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April 2023 Newsletter

Cooler winds, fresh mornings and evenings growing darker earlier.... April has definitely arrived. Maybe you have not slowed down yet in the garden because you are busy seed saving and sowing winter veggies. Or maybe you have finished all your major tasks for the start of the season. Whichever it is, we have articles in this edition which will get your mind thinking, a few more tasks you maybe had not thought about and a few recipes to try. I am still picking raspberries and for this I am grateful, especially on some of these colder days.

The next Produce Share for the 3 Rivers Hinterland is this Friday 14 April at Duns Creek and then on the 28 April at Anambah.

Click on the heading to go straight to those articles or make yourself a brew, sit down and make yourself comfortable for this month's read.

HOGS 2023 Calendar

April Field Day

Principles in Action - Accept and Apply Feedback: Resilience

That Herb Guy - Weeds Part 2 Dandelions and Root Tea

March Field Day Report Seed Libraries Farmgate Spotlight - Good Growers

Other events

Jobs in the garden

Recipe of the month


If you would like to contribute to the newsletter or have a notice or event you would like to submit, please email it to

Melissa Fogarty (Newsletter Editor)


We are almost ready to share the whole year with you. How exciting. We have our AGM in October, another workshop planned for November and then it is Christmas party time.

11 March

Heidi's place


15 April

Purple Pear Farm



Four Acre Farm


17 June

Rainbird Farm

Bobs Farm/Medowie

15 July

Maplewood Permaculture Farm


12 August

Dianella Animal Sanctuary

Martins Creek

16-17 September

Living Smart Festival

Lake Macquarie








Christmas Party



We are in the process of updating the growing guide on the website. Stay tuned for more in this space soon.

Sow: Asparagus, alyssum, bergamot, billy buttons, broad beans, broccoli, brussel sprouts, cabbage, calendula, carrots, cauliflower, celtuce, chives, coriander, cornflowers, delphinium, echinacea, everlasting daisy, hollyhocks, kale, kohlrabi, leek, lettuce, onion, parsley, parsnip, peas, poppy, potatoes, pyrethrum, radish, rhubarb, rocket, shallots, silverbeet, spinach, spring onion, swede, sweet pea, tansy, thyme, turnips.

Other jobs to do:

  • Gather autumn leaves for compost and ground cover

  • Clean up cages and trellises from beans, tomatoes etc. Cleaning is important to remove diseases.

  • Take the ferns off the top of the your asparagus, feed and mulch

  • Start seed saving spent plants

  • Water deeply veggies and trees and maintain mulch cover

  • Weed regularly and remove them before they go to seed

  • Take hardwood cuttings now and store wrapped in the fridge or in moist sand

  • Remove rootstock growth from fruit trees, considering turning it into your own root stock

  • Ensure trees fruiting continue to receive good water

  • Remove fallen leaves from fruit trees in the case they are harbouring disease

  • Pot up or plant out your winter flowering annuals such as pansies

  • Plant spring flowering bulbs such as jonquils, freesias and ranunculus

  • Watch out for mildew on roses

  • Continue sowing winter crops

  • Prepare soil for the bare fruited trees you have on order

  • Sow your garlic

  • Divide your perennial flowers such as daylillies

  • Harvest and preserve your bounty if you cannot eat or share it

  • Take stock of your tools and begin listing which tool tasks need to be completed

  • Review what has been successful or otherwise over the spring and summer season


Purple Pear Farm have generously invited Hunter Organic Growers and Permaculture Hunter for a day of Indigenous food. The Slow Foods Hunter Valley Group has installed a Bush Tucker Garden in the grounds at Purple Pear and the garden has thrived through drought and flooding rain. They would love to see people come and look and be part of a discovery or reawakening of the flavours and textures of our food heritage.

Purple Pear Farm, HOGS and Permaculture Hunter are excited to welcome Bec Morris from Range View permaculture to give us some firsthand insight into these first nation’s food plants and their uses.

Bec has a deep passion for permaculture, Aussie native plants, Bush Tukka, connecting to country and integrating Aboriginal Lore into all aspects of her life. She is generously looking forward to sharing her culture, having a yarn and paly with us all at Purple Pear Farm.

On the day, we intend to prepare some of the plants into a finished product for sampling. An exciting opportunity arises to have a discussion on the sovereignty of these foods and how we can perhaps avoid exploitation by colonial thinking on possession and marketing of these important plants and processes.

Linda from Oz Tukka will join us on the day for the conversations and have their plants and products for sale..

We ask that you be here at 10am for morning tea with a 10.30 start with tours of the garden and a talks by Bec and Mark, before we break for lunch and launch into an afternoon of making, sampling and discussion.


Submit an article here

Principles in Action - Accept and Apply Feedback: Resilience

Each month, Will from Maplewood Permaculture will be sharing an example of permaculture principles in action from their farm. The principles are integrated concepts, illustrating how they apply several in concert when decision making.

In a climate where it seems like we are lurching from one issue to another, we need to consider ways to bring resilience to our communities. It is our ability to accept and apply feedback that is perhaps the most integral permaculture principle of all.

Accepting and applying feedback, and participating in self-regulation. These principles of permaculture are significant to master. Natural, organic, systems self-regulate according to environmental feedback all the time. It is how we arrived at this moment of time, observing flora and fauna well-adapted to the conditions of their environment. The systems around our gardens do the same, such as dying back or not fruiting, we must accept this feedback and build it into our ever-changing analysis of our site, working on better understanding the characteristics of the garden that lead to the outcome. It is from that vantage point that we can go about making the least change for the greatest effect.

The opposite approach is one that has plagued gardening for a long time. It is the brute-force, human dominant urge to forge ahead with a plan, and employ (usually non-biological) resources such as pesticides, mountains of inputs such as fertilisers and lime to drag the garden into what the gardener wants it to be, despite what the plants were saying. Thankfully, this is changing and this closed mindset is opening up to possibilities.

There are countless examples of designs, relationships, and other endeavours that have failed due to a closed mindset. By this, I mean an inability to recognise a mistake, failure to see potential for improvement, or refusal to swallow the fact that accepting another opinion will make our own idea better. When it comes down to it, all of these - inability, failure and refusal - are limits imposed by our own thoughts, and can be overcome.

The lens we view the world thorough is shaped by many factors, many outside of our own control. We can of course take off the glasses. Many industries, particularly the education sector, now frequently reference a growth mindset. Coined by researcher Carol Dweck, the term is about looking forward, learning from mistakes and accepting failures on the path to achieving a goal. It is your mindset that is often the only difference between a situation that you consider having been successful over one that, left as it was, remained a failure. Had you kept refining the ideas behind the failure, eventually you may have been successful.

Resilience is ingrained in the ethics and principles of permaculture, a movement really about two things; stewarding our planet regeneratively (Earth Care) and building resilient cultures (People Care and Fair Share). Each of these requires a mindset focused on potential. I use this word carefully, in preference to other words such as growth, problem-solving, or solutions, which are frequently used within the permaculture lexicon, because they are words that are symptomatic of, and contribute to, the situation of global unease we find ourselves in. Instead, I think potential gives us the space we need.