The area of riparian bushland off McNicol Road, known as Birds Land Reserve, is important both from a community and an environmental point of view. On occasion referred to as “the lungs of Belgrave”, Birds Land Reserve is a 75 hectare reserved managed by the Yarra Ranges Council and abuts […]

Birdsland Reserve


Don’t you just love fresh yoghurt? That cool, creamy sensation in your mouth followed by the slight tartness, made even more delicious with your favourite additions or toppings. Yum! In our house yoghurt is eaten alternately as breakfast, dessert and snacks. We also enjoy smoothies and frozen yoghurt, or yoghurt […]

Easy Peasy Homemade Yoghurt


Forget the image of the cows quietly waiting by the paddock gate at dawn to be hand-milked and fed. The reality on many modern dairy farms is very far from this and, for some, this is a big animal rights issue. The aim of this post is to provide everyone […]

Why do some people refuse to drink milk?



I’m sure most of you will have wondered this at some point, as it’s certainly a question I’m asked a lot! My father-in-law grows tomatoes in his polytunnel, around 500m above sea-level in the Scottish countryside. His tomatoes grow well in his wonderful rich clay loam and produce lots and lots […]

Why do my tomatoes never ripen?   Recently updated!


Early this morning the guys from Melbourne Tree Care came and tidied up our big messmate (E. obliqua) and small-leaved peppermint (E. radiata) in the front garden. They also removed an ailing narrow-leaved black peppermint (E. nicholii) that I’d been watching decline since we moved in. The nicholii had lots of loose […]

Eucalyptus nicholii – a hazard in the Melbourne area


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On our garden we use a special, magic potion, concocted using a variety of easily obtainable, organic ingredients, and generally enthusiastically mixed by my kids! [Disclosure: it doesn’t look like the featured image, but you can store a small amount in a glass jar to act as an inoculation for […]

How to make a magic potion



Over the past year there has been any number of articles in the media about organic milk and why it’s not any “healthier” than regularly available commercial milk and that the buying public shouldn’t be ‘duped into paying more’. There’s a huge amount of variability in the nutrient values of […]

Is Organic Milk Worth the Price?


This gorgeous giant thistle like flower is that of the Globe Artichoke, a perennial edible plant in the same family as lettuce and sunflowers (Asteraceae).  This particularly variety is Imperial Star, a standard variety grown commercially due to it’s small height of around 90cm and the production of multiple smaller […]

Globe Artichoke (Cynara scolymus)


This is what an apple nommed on by a king parrot looks like! Generally we net our trees a couple of weeks after the first fruitlets start to grow in order to protect them from the birds, possums and rodents (I include roaming children in this category!), however this year […]

Birds in horticulture



My younglings have been leaving small surprises and posies in random places around the garden. They’ve not explained the purpose and, rather than asking them and possibly changing the nature of their game, I’ve opted to just enjoy them 🙂

Offering to the winter gods…?