Grow Food From Cuttings

Grow Food From Cuttings

Grow food from cuttings and boost your garden’s sustainability. Do you want to grow more food without all the cost of buying seeds and plants to make it happen? This guide will show you some easy and quick ways to grow a tonne of food. Multiplying plants from ones you already have or making cuttings from friends gardens can help you set up and grow a sustainable garden without all the costs involved.

grow food from cuttings

$18

30-page Digital Ebook featuring 10 detailed plants to grow from cuttings. Plus tips & tricks to propagate and grow a sustainable garden.

Homegrown food not only tastes so much better but it also provides you with much more nutrients than many store-bought fruits and veggies. You also can control what goes on your food and skip all the pesticides, chemical fertilisers and other nasty sprays that get used on commercially grown food. Many of the plants in this guide may already be in your garden, neighbours or friends and family’s. Learning to identify these plants and how to propagate and regrow them from cuttings will take your gardening and sustainability to the next level.

By the end of this guide, you will have a list of edible plants you can go out and reproduce to grow wholesome food for you and your family.

Happy Gardening

Holly

Make your own Weed Tea Fertiliser

Make your own Weed Tea Fertiliser

Turn this common GARDEN PROBLEM into something AMAZING! So you can Grow Healthy Organic Plants. Making this all-natural, organic weed tea fertiliser also means you can feed your plants without worrying about any chemicals harming the insects in your garden. A happy and healthy garden will produce more food for you and all the beneficial insects and pollinators.

Weeds weeds weeds

If you have an organic garden, you probably have some weeds! Especially at this time of year with spring just around the corner in Australia, the weeds are thriving. Weeds can tell us a lot about our soil and learning to identify weeds in your garden can help you fix soil issues. Weeds are so good at pulling nutrients out of any soil and therefore can be holding on to a lot of great nutrients that can be harnessed to make an organic weed tea fertiliser.

Making weed tea fertiliser is a great way to close the loop and return nutrients back to your fruit trees and plants in a form they can easily absorb. This liquid fertiliser is also completely FREE and using up unwanted weeds from your garden. Its WIN-WIN. Making weed tea fertiliser is so easy and requires very little equipment. I put the weed tea fertiliser back into the same garden that I pulled the weeds from.

Identify your weeds

Learning to identify weeds in your garden can also mean you have more edible plants available! Yes! Some weeds are actually edible! Make sure you do your research and identify weeds that are local to you. Having good soil is key to a thriving organic garden! So learning to identify common weeds and what kind of soil they like to grow in is a great way to find out what’s going on with your soil. The weeds I identified were all ones that like to grow in compacted soil. So that is something I can check and see if my soil getting too compacted.

Catsear Flatweed – Hypochaeris radicata

How to make weed tea fertiliser

  1. To start off you are going to need some weeds! Map out an area of your garden and start pulling weeds out and try to get the whole root out as well. I like to listen to a podcast and multitask during this time. Use some good quality gardening gloves to protect your hands from sharp spikes or insect bites.
  2. Evaluate and identify the most common weeds in your garden. I used a book with common weeds local to my area. See if you can notice any patterns and what kind of soil they like to grow in. This might help you identify what is going on in that particular patch of garden.
  3. Put all your weeds in a large bucket and fill with water. Rainwater is best but if you only have tap water from your local council then just pour it into a bucket and let it sit for a day or two until the chlorine has dissipated.
  4. Roughly rip up your weeds and add to the water. Place a rock or something weighted on top so the weeds are all underwater.
  5. Put a cover on top to stop insects like mosquitoes. I used a piece of rag cotton.
  6. Let it BREW. stir with a stick once a week. You can brew your weed tea fertiliser for anywhere from a few weeks to a few months! The longer you leave it the more nutrients will be released but it will also start to really stink so it is up to you! Brew it longer if you have any seeds in there to try and destroy them before you put it back onto your garden.
  7. Dilute up to 1:10 ratio and pour back on to your garden. If you want to ensure no seeds are there you can strain it through a sieve or piece of fabric. The leftover leaf material can go into your compost.

