Saturday, June 2, 2018

So now what?

Ok we had the fire.
That was a tad devastating.
Still haven't finished the clean up, a very, very long way from things being even close to 'normal'.

So now what? What is the plan? What's happening?

Well the main old garden area and bedroom and office container which everything was centered around is utterly destroyed.
So the main focus is now moved on top of the hill where there are still two unmodified containers to work from and the remains of burnt out 40'.

But down in the main quarry area and the old 'kitchen garden' and area around the old insulated container is where the main garden previously were. Some of those plants will recover.
So it is difficult to work there as don't want to disturb plant root systems that may come back in spring.
The ones that are recovering at all, the pioneers such as tough salvia and other herbs need protection and soil and shelter to have a chance.
plus while a lot was burnt the soil and previous landscaping and shelter is there. Don't want to waste that.
So down the hill is certainly being maintained in a more 'watch and see' way, rabbit fencing, a bit of mulching and micro landscaping, terracing etc

Up on the hill, which has the best view has new main (permy zone 1) gardens there in shelter of the big U of containers. Donated plants, autumn cuttings, fruit trees, herbs but also a lot of flowers. As they're what I have. That's fine. Ground  covers, fast growing root systems, shelter plants, insect attracting etc and they look pretty. Always a good thing.
Hopefully will look good in spring
And in later years can become increasingly food producing.

I planted lots of succulents and things in big broad shelter rings around the Big U, since I'm pretty paranoid about fire now and the pigface proved that the succulent fire break can work. So lots more now and lots more to come. Agave, agapanthus, pigface, mirror bush and just all succulents I can find, full plants or cuttings. Anything that should smother embers. A lot of rocks being collected to use as rock mulch in the rock shelter belts too. Including old cracked pots and crockery, plates etc from the fire.

Nursery, as in place for baby plants, will be in the shelter of the Big U, hopefully getting more sheltered over time, hopefully will be able to recollect enough glass again for the greenhouse north wall. Initially will keep all extra plants and cuttings and propagation in half IBCs. The plan with the IBCs was to make them wicking beds. Maybe a wicking like reservoir but pots in stands rather than rock/sand with soil on top.

Also thinking about how fast to get the bulk herbs propagating again.
Rosemary, oregano, holy basil, thymes maybe.
Straw bale and just anti rabbit fence.
Same as before, pumps from creek if needs extra but should be good moisture. do as raised beds in the hedged areas perhaps.

Thinking same thing for Australian natives. Especially acacia.
Strawbale raised beds.
Do as long lines so can back the ute down?
As need to grow to say 4 years to harvest.

Concern with fire. Most would resprout. but also higher fuel mass?

Tree plot. road gap, herb plot, gap. repeat?

Thinking of main berry run in same place, top of ridge near Big U. with full pallet wind fence, companion flower bed, runs of berries. Keep in a square, be aware will go wild and mix raspberry breeds. Trim corridors in it for plants in pots (IBC?).
Can run PYO berries and nursery browse in same place. Pre-pay $5 to be allowed to browse and PYO berries to munch.

The main main slope I am terracing. But not really sure what to put in there. Berries?
Garlic? artichokes? need something to stabilise slope. so some bigish trees.
Maybe trees for landscape and slope holding but annual for main use?

main market garden. Back where it was?
Concern with pollution in the soil. but probably only on far west side. just sheoak and other natives there.
That area certainly permy zone 3 now. rarer interzction.
Rubarb, globe artichokes, sunchokes, potatoes, garlic. tomatoes?
crop rotation. herbs.

Thursday, March 29, 2018


An enormous wildfire ripped through our region. Destroying homes and farms and nature belts, killing thousands of animals.
And completely wiping out The Gardens. ;(
I don't know what else to say for now.
It will take time but, I will rebuild, better than ever.

Check out how tough pigface is!

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Working With The Land

I've been asked "why don't you write a book?", but I think Jackie French already wrote the gardening book I would in "Wilderness Gardening".
But I also think there is a place for a gardening book or website as simple and assessible as possible. children, and even worse lazy, unconvinced adults.

Open source

Structured, professional.
ie i own, have owners of sub sections pages etc.
and suggestions from anyone else


a living book
very appropriate

There are two audiences i want to mass market to.
One is normal households. To act as entry point then send them off to Jackie french, David Holmgren, etc

The other is conventional agriculture
Small changes with large environmental impacts that have some quick money feedback and easy to implement
slowly yes roll to regragrians
This is more the AAD site.

Lots of diagrams.
Too many good garden books are walls of text.
Heaps of photos, lots of art and diagrams. Needs to be able to be read by a kid or by those who don't know the language
Each page should have text, spoken, as many sensory modes as possible. the small and simple helps

Simple principals:
A few, easy to remember yet grow understanding from
Garden Where You See. Zones. visual energy. plant things where you walk and see.
Where is the sun and wind? simple sectors. consider shade and heat
Make soil like the forest. deep mulch to form soil in-situ. It is alive too. cover in plants or mulch
Roots support it all. and pull nutrients from deep. use perennials. start with herbs you like.
Water flows down hill. use this to water your gardens.
All lives together. mixed planting, companion planting, eco system.
Use weeds energy to help. chop and drop before flower.
Community. talk to others who see or may like some food or can help

Working With The Land

self contained chapters
full list accessable

glossary maybe