Sustainable House Design Workshop this Sunday 21st July,
'Cosy Cottage' construction, the Food Forest expands,
tips on new fruit trees and the Quiet Revolution

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Food Forest News: July 17th 2013

Welcome to the Food Forest E-newsletter: it's about self reliance, new design tricks and good things that are happening in our community. If you received the newsletter you may well be subscribed… but if not, subscribe via our website.

Sustainable House Design One-Day Workshop - this Sunday July 21st

The renowned architect of some of Australia’s most sustainable homes and interpretation centres, Emilis Prelgauskas, will teach the practicalities of energy efficient house design at The Food Forest, this Sunday July 21st.

If you are interested in this topic, book quickly as there are only a few days to go.

Other upcoming courses and events...

Next up after the Sustainable House Design Workshop are: Our courses have been booking up well in advance of late, so be sure to book as early as possible to ensure your place.

‘Cosy Cottage’-  warm as toast

The 13sq metre strawbale cabin constructed during our recent Strawbale Building course is almost complete with a high mass floor of pavers and big second-hand glass northern wall which really soak up the winter sun. The novel construction using strawbales on edge, a simple skillion roof with 90mm air-gap filled with 2 sided foil and rockwool insulation has beautiful outlooks to the river and to our forest. It will be a wonderful retreat for hardy WWOOFers and other visitors.

Our next Strawbale Workshop will be held on October 26th & 27th, 2013.
See more photos of the Cosy Cottage construction here...

Growing business

The Food Forest has expanded with the purchase of a beautiful neighbouring property complete with windbreaks, a tiny orchard and biodiversity plantings; it gives our design team a whole new canvas to work on. The Food Forest  leased the land for 4 years before purchase so it has been possible to achieve full organic status for the new block, which has been seeded to a crop of organic Estoc wheat.

Tips on new fruit trees

Now is the time to get deciduous fruit trees in the ground and rootstocks grafted. Bare-rooted trees are now available from nurseries quite cheaply but the top part of the tree is often too big for the root system. Imagine how big the root system may have been and what proportion was lost when the tree was ‘lifted’ out of the ground.

Prune the top part of the tree accordingly. It may seem extreme but it is better to have a healthy little tree than one that kills itself trying to push too many shoots. It is also worth soaking the tree roots in a bucket of water overnight to redress dehydration that may have happened in the nursery. Store trees with their feet in wet sawdust if you can’t plant immediately… but try to plant by August.

The Quiet Revolution –
This year’s Permaculture Design Certificate Graduates in action

  • Desmond reports that he has moved to his dream farm on the Fleurieu Peninsula AND their Wessex Saddleback pig Mabel has farrowed, producing 10 gorgeous piglets; not to mention the arrival of their core flock of Dorper sheep.
    See their facebook page...
  • Congratulations are in order to Rachelle Sandow (PDC 2013) who starred in a front page spread of the popular Adelaide Hills newspaper The Weekender as a key designer and motivator of the Old School Community Garden at Stirling. Rachelle and her team did her PDC major project on the garden and had a beautiful design all set to go when the Federal Food Grants were opened. Fingers crossed that the group will score support.
  • Matthew and Jo bought an old fruit block in the Riverland last week and attended the Fruit and Nut Growing course at The Food Forest for tips on restoring old trees to health and planning new plantings for a changing climate
  • Maree and David will take possession of their new property in South Gippsland in a week or two; David is busy planning the agroforestry plantings and Maree is dreaming of a strawbale cottage on the hillside!
  • Jane is back on beautiful Bowen Island in British Columbia Canada and has new peacock hatchlings! She is still keen for fellow PDCers to WWOOF on her farm.
See the newly renovated Eastern Suburbs Permaculture website.
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