NOTE: Grass seeds can be hard to destroy so I would avoid using grasses or strain well before putting onto your garden. I use the hoselink spray mixer and strained it through a fine cloth before I used it so that the plant material doesn’t block up the nozzle.

*note some links may contain affiliates.
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*Hoselink Fertiliser Sprayer
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WATCH the full video click here.

Leave me a comment below if you have any questions.

Holly 🌱

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MY GARDENING ESSENTIALS //
Fertiliser spray gun: https://bit.ly/366nL1t
Retractable Hose: https://bit.ly/2TSC0Bo
More gardening tools: https://bit.ly/32IQmbD

DISCLAIMER: Links included in this description might be affiliate links. If you purchase a product or service with the links that I provide I may receive a small commission. There is no additional charge to you! Thank you for supporting my page so I can continue to provide you with free content!

18 ways to become more self-sufficient

18 ways to become more self-sufficient

I wrote this post before the current restrictions of lockdown were in place for many people but hopefully, you can still find useful information and inspiration to get you started on your journey to a more self-sufficient lifestyle.

There is no better time to start growing your own food than NOW. Creating your own food security and using your time to help create a greener world is win-win. I have always had the dream of growing my own food and living a more sustainable lifestyle and it is something that I have been continually building and working towards for years. I don’t want to be 100% self-sufficient because there are just some things I either won’t be able to grow or choose not to grow. But there are plenty of ways to supplement my homegrown food supply such as trading, swapping, and local farmers markets. I have put together (in no particular order) 18 simple ways you can start living a more self-sufficient lifestyle today.

1. Start a Herb Garden

No matter whether you have a big garden or live in a tiny apartment, growing herbs can be easy and takes up very little space. Grow in small pots, recycled containers, hanging planter or windowsill planters. If you like to use herbs it is a great first step towards self-sufficiency. And no, that does not mean buying those packed herb pots from the supermarket…. they are often grown hydroponically and then placed in the soil so they rarely survive long and don’t handle being planted out into real life. Get a packet of seeds and try growing your own πŸ™‚

2. Start a Vegetable Patch

The best way to learn how to grow vegetables is to simply start trying! Start small with either a planter box or convert one small patch of your garden or even driveway into an edible vegetable patch. You can also start by simply integrating edibles amongst your established garden. Once you start growing some things you can start expanding bit by bit. Goodbye grass πŸ™‚

3. Plant Fruit Trees

I love fruit trees because although they take a while to get going, once they do, they are abundant and don’t require as much care as vegetables. You can plant them in either a large pot or directly into the garden. I would recommend going to a local specialist fruit tree nursery so they can help you choose the best fruit tree for your location. Also, make sure you get something with fruit you actually enjoy! With the abundant produce you can then preserve, swap and trade with others!

4. Grow Base Crops

I couldn’t think what else to call them but growing crops that will feed you for longer and create a good base to fill your pantry. Crops such a Pumpkins, Potatoes, Onions, Garlic and Sweet potatoes will provide decent amounts of food that you can store and use throughout the year! A great base vegetable to feed a family.

5. Grow Soil

Composting is not only great for the fertility of your soil and the secret to AMAZING vegetables but also stops waste going to landfill. There are a whole bunch of ways to do this depending on your living situation. You can make your own compost bin out of recycled wood, find a second-hand tumbler online or purchase one. You can also simply dig a hole in the garden and bury it (be careful of attracting pests though). There are also some new ways for people with no land to connect with others that do and give them your compost scraps. Either community gardens, local Facebook groups or now in Australia there is even an app! Sharewaste

6. Save Seeds

This is just as important as growing food and will be a huge step towards your self-sufficient journey. Saving seeds helps you maintain food security knowing that you have more healthy seeds to grow next year. Save seeds from your healthiest plants that thrive in your garden. Keep them in a dry dark place.

7. Grow Community

Get your friends involved! Take them over a basket of homegrown food or preserves. Once they see your delicious fresh food they may also get inspired! Help them out with seeds, cuttings and surround yourself with like-minded people. Community gardens can be a great place to learn, get involved and even seed/ produce swap. It can be an amazing network of knowledge, especially in relation to your local climate and growing conditions. There are also some great social media forums and groups that are great for finding answers to your questions and local knowledge.

