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Monday, 19 September


Holistic management - part 4: ecosystem processes Eight Acres

The book Holistic Management: A New Framework for Decision Making (affiliate link) sets out a guide to developing a holistic goal for your farm or business.  (See my introduction to Holistic Management here, and part 2: four key insights for the reasons why holistic management is important and part 3: holistic goal for understand what you are managing and what you want from it).

eight acres: Holistic management - part 4: ecosystem Processes

Holistic management considers four fundamental and interelated processes that function within our ecosystem/environment:
  • Water cycle
  • Mineral cycle
  • Energy cycle 
  • Community dynamics
These processes are the foundation on which we can build our holistic goals.  The holistic goal should be formulated around how we want to influence these processes, as any improvement in one will result in an overall improvement in productivity of the land.  I will use this post to discuss the processes and further develop the holistic goal that I drafted previously.

Water Cycle
Most of us would have learnt about the water cycle in school.  Water is evaporated from water bodies and land, it forms clouds, which result in rain or precipitation (including snow).  This then flows through creeks and rivers (and underground) to the sea.  The important concept here is that all water is eventually going to move under gravity towards the sea, but we want to get as much use out of that water as possible, and the most efficient way to do that is to hold water in our soil, but no so much that we have waterlogging.  An effective water cycle is one that keeps the right amount of water in the soil, with enough catchment and enough drainage.

I know that we can sometimes have 50 mm of rain and I can dig in my garden and find that only the surface is wet.  We have erosion on our property from water run-off during high rainfall events.  Although we do catch water in dams, it would be more effective in our soil.  Most of that rain has run off, and that is not an effective water cycle.  That just results in floods and droughts.  The things that help the soil to absorb water are ground cover, organic matter content, aeration and drainage.  Bare soil tends to form an impermeable layer that does not allow wate...


Holistic management - part 3: tools Eight Acres

The book Holistic Management: A New Framework for Decision Making (affiliate link) introduces four key insights that underpin the concept of Holistic Management.  (See my introduction to Holistic Management here)

Holistic management - part 2: four key insights

Holistic Management: A New Framework for Decision Making

Below are some Amazon affiliate links to books related to Holistic Management.  If you would like to read my reviews of these books, see the following links:

Joel Salatin's books

Peter Andrew's books on Natural Sequence Farming

Permaculture Principles



Dello Mano - Teneriffe Espresso & Matcha

Last time when I was eating at At Sixes and Sevens, we ended up parking so far away, we ended up in Teneriffe. We parked along a little hill, and my attention was captivated by a quaint little cafe on the hill with vines all around the outside. Keeping it in my mind for another week or so, I did a bit of research and found that it did brunch on the weekend, so we headed there to try it out.

Whilst most people know that Dello Mano is famous for its brownies, cakes and other sweet treats, we headed there for breakfast.

Compared to the other brunch places I've been to. Their menu was very succinct and brief, but covered a surprisingly large variety of foods.



Sydney OzComicCon 2016 (Part 2) Kittens Gone Lentil

Sunday's breakfast was much the same as Saturday's. I had some oats and fruit in my hotel, but this time I was able to score two friands at the venue because they had sent an extra one. I also discovered that the barista in the greenroom, where I had picked up a terrible peppermint tea the day before, could do a lovely vegan soy hot chocolate. So I may have had two of those.

On a non-food note, check out this amazing T-rex cosplay. It was the greatest. You should have seen her run. I love that she has a little grabby stick.

OCC Dino Cosplay

OCC Dino Cosplay

For lunch a had selected the Falafel Wrap option. It was OK, decent amount of falafel. But a little dry and not as filling or as nice as the previous day's curry.

Felafel Wrap from the venue

After the con finished, I was exhausted. My original plan was to get something from Lord of the Fries, which is walking distance from the hotel, and then eat it bed. However, thankfully I was talking to Leigh on Twitter and she inspired me to get back on a train to Newtown for some actual good and fun food.

I relived my uni days with a heaping plate from the Green Gourmet dinner buffet. I can't even remember everything that was on here, but what I can remember was sticky rice, curry noodles, radish cake, steamed bun, steamed pumpkin cake, 'honey' (actually malt syrup) prawns (made from tofu skin twists, not gross mock prawns), BBQ pork, stuffed mushroom, stuffed tofu, stewed radish, mock duck, a few different veggie dishes and some pickles. SO GOOD!

Dinner Buffet Plate from Green Gourmet

And of course I had to go to Gelato Blue afterwards. This time I got a scoop of Milk Chocolate Chip Cookie and a scoop of Salted Belgian Chocolate. In a cone, of course.

On Monday, I didn't have to leave for the airport until 2pm. So I went back into Newtown to meet my friend Jen for brunch at Sadhana Kitchen. We both tried the Pumpkin Spice Lattes (on soy rather than coconut milk). My first one ever! It is like drinking slightly sweet pumpkin soup, which was a bit strange, but we decided we were both into it.


[Gold Coast] Betty’s Burger Melissa Loh

When I booked my tickets to this year’s Problogger Training Event, we made it a bit of a family weekend down the Gold Coast. The SO booked our accommodation at the Hilton Surfers Paradise. The Gold Coast has seen a revival in preparation for the upcoming Commonwealth Games in 2018. This has meant there are lots of new restaurants and cafes in the area over the past two years, which is fantastic. The Gold Coast Betty’s Burgers is one of two outlets in the American style burger chain, and it is within walking distance of our hotel.

Betty's Burgers

The Venue

Betty’s Burgers is located on the busy tourist strip of Surfers Paradise Boulevard. Their al fresco dining area is positioned to overlook the tram line running right in front of it and is perfect for people watching. In fact, they have bar seating running along the front just for that purpose. I say it is clever marketing – why not induce some serious food envy by having customers dig into their burgers for anyone walking by to see?

Inside Betty’s Burgers is huge! There were lots of tables and booths, perfect for families and small groups. The atmosphere was casual and airy, and I loved the ceiling feature of hanging pot plants. On the other hand, I didn’t find the chairs particularly comfortable and they can be unwieldy to maneuver when trying to fit in a high chair.


The Service

A member of staff was standing at Betty’s Burgers entryway, greeting passersby and welcoming customers. Another staffer directed us to a table and went to bring us a high chair. A different staff member brought the high chair before someone else brought menus.

We were issued a wireless food pager after orders and payment were made at the counter. While waiting for our meal to be prepared, a nearby table of four young women were buzzed. One of the table’s members got up to collect their meal from the counter, but was told to wait at the table and two staff members helped bring out the rest of the meals.

No such table service for us. The SO got up and collected our order in its entirety for us.


The Food

Betty’s Burgers uses a very soft white bun as the basis for their burger. Thankfully both our Crispy Chicken and Betty’s Classic didn’t have too much juice that disintegrated them, so they were easy to hold and devour.

The Crispy Chicken burger starts with a crispy Southern fried chicken (really juicy, flavourful and I loved it), lettuce, tomato and Betty’s special sauce. Simple and tasty, and I reckon the better burger of the two.

Betty’s Burgers Betty’s Classic has Angus beef, lettuce, tomato, onion, cheese and Betty’s special sauce. You could add an extra beef patty or crispy chicken for AUD$5, but the SO added crispy bacon instead for AUD$3. It was definitely...

Sunday, 18 September


Working bee 18/09/16 Graceville Community Garden

A wet morning at the garden today but perfect for more planting. Okra and cucumber were planted today.

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