Yes that's basically what i plan to do eco. Grow more than i need.
Yesterday I picked my first produce - four little radishes.
The greens are coming along beautifully. All the asian greens. This year has been a wet mild winter, i wonder if this is making a difference to growing veges here.
There are squash, eggplants, cucumbers and tomatoes on the vines and the first cucumber is just about ready to pick. I am not sure when i should pick it though. I've heard i shouldn't leave it too long and i don't intend to do that.
The best (most spectacular) bed is the one in the dinghy into which i put a whole barrow full of matured cow manure before planting. All the plants are huge.
A pumpkin collapsed from something the other day but i don't know what. It could be a bacterial wilt thing i read about recently. It happened so suddenly. But so far none of hte other plants have suffered.
I planted a new bed of passionfruit vines a couple of days ago but otherwise i haven't been planting a lot because I want to improve the soil first before growing too much more. I am wondering if i am better off starting everything in seed trays too as some things didn't go in hte ground. I was really disappointed that the silverbeet and spinach didn't come up. The rocket is going quite well. The parsley is hardly moving. Its probably the ground.
I've mulched most of my gardens now. And following Tim Marhsalls tip about sheet composting - which is making compost directly where its going to go which he said is a good thing to do in the tropics.
My sugarcane is all sprouting. I must cover them with compost.
The Banana corms i put in have all come good except for two.
The ducks are doing well though they do make a mess with their feathers. I am collecting their poo everyday to go on the compost heaps.
That about covers it for now i think.
Hi Sun Burn
We're both new starters in seems. I got chickens for the first time almost nine months ago. I started with an online chicken coop and then let them free range in the front garden. Mango (I named her that because she looked cool and laid back like the fruit in her first day with us - wouldn't call her than now) found that one of the pailings in the front garden was furthr apart than the others and squeezed through. Fortunately, she hung around the front door until my neighbour spotted her and told us. So I wired up all the bits where I thought she could squeeze through. Then she found she could tunnel under and went visiting the neighbour with chickens two door down (we live in suburban Sydney, so this was no small feet along the road). My neighbour brough her back and I made further adjustments. No escapes since then from Miss Mango.
We've since built a large run so I can start converting the rest of the front garden to a food forest (so I tell myself - probably more akin to a veggie patch but hey...) I let them out just before dusk occassionally to have a bit of a rifle around and not do too much damage to what's there.
I would love to have ducks but no space in this garden sadly. Next time.
I feel i am graduating from organic growing to permie growing. Today I was hacking up green, note green, palm fronds for my new slow compost pile. I am not putting hydroponics in it, or kitchen veges. I am just putting sticks and green leaves and long grass with the roots still on and stuff like that which will take a while. I've put this compost heap under one our many many poinsettia trees (or is it poinsiana - i get confused). I figure i can't grow veges there so i might as well put a compost heap there and the shade will stop it from drying out and its right near where I will need it anyway.
So today i was back on hte job of thinning out my golden palms when i realised that i could put the green parts on that pile. So i hacked them up with my secateurs. Later I went to have a go at our enormous exora hedge that needs taming. Just to get into it, i had to chop down a number of saplings. Decided I would chop off the green leaves and put htem on the heap. And realised i had some lovely stakes for my tomatoes with what was left. Then i pulled out a piece of brown vine that's been invading the garden for 20 years and of which i haven't yet got on top of. With my permie cap on I wondered what i could do iwth it. Its such a nice looking vine that I've often wished for something else to do with it. Usually thinking about weaving or craftmaking of some sort. But today i cottoned on to the idea of using it instead of wire for my peas to grow up.
A friend just inspired me to start a photoblog of my garden. I think i will do that somewhere. Not sure where yet. I find it difficult to set up these damned blogs. I get frustrated and muddled and tend to give up prematurely. But now that i have a good reason to persist I just might.
Hi Sun burn,
I'm so jealous.
