A good day for the chooks

Pesky in the background, Feisty in the foreground. Confined to the far end of the chook run outside the kitchen, they were sceptical about the workmanship (who was this guy with power tools for chooks’ sake?), and the design for our new house?   Pesky and Feisty got a new chookhouse today.   The Chippendale Hilton.   Mick, the Chippendale handyman, worked wonders and everything was recycled except for a few screws (these weren’t the chooks’ jailors,... Read More

A banquet of consequences – abrupt climate disfigurement

Everybody, sooner or later, sits down to a banquet of consequences. (Robert Louis Stevenson – Scottish Essayist, Poet, Author, 1850-1894)   First, the good news: “Good News- Solar Storage Plant Gemasolar Sets 36-Day Record 24/7 Output, by Emma Fitzpatrick, Reneweconomy, Oct. 8, 2013: The Gemasolar, a Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) facility, is the world’s first large scale power plant that uses molten salt to capture heat during the day so it can produce energy... Read More

When a black kelpie rounds up the chooks

Helen, Jeni, Amanda’s mum and Amanda at some of the road garden Yesterday, Sunday 4 August, I went to look at a verge garden that Amanda Townsend and her family have built at Maroubra.  Beautiful and inspiring. Then Amanda took us out the back of the house and I saw the funniest, most tender thing; a beautiful, so smart, black kelpie herding some chooks.  Both dog and chooks are on good terms. It’s hard to photograph a black kelpie so the photos aren’t too... Read More

Urban farming adds life to your life

Chooks in Sarah’s garden When we grow plants or nurture bees and wildlife something grows in ourselves. I thought of this when I received this lovely email from Sarah Townsend, who came with her partner and did an Urban Farm Working Tour here: “Hi Michael, Just a quick note.  I attended your Urban Farming tour in February.  It was so inspiring and has really had a great influence on our home life.  We got 3 chooks the next day after meeting your chooks.  I had... Read More

Chooks die in heat when there’s no breeze

A friend, Judy, passed on this important detail about the impact of heat on chooks: “I just picked up my meat from Feather and Bone, a Marrickville butchery who buy their meat from local farmers, provenance immaculate and I asked about chickens. Sadly they have none as 320 died last Tuesday on the property of their Bellingen supplier, despite shade trees and water. Their deaths were caused by lack of breeze…… apparently chooks  have difficulty regulating... Read More

Free mulch, free spring and other positives

Free mulch – Australia-wide While in Fremantle recently –  a very beautiful place to walk around – I met Tim Lawrence, whose business, MulchNet, provides free mulch across Australia. No catch here, just someone using imagination and wit. It works like this:  most landscaping and other mulch-making businesses have to pay to take the mulch to the tip if they can’t find a way to make it useful.  MulchNet allows anyone in any Australian state to register... Read More

The Sustainable Communities Plan is on the web

Sydney City Council asked me to make a plan to make the whole suburb of Chippendale sustainable. It’s not just a plan for this suburb; it can be used to make any suburb sustainable – it’s free and you’re welcome to put it to work where you are. Now the Plan can be read on mobiles, kindles and is very easy to search, use and tweet.  Get it here: theplan.sustainablehouse.com… Enjoy. You can see some of the folks who support the Plan. Please sign the... Read More

Gardeners, shed-admirers and garage sellers

The Shed See you gardening from 9 am at the Shed or after on the streets this Friday. Newly painted garden shed The folks at the Pine Street Creative Arts Centre have painted our garden shed.  Wow, terrific and thanks to them all, and to Robert who made it happen. Not sure whether to enter it in the Archibald (as a portrait of a straight-laced gardener’s outfit), never touch it again as it’s too lovely to, say prayers of grace when entering and leaving its stripey... Read More

Living with two zen masters

L to R - Bob, Bert I live with two zen masters, both of them chooks. They dwell constantly in the here and now.  Watching them doing anything is a gift; they teach me to be myself, to come into the now of the moment. If I were to say they teach me spiritual lessons and you laughed, I would, too, but it’s true. They peck joyfully.  You want to see a simple peck for what it is, just that, then my Bob and Bertadina are your girls. They peck, totally in the moment. And walk... Read More

  • Michael Mobbs

    Michael is a former Environmental Lawyer who is uniquely placed to consult in four main areas:

    • Sustainability Coach and Speaker,
    • Sustainable Urban Farm Design greening, watering and cooling the cityscape, roads, parks, suburbs,
    • Major Projects Consultant Commercial and Industrial,
    • Residential Sustainability Consultant.
    For permission to re-print any articles or to book Michael for a speaking engagement go to Contacts. Please ensure all quotes from Michael's blog include a reference to sustainablehouse.com....au.