Hugelkultur mound from 1 month growing over 20 years.

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

http://www.richsoil.com/hugelkultur/

Hugelkultur_raised-garden-bed-1_month

 

hugelkultur_1_year_later

 

 

Hugelkultur_raised-garden-bed-2years

 

Hugelkultur_raised-garden-bed-20years

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.

 

Hugelkultured_Swale_Food_Forest

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 – http://permaculturenews.org/2011/10/21/why-food-forests/

Food_forest_layers

Master Cleanse time! What are your tips?

Its Spring, its Master Cleanse time of year! We have noticed everyone is stocking up on Certified Organic B Grade Maple Syrup, Cayenne Pepper, Himalayan or Celtic Sea Salt and all the other goodies to enjoy a good cleanse.

The Master Cleanse is designed to cleanse your body, aid in weight loss, reduce acne, bloating, gas, indigestion, aches, pains and fatigue. And just to improve overall health and energy – all by removing toxic internal waste that has been sitting in our bodies for years.

By letting the body rest from the time it normally spends on breaking down, digesting and assimilating food, the body can naturally spend time to cleanse itself.

There are many websites dedicated to the famous Master Cleanse, documenting experiences and best recipes.

Remember: Certified Organic ingredients are best as we are aiming to cleanse our body of toxic waste and chemicals including all the pesticides, herbicides and pollution we inhale and some may consume very day.

How to do a Master Cleanse:

1. Drink your Master Cleanse drinks every day for whatever duration of your cleanse: this depends on your level of activity, and ability to fast and rest on the cleanse. Fasting has been done for centuries by many cultures for its healthy benefits. It is a good kick-start to cleansing your body.

2. How long? This depends on when you choose to start your cleanse – during holidays or a busy work week. Remember that during a cleanse, rest is also important to relax your body and nervous system. If life is always busy, that is fine, any cleanse for any duration is better than none.

A start is just 1 day of liquids and/or light foods as in point 3 and 4 to gauge your energy. Persevere through your second day working towards a good juice/fluids fast with no solid food, and by Day 3 you will be feeling so much lighter and fresher.

A good week of cleansing a few times a year is common practice to rejuvenate your body and reverse any signs of ailment. The maximum period of a cleanse recommended by many practitioners is 10 days. If you can manage 3 days, you are on track. Don’t feel guilty for not staying on a cleanse longer. The idea is a guilt-free happy detox for whatever duration.

3. What organic drink or recipe is best? Take your pick –

– whether it be the Lemonade Drink recipes below or

– raw vegetable juices – kale, carrot, celery, parsley, spinach, beetroot, ginger, pear and apple: lots of blood and fluid purifying choices here.

Combine the above Lemonade or juices with any of the below to supplement your energy requirements if needed:

– vegetable broth – light, home made and not over cooked – carrot, celery, spinach, parsley …

– cleansing teas e.g. peppermint, chamomile, fennel,  tulsi, Extox Tea – all found here

– smoothies with natural plant protein and green powders full of chlorophyll and detoxifying properties e.g. spirulina and other Super Green powders or Nutrient Superfoods such as Maca (hormone balance), delicious high protein Mesquite, antioxidant plus Maqui and Acai. See our favourite Power Smoothie below.

All these extra treats boost your energy requirements for busier lifestyles wanting to include a Master Cleanse in their schedules.

4. Entering or exiting from a Master Cleanse – Slowly enter and exit your cleanse with fresh raw vegetables, salads, soups and heartier smoothies with a good fast on liquids inbetween.

5. Enjoy your new energy and brighter attitude. After your cleanse, keep up the ideal balance of 80-20 alkaline-acid foods, and proper food combining plus healthy lifestyle habits.

And enjoy it all happily, no stress or anxiety, accepting all that you do is fine and good. Stray off the path alittle? … thats ok – that is your 20%. Jump back on and rejuvenate with your 80% life-giving living foods and healthy habits.

A key is to Eat a Rainbow :)!

 

RECIPES –

Our favourite Power Smoothie:
* Rice or Nut Milk e.g. almond, hazelnut, walnut or chestnut OR DIY Nut milk with a Nut Milk Bag
* Vegetable Juice e.g. carrot, kale, spinach, cabbage, beetroot, ginger, pear, celery.
* 1 tsp or tbspn depending on how many nutrients you would like of any of the below.Click here to search for these organic superfoods:
– MicrOrganics Green Superfoods or Synergy Super Greens Powder
– Acai or Maqui – super high antioxidants
– Mesquite – high protein caramelly flavour – yum!
– Maca – hormonal balance
– Lucuma – fibre, calcium, vitamin C
– Pea or Sprouted Rice Protein powders
– Chia seeds, Black Sesame Seeds or Hemp Seeds – omega 3s, good essential fatty acids and protein
– Carob – alkaline mineral boost plus addictive flavour
* Fresh Banana.

You can vary the amounts of each depending on your preference for flavour. Some days we just love a carob banana smoothie, or a citrus berry-like Acai drink.

Blend and enjoy – YUM!