8. Shop Local

Explore your local farmer’s markets! Grab a friend and go have a browse! They are usually on a Saturday or Sunday morning and I look forward to it every week. Although I love my local farmers market (Kalamunda) every few months I like to check out other farmers markets to mix things up and find new and interesting produce. Bulk food stores have been making a come back and I am sold! Lucky for me there is a fantastic Bulk Store ( Replenish Kalamunda) right by my local farmer’s markets. So I head there straight after I have picked up some fresh veggies. They may seem daunting at first but there are always plenty of signs explaining how to do it. I also love how each product clearly states where they have come from as I try to only choose Australian products.

9. Learn to Cook from Scratch

This is a big one! Learning to cook a wide range of meals from scratch using simple ingredients is key! I mean we can all make a butter chicken right…you just get the sauce and pour it in… Ditch the sauces from the supermarket and learn to make your own. I am constantly experimenting and expanding my knowledge so I can make a wide selection of meals from the produce I grow. Try to buy vegetables that are in season and fruits and vegetables that you are planning to grow. That way you can practice and become a pro at recipes for YOUR future harvests!

10. Grow Food From Scraps

Ok, this is one of my favourites! It is so quick and easy and a lot of fun! Plus you are getting the most out of your food. Buy one get multiple free!! Cut off the ends of your farmers market vegetables such as Spring Onion, Leek, Pineapple, Sweet Potato and regrow!

11. Forage and Trade

Keep an eye out on your walks and day trips for wild or excess food. So often there are olive trees, fruit, nuts or wild apple trees going to waste. Do your research and learn how to identify plants. That way you will know what you are looking at. It is also important to be careful if things have been sprayed by the council. I would be always cautious of things such as blackberries. You may even notice a neighbours tree loaded with fruit that is going to waste on the ground. Politely ask if you can have some in exchange for some preserves or baking you make with it. They will probably be happy for it to be used!

12. Repair and Upcycle

Get the most out of your things by fixing or updating them! Even if you don’t know how, you may be able to pay someone a fraction of the cost to fix it rather than buying brand new. We often are so quick to throw out and buy new, we don’t even stop to consider if it can be fixed or repurposed. My hair straighteners and been fixed multiple times by electrician friends over the past 12 years and are still working amazingly! Recovering cushions, couches, DIY, get creative and even find a local seamstress if you don’t have access to a sewing machine.

13. Shop Second Hand

I try my best to not buy new and it is something I am continuing to work on. Most items you want can be found on Facebook market place, Gumtree (Trademe, Craigslist, etc). You can usually pick up a bargain and keep things in the loop rather than consuming more new things. You can even post in your local community groups and borrow or buy. Especially with things like appliances as many people often have them sitting in the cupboard collecting dust…Pasta maker, I’m talking about you πŸ™‚

14. Backyard Chickens

Chickens make an excellent addition to sustainable living. They provide eggs, eat leftover scraps, produce manure for fertilising your garden and can they also be incorporated into an integrated pest management system to help you keep your slugs and snails at bay. Many councils will allow backyard chickens in suburbia. Although I do not have chickens …yet (Pictured above is mums ‘Chick Inn’) my council – City of Kalamunda allows x6 backyard chickens on properties 600sqm -2000sqm.

15. Back to Basics

Bread/milk/butter/pizza dough. The age-old skill of baking your own bread is a fantastic skill to have! How amazing to just whip up a fresh loaf of bread or make your own pizza bread without the preservatives or plastic packaging. Milk is super easy and you can make delicious plastic, preservative-free milk whenever you want! Whether that’s oat, rice or almond milk.

16. Learn to Preserve Harvests

I am not really at a point yet where I have an abundance of produce to preserve but I have planted a lot of fruit trees…so I am starting to learn different ways to preserve things so that when I am flooded with produce (yay!) I will be able to make the most of it! Get some produce from the farmer’s markets and give it a go! Jams, chutneys, sauces, pickles, nasturtium capers and all those delicious things. They also make great gifts and can be used to swap for other produce with your friends and family and community.

