About me

About me? Uh….I’m a 70-something who found out about Peak Oil and realised something better be done about this energy decline thing before life descended into reality. Hence the attempt to become self-sufficient in food, water and fuelwood, before the crisis hits.

We (the Better Half & me) have a one hectare property in a south-eastern Melbourne suburb. About three-quarters of it is covered in remnant natural bushland—Heathy Woodland & Grassy Woodland plant communities. The remainder is being planted out as a food forest along permaculture lines.

Some additions to the above entry, August 2012:

About two and a half years ago, the Better Half left me to go to that Great Permaculture Garden in the Sky, so now I’m doing this thing on my own. Luckily I have good neighbours who are there when I need help with the bigger jobs.

Since doing my Permaculture Design Certificate course in 2009, I’ve realised that permaculture is all about design and I hadn’t previously put any design thought into food production, so now I’m trying to retrofit the entire thing and make a better job of it. Things are improving slowly and I’m pleased that a lot of my food is now much closer than the local supermarket. And more healthy.


26 Responses to “About me”

  1. mooimadeit Says:

    Hi there,

    I stumbled across your site today and have enjoyed reading it! I’m a new gardener so I enjoy reading blogs written by people in my local area and learning from your experiences!



  2. Denis Says:

    Thanks for your comments and I will now be able to refer to this site when I wish to clarify any of the points I missed during our discussions.


  3. Neen Says:

    i’m looking for images to use in a bushtucka atlas.
    your pic of Linum caught my eye. We are on a limited budget and need to find images that wont be too expensive to reproduce.
    may we use yours? with acknowledgment of course.

    i think what your doing is really the only valid alternative when this whole system is so very tenuous.


  4. foodnstuff Says:

    Hi Neen,
    You may use the image by all means, but if it’s for a bush tucker publication, I assume you want the Aussie species Linum marginale. If you look at the caption below the image, you’ll find it is actually Linseed, Linum usitatissimum. I couldn’t find a decent photo of L. marginale to go with it, but I was mainly talking about growing linseed anyway.


  5. brittanykatecarver Says:

    I am currently doing my honors at RMIT majoring in industrial Design. For my thesis I am looking at sustainable living through food ( well at least thats a very simplified version of how to explain it) a lot of your sites content is very interesting and help full i was wondering if you would be willing (via email) to be interviewed by myself. If yes i can very much explain more about what i am researching. I would be thankful and it would be a huge help. Not a long hefty interview but a short and sweet one.
    Many thanks for your time


  6. foodnstuff Says:

    Hi, happy to help in any way and have emailed you privately.


  7. Victoria and Murray Says:

    Hi, my partner and i are living in QLD and have been trying to find Oca to plant here for some New Zealand friends of ours, can you let me know, if we are allowed to, where we can get some cuttings/pieces that we can plant? would really appreciate any info that you could provide. Thanks you


  8. foodnstuff Says:

    Hi Victoria & Murray,

    You should be able to get oca tubers right at your back door, in Qld, I mean. Green Harvest sell them but they’re usually only available during the winter, which is when they’re harvested. Have a look at their website:



  9. Greg Rutter Says:

    Hi Guys,
    Love your site and have been a follower for some time. I was wondering if you would add our groups site http://www.lawntolunch.com into your community links area? We are a group in the Central Queensland that promotes more resilient living and food production and do a lot of similar activities to yourselves. We have also added a link to your site.



    • foodnstuff Says:

      Hi Greg, thanks for the comments and for following. I’ve added a link to your site under the blogroll listings. Like what you’re doing.


  10. fergie51 Says:

    Hi, how did you end up with the shiitake supply? I need to order some more. 🙂


    • foodnstuff Says:

      I finally got my order filled, after 3 months, only thanks to a reader who contacted the company through Facebook (I don’t do FB). No apologies from them at all. Don’t order from them…the business is being sold anyway. Apparently the people at the Otway site are pretty good; I will try them in future.

      I’m wondering if the mycelium they sent will still be viable. I can only inoculate the logs and wait and see.


