Frozen mango, rollinia; make fruit icecream, with a ferment of citrus drink
Week 5 – 24th July
Greening the Table – Comestible leaves
Topics: the immense diversity of species of greens that will grow here, including a dozen salads and nearly as many spinaches; edible weeds; edible tree leaves; principles of self-seeding and selection
Garden practical: sowing, thinning; collecting salads and spinaches for lunch
Lunch: greens lunch! Green soup, green drink with aloe vera from garden, green salad, spinach and eggs/dairy with a ferment of leaves


Successful Regional Seed Savers Conference

Thu, 03/06/2010 – Jude Fanton

Castlereagh Seed Savers ran a successful regional conference in Mudgee last weekend, 30th and 31st May 2010. Dennis Grimshaw reported there were over forty people attending. Seven Local Seed Networks were represented: Castlereagh Seed Savers, Leichhardt Seed Savers, Permaculture Southern Highlands Seed Savers, Illawarra Seed Savers, Wollondilly Seed Savers, Permaculture Sydney North Seed Savers, Shoalhaven Seed Savers.
Here is the report in the local newspaper, the Mudgee Guardian.
Seeds of the past and the future as local seed savers meet
BY DARREN SNYDER, 31 May, 2010
The term ‘seed saving’ is something of a misnomer. Castlereagh Seed Savers member Frank Frost believes seed saving has many applications and the process does a lot more than protecting heritage.
“We not only save seeds, we save plants, we save foods and it goes on,” he said. Mr Frost tells a story of one seed saver who has grown over 100 varieties of Sweet Potato.
But why would anyone do that? In short, one variety of Sweet Potato would only need one disease to wipe it out. Also, one variety is not going to grow in every climate.
These were the kinds of questions answered at the Seed Savers conference in Mudgee over the weekend.
The aim of the conference was to raise awareness of genetically modified seeds in pasture, cereals and horticulture as well as updating and educating on saving technique.
Fifth generation Mid-West farmer and Chairman of the Royal Agricultural Society’s Agricultural Committee, Hunter White, said it is important to maintain seed saving because the world is going to have to draw from it for food and other resources.
“One of the challenges we face is the rapid increase of population growth,” he said.
“It is going to put a strain on all the resources we’ve got and basically it is going to be our job to do more with less.”
Mr White also spoke about the battle between the development of hybrid seeds and genetically modified seeds as opposed to heritage seeds.
“In the northern hemisphere a hybrid seed is being used extensively with a crop like maize,” he said.
“But the problem is the seed only lasts one year and offers no diversity. “By growing something unknown you can learn more about it and how it adapts in changing environments.”
This is where Mr Frost believes seed saving can come to the fore, by having the ability to grow a diverse range.
“Many cultures have brought their seeds to Australia and some could grow even better here,” he said.
“There is no reason why we shouldn’t be making the most of seeds from other countries and developing them here.”