Mark Valencia

Articles by this author

The Raised Garden Bed Revolution in Backyard Vegetable Growing

About 8 years ago, when I first started creating regular content on backyard vegetable growing in raised beds (particularly the high sided ones) there wasn't much interest. However, these days there are plenty more people who have joined the raised bed "revolution" and realise this method of food gardening is the best.  Initially, I found (to

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Go Jam Your Electricity One-Off Payment Up Ya Clacker Coalition Government!

In a spectacular admission of failed energy policy over the past 6 years, the Federal Coalition Government in Australia announced today a one-off cash payment in the upcoming budget to help people pay their skyrocketing electricity bills.  This "energy assistance payment" of $75 for singles and $125 for couples will go to pensioners, veterans, and

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Our Kid’s School Shuns Climate Change Strike

There has been a whole lot of hot wind today and also over the past few weeks about the climate change strike by school students supposedly happening tomorrow across Australia. I say "supposedly," because my kids don't know anything about any so-called climate change strike at all. Nothing. Nada. Sweet FA (Fanny Adams). Why is that…?

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Kapooka

In the past 4 decades, writing poetry has always been a way for me to explore my creative side but it was also something I did to help me express my feelings (mainly to myself) – especially during my younger years.  My poems ranged from short rhymes to long stories with many stanzas and although

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Energex Meter Readers Under Increasing Pressure

3 days ago, on 18th February at 6 pm, I got a text message from Origin Energy our electricity provider/retailer notifying me that our meter would be read two days either side of 20th February. Simple mathematics shows that this message was at least 12 hours late, to begin with…   Anyway, the reason energy companies

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Homegrown Pickled Brown Onions with Jalapenos

I had never made pickled onions like this before, and I was really happy with the outcome of this batch! The jalapenos give the onions a slight spicy/chilli hit that adds to the flavour and overall the pickle mix is well balanced. Pickled onions are great on their own as a snack but can also

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The Good Culture of Fermented Cucumber Pickles

Last October (2018) we were lucky enough to take a short family holiday to the USA and it was a pickled cucumber experience I had whilst in America that inspired me to write this post. Now, this article isn't going to be a history lesson on pickled cucumbers in America nor is it a "how-to"

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Snake Bean Bratwurst Burger

The main concept of this burger is to demonstrate that seasonal vegetables are fine to use as a substitute for the traditional burger sides and snake beans hanging out and over the edge is a novel twist. Taste wise these burgers were a total hit with my wife and kids and also a leaner healthier

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5 Top Tips on How to Grow a Ton of Onions

It’s time to peel back the layers to expose my secret to growing onions. But just a quick safety warning before we get started remember when eating onions on a roll or a folded bread ALWAYS place the onions under the sausage… The reason I say this (tongue in cheek) is due to a recent

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I’m a MILLIONAIRE? Because I Own an Investment Property

According to Bill Shorten, the current opposition leader here in Australia, people like me are "millionaires" because we own an investment property. Happy days! If only it were true… The soon to be Prime Minister, if the polls stay on track into next year's general election (and they probably will) made the "millionaire" statement in

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WARNING Your Kids Vs Adult Neck-Bearded Online Gamers is Risky

I thought I would write this article as a concerned parent to alert others who may be considering buying their children a gaming console for Christmas this year.  Our children have been playing console games ever since our eldest could handle a controller back in about 2008 and over the years I have been a close

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How to Grow Galangal 5 Top TIPS! (Includes Video)

The following article is a modified transcript from a video I created on how to grow galangal so if you'd rather watch the video instead of reading scroll down to the bottom of the page.  This is my five top tips on how to grow a ton of galangal for some reason I think of

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What to Use When You Have Run Out of Compost?

There’s arguably nothing better for your backyard garden than your own homemade rich compost made from kitchen scraps, grass clippings, and other organic garden waste. Compost adds nutrients to the soil creating food for plants, worms, fungi, and microbes it also helps give the soil structure and water holding qualities reducing the need to water

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Honey Bee Crisis – Let’s Find a Solution

With honey bees in dangerous decline around the world, how are crops going to be pollinated in the future? This is a major concern for scientists and farmers because if honeybees die out humans might starve! Whilst honey bees have been declining year after year since the 1940’s a certain bee here in Australia has

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Plastic Bag Ban – Great Excuse to Grow Your Own Food

The Plastic Bag Ban will commence on 1st July 2018 around Australia – anyone caught with or using a plastic shopping bag after this date will be ridiculed via a severe public "bagging out" before being jailed for environmental vandalism.  The first part of the sentence above is true – the plastic bag ban will

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Chili Bread & Butter Pickles

Quick pickling methods like this taste great, are healthy to eat, and simple to make. I tend to make quick pickles using sliced up cucumbers or other vegetables when I don’t have enough to ferment all in one hit. Sometimes there aren’t enough small cucumbers to make a jar or crock but a few sliced

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