Hey, this was supposed to be about my dream of a food forest and well, my lack of said food forest.
Ok, bla bla bla chunk of land bla bla. So, all I have is a standard 1/4 acre block, which is a whole lot more than a lot of people, I know. And, don't get me wrong, I am very grateful for what I do have but....deep sigh! As Granny Mel's grows, I'm finding myself looking out the back door at my vege patch and wishing it was bigger. If you read some of my earlier posts you'll note that I just finished extending it but I can't make it any bigger without ripping out a couple of trees. That's not going to happen. Deep sigh!
Yesterday I woke up and, after yet another deep sigh, I told myself to "just get on with it - do what needs to be done - stop yer deep sighing and get to bloody work!"
I built some new compost bays at the very back of the yard under the lemon tree and I built a new shelter for the lawn mower. Then I used the pallets from the old compost bays and lawn mower shelter to build a fence for another vege patch at the right side of the yard. This side doesn't get much sun, just a few hours in the morning so it will be the perfect spot to grow all those leafy veges over the summer, which will free up lots of space in the 1st patch for more chillies, tomatoes and other sun loving goodies.
Now, I know I like to say things like "create a no-dig garden" but, I happen to have a husband who likes to force a shovel into the ground and muss it all about. Bless his cotton socks!
If you ever have a patch of ground that's not doing too well, put a compost heap on top of it. The earth on this side of my yard is so beautiful and I can't wait to see the bounty that comes from it. What's that you say? Of course I'll keep you posted :)
We've created 4 new beds by digging down about 15cm, putting a layer of not quite ready compost down, the original dirt on top, then cow poo (*see foot note) and then a layer of pea straw.
I'm starting off the 4 bed rotational garden with a big bag of organic potatoes I bought for 50c a kilo. FIFTY CENTS A KILO FOR ORGANIC POTATOES!!!!! HOLY SHIT! What a bargain. There is no way anybody could create a culinary delight with these spuds, no matter how many episodes of Master Chef you watch. But, they are beautiful. The eyes have sprouted and they're ready for planting. People will tell you that you should only plant certified disease resistant seed potatoes. I beg to differ. I know all the history of Ireland's great famine and I've purchased the certified disease resistant seed potatoes at $7 for 2 seed potatoes in the past. I've also planted potatoes from Woolies, from the organic markets in Marrikville (at $9 a kilo) and random ones that have self seeded throughout the garden. The certified disease resistant seed potatoes and the $9 a kilo ones didn't do as well as you would hope when talking bang for buck. The one's from Woolies gave us a bumper crop. Our local isn't renowned for having the freshest fruit and veg and they went to sprout pretty quickly in the cupboard. I just threw (threw - doesn't even look like a real word) them on top of the compost heap then covered them with straw, which is why we still get the random ones throughout the garden. When I find one of these little beauties it generally gets put into whatever dinner is happening that night. Anyway, I'll let you all know how the FIFTY CENT BARGAIN OF THE CENTURY goes.
*Foot note on cow poo
Gotta love a good poo story. We went for a drive to 'the country' to find some horse poo. Sometimes when we head up around Dural we find it for $2 a bag outside people's front gates but I had to go out west to Seven Hills to pick up some beer bottles. Hey, we can only drink so much beer! Hubby was brought up around 'out west' and we thought we knew some good places to pick up some poo. Times have changed and all we found were some bloody big commercial style developments where farms used to be. So, after driving around and getting lost on new roadways we figured it would be cheaper to save on petrol and go to Bunnings on our way home. Ok, so not the most amazing poo story you've ever read but I've got plenty more up my sleeve, like the time.... ha! Not gonna go there.