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GLIR E E N FES ST TYLE

2013

GRE GR EEN LIFESTYLE Awards

Essential guide

SEASONAL EATING poster + recipes

Top tips

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44

INC G MAGAZINE

9 771834 123005

GREEN SCHOOLS

ISSUE 44 JUN/JUL 2013


The Farmhouse

have been born, we become fascinated with our new arrivals; and if the vegies are ready to be harvested, we create a recipe that suits and cook it together.”

DroppiNg off a chiLD at DaYcarE caN bE fraUght with worrY, hEartachE aND a Lot of tEars. bUt whEN that DaYcarE cENtrE is morE LikE a thriViNg farm, parENtaL rEmorsE aND chiLD rELUctaNcE is rEpLacED with somEthiNg mUch morE coNtENtED.

Kim Stoney, founder of The Farmhouse, says her vision was to make a childcare centre for all the people of her local town. “I’m constantly humbled by the sense of community and camaraderie in our town,” says Kim, revelling in the fact that the children and grandchildren of the local tradies who built the centre are the ones who now go there. The kids aren’t the only ones having fun in the centre. Jade Waszkinel works there as a team member, and she tells us her job is “awesome”. “Every day is different. One day we’re cloud-watching on our backs in the grass and the next we’re collecting chooks’ eggs to make some biscuits. In between we’re catching frogs with the children and after lunch we feed our scraps to the pigs. This isn’t childcare – this is living!”

Words by Caitlin Howlett

A drive down the tree-lined driveway of The Farmhouse in Mansfield, Victoria – past the large dam and paddocks filled with alpacas, goats, horses, cows and sheep – makes it obvious this isn’t your ordinary childcare centre. Then there are the rabbits and guinea pigs, chooks, ducks, mice, lizards and turtles that the children look after and love. And at last you’re welcomed by an impressive vegie garden, a locally built log cabin, an amphitheatre and an eco-cubby house like no other.

One mother of three children at the centre says that there’s no “mother-guilt” when she drops off her children. “We moved to the country to be in the country, but the cost of living means both my husband and I have to work. The Farmhouse allows our children to have more to do with the country than we do! They bottle-feed baby lambs, cuddle little ducklings and eat tomatoes straight from the vine. This really is farm life, and our children just love coming here.”

“Set on over 12 and a half acres, we’re very connected to the land and the seasons and truly appreciate the daily changes around us,” says Marissa Prudden, director of The Farmhouse. “We leap into each day and immerse ourselves in what Mother Nature has given us as the sun rises – if it’s raining, we jump in puddles and play in the mud pit; if new bunnies or kid goats

Kim Stoney says it’s because the centre was built for childhood, not childcare. “We’re not minding children until their parents come back. The Farmhouse is part of living, part of these children’s childhood, a magical layer in their fabric of life.”

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OPINION

The flaws of fashion

working 18-hour days for a pittance or the farmers growing the raw products. The price of ‘cost efficiency’ also leaves the environment with a huge bill – even cotton, deemed as a natural fibre, can require 17 teaspoons of pesticides per t-shirt to increase crop yield.

THE MAJORITY OF US PURSUE AFFORDABLE FASHION – BUT AT WHAT PRICE? Kelly Elkin EXPOSES THE TRUE COST OF CHEAP FASHION.

Legislation protects consumers in the U.S. and most European countries, at least limiting the use of harsh chemicals in clothing. Australia, however, is still a dumping ground for irresponsibly made clothing.

Like most twentysomethings, I’m a fashion conscious individual. I take pride in my appearance and I know that most people I pass in the street every day do too. So, why don’t we value our clothes more?

Surely the fashion industry, which employs a sixth of the world’s population, knows the widespread damage caused to communities and their eco systems. As a clothing designer, I don’t see anything beautiful about making or wearing a garment tainted by an exploitative industry.

