Garden Toast

Garden Toast

Garden toast is something I created one day when I was scraping together something for lunch and all I had was a crust and some cottage cheese in the fridge. I didn’t have any avocado, eggs or anything special to have with it. So I went out into the garden and found some inspiration! I picked two small tomatoes, herbs and edible flowers. It looked like a mini garden on toast and now I can’t stop making these beautiful, tasty creations!

Here are the creations I have made so far..

Original Garden Toast

My first addition with the last piece of bread I had left! I had fun making this and it definitely tasted delicious! Ingredients: Rye Multigrain toast, Cottage Cheese, Fresh tomato, Parsley, Rosemary, Rosemary flowers, Zinnia Petals and Basil leaves.

Fairy Garden Toast

It’s amazing what a little bit of Beetroot juice can do! Natual colouring and plenty of beneficial nutrients with an array of micro herbs and greens. You may even be able to convince your kids to eat more greens with this Fairy Garden toast. Get them involved in the process by having a bowl each to go outside and collect herbs. Ingredients: White Multigrain Toast, Cottage Cheese mixed with beetroot juice or fresh grated Beetroot, Baby Nasturtium leaves, Parsley leaves, Basil leaves, Sweet Violet flowers, Rosemary Flowers, Baby Pink chard leaves, Pink Zinnia Flower petals and Dill Flowers.

Jungle Garden Toast

Packed full of herbs and flavour! Ingredients: Country Grain Toast, Basil Pesto, Orange Nasturtium petals, Tiger Eye Viola Petals, Strawberry Flowers, Parsley leaves, Rosemary Flowers, Pea tendril, Burgundy Marigold Petals and Purple basil leaves.

Summer Garden Toast

Summer on toast! Homegrown tomatoes are so sweet and delicious and tomato on toast is one of my favourite ways to eat them! Ingredients: Rye Multigrain toast, Red, yellow, orange cherry tomatoes, Purslane, Red basil leaves, Strawberry Flower, Sweet Violet Flower, Dill flowers, Rosemary Flowers, chopped Purple Kale, baby Nasturtium leaves and Fresh Chilli.

Botanical Garden Toast

Pest on toast is so delicious! I made extra pesto and if you follow me on Instagram you would have seen that I ate this for breakfast for an entire week! It was also so good with a poached egg on top. Ingredients: Sourdough toast, Basil pesto, Cottage Cheese, Chopped walnuts, Fresh Chilli, Basil Leaves, Fennel Flowers, Pink and White Dianthus, Baby Pumpkin Tendrils, Parsley Leaves and Strawberry Flowers.

Unicorn Garden Toast

My latest creation and maybe my favourite yet! Purple sweet potato spread is a vibe! Ingredients: Sourdough Toast, Mashed Purple Sweet Potato and Cottage Cheese, Overnight Pickled Red Cabbage and Red Onion (1/2 cup water, 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar, a teaspoon of sugar heated to dissolve. Pour cooled liquid over Cabbage and Onion), Purple Kale, Grilled Baby Eggplant, Purple Pansy, Multicoloured Dianthus, Rosemary Flowers and Red Basil.

Get Inspired by your Garden

There is always something in my garden to make a toast topping and I love how easy and creative it is! Each piece is so unique and full of fresh garden nutrients! Having these ideas tried and tested means I know I can always whip up something even when my fridge is looking very lean.

Get creative and inspired by your own garden. There is something so satisfying about being able to walk outside and make a meal from your own fresh, homegrown veggies. This is a great meal idea for beginner gardeners who don’t have many established edibles. Just look out for baby leaves and edible flowers (make sure you research and clearly identify they are edible). Baby leaves and flowers can add subtle flavours and turn any dish into a work of art!

Be sure to tag me on Instagram or Facebook so I can see your creations!

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!

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!

How to keep plants alive in a heatwave

How to keep plants alive in a heatwave

When I first started gardening here I remember googling ” how to keep plants alive in a heatwave?” πŸ˜… Welcome to Perth summer gardening! I have always struggled with how hot it gets here in Perth in summer. After 7 years here, the 40degree days don’t get any easier! We have a large amount of thermal mass at our house with concrete and paved areas so it can get so hot in my garden! One of the main reasons I decided to make pallet planters on wheels was to be able to grow more food during the hot summer months by being able to have them undercover on hot days. Watch how we made them here.

How to keep plants alive in a heatwave

If you are experiencing a heatwave or have days of hot weather ahead of you, here are a few tips I use to try and get my plants through!