  11. Robbie Says:

    saw you mentioned on Fran’s blog, so had to check your blog out-looks like I will be checking out what you do more-interesting!:-) You have a lot more space ( as Fran does) than I do, so I have had to adapt food growing to my small growing area, less than 1/3 acre which includes house and other non-living things. I love to learn from others + it sounds like you have a lot to share + I can learn from:-)


    • foodnstuff Says:

      Hi Robbie, thanks for getting in touch. I have a lot to thank Fran for 😉

      Sometimes I think less space is actually an asset…it’s easier to cope with. Hope you enjoy reading. I will bookmark your blog, too.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Robbie Says:

        as I get older in the future, I am 56-I can see the advantage of smaller vs larger..I find my smaller place a lot of work! But it keeps me healhty, too by working on it, in it, and eating some of it:-)


  12. Scotlin Conaghan Says:

    Hello there, I came across your site while looking for Squash/pumpkin called Barbara.I would to like exchange some seeds with you if you have any to spare.I collect rare seeds and so far I have not been able to get that one from overseas.you can contact me via above email address .Looking t forward to hearing from you Thanks.Mrs.S.Conaghan.


    • foodnstuff Says:

      Hi Scotlin, I’m sorry I can’t help you with Barbara pumpkin seeds right now, as I only have a few seeds left. I sowed some last season, but the vine died before producing any fruit. I’ll be sowing the rest of the seeds this season and hoping for a crop. If I do have any seeds to spare, I’ll contact you.


  13. karencheah Says:

    Hi, I stumbled on your site while looking for poly pipe chook house. Your design looks good and I wonder how it’s doing now? I would like to know how you secure the star pickets in the ground? And what sort of netting did you put over the structure to make it foxproof? Thanks for sharing.


    • foodnstuff Says:

      Hi karencheah, the chookhouse is still going strong so far. I just hammered the star pickets into the ground, didn’t cement them, and so far nothing’s happened. I suppose they will rust eventually, though. I used welded mesh square netting with a one inch gap, not the usual chicken wire stuff (with the diamond shaped holes), as I was told foxes can chew through it. If you’re in Australia Bunnings sell it. And I buried it under the ground to a distance of about a foot from the edge so they couldn’t dig under and I planted chook food plants there as well so the chooks could eat them through the wire.


      • karencheah Says:

        Thanks for your quick response! I will attempt this for sure. We are actually quite close geographically in the outer eastern suburbs of Melbourne. I hope you won’t mind if I come back to you for advice when I work through this. I just saw that you’ve ‘retired’ your blog 😦 I can’t believe I didn’t find it earlier – there’s a wealth of information here! It will be on my reading list. Cheers, Karen


        • foodnstuff Says:

          Hi Karen, sorry you’ve found me at a time when I’ve just retired the blog but as you say, there’s plenty to read 😉
          If you have any questions, don’t ask through the comment boxes because I think they might not get to me if they are on old posts. Instead, you can email me privately at bcourtatalphalinkdotcomdotau. (put in the dots and the ‘at’ sign where appropriate). Maybe do a test email just to see if it works! And if you ever want to visit (I’m just a few km south east of Frankston), you’re very welcome.


  14. John Weber Says:

    You asked for a button on Facebook to my website. I don’t know how. I will try to find out. Thanks.


  15. John Weber Says:

    Your site is wonderful. Please to find it.
    Your are welcome to use any of my essays. I am honored. Thanks.


  16. John Weber Says:

    duh, first thing in the morning – you are not your.


  17. bananabenda Says:

    Hi, I am trying to change the email address that you are sending the newsletter to, but I can’t find where I can do that. It is doing my head in trying to navigate the wordpress site as I am not very IT savvy. Could you please change it for me, without posting this comment? I am assuming you monitor all this before posting them. I would like to change the ending of my address from @iprimus.com.au to @gmail.com.au Thanks, and sorry to do it this way, but I can’t work out how to do it myself. Cheers, Kerrie


    • foodnstuff Says:

      Hi bananabenda, I think you’ve come to the wrong place….I don’t send out a newsletter….sorry I can’t help. Maybe try Google?


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