17. Make your Own

Ditch the toxic chemicals and pesticides and start making your own natural cleaning and garden products. You can get a few ingredients from your local bulk stores such as white vinegar and bicarb soda and make a huge range of cleaning products. Check out my Citrus cleaner here. I also used crushed eggshells to keep slugs and snails at bay. Natural pest management

18. Learn, Read, Practice

I can’t stress how important this is! Knowledge is power. Join your local library and get a book on jam making or search YouTube for “how to prune a lemon tree”. Educating yourself and giving things a go will get you a long way on your journey to living a more self-sufficient lifestyle. Take things one a time and really try and master it before moving on. It can be overwhelming if you try to do it all at once and may lead to failure and giving up.

Small and slow solutions!

Holly 🌱

Β 

MY GARDENING ESSENTIALS //
Fertiliser spray gun: https://bit.ly/366nL1t
Retractable Hose: https://bit.ly/2TSC0Bo
More gardening tools: https://bit.ly/32IQmbD

DISCLAIMER: Links included in this description might be affiliate links. If you purchase a product or service with the links that I provide I may receive a small commission. There is no additional charge to you! Thank you for supporting my page so I can continue to provide you with free content!

Dehydrated Lemons

Dehydrated Lemons

It’s Lemon Season and nature times it perfectly with the start of the flu season. My lemon tree is about 5 years old and has really started producing decent crops this year. Part of my journey has been to learn different ways to preserve and use excess crops (as well as gifting extra to friends). I love dehydrated lemons as they not only look pretty on the shelf but they are also so easy to make and use.

How to make Dehydrated Lemons

  • Rinse lemons
  • Slice evenly – I use a mandoline to do this. It’s definitely worth it! I love mine.
  • Lay out the lemon slices on your dehydrator tray and turn the setting to around 60 degrees Celsius.
  • Dehydrate for 6-8 hours until the flesh is no longer sticky to touch.
  • Allow to cool and place into jars.
  • You can do this in the oven if you don’t have a dehydrator. It all depends on how thick your slices are and your oven type but I did mine at 60degrees celsius for 8-9 hours and cracked the door for the first few hours to let the moisture escape.

How to use dehydrated Lemons

This is a question I got asked a lot on Instagram. So here are some of the ways I like to use my dehydrated lemons.

  • Tea – Place a couple in hot water or green tea. I also add fresh mint or honey too.
  • Mulled Wine – I love a wintery mulled wine and adding these at the end makes it look and taste amazing!
  • Baking – I made a delicious lemon slice and cut the dehydrated lemons into quarters and placed on top for an extra lemony taste. You can also place in cakes and muffins and it will have a chewy texture so make sure they are small pieces.
  • Broken up into a Laksa soup – once the lemons rehydrate they are similar to a fresh slice so treat them as you would a fresh lemon.
  • The decoration on any cakes, baking, platters or fish meals.
  • Cocktails! or Mocktails. They make a beautiful addition and will elevate any drink.

What dehydrator do I use?

If you are looking to invest in a dehydrator I highly recommend keeping an eye out for a second hand one or borrow from a friend. They are the type of thing that people buy and don’t find enough things to make so it collects dust in the cupboard. Also, not all dehydrators are made the same…Some are super noisy and slow so make sure you look into the reviews before you purchase.

I have the Bio Chef Arizona 6 tray one and I love it. 

Let me know in the comments below if you have made dehydrated lemons before and how you use them.

Holly 🌿

MY KITCHEN ESSENTIALS //
Dehydrator // https://amzn.to/3mX45Fr
Nutribullet // https://amzn.to/3v3Jq5s
Cold Press Juicer // https://amzn.to/3x9vNDl
Vegetable Chopper // https://amzn.to/3uYtZLC
Glass Storage // https://amzn.to/3mYRT6R

MY GARDENING ESSENTIALS //
Fertiliser spray gun: https://bit.ly/366nL1t
Retractable Hose: https://bit.ly/2TSC0Bo
More gardening tools: https://bit.ly/32IQmbD

DISCLAIMER: Links included in this description might be affiliate links. If you purchase a product or service with the links that I provide I may receive a small commission. There is no additional charge to you! Thank you for supporting my page so I can continue to provide you with free content!