🌱 WATER | Give a good deep water early in the morning. This will allow time for the moisture to reach the roots before it evaporates.

🌱 SHADE | If your plants are in containers move them undercover or to a shady area of your garden. Otherwise, try and rig up some temporary shade using shade cloth or even umbrellas to keep the direct sun off your plants during the hottest part of the day.

🌱 PROTECT THE SOIL | Ensure you have a good layer of mulch or ground cover over your entire garden. This will protect the soil from being exposed to direct sun and reduce the amount of water loss through evaporation.

🌱 BUILD SOIL | This is something that should be continually worked on by composting and adding more fibre and leaf matter to your soil. Sandy soils like we have here in Perth allow all the water to drain away and can become severely water-resistant. But by consistently mulching, composting and adding green matter, you will not only grow strong, healthy plants but also protect your plants from future dry spells. Healthy soil is key!

🌱 REPLENISH | As the sun goes down and the temperatures start to drop again, give your plants another well-earnt drink. This should help their leaves perk back up again.

🌱 SAVE SEEDS | If you notice a certain plant seems to survive better than others in hot weather, make sure you save the seeds at the end of the season. That way you can futureproof your garden by growing strong plants that you know will grow well in your exact climate.

My favourite watering tools are:

Retractable Hose with 7 spray nozzle and water flow adjuster: Control exactly how much flow you want to each plant with an easy retractable hose system. CLICK HERE for more info.

Deep root waterer and soil breaker: Helps get water directly to the roots without any runoff or loss of water from evaporation. CLICK HERE for more info.

Weeper hose works great for drip-feeding water and allowing the plants to absorb more. CLICK HERE for more info.

Happy Gardening!

Holly 🌱

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!

Natural Pest Management

Natural Pest Management

I much prefer offering natural and sustainable solutions rather than a pointless list of negative things not to do. But this topic is something I am very passionate about and something new gardeners often get caught up in (including myself when I first started growing food many years ago). You will find my list of natural pest management remedies below πŸ™‚

When you first start growing food you will get slugs and snails eating your new precious veggies and will want to INSTANTLY fix the situation. I see some newbie gardeners pour on huge amounts of snail bait to combat the hungry predators. This is POISON, not only will it kill the slugs and snails but is also deadly to cats and dogs. Now, if it can kill dogs, having it covering the soil and getting watered in and absorbed into the soil that your vegetable will feed on, especially those root vegetables, cannot be good for us.

If you’re reading this and thinking…I do this..you are not alone. It is something that has been a β€œnorm” for way too long. But the first step you can take is safely throw out your poisonous slug bait. I would place it in something that animals can’t get into in case it crosses paths or they get into the bins. Even better, contact your local council to find the best way to safely dispose of it.

There are plenty of ways to naturally combat pests and have safe and nontoxic vegetables for your family.

  1. Eggshells – Save your eggshells and dry in the oven on low. Then crush into small pieces and place in a jar. Sprinkle this around the base of your vegetables and the slugs and snails do not like the surface so will stay away. It also adds some beneficial calcium to your soil.
  2. Plant extras – Plant a few extra plants in different areas of your garden so that if one gets attacked you still have plenty πŸ™‚
  3. Encourage beneficial insects – Plant diversity and flowers to create habitats and attract beneficial insects. You could even make an insect hotel using lots of different sized sticks and logs for them to live 🐞🐝
  4. Manually remove – Go out and check your garden and remove the pests by hand. I often do this when I am on the phone, its a great way to multitask.
  5. Beer Traps – Cheaper the better, there is no need to use up any fancy craft beer. Place little containers around your vegetable patch and this will capture the slugs and snails before they get to your precious veggies 🍺
  6. Coffee grounds – Often your workplace or local cafe will be throwing these out anyway. Sprinkle around the base. Only add a small amount as it will change the PH of the soil β˜•οΈ
  7. Companion Plants – Often very fragrant plants will repel pests. These are plants such as: Marigolds and Rosemary 🌼🌿
  8. Soapy Water – this is great for aphids. All my dishwashing liquid is non-toxic and greywater friendly so I just mix up some diluted in water and paint it on the new growth that is affected by aphids. This is the last resort though as it may harm beneficial insects too. Try and isolate the coverage.
  9. Chilli spray – Mix up some chilli powder in some water and spray on your affected plants. I have read crushed garlic as well but that is bad for dogs so I would avoid.
  10. Healthy Soil – growing healthy soil by composting and mulching helps keep your plants strong and healthy πŸ’ͺ this means that if they do get bugs they can survive and thrive after an infestation.
  11. Sacrificial plants – Usually one plant will just get attacked and I just leave it. It usually means the bugs will only eat that plant and the rest will be fine! Sorry for that one plant but it’s feeding nature…🌿
  12. Chickens and ducks are also a great way to integrate natural pest management into your garden. Win-win πŸ›πŸ¦†

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!

