Friday, May 8, 2015

Getting all wintery

It is getting all cold and wet. This is good in many ways, my new pond is filling up, the ducks have stuff to splash in even without me doing anything more than leaving trays and buckets around and plants get autowatered.

The main thing I'm doing is setting up new beds ready for next spring. The cow monsters are being kept away by barbed wire fence, then 2 strand electric fence, and the new garden areas have pallet fences and some plants have their own extra chook wire. So they'll probably only get in and eat everything a few times.
I'm encouraging the ducks and chooks to hang out in the new gardens, especially the water garden pictured above by feeding them in there. So they hang out, poop on things, do some scratch and scooting. I scythe grass or get hay the cows have eaten most of and now pooped on then ignored, throw that in the main chook straw yard, they do more kicking and pooping, especially at night, (chooks do about 50% of their poop while they sleep!) and after it's sufficiently poopy I shovel it to the uphill bits of the water garden where the poultry gives it another kicking, mainly held in position by rock terrace borders. Normally I'd leave the straw yard for longer, such as 6 months, to break down, but the water garden area needs it so it can break down there and not need to be moved again.
I'm putting a few plants in the water garden. Mainly berries and a few flowers alongside the pallet fence, but really this garden won't get anything until spring, or maybe some trees in late winter from grafting workshops. This will be one of the most significant gardens but its its 1st year (it was solid blackberry) and things take time.

The other garden I'm working on for winter is my kitchen garden. Just outside my home container. Rocket stove  and outdoor shelves. The plan is to just grow herbs everywhere. Reach down and grab some basil to chuck in dinner. This is a longer term plan and in ways much simpler. I'm mainly planting a few citronella geraniums near the doors and around the edges and just semi random useful herbs that I have copies in other spots. Since for all I know I'll walk on them or the chickens'll eat them. I expect they'll be tough enough to cope but if not they have parent plants somewhere else better protected.
On a related note I'm also growing tons of cuttings of various herbs for this garden and borders. Basil and lavender and rosemary mainly. A few dozen in seedling trays. Seems to be working well so I'll probably do more and a greater variety of plants. Yay for the magical sky watering system.

What else? The kitchen garden is also slowly growing its pallet fence and I'm also doing semi-hedgerows with my wild hawthorn trees. Partially cutting through branches, bending them where I want. Mainly experiments so far but I think this hedgerow business is going to be very cool and useful. Good to stop the cows, good protection for especially native berries, the various birds love hawthorn. You can walk to a hawthorn tree and literally a hundred cute little wrens will fly out. I'll still reduce them, they are an invasive weed, but they certainly have uses.

There is a lot to harvest at this time of year too. I still have ridiculous amounts of basil I'm just keeping cycling through the solar drier. There is a plenty of perennial spinach, and I pull up the dead sun-chokes and find kilograms of tubers to eat. plus spuds and the occasional tomato and pumpkin.

So things slowing down but still heaps going on.

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