DIY Citrus Cleaner

DIY Citrus Cleaner

I made DIY Citrus Cleaner and it’s AMAZING, so I had to share! It’s really easy! You just collect some citrus peel or slices. You can do this over a week and just add to the jar as you get more. I used a combination of lemon, grapefruit, and orange. Citrus isn’t very good for the garden or compost so this is a great way to reuse the discarded peels. I also added lemongrass because it’s growing wild in my garden and smells amazing.

DIY Citrus Cleaner Recipe

Fill the jar 3/4 up with white vinegar and the rest distilled water (I just boiled the jug/ kettle and used the cooled down water from that). Leave it for two weeks somewhere out of the sun (pantry or cupboard) and then just strain and pour into a spray bottle with some extra water to fill.

I was quite worried it would smell like vinegar because it’s so strong when you first make it and no one wants to spray raw vinegar around their house! But I was pleasantly surprised when I poured it out today it smelt so good! I wish I had made this sooner rather than spraying who knows what nasty chemicals all over my bench πŸ‘Ž

Give it a try! I’m off to make another slightly different batch of DIY Citrus Cleaner because I’m hooked.

Have you made your own cleaner? Let me know your favourite homemade cleaning products below in the comments.

Holly 🌱

Plastic-Free Journey

Plastic-Free Journey

Plastic-free July Journey

When I first saw the Plastic-Free July movement on Instagram, straight away I decided I wanted to give it a go! I got started on my plastic-free journey a few months ago probably April/May 2018. Luckily I started early, because holy crap it is actually so overwhelming and hard to get started!

Once I started paying more attention to plastic I realised how bad the issue was. I felt like I had been blindly walking through a plastic world and now it was nearly completely infested! I had to remind myself it was ok to start small and build on it, which is exactly what I did. Below is the order in which I progressed.

Reusable bags

I started off with reusable bags. I have a whole cupboard of them that I never use and always forget to take them to the supermarket. So I made a concerted effort to remember them even if I was only getting a “couple things” because realistically that never ends up happening.

A few things I noticed were that I automatically went to grab the plastic bags at the self-checkout even though I didn’t need them. It was just a habit! Also going to clothing stores..you need to take your reusable bags and also remind the check out person that you don’t need a plastic bag. Usually, multiple times because they are in that habit too.

Rubbish bags

We have one of those rubbish bins with two separate sections one for waste and one for recycling. They have an inner plastic bucket with a handle so you can easily lift it out. I did a bit of research on how to replace rubbish bags and quite a few people suggested lining with newspaper. I never have much newspaper so that wasn’t going to work. So I decided to just go commando… it’s pretty easy as most of my fruit and vege goes to the compost, you just have to hide sloppy or wet things inside other rubbish.

So for example, leftover meat I wrap in another piece of rubbish or tuck inside something so it’s not going to touch the sides. Even if there is a bit of spill they are easy enough to hose out.

Fruit and Vege

Next in Plastic-free July, I stopped buying veges with plastic. Which at the supermarket is actually so hard to do! There is only one type of lettuce not wrapped and it’s like a sea of plastic in the produce section. I quickly realised this wasn’t going to work so I started going to my local farmers market on a Sunday.

The produce is in season so it’s cheap and it lasts so much longer! It also tastes much better because it has been allowed to ripen on the plant rather than picked early, sprayed, frozen or whatever else the supermarkets do. So I HIGHLY recommend you check out the farmers market. Again, there were a lot of small produce plastic bags but they had baskets available so I used that and then put in my reusable bag.

Bread

With veges sorted I moved onto bread. My bf is obsessed with bread so it’s very much a staple in our household. Now, I can’t bake…but the whole point of this journey is about learning right! So I thought why not bake my own bread!! I researched and it all looked too hard so I bought a bread kit (plastic included) and attempted my first homemade-ish loaf. It turned out okay but not amazing. It also took up a lot of time and was just not going to be achievable/sustainable right now.

