PDC earlybird discount extended until COB 2nd April 2013,
record pistachio harvest, the almond stomp and more...

Food Forest News: March 28th 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… if not, you can subscribe via our website's home page.

Autumn has arrived with a rush -  nut harvesting is upon us, wine is declaring its potential as the primary fermentation finishes and new garden design ideas are about to hatch as Easter approaches. Major repair work to erosion of the south bank of the Gawler River is in progress for the flood season ahead.

permaculture design certificate

Earlybird price for Permaculture Design Course extended

Good news for those who may just have heard about the upcoming PDC with David Holmgren, the Brookmans and a stack of other highly qualified tutors. Save $150 per person if you sign up and pay your deposit or full course fee by Tuesday 2nd April.
The internationally recognised intensive course runs for ten days April 24-28, May 10-12 & 25-26, 2013.

avril with italian blond pistachios

“That’s not a pistachio... THIS is a pistachio!”

Even Paul Hogan would have been impressed by the size of these unique ‘Italian Blonde’ pistachios. Bred by Graham Brookman from the Italian variety Trabonella the mega-nuts have a high rate of splits, making it easy for consumers to open the shell and magnificently flavoursome kernels.

Our 2013 picking teams have worked their way through a record harvest. Thanks hugely to everyone who offered to be involved in the pistachio harvest this year. We were overwhelmed by the numbers and apologise to those we couldn’t fit in.
Next comes the on-site processing using The Food Forest’s small/medium-scale grading machine to separate the split nuts from annoying non-splits, which are then cracked in a unique Sicilian shelling machine – freeing the kernels for incorporation into baked goods ice cream, pesto etc. The processing system is unique in Australia and avoids the fate of 99% of Aussie non-split nuts that go all the way to China for shelling and are then shipped back! 
See our movie about Pistachio growing and processing (you can buy the DVD here) and read about fruit and nut growing

smooth revolution bikePedal-powered smoothies highlight
of harvest lunch

Permaculture designer and bike-powered smoothie guru James Stocks was one of the 14-strong pistachio picking team this year and provided plenty of power to the pack through his freshly vitamised frozen fruit smoothies. Read more about his 'Smooth Revolution'...

Earthworks save public path

Major erosion of the South bank of the Gawler River due to the redirection of the river by a massive log jam, has been repaired through a partnership between the Adelaide and Mt Lofty Ranges Natural Resources Management Board and Gawler Council along with the magnificent skills of CAVCO Earthmovers. 
Find out more...

graham and claude

Keeping the birds at bay in school gardens

Permaculture designer Claudia Peoples is the school garden specialist member of staff at Elizabeth Park Primary school. With a superb trellis full of grapes and  some magnificent stone fruit, the students were getting very excited - but so were the birds. On a typically tight school budget, Claudia was wondering how to tackle things. Luckily The Food Forest had some spare bits of white Hex net which has small 6-sided knitted holes and pulls on and off net easily and does not get birds stuck like the older square-holed nets. Netting can be relatively economical if you grow prolific crops and carefully repair and store the nets when not in use. Schools and community gardens that club together and buy a roll can protect sizeable trees for under $4 per metre of tree row.

almond stomp

Almond processing WWOOFer style

With only a small harvest of almonds as a result of extreme heat in the growing season, the de-hulling operation to get the leathery ‘skins’ off the nuts was done via an informally choreographed stomp-dance. The almonds were then winnowed by dropping them in front of a fan. The hulls and leaves were pretty much all blown beyond the catching crate, leaving a minor manual grading job to select all of the almonds (in shell and kernels).

tony piccolo

Minister launches river restoration film

Tony Piccolo, SA’s Minister for Volunteers praised the work of GRRR (Gawler River Riparian Restoration group) in repairing and restoring the Gawler River, in front of a big crowd, at the launch of the film at Hewett Centre recently.
grandpas feeder chicken feeder

The Food Forest’s chicken tractor and Grandpa's feeder

The Food Forest is justifiably proud of its elegant eggmobile made from an old, rusting car trailer and pieces of unwanted colourbond and ridge capping. Also satisfying the Permaculture principle of ‘no waste’... find out more...
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