Marcelle Nankervis is a Horticulturist who has worked in the Horticultural Media for over 16 years.
She is passionate about Permaculture, Sustainability and Gardening for the Future. Marcelle regularly writes for Your Garden magazine and Better Homes and Gardens. Her first book was Plants for Australian Dry Gardens (Murdoch Books). Marcelle's second is Smart Gardening (Exisle Publishing).
Welcome to my Blog!
As a horticultural writer I often come across people, stories, tips, tricks and real gems of information that never really make their way out of my notebook. I am hoping to share a few of these insights here as well as my own gardening experiences, which includes getting my children excited about plants.
I believe that a strong connection with the garden and our landscape when we are young is vital. I am hoping that educating my children in "Green Living" and "Smart Gardening" will provide them with the fundamental building blocks necessary for them to live long and healthy lives, while also doing their bit in helping to create a sustainable and green future for all.
We are proud to announce the arrival of our first piglet's. Overnight Abby successfully delivered six beautiful Wessex Saddleback piglets. Only the size of a 600ml drink bottle, they are very active and mum is very tired. Looks like we won't be getting many farm jobs done today!
Carl (my husband), and I regularly refer to everyday on the farm as a school day. We are continually learning, not only about farming, animal husbandry and cooking, but about ourselves too.
The last 24 hours has actually been a huge learning curve and revelation. When we decided to ethically farm and produce our own meat and veg, we did this for many reasons, one of them being the more questions you ask, the more you find out ... and knowledge thrusts you into a world of decisions. You can no longer plead ignorance and just role with convention.
Last weekend there was a peaceful demonstration on the steps of H and M in Melbourne about the cruelty of factory farmed pigs. This is something we abhore, which is one reason why we grow our own meat, however this is the first time our pigs have been large enough to breed, and this year we will welcome our first farm born piglets.
So why am I rabbiting on about factory farming ... Because today I learnt something else - pigs make nests. Yes, I am serious. I came home from my daughters basketball game to see Abby (our pregnant sow) making a nest. She was gathering straw, sticks, leaves and numerous other items from her paddock to make a huge nest. We then gave her extra items and were enthralled, watching her prepare for the birth of her piglets. It was so beautiful, and natural to see her prepare, not unlike any expectant parent.
Apparently this means that we can expect piglets within 24 hours, which is so overwhelmingly exciting. My point, aside from this amazing piece of news, was how distressing it must be to be a factory pig having piglets, not able to do what is natural. I know many people would frown upon us eating meat altogether, however I know that we are doing the best we can for our family, our animals and our role on the planet.
Pigs really are amazing characters, and watching her today was truley a special moment.
It amazes me that something so small can be turned into so much. In only half an hour of prep time, I took three small free range chicken eggs (these are from first time layers so still very small) and turned them into a jar of mayonnaise and a pavlova.
The egg yolks went into the mayo, and the whites went into the pav. When I am completely happy with the mayonnaise recipe I will post it along with the pav recipe.