The YCG gift voucher makes the perfect gift for any enthusiastic gardener or person interested in sustainable living. Gift vouchers can be used for plants, shop items, and workshops. To purchase a gift voucher click here
In this masterclass, Morag explores 5 simple ways to compost in-situ. Morag’s permaculture design approach is to integrate composting systems throughout the garden. This helps to keep the soil improving constantly and is an easier/lighter way to manage fertility in the garden. Morag explores some of her favourite ways to do this
1. compost ‘tractor’
2. worm tower
3. chop and drop
4. green manures
5. trench and bokashi
With a selection of these systems integrated through your garden, you will notice such a difference in the health and vitality of your food gardens.
Morag’s next masterclass is on 29th October at 8 pm, Brisbane time. The topic this month is “Design for water resilience in your garden”. To book for this masterclass click here.
To book for Morag’s online Permaculture Design & Permaculture Teachers Course click here
Is food your medicine? or food your poison? Unfortunately for most people, the food they consume is having negative effects on their health and you may not even be aware of this as you have forgotten what it is like to feel good, to feel vibrant, energetic and positive.
Growing your own organic food in nutrient rich soil is the only way to have control over your food supply and your wellbeing. I love growing food and I’ll teach you the methods I use to grow the healthiest food possible no matter what your garden situation is, I’ve lived on sand, clay and in an apartment and I’ve always grown my food. At Yandina community gardens I will talk about the different compost methods, worm farms, green manures, minerals and compost teas I use to bring life to the soil. Life begins in the soil. To book click here
From soils it’s the joy of planting your seeds, seedlings, trees or cuttings – the how, and the aftercare, foliar sprays and watering. How to harvest for prolonged crops. Why save seed. Did you know by planting certain plants together they are stronger and keep pests away? Certain plants have ‘super food’ powers, and I’ll share that with you.
Organic food is the basis of your health-there is no question about that, you must eat living food to feed your own cells/body. We will talk about anti health products – glysophate, round up and GMO and the damage it’s doing to all our environment and our body
Besides my love of gardening organically and the joy and health benefits it brings, I’ll also talk about 7 steps to wellness outside of gardening to bring vitality to you and your loved ones again, and its easy.
7 Steps To Wellness
- Gratitude journal. Setting yourself up for the day
- Tongue scrapping, oil pulling
- Sun – the health benefits of the sun-it is not the enemy
- Eating/mealtimes/what to eat.
- Sleep, circadian rhythms
- Emf protection from mobile & cordless phones, wifi, Ipads etc
- Declutter all areas of your life
Leonie Shanahan, author and passionate gardener will be sharing her knowledge on Saturday, 19 May 2018 at Yandina Community Gardens. To book click here
Why Heritage Breeds
Heritage or traditional breed chickens have been around for hundreds of years. They are purebred birds that have stood the test of time and adapted to their environment. These birds tend to be more foregiving when it comes to novice chicken keepers as they can survive with some basic care. In their day these birds were considered the champion egg layers but since cross-breeding and hybridisation they are no longer the super egg layers, this title belongs to cross-bred birds. Heritage breeds lay eggs for up to 7 years, although the number of eggs might taper off. Hybrid birds on the other hand, only lay for about two to three years and then they stop laying. To preserve the heritage breeds it is important for backyard chicken keepers to continue to keep and breed these birds.
Caring For Your Chooks
Shelter: Chickens require shelter from the rain, sun, wind and predators. A good sturdy chicken coop, that foxes and other predators cannot burrow under is ideal. The coop should also have 1 or 2 laying boxes where chickens can lay their eggs. Laying boxes should be protected from direct sunlight and they prefer it to be a little dark. Put some hemp bedding or straw in the bottom of the laying box. Also if your coop is on a concrete base or simply on the ground, use an absorbent material such as straw, sugar cane mulch or hemp to put on the floor as this will absorb the droppings and keep the coop clean. Both the laying boxes and coop should be cleaned regularly and the straw taken out of the coop can be used in the garden for mulch and compost.
Food & Water: Chickens require access to fresh and clean water daily. This is particularly important in hot weather. Food should include vegetable scraps, a good seed mix or layer mash and where possible some bugs such as soldier fly larvae. If birds are free ranging they find bugs for themselves.
Companionship: Chickens are very social creatures so ensure you keep more than one and handle and talk to your birds regularly. Chickens are able to recognize up to 200 faces, so don’t think they don’t know when you are around.
Illness: Chickens can get ill, some things that can plague them are worms which gives them diarrhoea (dirty pants). The chicken will look ill, lose weight, have a poor appetite and drink more water than usual. The remedy for worms is feeding them comfrey leaves and garlic. Also scatter wormwood leaves all around the coop. Prevention would include feeding them oats weekly and putting garlic and cider vinegar in their water. Lice, fleas and mites can be prevented by keeping the coop clean and dusting their coop with diatomacious earth
Happy And Healthy Chooks
Healthy chickens have the following:
- Bright, full and waxy combs
- Bright, shiny and alert eyes
- Clean nostrils and no sound of laboured breathing.
- Heads and tails held high
- Breasts full and plump
- Abdomens firm
- Feathers smooth and clean
- Droppings firm, greyish brown with a white cap.
Happy chickens do the following:
- Scratch in the soil looking for bugs
- Take dust baths
- Maintain a pecking order
- Go broody and mate (if there is a rooster about)
Selecting The Right Bird
It is important to find the right bird for your situation and requirements. Below are some things to consider
|Climate Hardiness||Can the bird selected survive the temperatures of your area? Living in South East Queensland heat is a big consideration when selecting a bird|
|Roosters Or Hens||In the city one can only have hens and no roosters, check with your local council on how many hens you can have for the size of your property|
|Egg Production||Are you keeping hens for egg production then select a breed that has high egg production|
|Meat Production||If you are keeping chickens to slaughter for meat then select a bird that is plumb and meaty|
|Handling Ability & Flightiness||Some birds do not want to be handled. If you want children to enjoy the chickens then find a breed that does not mind being picked up. Some breeds are very flighty and thus are hard to keep confined to a backyard.|
|Broodiness||If you want to breed with your chickens then a hen that gets broody often is good to put fertilised eggs under, otherwise broodiness is not desireable as egg production ceases when hens are broody|
|Ornamental||If you do not care about eggs or meat then you might want to keep a pretty bird|
Popular Heritage Breeds
- Rhode Island Red
- Wyandotte (various colours)
- Silkie (small breed, great for small gardens & children)
- New Hampshire
- Araucana (lays blue eggs)
Chickens & Permaculture
Permaculture is about understanding and encouraging a healthy relationship between plants, animals, humans and the environment and in so doing creating benefit for all. Chickens not only provide eggs and meat but produce manure for your garden and their scratching habit can be used in all sorts of ways like turning your compost pile. Chickens are also ferocious bug hunters so they make quick work of catching all the unwanted bugs in your orchard or veggie patch. From a social perspective they are a delight to have around teaching children and adults alike how to care and interact with birds and the environment in general.
YCG will be hosting a chicken workshop, to book click here
What better way to turn waste into a resource than by working with nature in our own backyard. Organics make up more than 50% of our waste on the Sunshine Coast and this workshop will show you just how easy it is to recycle with composting, worm farming and everything in between.
Sandie Johnston is the Sunshine Coast Council’s Waste 2 Resource Education Coordinator and she will give troubleshooting tips and advice on creating an efficient, hassle free system to recycle your organic waste. This workshop is great for all types of keen gardeners, so whether you’re new to the composting game or maybe struggling with your system come along and get the answers. To book click here