Question and Answer Time Part 2


My son Adam enjoying the Greenhouse! I received an email yesterday from a long time reader Richard, who asks;Hi Gavin,I think it was during the Sustainable Homes day that I visited your place and saw your greenhouse. It took me a few months to get the motivation to set it up and a further few weeks to finally bolt it all together but it's done. As you inspired me, I tried to find out some more   [Continue Reading …]

Clay Cob Oven Progress


I inspected the oven on Thursday, and there were large cracks that had opened up in the first layer, so on Friday, Kim and Ben made up a mix of 66% sand, 33% clay and half a bucket of straw.They made a layer that was about 3cm thick all over, and we let that dry.  Well guess what?  That fixed the cracks.  So Saturday morning was the first firing of the clay oven to harden the inside   [Continue Reading …]

My Thoughts Travelling Home


My inquisitive mind was wandering all over the place on the way home tonight.  I am going to share my thought pattens, even though sometime it may seem a little out there.  Here goes trendsetters!First my thoughts were drawn to the preparation work that Kim and I have to do this weekend for Sustainable House Day.  Call it a spring clean if you will.  Weeding, tidying, building,   [Continue Reading …]

Green Podcast Interviews Wanted

I have really enjoyed the "Interview with a green blogger" series of podcasts, and would like to kick it up a notch. I am after interesting people, bloggers or non bloggers, who have made green changes in their life, and are willing to be interviewed on my podcast.  If anyone is interested please drop me an email which is listed in the left sidebar.  I believe that by sharing with others   [Continue Reading …]

Clay Oven First Layer


On Saturday, we held a clay oven workshop at our place which was well attended by members of the Melton Sustainable Living Group.  I had ten willing workers at my disposal, and I managed to occupy them all on various tasks.So from this: To this in two hours (plus one day's drying and sand removal)! So let me step you through what we did during the workshop.  However, be warned, there are   [Continue Reading …]

Cluckingham Palace Is Finished!


I spent all of today putting the finishing touches on Cluckingham Palace, and was so chuffed with the results that I took a 2 minute video of it.It now is fully enclosed with bird wire, has a 1.2 metre square dust bath , a screen door that shuts and locks, a mulberry tree, and a cool sign!All I need to do now is hook up a gutter, and plumb in the water barrel and pipe for the chicken nipples, but   [Continue Reading …]

Clay Cob Oven Flue


Well tomorrow is the big day!  Our clay cob oven workshop takes place with lots of willing participants expected to lend a hand stomping clay and sand, as well as making the oven itself.Today our builder friend installed the flue, as I didn't want to make a mistake cutting the hole in the roof.  Click to enlarge the photos.The flue is sitting on a plate made of the lid of an old BBQ that   [Continue Reading …]



As I mentioned yesterday, both Kim and Ben are not well, but never fear, I have my nurses hat on and am looking after them both.  Kim was sick of laying in bed, so I trundled her off to the lounge room, threw on the blankets, and she started watching Under The Tuscan Sun.Half way through the movie, the main character, who was eying up some hot Italian lad, was told about this wonderful drink   [Continue Reading …]

Free Loganberry Plants


About a month ago, I built this berry frame during a workshop at my home.  I needed to cut back the Thornless Loganberry that was growing in this bed, and needed to get serious about a trelis and net protection for the plant.It is just two long pieces of ACQ treated pine, with powder coated wire strung between them.  It is taller than me, and is the right size to throw a net over to keep   [Continue Reading …]

Alive, Beautiful but Hurt

I am talking about our home, Planet Earth.Whilst looking after a sick Kim and Ben (both in bed with bad colds and chest infections), I have been reading a lot of great blogs and watching inspiring videos.As a follow on from yesterday's post about the consumer culture, I felt that I needed to follow it up with something powerful, and eye opening.  Well I found it.  This video was put   [Continue Reading …]

The Irony of the Consumer Culture


I pride myself in lowering consumption every single day.  So to my surprise along comes an email like this;"Hi Gavin, Love your work on The Greening of Gavin! And I wanted to personally invite you to be one of the first Advisors on ShopSquad, a free shopping advice website where shoppers and your readers can ask Advisors (i.e. you!) for advice. If you recommend something that is purchased,   [Continue Reading …]

We Eat Weeds


Last night we had a 'weed' salad with our dinner! Now, before I go any further with this tale, let me define a weed (Collins Dictionary) Weed. noun: 1.  any plant that grows wild and profusely, esp. among cultivated plants. So really it is any plant not growing where you want it to be.  After 5 years of gardening and growing heirloom vegetables that naturally propagate by self seeding,   [Continue Reading …]

The Sign


In preparation for Sustainable House Day, I asked Kim to make a sign for Cluckingham Palace.  Something simple, and not too flash.So look what my clever wife made for us.  This sign is going straight to the pool room!  Well, not really.  I will give it a coat of marine estapol to weatherproof the text and pictures and mount it above the chicken run gate on Saturday.Chicken #1   [Continue Reading …]

TGoG Podcast 022 – Sustainable House Day 2011

The Greening of Gavin Podcast

In this podcast I talk about this years big event in the Sustainable Living calendar, namely Sustainable House Day.  It is being held on Sunday, 11th September 2011, and once again our gardens will be open to the public and proudly brought to you by the Melton Sustainable Living Group. More information can be found at For a wrap-up of the fun and games at   [Continue Reading …]

Lemonade Juice


There is nothing quite like freshly squeezed juice from freshly picked citrus.  A great reason to grow your own. We have a lemonade tree, which I believe is a cross between a lemon and an orange.  The fruit are round, yellow, and about the size of a big lemon.  Here is a picture of the tree way back in Aug '09. It is about twice the size now, but as it was so dark today, I could not get a   [Continue Reading …]

Plum Custard Tart


Kim was busy in the kitchen today, as she always is.  She whipped up this delight.Yes folks, a wonderful Plum Custard Tart for desert, and 90% local fare.  Here is the recipe that she used.  The unmodified version can be found here.Plum Custard TartIngredients (serves 8) 1 size 32 (oz) jar of home grown satsuma plums (or 8 canned plums) 1 tspn vanilla   [Continue Reading …]