Throughout history, clothing has been an indication of where you sit in society, a sign of your beliefs and a visual representation of your identity. If we are what we wear, why are most of us dressed head to toe in cheap crap that’s drenched in chemicals and made in questionable conditions? How is this attractive?

I am not saying we should all pick some cotton and start making clothes from scratch Ghandi-style, but we need to understand the true cost of garments and stop demanding ‘better dollar value’. We must cherish the clothes we already have, buy less and strive to buy organic or ethically produced. Let’s question our beloved mega stores and demand better labour laws. Instead of buying impulsively, make a conscious decision.

From an aesthetic and ethical point of view, I don’t want to wear clothing that represents child labour in Uzbekistan. We all know about ‘sweatshops’ and that formaldehyde is evil, but as consumers, fashion lovers and clothing producers alike, we cast a blind eye on the ‘behind the scenes’ production of clothing. We could blame the glamorous models, the thrills of fashion week and the bombardment of bargains, or take responsibility for our choices and truly appreciate clothing and its origins.

Kelly Elkin is owner/designer for Alas, a certified organic and ethically produced sleepwear label. www.alasthelabel.com

There is no such thing as cheap clothing. Somewhere along the production line, someone pays for it, whether it’s the machinists

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THINKSTOCK

We need to wear our hearts on our sleeves and take pride in wearing clothing that rebuilds communities and empowers people. In the end, the customer is always right, and we are lucky enough to have the power to make this change.


ACTIVISTS

ALL FOR

THE CAUSE BEING AN ENVIRONMENTAL ACTIVIST CAN BE A HARD ROAD TO FOLLOW, ESPECIA LLY WHEN THE FINANCIAL INTERESTS OF BIG BUSINESS AND THE THREAT OF ARREST STAND IN YOUR WAY. WE SPOKE TO FIVE CAMPAIGNERS ABOUT WHAT MOTIVA TES THEM TO TAKE A STAND.

WORDS BY Graham Readfearn

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As well as some Tasmanian Devils that have wandered past, Miranda’s visitors have included an array of bugs, local birdlife and the occasional politician – former Greens leader Bob Brown and current leader Christine Milne have both been hauled up to the canopy. Miranda’s mum also spent four nights up there. “It was great to have her come up. She’s never really been camping and certainly hasn’t been to the top of a tree,” says Miranda. Her dad and sister also paid visits.

Miranda Gibson

Anti-logging campaigner

MIRANDA GIBSON LIVED IN A TREE IN A TASMANIAN FOREST IN PROTEST AGAINST DESTRUCTIVE LOGGING PRACTICES.

Miranda uses her website www.observetree.org to document her experiences up the tree with blogs, films and pictures. Her one-year anniversary was met with over 300 photographs of support from people across the world. For about five years she has been heavily involved with the campaign group Still Wild Still Threatened (www.stillwildstillthreatened.org), which is fighting to protect Tasmania’s southern forests. “It has led me to spend a lot of time in forests and monitoring wildlife and forest surveys and looking at endangered species in this area.”

What motivates someone to climb 60 m up a 400-year-old eucalypt tree in the Tasmanian wilderness and not come down for over a year? For 31-year-old forest campaigner Miranda Gibson it was the devastating effects of logging. “The first time I saw a Tasmanian forest, I was completely blown away. It’s so humbling to stand under these giant trees,” says Miranda, speaking from her lofty platform in the state’s southern forests. “Sadly I have seen so much of these forests destroyed from industrial scale logging. That is what has driven me to dedicate my life so wholeheartedly to this issue.”

Miranda is a qualified teacher and hopes to secure a teaching job once there’s a guarantee the area is safe from logging. And that guarantee could be in sight. In June, the World Heritage Committee will consider a federal government recommendation to extend the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area, which would safeguard Miranda’s tree and 170,000 more hectares of forest. “Part of what I’ve achieved hopefully is to inspire people to know that one person can make a difference,” Miranda says.

