Do we have a human mouse plague coming soon? Or, is it here already...

Are you seeing all there is to see in your vegetable patch?

A woman sits with her child overlooking the Sapa hills and rice fields in North Vietnam.

What're the main differences between biltong and beef jerky? This article explains everything.  

If you are looking for a wonderful food garden example with a historical twist then check out Harper's Mansion.


In 2015, we replaced our awful Accent ducted air-conditioning unit with an ActronAir ESP Platinum Plus system (19kW) for even more money!

Here's my story on the ridiculously high cost of installing ducted air-conditioning in your home and why I think it's STILL worth it.   

  1.   2 Comment
  2.   3130 Views
  Mark Valencia — Hi Russell, we don't find the unit is overly noisy; but, sometimes when the house is really quite you can hear the odd knocking of pipes particularly when the unit is working hard on a hot night so I do understand what you mean. Perhaps there's something the installer can do to your unit to insulate......
  Russell Smith — Hi, I recently had an Actron Platinum Plus 14kW installed, it vibrates a lot, with refrigerant piping visibly moving. I can hear refrigerant moving in the pipes. Sounds like running water. I've been told this is normal but when listening to 8.1kW, there is 0 refrigerant flow noise and vibration ......

Australian solar panel owners will be hit with a solar meter TAX starting January 1st, 2016. 

  1.   3 Comment
  2.   3385 Views
  Mark Valencia — Thank you Chris for your comments - cheers ...
  Chris — This a HUGE reason to have stand alone PV systems !, years ago a solar company sparky said to me "DONT connect a PV system while in the burbs because the local councils and state Govts will NOT let home owners have stand alone systems " without having a feedback system back into the grid ! there is ......
  Mark Valencia — Yep! Couldn't agree with me more on that one... ...

Do you have a water tank? If so, keep your water and tank clean automatically with this nifty invention! 

Fight garden pests with real live predatory insects like: predatory mites, lacewing, and ladybeetles bred for sale!

  1.   1 Comment
  2.   1852 Views
  Dorothy Kerby — Thanks Mark I have a small back yard (entire block less than 800 sq meters) and have 30 odd trees (in number not in variety lol), 9 raised beds full of vegies and the boundaries, around the fruit trees, full of vegies, herbs and beneficial to predatory insects inducing plants and flowers. We have an......

Here's a really simple recipe to add a wonderful Thai chilli flavour to home cured/grown olives.

An amazing new bee hive invention called "Flow" to revolutionise bee keeping!

  1.   2 Comment
  2.   9044 Views
  Ron — Very interesting article, but are you aware that this is an old Idea? It was first invented back in 1938, or 1939, I remember seeing one as a child long ago. It didn't work very well back then and I Highly doubt it will work well now....
  Michelle Oaks — Oh WOW! What a great invention. I certainly would love one of these :-) Thank you for sharing this information....

Native bees on bok choy flowers close yellow

Keeping native bees might be trendy but soon it may become necessary! 

  1.   6 Comment
  2.   10006 Views
  Mark Valencia — I'd be happy to help as best I can - what would you like to know?...
  Fr. Victor — My uncle and I are seriously interested in native beekeeping but we have no clue on where to start. Can you steer us in the right direction? Please, please, pretty please? With native honey on top?...
  Mark Valencia — Hi Greg, sorry mate but I edited your post above as you should not disclose personal details for public viewing over the web such as addresses etc. An alternative would be to join our forum and use our internal private conversation messaging system to ask about purchasing native bee hives. http://ww......

self sufficient house

The post answers the question: Where can I find a good place to be self-sufficient? 

How to easily make your own home-made stock cubes from cooking stock!

  1.   1 Comment
  2.   7732 Views
  Mark — Magic! Just what I needed thanks ...

Using bio detergent in your septic isn't necessary.

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Ornamental Plants for the Food Gardener - Why Grow them & What to Look for
This video shows how growing ornamental plants in the garden can be beneficial for food crops by fir...
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This video on whether the production of organic food is a scam/lie or at best a big waste of money i...

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