 

Master Cleanse Lemonade Drink Recipes:

(Source: mastercleansesecrets.com)

1. (single serving):
2 Tablespoons of organic lemon Juice (about 1/2 a Lemon)
2 Tablespoons of Organic grade B maple syrup (not the commercial maple flavoured syrup you use on pancakes)
1/10 Teaspoon Cayenne pepper powder
Ten ounces of filtered water

2. (1.5L daily serving):
1.5L of filtered water
12 Tablespoons of organic grade B maple syrup
12 Tablespoons of organic lemon juice
1/2 Teaspoon Cayenne pepper powder

 

What are your recipes and tips for a great Master Cleanse?

 

 

 

6 Tips for Healthy Food Combining

After choosing more alkaline foods, lets look at some quick tips on what foods we ideally should eat together and foods we should eat alone.

The basis of food combining is that the body digests starch carbohydrates first using alkaline enzymes. Heavy proteins such as animal proteins require acidic enzymes for digestion, and take longer to pass through our digestive system.

Based on simple chemistry, combining alkaline and acid can neutralise enzymes, causing foods to sit undigested, fermenting in the body, building up gas and bloating. This is an acidic state which creates inflammation and disease in our once healthy bodies.

Jill Ettinger from the Organic Authority lists some quick and easy tips which we have also added to, so you will remember and most of all, use every day when choosing your next delicious meal. Thanks Jill!

6 Tips for Healthy Food Combining:

1.     Fruits first or all alone, and all melons should only be eaten alone. They are nature’s candy; sweet, fibrous and full of all sorts of nutrients. They’re so good that your body wants to get them in your system fast, so they digest quicker than any other foods. This is great when you grab an apple as a snack.  Fruits after a meal is not good. Fruits will get trapped in between slower digesting foods in the pipeline, which can cause fermenting, gas and bloating.

2.     Proteins and greens. Animal proteins and starch do not mix. Vegetable proteins and starch are OK. Protein is a great way to feel full so that you avoid grabbing high energy sugary treats. Heavy animal proteins eaten with the wrong foods e.g. starchy breads, rice, pasta –  can make you feel sluggish and bloated. Have a salad with your sandwich and avoid the starchy chips. Combined badly, the body will process the carbs (using alkaline enzymes) first leaving the proteins (which require acidic enzymes) without proper attention, causing major tummy aches.

3.     Skip the sips. Liquid dilutes the enzymes in the stomach that are critical to digestion. While it’s important to stay well hydrated, drink an hour before or after your meal. If you simply can’t do without, take small sips. Never gulp.

4.     Veggie Burgers. Starches need alkalinity to digest properly. Greens are the best source of alkaline foods. So whether it’s a baked potato or tofu sandwich, pair it with something green.

5.     Think like your food. It may sound silly, but it works. Where do the ingredients on your plate come from? If one item was grown in the jungle, one from your backyard, something weird that looks like it was frozen and then deep-fried, it’ll probably end up feeling like your stomach is taking you on a world tour later. Eat like with like and head for the dance floor instead of the Pepto.

6.     Soup, Salad, Starch, Protein. Memorise that list. If you eat your meals following that order, by consuming the easiest and quicker digested first, you’re less likely to regret a single bite.

(Source: http://www.organicauthority.com/health/6-tips-for-healthy-food-combining.html)

So think alkaline, think clean meals, enjoying the 80% of healthy eating, whilst also indulging in the 20% of your favourite foods, guilt-free knowing that the rest of your good habits create a balanced lifestyle.

 

 

Eat a Rainbow today!

Singing the song ‘I can eat a Rainbow’…well it went something like that, is great for all of us to remind ourselves of the healthy foods we can eat, especially our kids. Sing the song and make it fun to eat healthy fruit and vegetables. Cut them up in fun shapes and sizes using cookie cutters e.g. hearts, stars, butterflies.

For us adults, this chart below is a good reminder to visualise in colour what delicious options we have every day to eat a Rainbow!

A Rainbow plate means = more nutrients, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, cancer-fighting foods, fibre and a boost to your immune system. Plus a cleaner digestive system, glowing skin, less stress, more energy, more focus, a more confident, clearer mind and attitude and a wonderful night’s sleep.

 

Eat a Rainbow today!

 

 

Plate up a Rainbow and enjoy!

 

 

Trying to shake off the winter blues and old habits?

Thank goodness its Spring! Though are you still craving wintery foods and trying to shake off winter heaviness and fatigue?

As indicated in Chinese Medicine: could this be due to excessive ‘heat’ in the body from baked and fried foods, too much red meat, spicy foods, coffee and alcohol?

Not enough green leafy vegetables, barley, mushrooms, tofu, asparagus, celery, apple, watermelon and other ‘cooling’ foods?

Sandy Hewitt gives us some tips on what foods to eat and avoid here.

Symptoms of excess ‘heat’ in the body:
–   feel hot/feverish or have an aversion to heat and prefer cold
–   dry mouth and excess thirst
–   red, dry, gritty eyes
–   nosebleeds
–   bright red and dry tongue
–   high blood pressure
–   constipation
–   inflammation, skin rash or eruptions/sores
–   full and rapid pulse.

 

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