Open Day this Sunday! (October 11th), university programs in permaculture, goslings galore, bumper pistachio crop on the cards, David Holmgren coming to teach and more...
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Food Forest

Food Forest News: October 2015

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 this newsletter you may well be subscribed… but if not, subscribe via our website.

Short Courses

Intensive public workshops coming up include:

Open Day - this Sunday 11th October

Our productive organic market garden, chicken tractor, solar-powered house, drought hardy orchards and strawbale buildings will all be on show at The Food Forest's Spring Open Day on Sunday 11th October. The morning session concentrates on strawbale construction and sustainable building design (with specialist architect, builder and engineer) and the pm features permaculture tours of gardens and orchards. 

Visitors will also see the transformation of a stretch of the Gawler River that has been taken back from invasive plants like boxthorn and replaced with a locally indigenous ecosystem.

A full length movie about the creation of The Food Forest will be showing during the lunchbreak and in the afternoon.

Visitors will be able to purchase certified organic dried fruit, nuts, wine and plants as well as receiving advice from the Food Forest team.

The Strawbale Building Information session is from 10am sharp-1pm (cost $15) and Permaculture talks and inspections from 2pm sharp –5pm (cost $10). Visitors can also attend for the whole day and bring a picnic lunch (cost $20). There is no charge for children.
Permaculture Design Certificate

The next big step in permaculture

At the recent International Permaculture Conference in London the Australian contingent found ourselves rubbing shoulders with private bankers, CEOs of Aid and Development agencies and academics from a range of universities. 

Well over a thousand people were involved in the 10-days of core events and weeks of satellite tours and courses. It marked a big step forward for the movement and saw the founding of a new Research Journal and the launching of fully accredited Postgraduate Study in permaculture.

Based at CQUni's Adelaide campus, the nested Graduate Certificate, Graduate Diploma and Masters will be internationally available online and supported by intensive face-to-face learning blocks on permaculture properties in Australia and Bali (and ultimately in a number of other countries). 

Enquiries should be directed to the Program Coordinator, Keri Chiveralls

Accredited Permaculture Training (APT) joins National Curriculum

Virginia Solomon spoke to Australian permaculture educators at the International Convergence who welcomed the proposed move of APT into the broad vocational education sector such that it can be taught generally in TAFE institutes and by other training providers.

The peak body, Permaculture Australia, retains copyright to the curriculum and staff engaged in teaching APT must have permaculture qualifications. 

It is expected that clear pathways for articulation from APT into higher studies in Agriculture, Permaculture design, Horticulture and Agro-ecology will soon emerge, as well as arrangements for teachers to formally teach permaculture in schools.

First lay produces masses of goslings

The Food Forest has welcomed over 70 freshly hatched goslings in the last couple of weeks and they are growing like radishes in the warm conditions. Our breed (Gawler River hybrids) is based on the Pilgrim goose (Males white, females grey) and modest sized bird with immense resilience to adverse conditions and a terrific capacity to forage. They prefer grasses to broad-leafed plants but will make-do on clovers and salt bush if they must.

Geese are the fastest growing of the poultry and the early hatched ones will be ready for Christmas dinner. We hope to continue our relationship with Chianti Restaurant on Hutt St which featured Food Forest Goose on its menu last year. We also sell breeding pairs.
Permaculture Design Certificate

Keeping your little geese alive

During their first month of life, goslings are fragile little creatures with a critical need for water, drinking every half hour during hot weather and cooling-off in puddles as well. Despite being water lovers, geese also quite often manage to drown themselves.

We have retro-fitted our normal (sheep) stock troughs so that there can be a puddle near the trough that the goslings can walk into and drink from as well as an area of concrete built up next to the trough from which bigger goslings can climb into the trough, and three house bricks in the trough arranged as steps so the goslings can climb out.
Permaculture Design Certificate

Massive pistachio flowering

The chilly winter has allowed our pistachios to flower in unprecedented abundance this year, so (quite out of the blue!) we have the potential for a bumper harvest in March next year. Issues like weather, disease and water availability will all affect the actual yield but at least we are in with a chance!

Tough customer soft on the palate

Mataro is a brilliant Spanish grape variety with extraordinary resilience in the face of extreme temperatures. It produces a wine somewhat like Shiraz but more subtle, with undertones of clove, thyme and occasionally blackberry. The upright growth of the vine supports nets beautifully such that birds can't bounce on the net and peck fruit through the mesh!

David Holmgren to teach in PDC and Post Graduate Certificate at Food Forest

Permaculture co-creator David Holmgren will teach in both our standard Permaculture Design Certificate next April/May and in the intensive face-to-face teaching block which forms an important part of CQUni's Grad Certificate. Other uni  'residential' permaculture teaching sites include Kul Kul Farm at The Green School in Bali and Eco Centro in Brazil. Further sites will be sought. The Grad Cert will thus also satisfy the requirements and the spirit of the World-recognised PDC.
Permaculture Design Certificate

Grant for local fire-unit user group

The Food Forest recently coordinated a successful application for a State subsidy for the purchase of a new fire unit to provide rapid response in the case of local fires. As if to emphasise the importance of the application, the first fire of the local season occurred immediately adjacent to the property last week!

Pictured above are Tony Piccolo, the SA Minister for Emergency Services and Malcolm Jackman, CEO of the SA Fire and Emergency Services Commission, handing a grant for $5000 toward the fire unit to Graham Brookman, convenor of the user group.

The unit will be a professional piece of equipment that can be rapidly deployed in the case of fire in the locality by any of the recognised members of the interest group who have a suitable vehicle. The unit will be road registered but is capable of off-road use. It will be kept at The Food Forest for collection by registered users from a group of properties in Hillier.

All the users will complete the SA CFS training program for fire-fighting and specific training in the use of the new unit.
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