Hugelkultur mound from 1 month growing over 20 years.

A colourful example of how a hugelkultur mound grows over 20 years:









Hugelkultur – you can do this in your garden, no matter how small!.

Hugelkultur – so easy and you can do this in your garden, no matter how small. No digging required.

Hugelkultur swales and a food forest growing in harmony – a great example of permaculture synergy.

Hugelkultur which is German for ‘hill culture’ are simply no-dig raised beds with a difference.

Packed with organic material: trees, wood, trunks, roots, shrubs, branches, leaves, grass clippings, straw, cardboard, petroleum-free newspaper, manure – they hold moisture, build fertility, maximise surface volume and are great spaces for growing fruit, vegetables and herbs.

Cover the organic goodies waste mound with soil then plant your veggies. Finito!

Try a mini Hugelkultur raised bed with all your organic garden waste in your garden today. Any size will work

Instead of throwing the organic waste in the green bin, build your mound, cover it with soil, scatter and push some seeds in the soil.

The Hugelkultur mound will retain much more moisture, water and nourishment from the composting organic waste within.



Food forest – so easy, any garden can have one!

Food forest – so easy, any garden can have one!

Another feature of any good garden of Permaculture is a food forest.

A food forest can be big or small, or just a few plants, growing in companionship with each other over several canopy levels. This mini forest could just be the crop of plants in the corner of your garden.

Nature grows in a highly optimised pattern, utilising multiple layers and making the most of both horizontal and vertical space.

A food forest may not have all seven layers, but it does have multiple layers, and even more importantly, it is a virtually self-sustaining living ecosystem.

A food forest offers:
– High Productivity
– Natural Mulch, Compost & Fertiliser
– Natural Pest Control
– Resilience Through Biodiversity – Strength in Numbers
– Easy Soil Repair – Chop n’ Drop.

Real forests do not need any work, they self-maintain — no pesticides, herbicides, weeding, crop rotation, mowing or digging. Food forests do not need any of this either – less work, more food, all natural.

A food forest typically is comprised of seven layers:
– High canopy: The canopy layer is comprised of tall trees — typically large fruit and nut trees.

– Low canopy: Between the tall canopy layer trees, there is a layer of low growing, typically dwarf fruit trees.

– Shrubs: Nestled between all the small trees are the shrubs – which are well represented by currants and berries.

– Low shrubs: Filling the remaining space are the herbaceous layer, these are the culinary and medicinal herbs, companion plants, bee-forage plants and poultry forage plants.

– Ground cover: Any remaining space is occupied by ground cover plants. These form a living mulch that protects the soil, reduces water loss to evaporation, and prevents weeds growing.

– Underground root level: We can still go a level deeper to the rhizosphere, or root zone, the underground level which is occupied by all our root crops, such as potatoes, carrots, ginger, yacon, etc.

– Vertical Vines: While that might seem like a lot of plants in one space, we still have one more to fill, the upright vertical space. This is filled by climbers and vines, which can be run up trellises, arbours, fences, trees or any other vertical support. This category includes grapes, climbing beans, many berries, passionfruit, kiwi fruit, climbing peas, chokos and many other species that love to climb.

Thank you –


Permaculture 101 Basics – quick lesson on the top 3

Permaculture basics – for any garden design, big or small.

In this order from most important to consider:
1. Water
2. Access
3. Structure.

Some time ago we posted some great Permaculture tips e.g. the herb spiral garden, planted swales (curved ditches) down a slope to capture and retain water for your vegetable garden.

To create a Permaculture garden or a permanent culture of sustainable ecology, even before the above tips, the 3 most important features to consider in any garden project are:

1. Water – where does the water enter and exit your property? In what direction does water naturally flow? This is the best path to capture your water, retain it to nourish your garden. Its all about retaining water with less run off as possible without waterlogging your garden whilst relieving the need for mains water.

2. Access – how can you access your property by foot or vehicle? How easy is it to access your water, main garden or structure? Is access blocked by a structure or potential pooling of water?

3. Structure – where are the buildings on your property? Are they in the way of water flow, or access, on a hill or close to the perimeter? If we had a choice, where shall we place our structure – house or shed?


Anything solar is a winner for the future!

Anything solar is a winner for the future!




Saving our oceans – a message from the frontlines.

What’s happening in the Antartic seas and who is fighting for our oceans?

OBG donates food regularly to Sea Shepherd who are on the frontline saving sea life to maintain the balance of this fragile ecosystem.

We have toured each boat and admire how each skilled crewmember contributes in such tight confines, sometimes for months at sea, especially if damaged, awaiting repairs.

Hardworking folk who are battling the cold and challenges of survival need nourishment so we are glad to support Sea Shepherd keeping the oceans safe on our behalf.