I wish I lived in the tropics too, oh to be able to grow bananas, that would be fantastic-my absolute favourite.
Actually I do have a banana plant that a neighbour gave me years ago.
I pulled it out and threw it on the compost pile when I realised that it would never fruit and it grew there for years til I moved it elsewhere.
Who knows the earth may tilt and I get to be closer to the equator.
Love what you are doing and I am coming back to see how you are getting on.
I want ducks too, we are supposed to be getting rabbits soon so the ducks will have to wait awhile.
Update and ramblings:
Today I spent most of my time on the computer trying to start a blog for my garden. As yet i haven't got far. If you remember that thread somewhere started by someone who thought they were a techno dummy, i was volunteered my own ignorance. I just seem to go about things the wrong way. Luckily i found a 16 year old who is not a techno dunce and gave me a couple of clues to set me straight. Still my first post is not done and i am not sure when it will be complete.
The aim of my blog will be a picture blog rather than lots of writing. I've read enough blogs to know that they are not really diaries and yet that's what I intend to make of mine. I haven't got the time to spend crafting beautiful prose. When i get it up properly, i will post a link.
Back in my garden, I planted a few more seedlings. My seedlings which i've been growing in egg cartons are sometimes a bit tiny to be planting out perhaps. I put the cucumbers straight into the soil. I started another bed by loading it up with unfinished compost (as I don't have any finished) and then mulching it. The compost was so course that i was afraid the seeds might fall right through to the ground below. The pile of compost is a lot higher than the 4cm recommended and I wonder what will happen to these seeds. I sewed beetroot, spring onions, silverbeet and spinach. The last time i sewed silverbeet, beetroot straight into the garden as directed, i got very little result. Will the compost make a difference this time? I added seed raising mix to help prevent the seeds falling to the bottom. I am sure as I go along the results will get better as the ground gets better. But i am curious to see how this second attempt with the same things goes.
Although its mid winter, on a sunny day like today the sun is quite intense and many of the leafy veges wilt. I give them a middle of the day watering, not being too sure whether or not I need to do this. But i wonder what will it be like come October November December when that midday intensity lasts almost all day. Will anything cope?
I can't remember if I've mentioned this already but the ducks are tramping over one of my vege beds and chewing off a lot of things. I can cope so long as they don't find all the other beds because then I'd have to think about fencing them out which I am not keen to do.
Update: New info.
Today I went shopping for more soil improvers and bought in addition two rosella plants and a strawberry plant. I don't know how well strawberries will grow here but i'd like to make jam so i thought i'd give it a go.
This morning did some phone research and as a result have decided that i can grow peanuts as my main legume crop. I love peanuts and look forward to have lots of those to harvest. It will be a few months before I plant them though. Its really a few months before I cna plant most things as i am waiting for the rains to do most of the watering. If i plant now I will have a huge task of watering everything myself mostly by hand as a dry spell is just about upon us and it gets very hot.
I phoned a nursery about fruit tress. I don't know how many i can afford to put in this year but i found out that i can expect to pay about $40 per tree. I will draw up a list of things I want to plant and try to figure out where i will put them all and start preparing the ground for them - which means clearing weeds and grass and starting quick compost piles next to the spot.
The nursery also told me a good place to buy seeds locally. Enviromart in Cairns, Aumuller Street which stocks Eden Seeds.
Someone mentioned a permaculture place on the tablelands Kim 4086 8019. I believe they are doing a course in september 5-19 but i don't think i want to do a course yet. Lack of money being the reason. I am not a purist type of person so I have no intention of making a puristical permaculture garden either. But also I don't want to learn about a whole lot of plants that aren't suitable for my area. The tablelands being a different climate to down here on the coast. I think it will be best for me to do my designing and planning from what i can gather from web sources and then consider a coures later if i still have issues to resolve.
