Saturday, February 27, 2010

Healesville Autumnfest 2010

Healesville Organic Farmers’ Market presents

Autumnfest, 2010

Saturday March 20th, 8 am to 2pm

@ the Healesville Railway Precinct

Our annual festival to welcome the arrival of autumn also celebrates the Market’s sixth birthday. Over the past 6 years, stallholders have battled rain, hail, wind, scorching temperatures and the stress and fear that came with Black Saturday. No matter what nature’s challenge, your loyal stallholders still keep coming week after week. Thank you to all our customers for your support through purchases and friendship. Without you the market could not keep going.

The Healesville Autumnfest grew out of the Healesville Organic Farmers’ market. It embraces the philosophy that human beings need to feel connected to the earth in their daily lives. The autumn festival is a way of reminding us that the seasons shape our lives and our activities. The date for the Autumnfest is the closest Saturday to the Autumn equinox.

Bring your friends and tell your neighbours. As with past Autumnfest celebrations, the usual stallholders will be joined by plenty of extra stalls. There will be a variety of entertainment, informative displays, art and craft demonstrations and stalls selling good tucker for one and all. Some stalls will focus on domestic animals such as goats, pigs and chooks and will provide information about these animals.

Food stalls will include crepes, organic pork sausages, chai tea, Mexican hot chocolate and more. Forget breakfast at home. Come along and eat with your friends at the market. Afterwards you could shed those calories by walking the Healesville Labyrinth which is in the adjacent park and history buffs can check out the Healesville Tourist Railway.

Entry is free and you could make a day of it by visiting other attractions in the Healesville area in the afternoon.
A project of Yarra Valley Permaculture Group

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Permaculture Resources & Courses

If you are interested in finding out more about permaculture consider joining a group (there could well be an active group in your area). For details of groups and events see the Permaculture Melbourne website ( or search the web for a group in your area

Most groups offer informative newsletters, a chance to network with people who are happy to share their skills, visits to properties to see what others are doing, and access to a host of free or low cost workshops on topics like grafting and pruning.
The best way to “get into permaculture” is to do a Permaculture Design Certificate (PDC) course. Now is the perfect time to check out what’s available because there are many courses getting under way in the near future.
If you would like to do an “Introduction to Permaculture” or a Permaculture Design certificate (PDC) course we particularly recommend those run by:-

• Graeme George PH 5962 5070 Courses in the Yarra Valley, Croydon Hills & Brunswick Email:

• Peter Allen ( Courses in the Dandenong Ranges & Eltham PH 0418665 880

• Cam Wilson Course at Heathmont
Many people do not realise that Permaculture is much more than organic gardening. It is actually a design system that can be applied by anyone whether they live in the suburbs or the country. Permaculture designs take the total picture into account, including food systems, water supply, energy use, building design, fire defence, waste minimisation, maintaining environments, diversity, urban solutions and much more. After the course, you will be in a position to draw up a design for your own property from scratch, or if infrastructure is in place, “retro-design” the property to make it work better. Some of the courses are subsidised and offer excellent value for money.

There are many websites with information about permaculture and sustainable living. Here is a selection that we recommend:-

• Great site for information regarding permaculture concepts

• Pete runs a whole range of courses & sells fruit trees & shrubs. He has a wealth of knowledge about fruiting plants, which he is happy to share.

• Information about permaculture & groups around Melbourne

• Great for information about events relating to local food production from backyards to larger operations

• David Holmgren is a co-originators of permaculture and his website contains information and publications relating to the subject

• Belinda lives in the Dandenong Ranges and produces an informative blog which covers a wide range of topics

• A suburban journey towards sustainability that started after Gavin’s green “epiphany” (a sudden, intuitive perception of or insight into reality). Gavin’s blog is very readable and informative. He is passionate in his beliefs, and entertaining in his delivery. Once you start reading you will find it hard to resist joining his blog as a “follower” and checking in on his journey

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Tenderbreak is in the News

Tenderbreak is in the news again. Earth Garden Magazine has published an article about our Fire Bunker in its latest edition (Summer 2009), which is available at newsagents now. The latest issue also contains articles about aquaponics, quince trees, a DIY electric bike conversion and much more. EG comes out quarterly and has a focus on articles relating to sustainable lifestyles.

The inaugural summer edition of Yarra Valley & Ranges magazine also contains an article about our place. Celeste, who took the photos, manages to make the place look very classy. This new publication promotes the unique food and wine, people, places, gardens and art and culture of our region (The Yarra Valley and surrounding area). If you cannot find it at your newsagent their website is .

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Insulation Rebate Program

At the moment the Federal Government is offering a subsidy to existing home owners to help them insulate their roof space. The program has been so popular that the government has scaled back the amount offered from $1500 to $1200 and it may be dropped altogether when allocated funds run out. The scale back means that in most cases the rebate will not completely cover the cost of insulation, but for a medium sized house it will only involve a small outlay.

If your house lacks adequate insulation we reckon it would be worth checking out this program. Details can be found at

Our daughter Kathy and husband Steve did just this in November, and are very happy with the result. They now have R3.5 insulation throughout their house and have already noticed the difference on hot summer days. They are looking forward to seeing how much difference it makes to winter temperatures.

We do not usually advertise businesses, but we were so impressed with the service offered by Janelle Murphy and her partner that we are happy to recommend them. They are a small business and we found them to be very ethical, knowledgeable and to offer good service and value for money. Their company is called Australian 5-Star and is based in the eastern suburbs of Melbourne (email

Janelle is also an accredited and very helpful energy rater (she does 5 star energy ratings of building plans) and is an accredited Home Sustainability Assessor. This latter qualification enables her to evaluate the energy use of a home and is aimed at providing home owners with ideas on how they can reduce their energy and water bills, increase the comfort of their home and help reduce damaging carbon pollution. The assessments can also be used to obtain a no interest “green loan” for sustainability measures. See for more information.
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