Sustainable House Day Darwin

Sustainable house day is in Darwin and its on Sunday 8th September. This day show cases new designs and retro fit suburban houses that have features making them more sustainable through power and water use and in some cases, like our place creating sustainablility through community.

There are 5 houses around the Darwin and Northern suburbs including our place, so come along and have a look, its freeSHD poster 2

The Houses are-

99 Alawa CrescentAlawa – A well designed “old school” house with added features including, solar, water harvesting, innovative recycling and permaculture gardens.

23 Styles StAlawa – Focus on edible and cooling garden features, recently renovated to maintain as much original material as possible,  passive cooling, and cross breeze. Solar electricity providing most of household needs.

14 Kapalga St, Tiwi – An example of guerilla solar and how to live sustainably in a rental property.

13 Jacksonia Circuit, Nightcliff – Architect and Eco designed, the “Pink House” is a prototype for tropical suburban housing on smaller blocks.

155 Flynn Circuit, Bellmack – This house could be mistaken for a typical suburban home but with a few thoughtfuly designed features it is transformed into a house that never needs to turn on the aircon.

Just go along and get a tour between 10 and 2pm!



What’s Growing in the garden of number 99 (now)

Well considering it is peak season right now for growing and I was hoping our garden would show case what you could do on a small block, the garden could be doing better. The important things that maybe out of whack are the right amount of water and good soil composition with heaps of nutrients. We keep re -mulching our slightly raised beds with manure mulch from the dump at Shoal Bay, Seasol (seaweed liquid fertiliser) and our own chicken poo and then adding hay from Shulker’s farm to reduce water evaporation.


The tomatoes are shot, even though we put them in as fairly large plants, but hey we have HEAPS of chillies, doing really well. After weeding out sweet potato vine we found this amazing pineapple on its way.. and after having them planted from tops, this is the first one to get big after 3 years, it’s so colourful.

pineapple close The cucumbers are doing really well up their arched trelice and we’ve had about 5 pretty biggies so far. We also have a lot of snake and wing beans, eggplants, spinaches and some great rocket, nothing else too amazing, a few zinnia flowers, dry season herbs and of course our wonderful verge garden..


And as always heaps of bananas from our washing machine and shower banana circles, as modelled hear by amazing number 99 residents Jon and Hannah, who are cutting them down (excuse the undies!). After cutting them you need to cut the whole stem down so the energy goes to the other plants and it can be used as mulch. We then hang them on the steps to ripen and try and get them before the birds. Great in smoothies and all kinds of goodies and I reckon in the 3 and half years we have been planting the garden from no bananas we have grown over 100 bunches!

banana harvest

Cool Beets for a hot place!

I am so happy to get into these beets! Trying to eat just locally grown food I do not often eat beetroots as they are pretty hard to grow in the hot climate, but luckily thanks to Ronnie,  a grower in Howard Springs who uses no sprays and manure fertilisers I got hold of these (with Radishes and more!). Of course we are only blessed with these goodies during the cooler dry season.

beet hand2Ronnie grows spray free Asian greens, salad greens, radishes and cucumbers.

table beetsAnd so many things to do with all these delicious leaves and roots. Beets can be made into soup with ginger, juice, risotto and so much more. I roasted these wee sweet beets with olive oil, salt pepper and balsamic vinegar and put them into a salad with amazing greens from Aweganic gardens, local herbs including dill and mint, walnuts and quinoa (pre cooked in stock and olive oil stirred through). You can use any grains or nuts and add goat cheese for a delicous combination. Beets are a great source of manganese and folate.

beetroot slad

I also made a pretty yummy beetroot dahl as an experiment and that went down really well, just like making a normal dhal but adding small beetroot pieces and local tomatoes. I used mung beans and yellow split peas but any will do!

Enjoy while you can, they add so much colour to dinner (PS Ronnie sells through Greenies Real food in Rapid Creek, or if you are beeting it you may have grown your own!)