Update and ramblings:
I haven't got anywhere with my blog yet. Its too technical. I need some assistance and might get my bil to help when he's got time. I am trying with wordpress so if anyone knows anything that might help me get past Step A (signing up and choosing a theme) that could be good.
Today I got a box of pineapple tops. I am thinking of planting them along one of the property boundaries where they can work as a fence against marauding dogs. This supplier will have plenty more boxes so in time if think its working i could have pineapples all around my block. I don't know if that's the best idea but its one idea. Dogs are not a huge problem but they could be when i get my chickens. The other thing about pineapples is that i know that while they are hardy they can be at risk of neglect so i might set up a drip system eventually to take care of the watering. To get them started, i've decided to plant them in pots first and have them ready to plant out sometime during the wet season. I should be able to have enough compost ready for them by then if that's what they need.
Then i went to visit a friend in town for cuttings. I got a car load full of stuff and I can get more whenever i need it. None of it is food plants but just some nice ornamental bushy things. Fairly hardy stuff with a bit of colour in the leaves i think. I've no idea where i will put them but i guess something will come to mind by the time i am ready to plant them.
I've begun hugulkulturing already. I made a bed thats about 30 metres long. It was already a big pile of rotting logs and I added a few more that were lying nearby. this pile has been bugging me for ages and now i know what to do. Only i haven't got any soil to cover it yet, or compost. But i hope by late November I will be able to complete it and plant it up iwth fruit trees.
I put some passionfruits in and hope htey will go up some fairly inimpressive poinsettia trees.
I transplanted the pomegranate for hte second time and put a log in the bottom of the hole along iwth some other goodies.
The rest of the day was spent on making compost. I can see I will be doing this job for the rest of my gardening life.
Hey Sun Burn
I hope you've taken 'before" photos because its going to look so different in a years time. Would love to see some pics now as well....
I'm excited because I have my first snow pea. I've got a heap that are in flower, but the first pod is there. Small things.....
Ebunny, i've got pics that i took last year. I 've got some from different periods the wet and the dry. Its a very difficult place to photograph but if i am a dramatic transition, it should be obvious.
I have made a start on making it possible to take pictures. I had get the pictures off my card and put them on my external harddrive. Sounds like an easy task but nothing is easy for me when i feel unexcited about it. Slowly does it though and hopefully soon the blog will be going. I have made a somewhat starting realisation though. I must put myself in the pictures otherwise they will be really quite dull. If only i were more beautiful!
I've been told not to plant fruit trees on top of those logs. The septic drain is close by and they will invade the trench. So I will have to plant smaller things instead.
I got a book out of the library on landscaping so I am going to try to come up with a design. I find this type of task overwhelming but i think its got to be done if i don't want to end up with nothing looking sort of garden. As far as permaculture goes, the zone system etc doesn't really help me tackle it on its own. At least htat's how i feel about it. I can't afford to do much in the way of earthworks. Our ground slopes. Its been slightly terraced but there is still a lot of run off in heavy rain. I'd like to dig some ponds but i am not sure if i have to have fencing around them. If so, i'd be very reluctant to put ponds in at all. I am not even sure if holding the water is a great idea here as we get so much i wouldn't want it all to be waterlogged. Perhaps Tropical boy will help me out there.
Yesterday I found a local shop selling eden seeds. The woman was very helpful. She saved me from buying asparagus and artichokes which she said best not to grow down on the coast while up on the tablelands they'd be fine. I did buy some guava and rosella seeds and this morning I planted them in trays. My sister found a good pawpaw and i sewed those in trays too as well as mustard greens.
I started to think that the existing "nursery" might be the best place to make my vegetable garden. The ducks started chewing on my pumpkins and squash so i had to put a fence round them. Luckily there was something ready to hand. Its not very pretty but it will do for now. There's more caterpillar damage in the asian greens today. I didn't find any caterpillars just the egg like things they leave behind. i wonder if i should get rid of those? The dog likes the blood and bone i bought. I will have to hid the bag.