When Cheese Goes Wrong


I could wax lyrical about all the cheese that I have made that went according to plan, but I don't think I have ever mentioned one that has gone terribly wrong!  This is one of those times.If you have been reading my adventures over at Little Green Cheese, you would have been following a series of posts about a Blue cheese that I have been chronicalling.  This is the final post in the   [Continue Reading …]


This is a personal tale, so please bare with me.  I need to share.A few weeks ago, a friend of mine from work passed away.  One evening he collapsed at the office, and six days later he was no longer with us.  Rob was the same age as I am.To say the least, his passing hit me pretty bad.  So bad in fact that I had to seek counselling, because when I thought about him and   [Continue Reading …]

Spring Clean


I was recently reading the current edition of ReNew magazine, which is all about sustainable living and renewable energy.  Within there was an article about Solar PV system maintenance, which I learnt a lot of information about the benefits of cleaning your panels regularly.Over the period of a year, dirt and bird droppings can build up which cannot be squirted off with just water from the   [Continue Reading …]

Spuds Ahoy


The humble potato.  It is one of the most versatile vegetables on the planet and the 3rd largest crop grown around the world.This is my second year of growing potatoes, with the first year being successful enough, so I thought that I would expand my spud growing operation this year.  This is my patch from about the same time last year.Anyway, this year I thought a bit bigger.   [Continue Reading …]

Environmentally Friendly Swimming Pool


Let me get one thing clear up front.  A normal backyard swimming pool is not very environmentally friendly.  Full stop.Ah, now I have that off my chest, the rest of this post is about how we try and minimise our environmental impact when maintaining our pool.  Our pool contains about 60,000 litres of water.  That is a lot of H2O.  As any body of water is subject to   [Continue Reading …]

All Hands On Deck!


I have been keeping this project close to my chest as I wanted to wait until it was completed before sharing it with everyone. Long time readers will know that I have a swimming pool in the backyard.  I don't write about it much, because it takes up so much room where I could be growing food and up until now it has frustrated me.  Yes folks I have even thought about converting it into a   [Continue Reading …]

Farmhouse Cheddar Video Tutorial

This is a cross post from www.littlegreencheese.com.  I believe that my video production is getting quite good, so I had to share it here as well!Friday night was cheesemaking night, and as the Farmhouse Cheddar tasted so good, that I thought I had better make a replacement toot sweet!  So as I made this cheese, I filmed it as well, and over the last few days I have been editing and   [Continue Reading …]

A Very Disturbing Smell

Strangely enough, this is not a post about politicians or climate change or anything else sustainable.  It is about a mysterious smell in our house.  Here is the story.Kim's nose is very sensitive.  On Sunday night, after we had closed up house and all the volunteers had gone home she smelt a faint odd odour in our bedroom.  All fart jokes aside, we couldn't really determine   [Continue Reading …]

Lies and Rubbish

Who is sick of the TV ad campaign by the Australian Trade and Industry Alliance?  Well I certainly am, and I don't even watch TV!  However my lovely wife Kim does, and she is disgusted with the lies and deceit contained in these ads.So to combat the rubbish offered by Australia's biggest polluters who masquerade behind the title of the so called Australian   [Continue Reading …]

Sustainable House Day 2011 – Wrap Up


Always a great event and fun was had by all!  At 10am when we opened the gates it was 10.5 degrees Celsius, and bucketing down with rain.  I just could not believe how cold it was for Spring, so cold that it hailed the day before.  It stopped raining at 11am and the sun came out of hiding.Hail, yesterday afternoonHowever the cold and wet weather that did not deter people from   [Continue Reading …]

Solar Tube


Yesterday we had a solar tube fitted.  Our main hallway is in the middle of our home, and was dark and gloomy.  As we already have a skylight in the bathroom because it too was dark but the skylight let in some heat in the summer.  We wanted to light up the hallway without using electricity during the day.So our choice was a Solatube, because it it was advertised to capture more   [Continue Reading …]

Planning Favours Coal over Wind


I was doing a bit of digging around after my post titled "Renewable Energy Regression" to find out if there were any double standards around planning regulations for coal power stations vs wind farms.Well is just so happens there is a very big double standard.  You may remember that I reported that;"the Baillieu Government announced their new wind policy – banning new wind farms in whole   [Continue Reading …]

Things You May See If You Visit on SHD


Just a little pictorial post of some of the things you may see if you visit us on Sustainable House Day. Only 5 more sleeps to go!Pretty Flowers by Kim!My power stationAbundant VegetablesSugarsnap Peas in flowerMandarinsThe berry bed and structure.DIY Drip irrigation and water harvestingOur new pool area (FSC harvested wood).BuddhaThe new wicking bedThe Cob OvenLots of fruit treesPreserves and   [Continue Reading …]

Wicking Bed #2


Last weekend, I built another wicking bed, this time a little larger than the first one.  I had to dismantle the first wicking bed that I built to make a space for the Cob Oven, which was a shame, because I am just starting to run out of space!I cheated a little and bought some kit garden beds from Bunnings, because I just did not have the time to make them up.  I managed to get them for   [Continue Reading …]

TGoG Podcast 023 – Interview with Wendy Brown

The Greening of Gavin Podcast

This podcast has gone international!  I had the pleasure of interviewing Wendy Brown from Maine, USA, who blogs at "Surviving the Suburbs", and is a published author of Surviving the Apocalypse in the suburbs - The Thrivalists guide to life without oil.  We had a great conversation about all the cool things she is doing to prepare for an unknown future without cheap oil. You can find a copy   [Continue Reading …]

The First Pizza!


Yesterday was a big day.  As you saw in the previous post, Kim and I have been working hard to get everything just right for Sustainable House Day, which is fast approaching.  But with all this work, one has to reap the rewards once in a while.I spent some time in the afternoon making a door for the cob oven and cut it to size and popped on some handles.  I used the two bits of ply   [Continue Reading …]

Sustainable House Update

Kim and I have been working our hearts out, cleaning up for Sustainable House Day,0700 Mowing the lawn with the hand mower and weeded the nature strip0800 Podcast interview with Wendy Brown from "Surviving The Suburbs" blog (to be published soon)0900 Breakfast, Museli and coffee0915 Off to the stock feed store to buy some feed for the chooks0930 Dismatled an old BBQ1000 Dimantled an old patio   [Continue Reading …]

Renewable Energy Regression

Today I read that the state government of Victoria has kicked the renewable energy industry fair and squarely in the goolies.  Not once mind you, but two kicks in the same week.A few days ago, the planning laws for Wind farms became the most restrictive in Australia.  There are some details at the Department of Planning and Community Development.  This is what Environment Victoria   [Continue Reading …]