ALAN LESHEIM

Miranda took her climbing ropes to the tree on 14 December 2011, two days after contract logging companies moved in to the Tyenna Valley area, which is managed by state governmentowned Forestry Tasmania. Within a week, the loggers packed up and left the area around Miranda’s tree. So far, there’s been no attempt to remove her but logging goes on elsewhere. “If I‘d come down, then probably the next day they would have come back and starting logging again,” Miranda says. “It’s not a win until there’s a guarantee it’s not going to be logged. This area is still on the logging schedule.”

After Green Lifestyle interviewed Miranda, she ended her 449day tree-top protest after a bushfire threatened her safety. >>

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HOME HINTS

A NEW LEASE ON SOLAR

The opportunity to switch to solar is still within reach despite the end of government subsidies – via is leasing! The upfront cost of solar s. what puts off most potential user Enter the Every Rooftop program, of Green Cross Australia, which allows you to lease photovoltaic roof panels. Nearly one million er, Australian homes have solar pow of cent per t eigh but that’s only suitable homes. Moderate market estimates expect the number of homes with solar to grow eightfold y by 2031, so avoid rising electricit solar the on get and s cost bandwagon now by leasing for no upfront cost. Visit www.everyrooftop.org.au.

Smooth-as glass We love these eco-fabulous, recycled and dishwasher-safe glass tumblers from Oxfam. They are handmade and mouth-blown by small teams of fairly supported workers and artisans in Bolivia. $24.95 (set of four, available in green or blue), www.oxfamshop.org.au

DID YOU KNOW? A glove affair We love ENJO cloths, and now the company has added a new product to its range – a heavy duty oven cleaning glove. Make light work of baked-on grime without chemicals – use just water and a bit of elbow grease. $54, www.enjo.com.au

Heating water accounts for up to 25 per cent

Tip: A leaking toilet can waste up to 3785 L of water each month. To test for internal

OF ENERGY USE IN THE AVERAGE AUSTRALIAN HOME.

leaks, put food colouring in the cistern and leave it for an hour. If colour runs into the toilet bowl, there’s a leak. Fix the problem by replacing the washers in the cistern, buying a new cistern outlet kit, or calling in a plumber before too much more water is wasted.

WORDS BY Caitlin Howlett and Alex Pike

Individualise your home with a TomTom Letter Box. The funky box is complemented by an optional timber post certified by the Forestry Stewardship Council. It’s built to last and is covered by a product stewardship that means it can be returned for repair, reuse or recycling. $330, www.designbythem.com

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THINKSTOCK

TomTom Letter Box


DID YOU KNOW? Since the Cartridges 4 Planet Ark recycling program BEGAN IN 2003, PLANET ARK HAS DIVERTED 9,300 TONNES OF PRINTER CARTRIDGES FROM LANDFILL.

Home saver Clean critters Not all bacteria are bad. In fact, many types are essential to our health. And while traditional house cleaning products target 99.9 per cent of all bacteria, including the beneficial microorganisms, some are actually made with naturally occurring, beneficial bacteria that help keep the home clean and healthy. Try the All Purpose Lemon Myrtle Spray cleaner from Probiotic Solutions which is made with non-GMOs (genetically modified organisms) as well as bran, sea salt, fruit juice and essential oils. $7, www.probioticsolutions. com.au

Combining safety with energy-saving, the Monster Power Single Surge Cube is a pretty nifty gadget. Set standby power to switch off after two, four or eight hours, plus keep computers and other electrical items safe if a power surge hits – a discreet yet effective buzzer alerts you to the problem. $49.95, www.monstercable.com

How to:

KEEp your home tidy Declare upon entry. Put your shoes, purse, bag, keys and coat in the one place near the door to prevent them from being dispersed around the house (and then being unable to find them). A good idea is to place hooks or carry baskets near the entry door. A tiny tidy. Every time you enter a room, get into the habit of putting something away that is lying around. You’ll be surprised how clean your house will remain! Greener cleaning. Cleaning becomes less complicated when you use just a few all-purpose, natural cleaning products. You’ll breathe easier without harmful chemicals and you’ll have loads more space in the cupboards. Less is more. Remove items that you don’t use, as the less you own, the less you have to clean. Check out page 28 of this issue for tips on how to declutter.