An update from the front line:


I’m writing you from the Southern Ocean on board the M/Y Bob Barker. We are midway through Operation Relentless, a long and challenging campaign to defend the great whales from the illegal harpoons of a criminal whaling operation in a whale sanctuary.

After our three ships found the factory whaling ship, the Nisshin Maru, in early January in the middle of their bloody and barbaric business, we made sure the whalers had a disastrous January — which is normally the month they can kill the most whales.

The Bob Barker and Steve Irwin valiantly fought against a ruthless attack by the harpoon ships in rough weather. The Yushin Maru 3 hit the Bob Barker, damaging the starboard side of our bow. If you haven’t seen the footage, you can see the action on

The volunteer crew has been working round the clock. At sea, the ship operates 24 hours a day and there are no days off at sea, regardless of how rough or cold the conditions.

Being at sea for three months is difficult enough in itself, but add confrontations with a whaling fleet, rough weather and ravenous crew members and you’ve got an exhausted galley team. Thanks to your generous donation of delicious nutritional yeast and wheat gluten, life at sea is much better!

We’re more grateful than ever for all healthy food you supplied the crew for this Antarctic voyage. We’ve enjoyed the nutritional yeast in many different dishes and made all kinds of high protein dishes with the wheat gluten such as BBQ seitan and seitan roast for Christmas dinner. We want you to know how much of a treat it is to have delicious, healthy foods like yours at sea!

Commitment to our clients is the reason why we spend 3 months in the harsh Southern Ocean pursuing illegal whalers. In the last couple months, we have been visited by young and curious minke whales not yet aware of the horror of the harpoons, jumping humpbacks, and magnificent endangered fin whales. We know each of these individuals, many of whom are new mothers and juveniles, could be the whalers’ next victim.

Thanks to your meaningful support for Operation Relentless and previous whale defense campaigns, we can continue being effective saving whales in the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary and ensuring the sanctuary is actually a place of peace and refuge for the whales. Every whale saved is a victory, and a victory you are helping achieve.

For the oceans,
Andrea Gordon
Ship Manager, M/Y Bob Barker


A Silent Forest with David Suzuki

Dr David Suzuki is by training and profession a geneticist and for 25 years had an active career in science, once having the largest genetics lab in Canada.

He narrates A Silent Forest, a comprehensive and informative work, out of his concern for the planting of hundreds or perhaps thousands of plots of genetically altered trees out in the open all around the world today.  Warning: some revelations in this video may shock you.

To learn more about genetic engineering, click here


Mobile/Cell Phone Dangers

Few realize that cell phones have never been tested for safety and have been shown to cause damage to our fragile DNA

“We’ve underplayed the possible threat from cell phones for too long…[Devra Davis] shows the way the industry has been able to twist science just enough to stave off the possibility of regulation.”
-TIME Magazine


Dr. Devra Lee Davis co-founded the Environmental Health Trust in 2007, a non-profit that carries out research on policy relevant environmental health matters including on the long-term health impacts of microwave radiation. EHT has carried out policy-changing and public educational activities in Jackson, Wyoming and San Francisco, and is conducting major basic and epidemiologic research on cellphone health impacts.

Watch as Dr. Devra Lee Davis dispels all the myths we have come to believe about this serious yet largely ignored danger:

To learn more about the health risks posed by mobile phones (also known as cell phones but the risks apply to any handheld device that is can transmit voice or data) click here, here and here

What We Learned From Fukushima

How serious are the negative health impacts from nuclear disasters, building/operating/decommissioning nuclear reactors and the manufacture/storage/usage of nuclear weapons in our world today?  Do nuclear disasters in one part of the world pose a health concern to people living in other parts of the world?

World renowned Australian physician, author and expert speaker on all matters relating to nuclear technology and it’s health impacts, Dr Helen Caldicott gives us a humbling perspective in the following video:

To learn more about the health dangers from exposure to radiation from nuclear sources, click here


Genetic Roulette

This following definition of a GMO is provided by the Institute for Responsible Technology FAQs:

A GMO (genetically modified organism) is the result of a laboratory process of taking genes from one species and inserting them into another in an attempt to obtain a desired trait or characteristic, hence they are also known as transgenic organisms. This process may be called either Genetic Engineering (GE) or Genetic Modification (GM); they are one and the same.


To help you quickly get up to date on the subject, take a look at the following video produced by international bestselling author and GMO expert Jeffrey M. Smith

To review details of the 19-Sep-2012 published release of the first ever GMO lifetime feeding study, click here

To review over 30 other peer-reviewed animal studies showing toxic or allergenic problems with genetically engineered foods, click here

To learn more about the dangers and risks of GMOs, click here

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