Coffee Ground to Ground

“I have been collecting used coffee grounds since about November 2010. I haven’t used a huge amount, probably 30 Kilos (at one stage I hauled a 10kg bag home). But even this has been enough to see the results in the garden! No more ants- they had been eating out the root systems from many of my plants and when I added coffee grounds to the garden they stopped immediately. I have also found plants have shot up and are full of colour.”

“I have found that pests like ants, snails and slugs stay away as well as my cat! The cat seems to think my garden is her personal litter box and kept digging up plants as well. Since putting the used coffee grounds on the garden I haven’t found anything disturbed.”

Did you know that coffee grounds are a fantastic compost material that are free to collect and use?

The Ground to Ground website caters for this opportunity, by delivering news, views, research, and general information on the reuse of coffee grounds for compost and gardening. Of the tonnes of used coffee grounds that are discarded each day, only a small amount is collected for reuse – which is a real pity considering the good that can come from a group effort.

Recycling coffee grounds would have to be one of the easiest ways to make a difference, and for anyone interested in gardening, composting, vermiculture, or just environmental awareness, the Ground to Ground website can show you how to get involved for all our benefit.
Please help spread the word about this great initiative and tell your barista about it at your local coffee bar or cafe.

The Ground To Ground Map – Find Used Coffee Grounds

20 Ways to resuse coffee grounds and tea leaves – Treehugger

Future Farmers – Costa Georgiadis – TED video

Costa Georgiadis describes the influence of his family on his love of gardening. I love the example of the old people’s home next to the school garden and the potential interactions between the two. Costa reminds us that there is no such thing as rubbish – we need to think of it as resource recovery.

He ends his inspiring talk with the beautiful quote:

“The joy is not in things, it is in you… “

The Permaculture Path to Sustainability

The Permaculture Path to Sustainability illustrates the steps we can take to transition to a life with a smaller footprint on the earth.

When I was completing my Permaculture Design Certificate (PDC), I wanted a simple way to plan the future of our house and garden. I was feeling a little overwhelmed by all the different ideas buzzing around in my head. I needed to capture these and create a clear plan of attack.

I started by writing down all of the elements found in a typical permaculture garden and divided them into different categories. The categories are food production, fauna, practices, flora, energy, water, and waste.

I then sorted the elements out in to levels. Each level reflects an increase in the level of difficulty, commitment and/or expense.

  1. Level 1 is what you may find in an average suburban backyard.
  2. Level 2 are practices and elements found in a more sustainable household. Perhaps the owners have been influenced by a book or gardening show on TV, or have been involved in a PermaBlitz. Only a few of the categories are closed loops.
  3.  Level 3 are practices and elements which are found in households dedicated to resilience, self-sufficiency, and sustainability. The owners view their property as a system. These households may be completely off-the-grid.

I love to see concepts come alive as a diagram, so I created a colourful table to illustrate “The Permaculture Path to Sustainability”:

Level 3
Food Production
  • Vegetables beds (with annuals)
  • Fruit trees
  • No-dig garden
  • Mandela and key hole beds
  • Herb spiral
  • Seed saving
  • Bush tucker (native) plants
  • Exotic edible plants
  • Nut trees
  • Perennials
Fauna
  • Native plants
  • Bird bath
  • Nesting box
  • Messy space and logs (for lizards etc)
  • Bee hive
  • Chickens
  • Fodder plants
Practices
  • Mulching
  • Companion plants
  • Crop rotation
  • Crop succession
  • Greenhouse
  • Green manure
  • Shade house
Flora
  • Native plants
  • Wind break
  • Fire break
  • Trellising
Energy
  • Energy efficient bulbs and appliances
  • Insulation
  • Solar power hot water and energy
  • Wood fired oven
Water
  • Buckets
  • Gray water hose
  • Drip system
  • Water tank
  • Grey water system
  • Pond
  • Swales and rain pits
Waste
  • Reusable containers & bags
  • Recycling
  • Compost
  • Bokashi
  • Worm farm
  • Composting toilet
  • Living mulch

Where is your household on the “Permaculture Path to Sustainability”?

Are you doing well in one category and neglecting another?