The Ground to Ground Primer – Coffee Grounds for the Garden

Using Coffee grounds in compost

Ground to Ground

coffee logoMaking a difference, one latte at a time

Used Coffee Grounds (UCG) have been used on plants and in compost for hundreds of years.

Somewhere along the way most of us gave it away, stopped growing our own food, and relied on an increasingly effective industrialised effort to provide food to the table.

Most of us are totally dependant on food production systems which exclude us from all but the final step of consumption – We buy and consume only the end products, and if for whatever reason the shelves become empty, the only thing left to do is starve.

I wanted some measure of control over how my food is produced, while appreciating the environmental footprint of doing it.

The first step was to start improving the quality of my soil through compost, fertilizer, and vermicast. This is when I discovered an almost limitless and cost free additive to…

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Looking after your Christmas Ham

Put a cotton pillowcase in a bowl of water with a good splash of vinegar.

Wring out excess water.

Keep ham in this rinsing out bag in vinegar and water every day.

Once it starts to get to the end. Slice up left over put into ziplock bags and freeze small quantities to use in a myriad of meals.

Use the bone to make my Dad’s favourite and mine pea and ham soup.

Fried rice
Macaroni cheese
Omelettes and frittatas
Ham and eggs
Baked potatoes with ham and cheese
Ham cheese toasties

Jamie Oliver’s Jerk Ham

This will be the 3rd Christmas in a row we’ve cooked Jamie’s Christmas recipes. The Jerk ham is my favourite.


I love my Christmas leg of ham. It starts here a full Leg and ends with the bone cooked into pea and ham soup.



My butcher cures their own Hams

Hinterland Choice Meats

Hinterland Choice Meats


8 Cloves Garlic

2 Onions cut into quarters

8 Scotch Bonnet Chillis seeds and all

Bay leaves
2 tbs cinnamon
2 tbs allspice
2tbs Nutmeg
1 tbs whole cloves

1tbs Sea salt
1tbs. Black Pepper

Bunch of thyme

125ml  Malt vinegar

Ham Skin peeled off and ScoredFood process into a paste. Don’t worry if it’s really hot because it’s just on the edges of the ham.

Because the ham is so large, I usually double the mixture. Any left over can be used with fish or chicken.

Peel skin off Ham
Criss cross ham all over

Pour over seasoning

Bake at 180 for 2 h0urs basting every 30 mins

Baked HamRum and Orange Marmelade20131224-221829.jpg



250ml Rum

Orange marmelade


Mix Marmelade and Rum together. Baste Ham every 5 -6 mins for another 30 mins. Until the coating is crisp and glazed.

Mangos bagged, no nets

This year instead of netting the tree we have placed bags over the fruit.

2 reasons.

The first is bats won’t get caught. We did have one last year that we were able to release. This year there will be nothing to catch them in.

The 2nd is fruit fly. For the first time this year we have had a bit of fruitfly in some of the tomatoes. I want to protect the mangos but I am concerned I’ve left it a bit late. There is nothing to do now, but feed the tree and wait.


Food that’s Free & Fresh

Last time I bought spring onions I cut the roots off and planted them in the garden. Voila from the root has grown a 2nd spring onion 2 for the price of one


Feeding the Mango Tree

The fruit is growing nicely on the Mango Tree. It doesn’t look as if we are having any fungal problems at all.  I decided rather than spray with Mancozed I would spray with a food. I used a sea mineral spray that I was given. Normally I would use seasol or thrive whatever I had.

We have had plenty of rain lately so the tree doesn’t need water.

It’s interesting where the fruit is growing on the tree. The mangos are all on the old growth, not the new growth. The tree is a good size now.  Mango trees grow about 1/2 metre a year.  I think one more year then it will be time to start pruning the tree to keep it a manageable size.



How to Build a Pond from Tires

I’d like to try this, I think its a great idea. I used some tyres to hold back the soil on my last no dig garden, if I had seen this first I would have cut the tops off the tyres. It’s a much better result.

Ground to Ground

Build a pond for frogs or fish or fun

If you want to get the most from your garden, then find a place for a pond or two.

Not only can you use a pond to attract frogs and beneficial insects; water is a very effective place to grow food, and according to those involved in an aquaculture, more effective than a soil based equivalent.

This article is not about the benefits of incorporating water into your garden, but rather a practical guide on how to build a pond with car or truck tires. Having done this twice now, I can point out some of the things done wrong along the way, and hopefully step you in the right direction.

But first, let’s take a moment to admire the finished product (just click on that arrow to start the video):

Choosing the Correct Tyre

The first step is to get…

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New Tomato Bed

I was given a box of Heritage Tomato Seedlings, Black Russian, Black Krim and Rouge de Marmande. What an amazing Blessing.  But I didn’t have garden space, so time to extend the garden bed. I dug holes in the grass, because I wanted to plant the tomatoes deep. They were already quite leggy and I wanted to make sure I gave them the best chance of survival.  Six barrowloads of soil from the back corner of the garden where I’d had multiple compost heaps. And the tomatoes are planted.  Stakes are in ready for the new growth.  All we need to do now is water them.

Lawn that needs to disappear

Lawn that needs to disappear

Tyres down, Wood surround, Holes dug, Garden started.
Tyres down, Wood surround, Holes dug, Garden started.

Black Russian Tomatoes and Black Krim Tomatoes
Black Russian Tomatoes and Black Krim Tomatoes



Making soap for the first time

simple soap making


Soap is not hard to make as long as you get yourself very organised before you begin. It only takes a couple of hours to make a decent batch of soap.  I used  lye, lard, coconut oil and water, then added lavender for fragrance. After reading all the sites you sent me to, this weekend I began the practical research in making Lavender Soap for Charlotte.

soap-025First I made a Cold Process soap.  I added the lye to the water  and stirred it then added this to the fats and stirred that with the stick blender, it came to trace very quickly (Trace is when your stirring stick leaves a trace in the pudding like mixture) so I poured it into the mold and wondered why it had been so easy. After reading a number of other recipes I realised I had done piles of stuff wrong.  I had forgotton to take the…

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Biodispersal: Another word for the dictionary

Much food for thought here. GM is promoted to us as a way to feed the worlds population. What is failed to point out is that there is plenty of food in the world, it is simply not distributed evenly.

Reading Jerry’s article it seems to me that we are better to encourage biodiversity than have to deal with biodispersal.

Jerry Coleby-Williams

A student at Dekin Uni is writing about GM foods. She wanted my opinion, so here is my reply – it was published eight years ago in response to an opinion piece written by Jennifer Marohasy (a member of the Institute of Public Affairs, a pro-industry lobby group) in the Courier Mail…

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