I thought I best 'blog' last weekend before tomorrow comes. Because with tomorrow comes another working bee, and more photos. So, back to last weekend ... If you have been reading the blog you already know we had a visit from some community gardeners from Mt Kembla on Sunday. But while Kathy and I were 'front of house', showing the group around a trio of very persistent, patient and personable volunteers were working away in the background constructing our hot-house. Imagine, if you will, a really really large multiple-pack IKEA flat-pack. Starting to panic at the thought of construction? Now let me add that the flat-pack came from China, and, yep, you guessed it, all the instructions are in Chinese! Thankfully there are photographs (in English). The construction has been happening for weeks now - nights, weekends, many many hours. And last weekend the crew got 'all-but' there, only the door to go. Well done Jo (left), Les (middle) and Eddie (and everyone else who helped along the way). It's looking awesome!
Another new edition to our happy garden is our very first worm farm. We have old bath tubs on-site ready to use for building large versions, but meanwhile, we have set up our first portable unit using recycled 'broccoli' boxes. Thanks go to Julie H for bringing in the gear and for sharing some of her precious worms with us. "ED's worm farm" already looks right at home. And Eddie looks very very happy to have one more thing to look after!
Getting in before tomorrow comes also means lots and lots of planning. In winter we are planning for spring, in spring we will be planning for summer etc. It is all part of building a sustainable garden. Right now we are working on our slopes. On Saturday 18 June we worked with Aaron and Dan, our mentors, on a micro-design for the three sloped banks between our terraces. The following pictures are from our workshop.
It is vitally important that we get the design of these right; like the total garden we are working with permaculture design principles to ensure that the banks are sustainable and productive areas. This doesn't just mean growing food, although in the last six months we have grown abundant crops of cucumbers, snake beans and sweet potatoes on the slopes. It means that what we do with the slopes must contribute to the total garden 'system'.
The slopes are important for drainage, they offer space for us to build wind breaks and provide area for planting out important support plants, like those that fix nitrogen in the soil, provide 'chop n drop' mulch or provide habitat. As always our 'permaculture master classes' are totally inspirational. Very hands-on they provide
rich learning for us all.
This weekend it is time to commence putting these latest plans into action. The sun WILL be shining on Saturday. At least in our garden it will be. Come join us!