Annette Jones

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since Nov 28, 2013
Schofields, NSW. Australia. Zone 9-11 Temperate to Sub Tropical
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Recent posts by Annette Jones

So happy decided this was the post for the day and I came to check it out. I may have missed it a year ago, but the video more than made up for the wait. You have a wonderful property and the work you have done showcases a beautiful way of looking at homesteading in a different light. When we take the time out to just contemplate the serenity and natural art in all things nature, it feeds the spirit. Thank you Matt for such a peaceful timeout in my day.
2 weeks ago
A few comments from an organic seed grower and saver. I notice that a lot of you are commenting about bland tasting tomatoes, lack of flavor or drops in production.
I have been recording quite a few changes in all my heirloom vegetables especially tomatoes due to rapid changes in the climate that has been a lot for plants to cope with in the short term.
I used to know that I lived in a temperate zone - now I am experiencing sub-tropical climate as well and my veggies are letting me know whether they can cope with the changes - some better than others.
For those of you who have found tomatoes they love the taste of, but the plants haven't produced as well as hoped, try again and don't give up.
See if you can grow them for 4 seasons by which time they will have adapted better to your local conditions and you will notice positive improvement. Don't give up after the first underperforming season when you have found a great taste.
Soil also plays a huge part in how a tomato will taste, so keep up the compost, weed teas, crop alternating to prevent wilts and soil spread fungal diseases. Drip water to prevent mold and leaf fungus.
Mixing other veggies between your tomatoes instead of planting them in rows together also helps control pests and disease.
I love tomatoes that have a bit of tanginess like Green Zebra, Black and Red, Wapsipinicon Peach, Copia and Tropic which does well when we hit humid weather. In the cherries I like Pink Bumblebee, Matt's Wild Cherry, Beames Yellow Pear and Green Grape.
I try and have at least one of these varieties every season and they have all become extremely prolific and adapted to my area. I currently grow over 434 heirloom varieties of tomato so am spoilt for choice.
There are a lot of great suggestions here, it has been an interesting feed to follow. I hope you all find tomatoes worth saving the seed from and keep adapting them to your areas every season.
Thanks for the video, it was amazing to see you work. I have not seen a spindle since watching my grandmother many years ago. I used to help her with the dyeing by picking the plants and laying them out to dry then later bringing them in to her where she did the dyeing in an old laundry copper. This brings back pleasant times shared with gran.
4 months ago
Thank you Hugo, I like that you have posted the growth progression, very helpful to see that. I'll be using this idea for my veggie garden verge edging.
6 months ago
Wow, I wish you lived in Australia, I'd love the BBQ/cooker and the wood in the chest of drawers is amazing, what beautiful craftsmanship.
Hi Ryan, Greetings from Oz

There are so many great replies and great suggestions here, you have started an amazing conversation, thank you.

Currently in Australia we are burning up with the bushfires, interspersed with gale force winds, cyclones and flooding all in the same season. Every one has been affected, even city people away from the fires have suffered 84 straight days of heavy particulate pollution from the fires, and an area the size of the whole of Belgium and part of Germany has already burnt with more expected. The flooding has brought massive new growth in some areas meaning a potential new burn load is on the forest floor waiting to dry out and this will start all over.

I hope the rest of the world is watching because they will learn from watching - what they can do to weatherproof in different ways through permaculture methods. My farm suffered some ember attacks, not the devastation further down our NSW south coast, but I am in an areas that will be extremely vulnerable to the next round of fires because we now have extra ground growth from some rain which means a new burn load is ready on the ground for more fires and as a person with mobility problems this has added to the stress.

All this has left me feeling anxious and depressed to a degree I've not experienced like before. I've been helping friends and others who have been affected way worse for a while now, and have hit the point where I've had to stop pushing so hard, step back and try to find peaceful things to do, like walking around the farm or spending time watching animals and birds come in to the dams for water and just not lifting a finger. First off I felt very guilty, now I realize I needed to re-evaluate how I cope with these stresses.

Taking those bite size steps, slowing down and nurturing ourselves is critical for health. I surround myself with friends who are positive, practical, gentle and helpful. Sometimes when I crave solitude I retreat for a dose of me time, and do what I can, then climb back in when it passes.

After reading everyone's suggestions, obvious things stand out about all of us - we have found working close up with nature very grounding and healing, plain good old commonsense - so we're ahead of many who still suffer from modern day demands on our time, our health and our reason for being. We are a permie family, we look after our Zone 1 issues - People Care.

My very best wishes Ryan, and Mr Grape, LOL on continuing moving forward
9 months ago

C├ęcile Stelzer Johnson wrote:

Annette Jones wrote:I'm a 6th generation seed farmer and seedsaver/seller from Australia. So I'm loving this thread.
It is a great idea, especially if you use organic seed. Starting from scratch with a clean surface is sustainable and commonsense. I use a saucer or plate depending on the amount of seed and simply push the seeds around until they dry.
Many paper towel manufacturers ...

It makes sense. I was wondering why I keep using the Scott's blue paper towels after I read your post. These towels are so absorbent and so cheap that I use them all the time: They are softer on my nose than anything else. I thought about it and it is so silly you will laugh: You see, I have trained my hubby to put all kitchen scraps  in a pail that I take religiously to the chickens every day. When he sees a bunch of seeds on a paper towel, he knows I am saving them and he does not put them in the pail. When they are on a plate, they go the way of most kitchen scraps.
It goes to show you that sometimes, bad, wasteful habits have some totally insane reasons and can be easily corrected.
Since these seeds need to be labeled anyway, next time I save some, I will put them on a plate of a small saucer and put a Post it on the plate next to the seeds. Thank you. Sometimes, a little introspection can correct bad habits.

I loved reading everyone's ideas and had to smile as I read how well trained you have your husband regarding "keep" or "throw". You sound just such an awesome team, putting a label on the plate is a great answer.
10 months ago
I'm a 6th generation seed farmer and seedsaver/seller from Australia. So I'm loving this thread.
It is a great idea, especially if you use organic seed. Starting from scratch with a clean surface is sustainable and commonsense. I use a saucer or plate depending on the amount of seed and simply push the seeds around until they dry.
Many paper towel manufacturers use chemicals to bleach paper so wet seeds exposed to these are no longer organic and you've wasted money buying them unless they are from home grown clean plants; the seeds also stick to the paper and small amounts of fungi, often invisible to the eye, attach to the seeds which can cause a weaker germination rate.
I have found some fabrics can leave lint on the seed so using a smooth surface is my preferred method, as you can just wash and dry plates between batches. Reusing paper can often carry disease that transfers to the young seedlings, especially tomatoes.
It is also commonsense and sustainable to use what you already have. Metal strainers from the kitchen work well for most seeds. You can find smaller gauge wire for smaller seed cleaning from a lot of recycling places that have old window flyscreens.
Some of the suggestions show people who already adapt to something they already have at hand a very "permie way" to reuse or repurpose.
10 months ago
Welcome to Joe. I've been experimenting with this over the last 8 months, after finally realizing my grandfather hadn't be talking sh*t when he used to tell us that he had always done this for our orchard. As a teen I thought he was too gross to listen to. Oh, how the worm has turned - literally and figuratively I have wholeheartedly subscribed to this use as well as other types of poop (except cats! after all poo is poo and is eventually designed to breaks down into soil. I hadn't realized you had another book out - bring it on!!! and thank you for making the process easier.
11 months ago