Self sustainable zero waste productive home in Melbourne demonstrates future | Gardening Australia
Costa is visiting a temporary installation on the banks of the Yarra River, the latest iteration of Joost Baker’s experimental constructions; “Greenhouse”. Subscribe 🔔 http://ab.co/GA-subscribe
While it is perched on the edge of the CBD, it is aimed squarely at homeowners everywhere, “in the future we will all live like this” says Joost.
The 3-storey house is a humble 87m2, about ¼ of the size of an average Aussie dwelling, but it has big ambitions, to demonstrate a productive, sustainable & no-waste future. “Our food system one of the most wasteful, polluting things on the planet – the way we grow our food but also transport and sell it. I wanted to create a house that was shelter for people but could also grow food and create energy – our cities have so much potential”.
Every available space is involved in growing food, and every available nutrient in the house harvested to do it.
Potted gardens fill both balconies, growing everything from pumpkins to chickpeas. Food grade plastic 44-gallon drums are positioned everywhere, as soil-filled pots acting as ballast for the house and as wicking beds.
The house is also running Aquaponics systems, with fish, yabbies and fresh-water mussels contributing nutrients to 2 large grow beds. “more than enough to feed a family all the greens they need”. Joost reckons that they are much easier than people think, particularly when you are raising things like yabbies
The mushroom wall is both an aesthetic and edible addition to the house, positioned in the base of the vertical green house, in the central stairwell. Humidity for the mushies, is harvested from the shower and the hot water system – nothing is wasted.
Of course, general waste is also being converted into fertiliser & fuel. They are feeding veggie scraps to crickets. These crickets are then used in the kitchen to make felafel!
While Joost is passionate about natural ecosystems, in this designed ecosystem people are integral. “Without them, the nutrients needed for the system do not exist. It needs to be managed”. The people in this case are Matt stone & Jo Barret, award winning chefs who grew their own gardening skills running their zero-waste kitchen at Oakridge wines.
They have been on the tools throughout the house construction, and now are now living in the house, eating only what they grow on site. They are very passionate about the project and about the ethos. Matt - “When you cook this way, you just want to do more. As a chef, I want things to be delicious, and the most delicious food is the most ethically produced food”.
But Joost hopes the ideas here will help to fuel others for the future. “I don’t see that everything we are doing here is the only way to do it, I want it to be a catalyst.
“CRICKET BALLS” RECIPE
1 cup dried chickpeas
4 spring onions
1/2 bun parsley
1/2 bun coriander
2 cloves garlic
1 sml piece fresh turmeric
1t coriander seed
1T baking powder
1/2 cup crickets
Soak the chickpeas for 24 hours. If you have time you can leave you can drain them off and lay on a tray for a day or two to sprout. It adds extra flavour and nutrients but isn’t necessary.
Roughly chop the veggies and herbs. Toast and grind the spices.
Add herbs, veggies, chickpeas and crickets to a blender. Blend till as smooth as possible. Transfer to a bowl. Mix in the baking powder and season with salt and pepper. If the mix is wet add some chickpea of plain flour till you can roll the mix into balls.
Roll the mix into 20 ish balls. Heat some frying oil in a pot on the stove. Heat till roughly 180 degrees. Fry the cricket balls for a few minutes until golden and crisp. Season with salt and serve with your favourite dipper sauce.
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