January 30, 2010 at 10:01 pm #265911
Still no pictures updating my album, but I *am* taking them.
Well, after years of talking about it, we’ve finally begun to swale the hill that will become our second orchard where I have already planted three pecan trees and a mulberry tree. We began by ripping all around the trees and then ripping a deeper line along the contour and pushing the soil downhill to form a berm.
At the top we’ve already dug the hole that will become the second banana circle but I’ll wait until autumn to transplant I think (dunno if they’ll be vulnerable in the winter though – they’ll be quite exposed there – happy for any advice about that).
So the first swale is not yet complete, but we got to test it in yesterday’s rain and things are looking good. Once the next two swales are done after this one I’ll be free to plant the avos and olives I’ve been planning for so long.
We bought a tractor – held out for four years doing that – and now that we have it the jobs don’t seem so intimidating anymore. Stuff is getting done. The orchard has had a good hard prune and things are starting to look ship shape.
We had a bumper crop of mangos this year but I would say we lost more than half to rats and flying fox. At least we have managed to dehydrate quite a lot (still going too) and freeze several ice-cream containers worth.
We tasted our first lychees this year – not that they were the first lychees ever, just the first lychees after we’ve bothered to irrigate the tree. Our bathwater is now drained every day to the garden and it’s nice to be able to favour one tree or another with that water. So that’s how we got such juicy, delicious lychees. I will definitely be netting that tree next year!
Oh, and this year is the first year of using my own seed to fill the salad beds. Plus there’s a lot of self-sown cos lettuce and italian parsley popping up, which is a bonus.
Tomatoes were a dismal failure this year though (irregular watering probably), and so were zuchinni (mildew and fruit fly – though we did eat a lot of baby zuc with the flower still on). Asian greens have turned out to be wildly successful, along with all the brassicas, but I really need to get my rotation plan sorted to ensure everything gets a nice healthy bed to grow in.
That’s all for now.December 26, 2010 at 6:37 pm #265912
Updating, more for my own benefit than anything else. Finally, I have some pictures!
This shows a nice high view of the evolving picking beds. Bed #3 is the newest bed and is hidden in the long grass to the left. You can see the swales and the new orchard trees behind.
This is the view standing in front of the picking beds, looking west to the banana circle, the chicken coop and the old orchard beyond. The original orchard is coming up to 20 years old.
Same view just a bit further down the hill where you can see the picking beds on the left.
Looking back at the chook shed from the old orchard. Yes, there’s another shed behind the chookshed. That’s arrowroot and comfrey growing behind the shed, and custard apple trees and a lychee tree visible behind.
Rehabilitation of the old vines that were here.December 26, 2010 at 6:45 pm #265913
Meet ‘Number Nine’ the tractor. Behind is the old aviary, too rat-infested to be used for birds anymore.
The view from below the aviary up the hill towards the picking beds (which are behind the row of guava trees you can see in the background. In the foreground is a feral bunch of arrowroot, the mulch pile and the wood pile. The rusted out trailer is waiting for a second life as a possible duck house. We’ll see.
A useful looking weed. What the heck is it? Wondered if it’s lucerne?
Can’t wait to eat these figs! We have two trees. The Brown Turkey isn’t looking so healthy with all the rain, however the fruit look just fine.
Lychees fatten up for January picking – provided we beat the birds to them.December 26, 2010 at 6:53 pm #265914
Here is the gate to the lower paddock and the dam (looking the fullest it has ever been). Beyond we have planted some rainforest timber, as well as let some local gum trees get a foothold. We still hope this will be grazing pasture for a future animal. For now, our neighbours occasionally run their cattle or horses on it just to keep it maintained.
The chooks, with their chicks, and our gentle rooster, Cocoa.
The bench for contemplation.
This is the kitchen garden for both households. We grow all sorts of herbs and salad greens here, as well as onions and pumpkins.
View from the other side. We’d just got home after a storm and I didn’t even bother to put the ladder upright, obviously.
Everything needed a mow when I took the photos, so it’s not the tidiest garden, but it is evolving its own kind of order and logic. There are other food-zones in our garden, but I haven’t photographed them for a long time. Will update with those next time I remember. 🙂December 26, 2010 at 7:21 pm #265915
Looking really good much tidier than mine is right now but it is the same shade of green :laugh:
Your useful weed has come up for the chook food or such and is probably a Sorghum.
I’d love to have a banana circle had one when I was growing up but back then it was just a banana patch.December 26, 2010 at 7:53 pm #265916
it really does look goodDecember 26, 2010 at 8:05 pm #265917
Sorghum, hey? As soon as it’s dry enough I’ll save some seeds and use them to enrich a weedy zone among some peach trees. It’s a trench for the septic for the granny flat but I think it should be fine for growing chook fodder.December 27, 2010 at 10:29 pm #265918
Looks great!December 28, 2010 at 10:32 am #265919
Thanks for looking. Still have a long way to go to creating a food forest!December 28, 2010 at 3:41 pm #265920
What a beautiful garden you have, great to see some pics. Keep up the good work 🙂March 20, 2011 at 10:25 pm #265921
Nice to see the pictures match the ones in my head! The weed is definitely not lucerne. I’d go with sorghum too. Sorghum is a relative of corn. Keep up the good work.March 21, 2011 at 1:23 am #265922
Looking sensational Jodie…….such a change from when you first put up pics years ago.
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