Rosemary and Herb Salt

Rosemary and Herb Salt

Rosemary and herb salt is a quick and easy way to preserve your homegrown herbs to use throughout the year. Herb finishing salts, add so much flavour to meals in a quick and convenient way. Try Rosemary and herb salt on your roast vegetables for a delicious boost of flavour.

Why Grow Rosemary?

Rosemary is such a versatile herb and works well with both sweet and savoury dishes. It has a fragrant, pine like aroma. Rosemary offers so many beneficial relationships within your garden. Rosemary is a hardy, drought tolerant, ever green perennial herb. A fantastic staple to have growing in any edible garden. Rosemary also has many healing properties, so it is a handy plant to have near the house or in a kitchen garden.

When to Harvest Herbs?

The best time of day to harvest your herbs is first thing in the morning. This is when the plants are hydrated and full of life. As the day goes on, they will lose moisture and not be as fresh and vibrant. Early in the morning, the bees are not yet active. As the sun comes up and the dew drys, the bees will be about in a hive of activity. So, if you do pick later in the day, just be cautious not stress them out and avoid getting stung.

Yield: 1 cup

Rosemary and Herb Salt

rosemary salt
Prep Time 5 minutes
Additional Time 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 5 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 cup of Salt
  • 1 cup chopped herbs (Rosemary, Parsley, Fennel Frond)

Instructions

  1. Rinse herbs, remove stalks and roughly chop.
  2. Add to a mixer and blitz until breadcrumb consistency (or leave chunky if you would like too)
  3. Add in salt and blitz quickly to combine.
  4. Spread on to parchment and dry in the oven or dehydrator at 45 degrees celsius until dry. Stir through after one hour to loosen up the mix and allow it to dry faster. The length of time will depend on the water content of the herbs (approx 2 hours). The mixture will go a lighter green colour.
  5. Once dry add to a clean airtight jar.

Notes

  • The colour may fade over time
  • Try herbs such as Thyme, Mint, Sage, Chilli, Oregano

Want More Garden to Plate Recipes?

There has never been a better time to learn how to grow healthy, organic food at home. Take back control of your food systems and start the journey to live a more sustainable lifestyle. Say goodbye to nasty chemicals and wax-coated fruit and feed your body with real, nourishing, homegrown food.

  • Simple and easy recipes from garden to plate
  • Work with nature and not against it
  • Monthly masterclasses to dive deeper into topics
  • Permaculture principles and techniques
  • Creative and nourishing recipes
  • Learn what parts of the plant are edible to maximise your food production
  • Learn how to cook and preserve the food you grow from root to shoot with nothing going waste
How to Choose a New Fruit Tree?

How to Choose a New Fruit Tree?

Choosing a new fruit tree is exciting, daunting, and at times, overwhelming with possibilities! I am adding another fruit tree to my garden and I would love to share that process with you. Plus, some tips to help you select the best fruit tree for your garden.

Click Below to Watch

Growing Fruit Trees at Home

Fruit trees can be grown and incorporated into many home garden designs to create abundant, fresh food. Fruit trees can even be grown in pots or containers for urban gardens. There really is so many ways to grow your own delicious fruit at home, no matter the size of your garden.

Tips to Choose a New Fruit Tree

Below are some tips or things to consider when you are looking to buy a new fruit tree. Take down a few notes and this will help you eliminate or come up with a clear idea to speak with your local fruit tree nurseries.

  • Analyse the Sun and Shade – is there a specific spot you are looking to fill or are you limited with where you can plant a fruit tree? If this is the case, just do a quick analysis of the conditions. Does it get full sun? are there large trees? or buildings that will shade it during winter? The sun tracks lower in the sky during Autumn and Winter and this means more shadows will be cast across your garden. This can have a huge impact on the growth of your tree.

Learn from my mistakes! I once planted a lime in an area that only gets full sun during the middle of summer. It never grew well and when I moved it to a full sun location, it has took off and is loaded with limes! Citrus like 6+ hours of sunlight a day. So noting down the sun and shade will help you pick a fruit tree that will thrive.