Tip: Cheer up your winter home by using LED fairy lights or a lamp to throw light across feature walls, or adding bright pillows or rugs to each room. Encourage winterflowering indoor plants such as cyclamen to make more blooms with low-nitrogen fertiliser and by moving them to a warmer, well-lit area.

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Stick to a routine. It may seem simple, but a good routine is also an effective way to clean. Each time you change clothes, put clean items away and throw dirty clothes in the washing basket. After you cook, wash up or put dishes straight into the dishwasher. And each time the mail arrives, open it and deal with bills promptly.


GARDEN

Grow

A FOOD FOREST GROWING MAXIMUM FRUIT, HERBS AND VEGIES IN MINIMAL SPACE IS THE BASIC AIM OF THE PERMACULTURE-BASED FOOD FOREST. WORDS BY Lesley Lopes

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GARDEN

Tips for building

a food forest Location and layout Choose a site that gets plenty of sun for best results. Position sun- and shade-loving plants accordingly, taking particular care to provide the latter with shelter from the hot afternoon sun.

Improving the soil Get the soil right before you start, especially if it’s compacted, as on many urban blocks. Double dig if necessary, and incorporate plenty of organic matter to improve its drainage and fertility. Build in ‘passive’ irrigation systems, especially on sloping site. Terraces, swales (shallow channels) and logs laid across the slope will naturally slow down or direct water moving across the site, giving it time to soak in, rather than letting it run straight off into stormwater drains. Keep mulching and allow the garden to develop over time. Coarse woody prunings can simply be dropped onto the ground around fruit trees and mulched over – they’ll feed the soil as they break down.

Support plants and animals Include nitrogen-fixing plants – these have a symbiotic relationship with certain soil bacteria that can take up nitrogen from the air and convert it into a nitrate the plant can use. When the plant dies or is dug in, the nitrogen is released into the soil, making it available to other plants. Try clover, alyssum, vetch, peanuts and alfalfa. Include so-called dynamic accumulators that selectively accumulate various nutrients and cycle them through the soil. Examples are comfrey, nettle, yarrow, French sorrel and chives. The leaves of comfrey, for instance, can be cut and spread over the soil as a conditioner. Use a combination of clumping, running and matt-forming groundcovers to outcompete weeds. Choose flowering plants that attract beneficial insects such as wasps that parasitise pest insects. Try asters, yellow buttons, yarrow and Echinacea. Chooks are natural predators of pest insects – and natural fertiliser producers. The more support plants and animals you have, the better your food forest will be.

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FOOD

cooking in season LET’S FACE IT, MAKING A MANGO AND RHUBARB PIE IS TOUGH IN THE DEAD OF WINTER UNLESS YOU BUY FROZEN PRODUCE. TOO MANY RECIPES DON’T CONSIDER SEASONALITY, MEANING IT CAN BE HARD TO FIND ALL THE FRESH INGREDIENTS AT THE FARMERS’ MARKET. SO WE PUT TOGETHER A SEASONAL FRUIT AND VEGIE GUIDE WITH TRIED-AND-TRUE FLAVOUR COMBOS READY FOR HARVEST RIGHT NOW. WORDS BY Caitlin Howlett PHOTO BY Louise Lister

Greenhouses, cold storage, long-distance transport and packaged food mean that our supermarkets are no longer governed by the seasons. But choosing to source your food locally and seasonally is low impact, cheaper and results in food that tastes so much better! And according to traditional Chinese medicine, eating foods in season will keep our minds and bodies healthy. So we asked some chefs, cooks and food experts to help us compile this seasonal recipe guide for the autumn/winter kitchen.

