Farmer’s Friends

Farmer’s Friends are a weed. I’m not exactly sure how widespread they are, but they are prolific here where i live in northern NSW!

One simple Permaculture principle is, “the problem is the solution” this is a very progressive and productive way to look at any situation.

These weeds get lots of people worked up and many people often revert to poisoning them. I DO NOT agree with using any poisons. So here is a very simple solution that will do more then just keep this particular weed under control it will also nourish you!

Grab an old bed sheet and with the help of a friend run this bed sheet over your seeding farmer’s friends (any of you that have come into contact with these seeds will know that they grab onto you and don’t let go!) The sheet will collect all the seeds it touches.

Turn the sheet upside down and spray it with water. before long ( a day or two) these seeds would have sprouted into lovely edible sprouts, that are awesome to eat alone or in a salad.

the problem can always be the solution.

have fun.



“not even barbarians shit in their drinking water”


This is something that we have become way way to comfortable doing. Literally shitting into water that is fit for drinking.

If we were to harvest all of our grey water and compost all of our Humanure in the cities then we would have an agricultural system right there! We would not have to truck in food from all around the country FROM ALL AROUND THE WORLD! We would be eating out of our own parklands.

I know this concept may be a little too confronting for most of you to digest at the moment.

So instead of me going through all the nitty gritty, i will give you one short sweet example of an easy urban system and then attach the ‘HUMANURE handbook’ link by Joseph Jenkins for you to read at your lesuire. It is a hilarious read that i’m sure you will enjoy and learn LOTS and LOTS from.


in an urban backyard in central melbourne, a active permaculturalist is composting her own humanure, in to beautiful rich humus ready to apply to her thriving fruit trees. In her bathroom she has a 20ltr container placed under a wooden squat box (squatting is another very important skill we have lost). The bottom layer is newspaper, then you POO, apply leaves on top then another layer of newspaper ready for the next participant! THAT EASY! when that bucket is full, take it outside and in to the 200ltr drum that is sitting on the bare soil with holes drilled in the bottom. Worms get inside the big drum and start chomping away on your humanure, whose nitrogen is already combining with the carbon of the leaves and paper to make beautiful safe nutrient rich COMPOST!!!

total natural brilliance.

take responsibility, turn your ‘waste’ into a resource 🙂


Since sitting my PDC last year it has become obvious to me that propagation is one of my niches.

Really i think that this is one of the thing most important things that we should be taught in school. How to make plants grow. Especially productive plant, food, timber, pioneer plants etc.

Here is some interesting information i just came across – i’ll continue to update this post.

most plants can be grown from seed of cuttings. This means that there is really no need to go an BUY your plants. You can start from the beginning, grow whatever you like and as many as you like.

Growing from cuttings

Cuttings are best taken from last years’ grows, the part of the tree that is young, but has gone from green to brown and has a ‘snap’ when broken. Take a cutting with a sharp set of snips, just below one node and just above another.  dip one end in either honey or water that has had willow soaking in it for 24 hrs, this will add a grow hormone to the cutting and increase the strike rate. Plant the cutting 2/3rds deep in a shady well rained area and wait for it to set roots and grow leaves. Don’t plant out (move) again for at least 6 months.

Growing from Seed

Most seeds from most fruits and plants will grow. You will never get exacty the same specimen as the parent plant, but it won’t be too far off! If you eat a fruit that you think is particularly delicious then plant the seeds. Seeds are ready to collect when they drop from the plant, the fruit is ripe or the flower is dead around them. If the seed is from a deciduous tree, then place the seed in dry sand in the refrigerator for a month of so to make it think it has gone through a winter. Then plant them out.

more soon.

happy gardening


“the best of jackie french”

Permaculture Nation

Permaculture Nation is a dream.

It is a dream for the world.

But more simply a dream for a website. A website that will aid the development of a whole world permaculture nation.

This website is ideally a GLOBAL DIRECTORY!

a place where anyone can come and browse a map of the world on their screen and select the little flags that are in their local areas to locate teachers, other PDC graduates, consultants, demonstration sites and much more.

this way we can start to connect locally. Connect strings locally bit by bit until we are all one.



I sat my Permaculture Design Course (PDC) with Geoff  and Nadia Lawton, of The Permaculture Research Institute (PRI), Australia, NSW, in june/july 2009. The experience was nothing short of life changing. Fortunately i had been prepared for this and had cleaned my slate – so to speak – before departing my lovely home town, Adelaide, South Australia.

As of yet, i have done nothing overly significant with the information that i was bestowed, not that it is particularly my aim to do so. I aim to be a PART of something very significant. I aim to be an active part of creating a permaculture for the peoples of the world, where we care for the earth and each other willingly and with love. This can be done simply and perpetually by sharing our surplus.

This blog space was inspired by two people, Angelo the permaculture wizard of Melbourne, his amazing garden in Preston and his impeccable record of it at i urge you to pop into his website OR even better contact him and see his beautiful garden, and Jonathon Chan one of the hardest working, passionate, kind, clever people i know of. Thank you.