  • Wind – Does your property get strong winds? If so, what direction do they typically go? This can be very helpful to note down. Some fruit trees do not cope well with strong winds. Papaya, Tamarillo and Banana do not like strong winds. Especially while they are young and delicate. It may mean you need to plant a wind shelter or position your fruit tree in an area that receives less wind. Creating temporary barriers may also be a great solution to protect the tree while it is young and vulnerable.
  • Temperatures – Take note of your maximum and minimum temperatures. This can be a factor in whether or not you will be able to grow a particular fruit tree or if it will perform below average because of it. Do you receive snow? Frosts? These are important to note down and you may be able to find this information out on local weather reports. Feijoa or “Pineapple Guava” like to have at least 50 chill hours per year to produce good quality crops. Here in Perth, Australia, we can grow Feijoa, but they don’t taste quite as good ( in my opinion). This is also the case with extremely high temperatures, some fruit trees will not perform well. Sometimes, this can be managed with microclimates. Microclimates are areas in your garden that that have unique qualities. For example – next to a metal fence may be warmer, or a shady area with a pond may be cooler with more humidity. This can help you tailor and customise the surrounding to better suit your fruit tree.
  • Root systems – Take note if you have any concrete, pavers, a pool or plumbing nearby. Some fruit trees have huge root systems that can crack concrete or damage pools. If that is a factor then note that down. There are plenty of trees that have shallow or small root systems or you can plant in containers or pots.
  • Height Restrictions – would it matter if the fruit tree grew too tall? Fruit trees can be pruned to keep manageable but if you have restrictions such as neighbouring buildings, power lines, roof, eves or fences, it may be worth choosing a shorter variety grafted on dwarf root stock. This will mean the maximum height will be a lot shorter and you will not need to prune and maintain it as often.
  • How much time do you have to Care and Maintain the Fruit Tree? – Some fruit trees will require a lot more care and maintenance to actually get a good harvest from. Stone fruit for example, will often need to be netted to prevent fruit flies, bats or birds from decimating your crop. If you are wanting a low maintenance fruit tree then there are plenty of options available. Speak to your local fruit tree nursery to see what low maintenance fruit trees thrive in your local area.
  • What other Fruit Trees do you have? I have a lot of citrus already, so I want to get something different for my next fruit tree.
  • Have you tried that Fruit before? Once you have an understanding of your specific climate and have a few key points noted down on sun, shade, wind and surroundings, the next thing is to taste some fruit! You don’t want to spend money, allocate space and time, to grow something that you don’t actually like! This can seem obvious, but is often overlooked with the excitement of new fruit trees. Some fruit will be hard to find as there are many types of fruit that don’t travel well and cannot be sold commercially. These can often be found at local growers markets or on local gardening pages. Imagine waiting four or five years for your tree to fruit and then hate the fruit..that would be so annoying!

Observe & Interact – take time to slow down and observe your garden.

What Next? Choose a New Fruit Tree!

Now that you have a little more of an understanding of your climate and restrictions, it’s time to start looking for a new fruit tree! Taking the time to stop and observe, will help you select a fruit tree that will not only thrive in your location, but, that you will also LOVE to eat! Visit your local fruit tree nurseries or fruit tree specialists for valuable local knowledge. They may even be able to order in rare varieties. Local community groups also offer a wealth of knowledge.

In this video I try some tropical fruit to decide whether or not I want to purchase those fruit trees.

What fruit tree do you want to plant next? Let me know in the comments.

Holly 🌱

10 ways to become more Self-sufficient right NOW

10 ways to become more Self-sufficient right NOW

10 ways to become more self-sufficient right now! Start small but start today. These 10 steps to becoming more self-sufficient are things that you can easily start implementing in your life right now. Build layers of knowledge and experience to create a life that is not only more self-sufficient, but is also sustainable. Slow and steady solutions are what will make this lifestyle change last long term. I know, it is so exciting! and we want to do all the things, but, get the basics right from the start and it will flow and be easy.

Click to watch 10 ways to become more Self-sufficient

1. Grow your own food

Growing your own food is a great step towards living a more self-sufficient lifestyle and it doesn’t have to be overwhelming. Start small but start today. Whether that means, converting part of your garden to edibles, planting a herb garden, starting a veggie patch, or planting a fruit tree.

Herbs are a great place to start for beginners because they are easy to grow and incorporate into your daily meals. Herbs are also quite pest-resistant and can tolerate a range of growing conditions. Herbs can be grown in pots and even indoors on a sunny windowsill.

