"Jonathan Sturm" in fancy script


Organic Gardening

Organic Farming

Owner Building



Recent Writing

About Ashwood Books

Whether you want to read the diary of a successful owner-builder, are curious about a self-sufficient smallholder living "The Good Life" in Southern Tasmania, want to read (an incomplete) book about organic gardening, or are looking for the world-famous Pompous Git's Diatribes, you are in the right place! Unfortunately, The Git is close to death. You can read about that here.

Jonathan Sturm (alias The Pompous Git) lives at Franklin in the Huon Valley of Southern Tasmania, Australia. He has been an owner-builder, working on his and his wife's dream home. In times now long past, he was an organic market gardener. He is the author of the popular book, Complete Organic Gardening, has written computer, lifestyle and gardening articles for several periodicals, and has typeset and published several books by other writers. In the late 1990s he worked in the computer industry and for the last few years in employment was employed vetting applicants for accreditation as building professionals.

Since retiring, Jonathan has become a cripple making the 3.5 Ha (9acre) farm more than he and his wife can manage. So we were about to embark on building a new home -- owner-built of course. "Wait!" I hear you cry. "How in hell were you going to build a house when you can't walk any distance without this?:

My walking frame. It's a rollator and has been very liberating.

Simple. Here's the house I built nearly 20 years ago. Nearly all of the physical work was conducted by contractors hired for their expertise. While I did some of the manual work, mostly I did what builders do: estimate what was needed, when it was needed and made sure that whatever was needed was available in a timely manner. In a word, what I was doing is called Project Management. OK, that's two words, but you get the drift. One of our favourite TV shows is Grand Designs. If you watch enough episodes of that excellent series on home building, you will understand what that entails, the pitfalls and joys.

The House of Steel in 2019

When quotes for building the 140 square metre (1500 square foot) House of Steel came in at double what was expected, Jonathan figured that the money saved by owner-building was essentially tax-free. Nor did he need to borrow all that extra money and pay interest on it.

Our new home is to be quite different. Rather than being on a farm, it's in town. Instead of sloping, the land is flat; very flat. Instead of nine acres, it's half an acre. Here's a synopsis of where we are at in January 2020.

Ask Paul is a Youtube vlog by PS Audio's Paul McGowan. A recent questioner asked about the worth of building one's own speakers so I wrote: A short introduction to DIY speaker building.

Jonathan is married to Marguerite Porte who is a gifted photographer and a wonderful wife.


This website contains graphic and explicit descriptions of traditional agricultural practises, including seed-sowing, harvesting, cultivation of the soil and weed control as well as mechanical devices for screwing, drilling, cutting and sawing things up into ever smaller pieces!


The web host, my family, nor any related party may be held accountable for any opinion I express on this site. Jonathan Sturm is alone irresponsible for writing things here.



Last update 29 February 2020

No part of this website has ever been tested on living animals.

Email jonathan at sturmsoft dot com

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Jonathan Sturm 2000 -- 2020

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