Tastier Food

By ACS Distance Education on July 26, 2011 in Food and Nutrition | comments
How to Make Food Taste Better

So far in this course we have described how to prepare foods from each of the 5 food groups. In this lesson we will consider how a basic dish may be transformed into a gourmet meal by using a complimenting stock, sauce, flavouring or garnish. To do this we will look at each of these in turn and consider basic preparation techniques and dishes where they can work particularly well.


A stock is a liquid which is flavoured by meat, poultry and fish, including their bones, and from vegetables and seasonings. Making a quality stock involves the combination of suitable ingredients with correct preparation techniques. Stocks are extremely versatile and provide an ideal foundation for a variety of dishes such as in soups and sauces.

Making stock

A stock is made by simmering various ingredients in water. While it is possible to buy basic chicken/ meat and vegetable stocks, if you have enough time you will find that a homemade stock is able to confer a richer flavour to your final dish.  Also, making your own stock allows you to utilise ingredients that would otherwise be thrown away e.g. chicken carcasses and the bones of roasted meat.

Learn More

Study our Food Prepartation Course


Cutting Propagation

By ACS Distance Education on July 26, 2011 in Horticulture / Gardening | comments

A cutting is a piece of stem, root or leaf which is removed from a plant, then treated in a way that stimulates it to grow roots, stems and leaves; hence producing another new plant.

Cutting propagation can be carried out on a very wide variety of plants, and after seed propagation, is the most commonly used method of producing new plants. Cutting propagation is most commonly used for shrubs, indoor plants and many herbaceous perennials. As a general rule, it is not as commonly used to propagate most types of trees.

This article is based upon extracts from John Mason's book "Propagating from Cuttings".


Farm Diversification

By ACS Distance Education on July 26, 2011 in Farming and Livestock Articles | comments


Many farms today are under financial pressure, with traditional enterprises such as cattle and sheep becoming a less reliable source of income. Farmers are more than ever susceptible to such things as changes in the international market place, land degradation problems, drought and flood, changing cost structures in the market place, etc.

One solution is to diversify, creating more than one source of income for a farm.  In essence, the strategy means that instead of depending mainly on one type of animal or crop for farm income, there is income generated by several different sources.


With a little creative, lateral thinking, there are all sorts of ways you can make money from a farm property. You already have a major asset in your land, and it might not be too difficult, or disruptive, to develop a supplementary money making venture such as one of those following. In due course, such a new venture may develop into a major part of a farm activity, or simply remain a small supplement to the main source of income.

Read More about Improving a farm in "Profitable Farming", an ebook by John Mason


Choosing Plants

By ACS Distance Education on July 25, 2011 in Horticulture / Gardening | comments


We all want the best value when we go to buy a plant, but how do you tell what is a good deal?

The cheapest plants are not always the best to buy. What is the value in buying something cheap if it doesn’t live, or grows slower than a more expensive plant?

There are two decisions to make:

1. What plant variety you should choose.

2. Which plant from those available you should choose.



Extract from Garden Design Part 1 


E Publishing in 2011

By ACS Distance Education on July 25, 2011 in Business, General & Writing and Publishing | comments

E Publishing: Threat or Opportunity?

By John Mason Principal, ACS Distance Education, March 2011

As writers, we all have a choice to make. We can either fight e-publishing; and probably suffer a big dint in our earning potential; or we can embrace it, and seek to capitalize on opportunities it offers before everyone else does.