You don’t need to be self-sufficient in everything but you can be self-sufficient in something. Take a look at what you buy regularly eg: salad mixes and plant that. Each season you can continue to expand and work your way up to providing more and more of your household’s fruit and vegetables.

Planting a fruit tree is also a great step towards self-sufficiency. Even if you have a small space or you are in a rental, you can still plant a fruit tree in a pot. That way when it does come time for you to move to a bigger location, you can take your established fruit tree with you. Fruit trees can take a while to start producing, so establishing trees in pots can allow you to get abundant harvest without waiting until you have more space.

So grab some seeds, get them in the soil and start growing your own food on your journey to become more self-sufficient.

2. Compost Scraps

Composting turns your scraps into organic, nutrient-rich soil that is going to help you grow a lot more plants. As well as reducing waste, composting will save you buying lots more soil and compost, because you will be able to produce your own soil at home using what you already have.

Composting your waste helps close the loop and make your gardening more sustainable.

You can purchase compost bins or tumblers at most of your local garden or hardware stores. You may even be able to pick one up cheap or free on marketplace or local buy and sell pages.

3. Learn to Cook Garden to Plate

This is another important one, and I think second to growing food, it is so important to learn how to cook. Even if you are a great cook, it is very different cooking from your garden. You need to get creative and come up with new ways to use and maximize the veggies you grow. Most cooks will be used to incorporating a lot of packaged products into their cooking and to be more self-reliant, you need to get creative.

Whether you use Zucchini as pasta, or Rainbow Chard as wraps, or Cauliflower as a pizza base, there are so many ways to get the most out of everything that you grow. That way, you can create more meals from the garden, and rely less on the shops! Saving you a lot of money. Because, we all know that when you pop to the shops for a couple of things… you end up with 3 bags full.

It takes lots of practice and is a skill to continually work on. Learning to cook with vegetables in lots of interesting ways will help you to become more self-reliant and build up your self-sufficiency. Having lots of recipes and ideas will help you to create exciting and wholesome meals so that you can sustain the lifestyle long term.

Garden to plate cooking is something I am incredibly passionate about, and the main reason I started my online membership. This is where I share my recipes with creative ways to use your harvest from root to shoot! I try to keep them simple, easy and of course delicious! If that is something you’re interested in Click Here to find out more.

4. Preserve Extra Food

Make hay while the sun shines as my dad always used to say! When you grow an abundance of produce in the garden, learn ways to preserve that to use throughout the year. That way you can still create balanced and wholesome meals all year round. 

You don’t need a big garden to start doing this. People are often giving away lemons or extra fruit they can’t eat. So utilize this and learn how to preserve them. You can always trade a big bag of fruit for a finished jar of jam, chutney, dehydrated fruit or sauce. Utilize what’s in season. If you see in-season fruit and vegetables that are really cheap or have bulk buying options, buy them and test out some ways to preserve them. That way, you will be building knowledge and experience for when you are growing your own! Plus your pantry will be full for the rest of the year. 

5. Learn to Take Cuttings

Growing food from cuttings will boost your garden’s level of sustainability. This is the best way to level up and grow more food for less. You can make an endless amount of trees and plants when you learn how to take cuttings. I have an ebook on cuttings if you want to learn the basics and I go through the easiest plants to grow from cuttings. This guide will show you some easy and quick ways to grow a tonne of food. You’ll be eyeing off your friends’ gardens in no time. 

6. Save Seeds

Saving seeds can go a long way towards creating a sustainable lifestyle. Seeds have the power to grow an endless supply of food if they are continuously saved. Saving your own seeds will not only provide you with a sustainable food source but it will also save you money in replenishing your seeds each year.

Each vegetable you grow has the potential to grow an endless amount if you learn how to save seeds. Save seeds from heirloom or open-pollinated varieties to ensure the next generation will be “true to type”.

You can even try saving seeds from vegetables you have purchased. Pumpkins and squash are the easiest ones to try! Clean off the flesh and let them dry out on a plate. then keep them in a brown paper bag or somewhere cool, dark, and dry, and then pop them in the soil in spring. You can try this with others such as Passionfruit, capsicum or tomatoes. It is best to choose organic heirloom varieties from your local farmers markets as many store bought vegetables are hybrids. Both can work for a bit of fun a bit of fun.

