Limestone sand is so very different to the local sandstone sands of Sydney, fine and white it gives the waters around the west coast the most sublime colour, milky turquoise Hamlin Bay, where sting rays come to the shoreline in large numbers. There were none to be seen on this very chilly walk along the strand.

Fair Harvest Permaculture Farm was established in 1995 by Jodie Lane’s family. A permaculture system offers immense diversity of lifeforms and operates as a self supporting system, where anything given a home must have several purposes. This would be a very beautiful place to learn the art and skills or simply to visit if you are in the area. Jody and Do work this land now, along with whatever willing workers are abroad. Their aim is to inspire and enable people to grow their own produce and be more sustainable. You can book the venue for a course, an event, a wedding or join them on one of their permaculture courses or sustainable living workshops and visit their display farm where you can see their trials, errors and triumphs over the years. They have a fantastically well equipped commercial kitchen, perfect for classes…! A wander around this farm is incredibly uplifting and demonstrates what fresh produce grown with love and care can be. Vibrant, alive pranic food in abundance and beauty. I didn’t want to leave. Check out the compost shower system below. Decomposing wood chip mulch heats polypipe buried within and generates heat for as long as 18 months, who knew that such a simple system was even possible?

It is citrus season everywhere in the South West, this tree was groaning with soon to be sweet fruit. When you get your hands on such fine specimens I recommend keeping the skins and drying them for later use in marinades, cakes and slow roasted duck or pork dishes.

 Fair Harvest honeybees produced this delectable honey and the just dug, by hand from loose humus rich soil purple sweet potatoes were moorishly sweet and sticky when dry baked.Those were the last of the radishes and they starred in a couple of the Japanese dishes I made in my Koji and Oden classes later that week.

Do and Jude amidst the rows of diverse dark leafy greens, just look at their vigour. The ducks, geese, goats, cows, horses and chickens are fenced out of the garden and yet none the less there were visitors who made their way in, not surprising given the bounty.

The ducks reside here under the wide variety of fruit trees, Muscovy’s large and well fed. Had our Margaret River classes gone ahead one of these may have found itself in the oven. Though I relish that thought, it would have meant dispatching it myself, never a welcome task, though nothing will make one more grateful for meat.

Winters abundant seeds, sweet and sour and oh so pretty pomegranates.

 

The cafe wall tells of the provenance of the produce used, if it hasn’t come from the farm.

Through the month of July Jodie and Do eat only what their land provides them. Seeing what is here that seems very plausible but they really, ONLY use what they can harvest here, they don’t even use their pantry staples, no grains, no beans and even no salt!!! Spending time with these two talented growers committed to wholeness and sustainability, was a highlight of my trip to WA and it has given me pause to consider what I might do differently, that is surely never a bad thing.

Back in Sydney I am enjoying the memory of that beautiful place and feel ever more grateful for my local Avalon Community Garden and my association with the fantastic inner city initiative Pocket City Farm (seen above), an inner city farm demonstrating and teaching people in the Inner West of the city how to manage and grow food using sustainable systems. I am going to present there on the morning of  August 25th. I will be discussing, demonstrating and troubleshooting a range of fermented foods. This is a low cost opportunity to learn something new and if you have an experiment you are unsure about, bring it along to show and tell and I will do my best to provide what you may need to complete it with confidence. Go here for all the details and to book. Samples and good cheer are as ever assured.