Hi there!

I’m slowly working towards some simplicity within the home, but hey! It’s a lot of hard work!

I love having a go at growing my own veges and always use herbs fresh from my garden. I try to plant from seed whenever I can and have learnt to save and share my own seed for the following year. I make Award Winning preserves and pickles; and my husband brews Award Winning boutique beers as well. I love to stockpile and try to limit quick trips to the shops. I dabble in bread making and enjoy making my own stocks too.

I enjoy feeding my family good hearty meals, nothing like those tiny restaurant stacks you have to look for on the plate. My husband maintains our vehicles and machinery and we both enjoy fabricating on a small scale mostly relying on metal & timber recyclers for any materials needed.

While I don’t always have time to reply to comments, I love reading them. I hope you enjoy your stay and I hope you learn something new because I love sharing what I learn, and I'm always looking for another new skill myself.


Thursday, September 29, 2011

Milo Biscuits & Wollongong Community Garden Work-shops!

As promised, here is my yummy recipe for Milo Biscuits, although we don't buy Milo, as I can't justify the speed at which it disappears in our house, not to mention the price.

My Mum goes to Bingo three times a week when she is up to it...and she always picks foods her grandchildren (My DS16 & 20) will enjoy. Usually it's Milo, or M&M Buckets. If we have no Milo in the house, she likes to select the Milo for the boys as she knows how much they love it. I like to keep some aside in a jar that they will never find....this way it lasts a little longer, and Mum keeps some over in her kitchen as well.

I think I found this recipe back in a That's Life magazine when DS20 was little..so I can't give thanks to the person who sent it in, but they sure taste good. Too good in fact.!!!

As usual, I make a double batch so they can last [a bit] longer.

Milo Biscuits....
When it gets too thick to mix, and your arm is falling off
What do you grab? A potato masher of-course. 

125 grams butter or margarine
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1 3/4 cups of Self Raising Flour (sifted)
1/2 cup Milo, plus a little extra for coating
1/2 teaspoon Vanilla Extract

Beat together the butter and sugars....until light and fluffy. Then beat egg and stir through the butter and sugar mix. Mix until well combined. I would add a little at a time of the egg, and mix each bit in before adding more. It tends to look like it will split.

Mix flour and Milo together in a separate bowl.
Use a tablespoon to measure out the dough.

Fold the flour mixture into the egg mixture....This is where you need your muscles...my Mum's old Sunbeam Electric Hand Beater just up and quit.....It was a Wedding Present of hers. (they got married in 1954).

If the dough is not too sticky, you could knead it a little on the bench....add a little extra flour to make it workable.

Roll into balls using a tablespoon as a measure. Then roll each ball in the Milo before putting them on a tray. Flatten with a fork and bake in a moderate oven for 12 to 15 minutes. They will be soft like an Anzac Biscuit when they come out of the oven, so allow them to cool slightly before transferring them on to a cake rack.

Finding your local Community Gardens.

I encourage each and every one of you to locate a Community Garden in your area. I have recently joined my local Community Garden in Barrack Heights and have now attended a no-dig Veg garden workshop at the Wollongong Community Garden. 

Source There I am in the middle
Deep in thought!


Watering each layer is important

Watering in the Molasses
We used about 15 of these watering cans for this sized bed.

Adding Comfrey leaves harvested from
the garden a few days before.

Pocket planting uses your Compost wisely

Dig down until you reach the original soil layer
then add the compost in that pocket

Decide where each seedling will go.
Some seedlings will be smaller than others, the pocket will also provide shade and wind protection while it is growing into a stronger plant. The whole no dig bed concept is truly amazing. While you provide enough water through each layer to help with breaking them down, the water is also providing enough moisture to grow the seedling into a lovely mature plant. All that is needed for the life of the plant....has already been added to the garden bed. It can't get much better than that!

Over the course of the day, we split into two groups and each group built two 'no dig garden beds'.

 Check out some more amazingly healthy plant life here......