Saving your seeds is a great step towards self-sufficiency and when a world crisis happens, (hello 2020) the seed shelves are empty. People became more aware that they are relying on others to provide for them. Having your own seeds will mean you will have more resilience and can be more self-reliant. 

7. Swap and Trade

Get into a habit of swapping and trading items rather than purchasing new. Use your new found skills of propagating and saving seeds to trade with others for more plants. Or if you have extra produce, try hosting a swap meet and encourage your friends or local community to get involved. This can be a great way to recycle your unwanted items and get useful items in return. Swap meets can be great for extra seeds, produce, cuttings, houseplants, books, furniture or clothing.

8. Learn about Edible plants

There are so many edible plants around you every day and you may not even know it. Learning to identify plants and what parts are edible will hugely increase your food sources and self-sufficiency. This means you will be able to get the most out of everything growing in your garden! There are so many native plants and even weeds that are edible. Continue to build knowledge by learning to identify plants.

9. Harness Natural Resources

Everyday nature is providing us with so much energy that is often ignored. Harness the sun, rain and wind to use to your advantage. 

  • Dry your washing 
  • Capture water for your gardens
  • Dehydrate herbs, flowers, and food using the sun
  • Create power with solar panels
  • You can even make solar ovens
  • Put your pot plants outside when it rains 

10. Up-cycle and Re-use

Use what you have. Get creative. Train your mind to come up with new ways, rather than slipping into the consumer mindset.  Try to forage sticks for Tomato stakes and make your own trellis or up-cycle cups and crates for pots. Whatever it is you need, think about other ways that you could achieve the same outcome. 

It can seem hard at first, but over time, you will start switching your mindset to up-cycle rather than consume and it will become so much easier. This will save you a lot of money and reduce the amount of things you have lying around that get used on rare occasions. 

Check out this up-cycled DIY Greenhouse

I hope you found some inspiration and tip to get stuck in and started today. Let me know in the comments what you are going to start with to become more Self-sufficient right now!

Holly 🌱

MY GARDENING ESSENTIALS //
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How to Save Seeds

How to Save Seeds

Why save seeds? 

Saving seeds can go a long way towards creating a sustainable lifestyle. Seeds have the power to grow an endless supply of food if they are continuously saved. Saving your own seeds will not only provide you with a sustainable food source but will also save you money in replenishing your seeds each year.

Saving your seeds is a great step towards self-sufficiency and when a world crisis happens, (hello 2020) the seed shelves are empty. People become more aware that they are relying on others to provide for them. Having your own seeds will mean you will have more resilience and can be more self-reliant.Β 

Saving seeds from your best vegetables will help you develop your own SUPER plants! Selecting for pest resilience, size, strength, taste or timing, means you can grow more plants with those desired traits.Β 

You will also get seeds and vegetables that are acclimatised to your exact growing conditions. They have adapted to their surroundings and will thrive! If you are already growing these vegetables you may as well save the seeds!

Can you save any seeds?

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Harvesting from my Sustainable Permaculture Garden

Harvesting from my Sustainable Permaculture Garden

July Garden Harvest

Welcome to my garden in July. It is the middle of winter here in Perth, Australia and although the temperatures have been quite mild, we have been getting a whole lot of rain! Today we take a look around my sustainable permaculture garden to see what we can find to harvest! I will also go through what I am going to make or preserve with what I pick. 

It has been non-stop raining for two weeks with more rain forecast. Two days of fine weather finally arrived and I managed to get out and see what was ready. Heavy rains can cause some issues when your fruit and veggies are starting to ripen. Extra water can cause them to split open and then bugs can get in and I want to make sure I harvest as much as I can.

Citrus are ripening over winter and I have quite a few young trees. Citrus grow really well here in Perth, as they can handle our hot dry summers. Citrus trees are also a little more pest resilient than many other fruit trees. So, I have quite a few varieties – Lemon, Blood Orange, Lemonade, Lime, Finger Lime, Kumquat, and Mandarin.

Click to Watch my July Harvest

Sustainable Permaculture Garden Harvest

Just for fun I decided to weigh out my produce. Listed below is how much I harvested.

  • Lemons || 2.078kg
  • Blood Orange || 683g
  • Arrowroot || 170g
  • Lemonade || 682g
  • Broccoli || 93g
  • Parsley || 477g
  • Lettuce || 300g
  • Rainbow Chard || 127g
  • Purple Sweet Potato || 1.251kg
  • Hawaiian Sweet Potato || 667g
  • Fennel || 506g

TOTAL: 6.578kg

Harvest Gallery