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Pear We’re only treated to this sweet, soft fruit in the cooler months in Australia. To allow for easy transporting they’re often picked too early – buying direct from a grower will ensure quality.

Pumpkin

Spinach

Starting their growth in summer, these big vegetables come into their own in autumn and winter. In most cases, pumpkin can be substituted for butternut squash, but not always the other way around due to the more ‘earthy’ flavour of pumpkin.

It’s easy to grow this iron-rich veg yourself most of the year in Australia – even in pots on a balcony. The savoury flavours of different varieties are often interchangeable in recipes. We love spinach for its rich freshness that teams well with most rib-sticking winter comfort foods.

Storage: In the winter months store whole pumpkin on a bench inside, out of direct sunlight. Once cut, cover and refrigerate. In-season matches: Zucchini, onion, spinach, sweet potato, mushroom, apple, citrus fruits. Flavour matches: Chickpeas, rosemary, sage, ginger, chilli, turmeric, paprika, nutmeg, cinnamon, black pepper, cardamom, coconut, nuts. 3 ways with pumpkin:

In his cookbook River Cottage Every Day, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall suggests roasting 1 kg chopped butternut squash (skin on) with 6 garlic cloves (skin on), a few sprigs rosemary, one chopped hot red chilli, salt, pepper and a few tbsp oil. Cook for 45 minutes at 180°C. Adele McConnell from Vegie Head ezine makes a stir-fry by sautéing a red onion, 3 cloves of garlic and some grated ginger in coconut oil. Add 2 cups broccoli florets, a handful each of mushrooms and diced pumpkin, and 2 cups coconut milk. Cook until tender. Add 1 cup silverbeet and simmer for 10 minutes. Serve with chopped almonds over brown rice. Pumpkin puree and chopped sage is one of recipe writer Katie Quinn Davies’ favourite combos. She loves to mix them with goat’s cheese and breadcrumbs in handmade raviolis served with a browned butter sauce and roasted pecans for earthy texture.

Storage: Spinach should be eaten as close to harvest as possible so the leaves don’t wilt. So, buy local or harvest your own on the day. In-season matches: Fennel, leek, apple, radish, potatoes, parsnips, swede, mushrooms, cauliflower. Flavour matches: Lentils, mint, chervil, dill, fenugreek, marjoram, oregano, thyme, rosemary, sage, garlic, ginger. 3 ways with spinach:

Spinach goes well with fennel in a salad, says gourmet farmer Matthew Evans. Finely shred 1 whole fennel bulb, sprinkle with salt and sugar and leave for 10 minutes before rinsing and drying. Mix with 2 cups spinach, slivers of apple and a few rounds of radish. Make a dressing by boiling 2 tbsp cider vinegar with 1 tsp dill seed for 2 minutes and, once cool, mixing with 4 tbsp olive oil. Nutritionist and naturopath Janella Purcell makes a side dish by sautéing mushrooms in coconut oil with grated turmeric and ginger. She turns off the heat, adds chopped spinach and a drizzle of tamari and puts a lid on until the leaves wilt. Adam and Lovaine Humphrey from Arras restaurant say that fresh baby spinach, cooked brown lentils and a handful of torn mint lightly dressed in a salad bowl is the perfect accompaniment to a barbecue.