I then found a great reusable bread bag by a local Fremantle company called Onyalife. It arrived and I went down to the local Bakers Delight and bought a freshly baked loaf! You can choose to have it cut in either thick or thin slices and they put it in my reusable bread bag. SUCCESS! I also get bread at the farmers markets and bread rolls.

Beeswax Wraps

I use gladwrap a lot…way too much and I know it. I went around to a friends place as she was also keen on making beeswax wraps. She sourced some local wax and we made some wraps in different sizes. I do think we were a bit light on the wax so I will make some more and be a little more generous next time.

You basically grate beeswax on to some cotton fabric, cover with baking paper and melt it with an iron. A great tip is to put aluminium foil over your iron to stop it from getting covered in wax and ruining your clothes in the future. You can use them to cover containers, wrap half cut fruit or anything you would normally use gladwrap for.

Beeswax is naturally antibacterial so to clean them you just rinse in cold water and dry. A few things I’ve noticed were that I forgot what was in them because they are not see-through like gladwrap and also the cheese dried out and went crusty.

Extra Items

Try not to get too caught up in buying too many “Plastic-free items” try and use what you have. I got super excited and bought a few things online including Bamboo toothbrushes. Apparently, the bristles need to be cut off and thrown in the bin though.. but better than full plastic I guess. They are actually amazing toothbrushes through by far the best I’ve ever used.

Metal drink bottles are which is amazing for keeping water cool!

Ceramic coffee cup. Ok, so this is definitely my favourite purchase and mainly because it looks so good! I got it from Pottery for the planet and it’s amazing! It took a while for me to get used to asking people for coffee in my cup but most are so receptive and you even get 50cents off at heaps of places.

Bulk store

I stopped into my local Bulk store in Kalamunda after the farmers market one Sunday. I had a good look around and they had super helpful signs telling you exactly what to do. I really had no idea what I needed and ended up just purchasing some chocolate coffee beans.

The next time I went with a few things in mind and some jars! You weigh them at the scale station and write on some masking tape how heavy the jar is (lid on). Then I got some rice and local honey. I tried to stick with Australian products and they all have the origin on the description. You can get all your pantry goods there including tea, coffee, oils, dressings and cleaning products. You can also make your own nut butter in store!

Meat

Ok, so I definitely left this until last. It totally felt like it was in the too-hard basket but I knew I needed to sort it out. I took a reusable bag with a couple of containers and went down to the local butcher. He was so nice and was happy to tare off my containers and so I got some free-range chicken. SO PROUD! I was actually so stoked I had accomplished that as it was one of the last things on my list for Plastic-Free July!

HELLO PLASTIC-FREE JULY 

It’s only the first week of Plastic-free July but I feel very prepared and I am so glad I started early to master all these things. I am still using all the plastic items in my house as I’m not throwing away things just because they are plastic. I’m just making a real effort not to buy any more plastic!

There are some things like dog food, beauty, and health products I still haven’t mastered but its a journey and I am constantly improving. Also not buying plants, this is a hard one. But I have plenty of seeds to get planting.

Plastic-Free July Tips and Tricks

  • Master the habit of using Reusable bags. Keep them in your car, handbag, everywhere incase you forget! If you do forget do your best and even load your shopping into your car (securely, maybe the back seat) and grab your reusable bags when you get home and transfer them. If you carried it easily through the supermarket chances are you will manage to the car…you don’t need a bag for your 3 items.
  • Visit your local farmers market. You will have so many more options for plastic-free food and fewer distractions of chips and packaged goods. It just feels so good for the soul too. And did i mention there are puppies? So many dogs…even the odd cat on a leash.
  • Cook from scratch! Baking and homemade foods are so much better for you as you know exactly what’s in them and they don’t have all the hidden preservatives.
  • Invest in a really nice BYO cup or bottle. This will mean you will be more inclined to actually use it!
  • Start with one thing at a time and master that. It’s so easy to get overwhelmed and feel like there’s no point. You can do it!
  • Share the Love. By sharing your journey or experience you never know you might just inspire one other person to get involved!

If you got this far in my post, well done!  Let me know if you have any great Plastic-free July tips or bread recipes. Leave a comment below.

Holly πŸ™‚

“Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can”.