Here below, they have a huge long row of veg planted, and they are all very healthy. The volunteers are doing wonderful stuff with their composting and soil building....It shows in the health of their plants.

Directly behind the long row of veg is a Native hedge consisting of many different Australian Natives. These trees all produce a thick hedge and lots of lovely flowers to attract bees and birds. The bees pollinate the veg flowers and the birds eat the insects that like to hang around the veg. The hedge also acts as a huge wind barrier to protect the enormous food forest behind the hedge. If you didn't know the food forest was there....you might miss it. 

Entering the food forest, you will find many varieties of fruit trees as well as other edibles. 

Sweet Potato on the Right
as a mulch to hold water in the soil
and also a great ground breaker if the soil is very clay like.

Recycled Eucalyptus mulch for the paths

These large Olive barrels hold the lovely smelly liquid fertilizer
and are scattered around the gardens.
You don't have to walk far to pop the weeds in the barrels.
Nothing leaves the garden.
Here are some of the books that the Volunteers recommend. Aaron suggests not looking in the big book stores, but scouting around at op-shops or book fairs. It's the older books that were written by people with much knowledge that you need to look out for, especially if you can find any written by local authors. What better knowledge can you gather, than from a local author? 

This is only a sample of the library that Aaron has gathered....Instead of writing down Book titles and Author's names...I just take a photo....it's much easier...much quicker....and if you want the ISBN number just take a photo of that too before you take a photo of the next book. A visual is always a good thing.

Here is the kitchen the team are working on. I think it is fantastic! 
As the council has construction rubble, they are dropping it off for them....using only donated building materials takes time, but boy! What a kitchen it will be once it is finished.

I hope you enjoyed 'walking' around the Wollongong Community Garden as much as I did...it shows the huge potential that our local community garden has to offer. 

Look around for your local community garden...If you don't have one, maybe you could consider starting one up!

Enjoy the Milo biscuits too!


  1. Those Milo cookies look great! I grew up drinking Milo in the Philippines, but since moving to the US, it's been a challenge to find the stuff. I recently spotted a tin of it at an Asian market and thought about buying one just for the nostalgia, but now I think I'll snag one to try your recipe. Thanks!

  2. Oh it's just brilliant, Narelle...what a great post..so inspiring too

    Love Sue

  3. I just love your garden posts. No detail is too small to explain - I have lots to learn. When growing up, our gardens were nothing like this, and I'm really appreciating your methods and photos. Thanks.

    brenda from arkansas

  4. That is all so cool! The fact that your mum picks up treats for her g'sons, despite the fact they're nearly adults, I love that! And the garden, wow. Recently hooked up to a community garden near us, a permaculture garden, still feeling my way, it's totally a all-in-together style of garden, no individual plots, but I think I think that's ok with me.

    Just back for 2 days from school hols in country Vic, I get back to find Melb has just about been washed away! My fledgling shared garden is ok by the looks of it though. There's no www where we are staying, every single mod con you can think of, but no web. Which is ok, I'm weaning myself off it, but I do miss a good blog read. Cant wait to go through yours when we're back for good!

  5. Louzee: My boys wouldn't cope if Milo wasn't available, but they all know its not a general item in Our house.

    Sue: Thanks, we took home lots is inspiration to use at home and at our local community garden.

    Brenda: Thanks, who would have thought I would be writing about gardens...lol....I do like to include many pictures....and always try to be clear in explaining things.

    Cat J B: I checked out the price of those tubs of M&M tubs were the other day, they are almost $14...I nearly fell on the floor with shock.
    That's excellent that you have hooked up with your local Community Garden .....I too love a good blog read. Thanks for reading my blog.

  6. Hi do you know that shellharbour council is holding a two day intro to permaculture workshop and its free. Don't know if there are spots left though they advertised it about a week or two ago. Thought you might be interested. I enjoy your blog and live in Oak Flats

    Cheers Kaz

  7. Thanks Kaz....I'm pretty busy at the moment and have my hands full with other things right now...maybe they will run another one in the future.....My nan came from Oak Flats...she lived in Lyn Street when she was alive.


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