Pete the Permie Copyright © 2019
The funded PDC 2020 @ Monbulk PDC 147 hrs is now open with names being taken via Emerald community house for 2020.
The Kinglake class has transferred to Kushala Prem running this he has been a tutor for years on all 3 PDC we run, many tutors are all still to teach their sections on this class starting Sept 3rd, Peter & Silvia will sill run some sessions and help get it transferred over.
On Sunday December 1st in 2019 10-4pm we will run our usual day class on the basics of fermentation, covering what are REAL cider apples and Perry pears, then make a REAL cider from scratch ( apples) with all the equipment you might use at home, then a dessert fruit wine ( like an 18% fortified one) and then taste up to 20 ciders from round the world.
3 new classes added so can choose from 15 in the year, these classes all come with full Notes and we will tour the collection of over 1000 fruiting varieties here to assist with learning the skills to manage your own trees using Organic and Biodynamic methods so NO chemical use needed, most management of weeds, pests are done by the system reducing 90% of the workload By Design.
Classes are suitable for Beginners, seasoned growers and for those who have completed a PDC somewhere in the world this can add real skills to fit with what you have learnt already.
Any class can be done for $95 each with class times 10-4pm onsite in Monbulk, we also have special deals so if you pay up front for 4 classes you get the 5th one free, (we let you upgrade after one single class too) you can also upgrade to the certificate level with a second set of 5 classes, once you have completed any 10 from the 13 fruit classes offered you will receive a certificate of Organic Orchard Management, or if you have a PDC this becomes an Advanced PDC level 3.
This class now joins our 14 fruit classes and will be a full day in 2019 see advance PDC tab for up dated dates
in 2019 we now run a full day class on Avo growing 10-4pm , if enough people email with interest I might run it again in Oct/Nov 2019.
So After own successful 1.5hr talk at Diggers seeds last month 2018 ( 3 times the people of what the class could hold) we have decided to run a 3 hour class onsite on our farm where we have been growing avo’s since 1998, our oldest tree yielded nearly 400 fruit this season and we have collected 14 varieties here , we will look at these trees and the systems you might need to grow them successfully at your place. we will dispel the large amount of myths about avo growing, why not to grow a pip, a book was written in 1984 on avo growing In Melbourne it covers a few vars but we have been trialing many more here since then.
Link below has the newest 2021 winter listing for nursery, for scion change tabs in Excel sheet to see other info and lists
By Peter Allen- “Pete the Permie”
In the last issue we looked at the proper English and French cider varieties, these are ideal for making single or mixed varietal ciders, but chances are the glut of fruit you have at home are the well known cooking or eating varieties.What do you need:a vessel to put the cider into, such as a beer brewing kit (these have a nice big opening at the top to make it easy for cleaning) a wooden barrel, a demijohn or a 20ltr plastic water container will do.Cider is only a 2 stage process vs. 8 for beer from scratch, apples should be left (about 2 weeks) till they are going wrinkly this increases the % sugar content which lifts your alcohol %, if you use a mix of eating and cooking you will get a reasonable balance of sugar and acid all you need to add is the tannin.
When I moved to our property “Telopea Mtn Permaculture” in Monbulk Vic in 1994 we started by planting about 100 fruit trees in our food forest/chook run immediately and then 50-100 more per year since. Friend’s commented “What will you do with all the surplus fruit” my reply was I would worry about that when I got there! 13 years later I am increasing the plantings as fast as I can to keep up production.
One of the lovely side issues with growing your own fruit at home is that you often end up with a surplus or lots of fruit that you cant sell, even at the local market, this may be due to bird pecks, codling moth affected, huge amounts of small fruit because you did not thin them when small or just plain ugly looking fruit. Don’t despair you have many options, one is to preserve or make jams and condiments but another is to turn this excess in to alcohol.
My first attempt with help from our friend Adam was to make plum wine; it was excellent, sweet and thick like port. I gathered I could do better sharing a bottle of wine with my friends than 1 kg of plums. Over the next two years we made 9 different wines from fruit and our first batch of cider, soon some of my old heritage varieties of apples starting to bear fruit and we had the opportunity to increase our production of cider using some of the old English and French proper cider apples.
How to make cider at home it is very easy just using a demijohn or a beer making outfit, details on how will be explained in Part 2 of this article next issue.
But first you need to gather the ingredients- ie. apples and good yeast.