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Storage: It’s fine to store pears on a cool bench in a fruit bowl. Put them in a paper bag with a banana if you want to ripen them more quickly. In-season matches: Radicchio, witlof, cauliflower, apple, citrus fruits, chestnuts, spinach. Flavour matches: Walnuts, cheese, chervil, red wine, vanilla, cinnamon, cardamom, cumin, star anise, clove, ginger, nutmeg. 3 ways with pears:

Cook Maggie Beer makes a tasty salad by slicing 4 Beurre Bosc pears lengthways, then coats them in ¼ cup olive oil and a sprinkling of salt flakes before grilling for 7 minutes each side on a hot grill. She roasts ²/³ cup walnuts for 5–8 minutes at 180°C, and mixes these and the pears with the inner leaves of 1 radicchio and 2 bulbs witlof. She dobs 200 g ricotta on top, sprinkles on half a bunch chervil, and dresses with 1 tsp vino cotto, 2 tbsp red wine vinegar and ½ cup olive oil. Dietitian Serena Ball from Teaspoon of Spice makes a soup by combining 2 soft pears with 1 potato, a large head of cauliflower florets and 12 unshelled chestnuts (pierced in two places with a knife). Roast all in a very hot oven for 40 minutes and peel chestnuts once cool (including inner skin). Put all ingredients and 500 ml vegetable stock in a stockpot on low heat and puree with a wizz stick. Serve warm with grated nutmeg. For delicious poached pears, Michelle Shearer, Mamabake founder, slowly simmers 3 whole pears with the juice of an orange, zest of a lemon, a stick of cinnamon, 4 whole cloves, 2 bruised cardamom pods, 1 star anise, 1 tbsp honey, 2 cups water and 3 cups red wine for at least an hour until the pears are tender. >>


IN SEASON

Hummus Take a cup of dry chickpeas, rinse them and pick over them for dark peas and stones. Place in a bowl and cover well with water. Soak in the refrigerator for 12 hours (overnight) to soften them before tipping the chickpeas and water into a medium saucepan and add as much water again. Bring to the boil then simmer for one hour or until tender. Drain and allow to cool. This makes about 3 cups of cooked beans. Place one cup of cooked chickpeas in a blender with 3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil, juice of one lemon, 3 tablespoons of unhulled tahini, a peeled clove of garlic (optional) and salt to taste. Blend for several minutes until smooth. For a runnier hummus add a little hot water as it is blending. Serve with vegetable sticks as a dip or delicious served warm over steamed vegetables. Store in a sealed container in the fridge for a week. Place the leftover cooked chickpeas in a plastic bag in the freezer and use as required. Serves 6

Chickpeas CHICKPEAS ARE NUTRITIONALLY DENSE LITTLE MORSELS, A COUSIN OF THE BEAN, THAT LEND THEMSELVES EXCEPTIONALLY WELL TO DRYING AND STORING. FRESHLY COOKED CHICKPEAS TASTE SO MUCH BETTER THAN TINNED CHICKPEAS. RECIPES BY Richard Cornish

Pumpkin and chickpea salad Take a cup of cooked chickpeas (see above) and place in a bowl with 100g, roughly a large handful, of washed baby spinach leaves and 2 cups of pumpkin, cut into 1 cm cubes, steamed and cooled. Make a dressing by placing in a jar the juice of a lemon, a tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil, a teaspoon of Dijon mustard and salt to taste. Screw on the lid and shake vigorously. Pour over as much dressing as you like and gently lift your fingers through the salad to toss and mix. Finish by sprinkling over a small handful of gently toasted almonds, crushed or pepitas. Serves 2-4

Chickpea burgers In a food processor place a thick slice of 2 day old sourdough bread that has been cut into 1 cm cubes and process into coarse breadcrumbs. Add a cup of cooked chickpeas, a small handful of fresh chopped herbs such as parsley or coriander and half a cup of finely grated carrot. Add a little salt and black pepper to taste. You can add an egg to bind the ingredients, if not add a tablespoon or so of extra virgin olive oil for moistness. Process to make a rough looking mix. Form into 4 or 6 patties and cook these in a non stick frypan over a medium heat until browned on each side. Serve as is or in buns with tomato, lettuce, cooked onion and tomato sauce. Serves 4-6

Quick tip

THINKSTOCK

To make chickpea flour, grind dry chickpeas in a coffee grinder, food processor or blender until fine as possible, then pass through a fine sieve.

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