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.

Happy Gardening!

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Broad Bean vs Kidney Bean

Does anyone else think that Broad Beans should really have been given the common name of Kidney Beans?

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Somewhere - Ethical Farming

As an avid West Side Story lover, I was instantly drawn to the soundtrack used on a commercial the other night ... and then to see the content made me further investigate other clips etc on YouTube by the same organization and others about ethical farming.

We all need to ask where our food is coming from!

Make it Possible from Animals Australia on Vimeo.
We believe in a world without factory farming.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Seasons in My Kitchen Garden

Seasons in My Kitchen Garden goes on sale today!

This book is the story of our tree-change journey, that charts the evolution of our garden from a derelict paddock (on a 20 acre hobby farm), to a fully functional potager/vegetable garden including orchard, vegetables, herbs and chickens. The entire project is based on sustainable practices and includes organic solutions — all sympathetic to the heritage of the site and the history of the area. The changes are charted over the course of a year (to capture cool and warm crops). While the book is a personal journey through the development of the garden, it also contains practical, step-by-step information to help anyone establish a kitchen garden of their own, whether they have a square metre of soil or half an acre (and more).

See Hardie Grant Books for more information. 

Monday, August 27, 2012

True Free Range Egg Farming & Not So Free Range

Not all Free Range eggs are ethically farmed. I think it's important to be educated about the choices we are making, rather than just trust the labelling. 

Free Range Eggs -  Farm 1

True Free Range Eggs - Farm 2

It's best to know something about the farm you are purchasing from to ensure you are buying what you are paying for!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Delicious Chocolate and Beetroot cake from Peninsula Fresh Organics

I have to share the delicious recipe I found on the Peninsula Fresh Organics Website for Chocolate and Beetroot cake. Yum!!

I used Willie's 100% Cacao and I think 160 degrees Celsius fan-forced would be best, but otherwise, could not fault this delicious cake. Try it at home and check out Peninsula Fresh Organics. They are a great local supplier, (if you live on the Mornington Peninsula), especially if you want fresh organic produce and goodies without the extra kilometers.

Thanks Guys ... you are saved in my favourites!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

A true living tree chair

How incredible is this? This picture and article appeared on Milk Way Scientists.

In 1986 Peter had the idea of growing a chair. Nine years later Peter and Becky became partners. Pooktre was born. Together they have mastered the art of Tree shaping. Pooktre has perfected a Gradual shaping method, which is the shaping of trees as they grow along predetermined designs. Designing and setting up the supporting framework are fundamental to the success of a tree. Some are intended for harvest to be high quality indoor furniture and others will remain living art.

For More Information :

Monday, August 6, 2012

Our first lamb!

How exciting! We were fortunate enough to be home yesterday to witness the birth of our first Dorper lamb! The labour was intense and I must admit, at some times I was a bit uncomfortable, reminiscing about my own labours!
The ewe would stand up, hoof the ground and then lie down, straining her neck and stretching her face towards the sky as she pursed her lips and pushed. My children were completely mesmerised by the entire process.
When the lamb eventually pushed through, the ewe abruptly ran to the middle of the flock, with a lamb halfway through the birthing process. The other sheep scattered at the sight of this terrified ewe (resembling a push-me-pull-you from Dr Doolittle) . Suddenly the lamb dropped and natural instinct took over. She cleaned her little boy and he was standing on wobbly legs in no time. Completely beautiful.
Even better was what we witnessed this morning. Our Alpaca Kerrie, who was purchased in the hope that he would help to protect the sheep, was standing guard, protecting the lamb from any unseen dangers. It's truly wonderful when a plan comes together!

Friday, August 3, 2012

Support Local Farmers!

The following is true footage of Fresh Aussie grown Oranges being dumped because we have a glut of imported fruit. It is such a waste and completely devastating to the growers. Come on, let's buy local and save Aussie Farmers.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Chicken and Omega 3

I was just watching River Cottage on SBS and heard from a scientist that not all chickens are alike.

Apparently chicken once supplied Omega 3 for healthy brain function; but nowadays they just supply heaps of fat ... and not much else!

They did a test and regular chickens that are intensively farmed are basically unhealthy! Honestly. It makes you wonder about diets based on chicken!

Anyway, the main point was that they tested several types of chickens and the organic free range chicken had 25% less fat than the cheap intensively farmed chicken, and 10x more Omega 3.

It is the brown meat that holds the Omega 3 and this develops when they are raised on grass and insects, allowed to exercise and roam free, as well as allowing them to age sufficiently to develop muscle before they make their way to the table.

Apparently this is what it takes to make chickens a more healthy option.

It's nice to know that the better their life is, the better they are for us too.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Frost Damage

Frost on Strawberry
As a garden writer I have regularly mentioned frosts, but last week was the first time I have really felt the effects. 

I have been sowing winter vegetables every four weeks and while I have noticed the odd frosty morning, it has had little impact on the garden. Maybe it’s the mulch, maybe the seaweed supplement I applied to the garden, but I have noticed little, if any frost damage. That was until last week when the kids told me it had been snowing.  
Frost on Lettuce

To read the full story go to garden drum by clicking here
Frost on Parsley

Friday, July 20, 2012

Long time, No blog!

Hi, I am writing my first Blog for quite some time and I must apologise!
I have not been lazy, but I have been rather preoccupied ...

My husband and I bought a farm and have been busy establishing a potager, growing our own food and looking after our ever growing menagerie of farm animals!

I have also written a new book about the entire experience which will be release in November 2012!!! Very exciting. More to come about the book closer to the release date.

So what has brought me back to the computer? I have to share the absolute thrill of gathering my first dozen duck eggs! And WOW - they really are so different to chicken or even guinea fowl eggs. They are rich and completely delicious!

We purchased the ducks in summer and have been nurturing them all this time with absolutely no eggs in return. We accepted this because they were so young; however after six months, I was beginning to regret buying such young ducks. And now, all of a sudden, we are finally reaping the rewards. Did I mention that the eggs are yum?

We selected one of each of the best egg layers (khaki campbell, indian runner & peking), according to our friendly poultry expert from Longwarry, but I can't tell who is laying and who is not because all the eggs look the same!

I do know one thing ... if you like eggs, you need to get yourself a duck or three!