Permaculture in Action

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Vintage Machine

Mark has been wanting to get back to finishing the geodesic dome. He's up to attaching a cover and gluing just didn't work, so he asked me if I would sew it. Now I'm willing to be as helpful as the next person but asking a sewer to use their machine for such hard yakka is a bit much!!! The solution was to drag out my mum's old singer and give it a go.

Singer Portable Electric Sewing Machine
Comes in it's own little black box with handle
My mum got this machine as a gift when she was 21, she is now 88. It has been sitting in my attic for probably 20yrs as, although a great machine it only does straight stitching.They just don't make them as strong as this anymore. So today it came down from the attic, it's been oiled and had a new needle.I've tested it on some of the plastic sheeting we will be using and it seems like it will handle it nicely. Fingers crossed! We won't have time to get to it until the weekend.

I did manage to get some more marmalade made today from some seville lemons procured from our citrus drive.They are much lighter and sweeter than the batch I made the other day.

I will pass a few jars onto the lady who gave me the oranges and some will be gifts and some will be put onto toast and eaten!

We have a workshop for the council tomorrow on Pest Management and Companion Planting.It has created quite a bit of interest in the media. We have had a radio interview and just this evening the paper rang for an interview over the phone. The journo seemed really surprised that you could grow food without using chemicals  or even,as in our case,not killing pests at all. They'll be sending a photographer along to the workshop tomorrow. The workshop is full so we're told.Let's hope that the message is truly getting out there.


  1. Your sewing machine will be around for your grandchildren to use! The old Singer's last
    Your marmalade looks lovely. Yum!

  2. Purplepear, my mother had a sewing machine exactly the same as that and it was as tough as old boots. Basic sewing but would almost sew through anything. Good luck

  3. Oh that's a beautiful machine! I take it it's hand operated? or electric? Saw those everywhere we went in Africa, hand or foot-operated, which is far more reliable when you can't be sure of the electricity supply! You'll have to let us know how it goes!

  4. I've just discovered you, and I'm a bit overawed. It's so nice to see someone else commercially gardeing like this. I wish CSA had been around when I was commercially gardening. My system fell over on the marketing - I did mixed boxes for a few years, but they had to endure a three hour drive over dirt roads to Brisbane and I ended up deciding the petrol used was crazy. I love the geodesic chook dome. Sadly I can't use domes any more - there are just too many bandicoots, wallabies, bush turkeys, possums and bower birds to keep out. But the system served me very well for over 15 years. Milkwood redesigned the dome several years ago, and though theirs is more robust, it is also lower, and I always liked a bit of height in mine to allow the chooks to roost out of predator range. Yours looks to combine the best of both. I'm wondering how the joins are made?