Bazman's food forest over 9 years

Discussion in 'Members' Systems' started by bazman, Jun 28, 2012.

  1. bazman

    bazman Junior Member

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    Hi All

    I thought I would share part of my journey and how my own food forest has developed from 2003 to 2012 over a series of 10 photos.

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    This is a before and after from the end of the Food Forest.

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    And the journey continues. =)
     
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  2. bazman

    bazman Junior Member

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    Here are two overhead shots from Neamap 2009 and 2012

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  3. S.O.P

    S.O.P Moderator

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    Outstanding Baz.
     
  4. pebble

    pebble Junior Member

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    Brilliant. Soooo good to have the photo record.
     
  5. chook-in-eire

    chook-in-eire Junior Member

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    Great stuff indeed!
     
  6. eco4560

    eco4560 New Member

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    What happened to the rain water tank and why was the stuffed animal being hung out on the clothes-line-of-doom?

    Interesting to see that you didn't go with the destroy all the grass first and then plant trees option. Yet it ended up that way in the end.
     
  7. S.O.P

    S.O.P Moderator

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    Interesting to see that 2 of the thirstiest trees have been left in place and not succeeded out. 2 of my favourites too.

    Baz loves to rise to a challenge.
     
  8. Ludi

    Ludi Junior Member

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    Beautiful and inspiring!
     
  9. Adrian1976

    Adrian1976 Junior Member

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    Just check his Blog site and the water tank turned into a raised garden, still no clue of how Tigger is going! :)
     
  10. Ludi

    Ludi Junior Member

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    Bazman, I don't see any rain harvesting earthworks in the photos. Did you do a lot of irrigating initially, or is it all on natural rainfall? If natural rainfall, how much rain do you get annually?

    Thanks!
     
  11. sweetpea

    sweetpea Junior Member

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    How lovely! And I love that shade cover structure! Looks great from all angles, and clever to let some light through, and shade other places.

    Are those eucalyptus trees? Are you using a lot of eucalyptus mulch? Looks like those were the original trees. Is that a bat house up that one big trunk?

    I keep forgetting how the photos actually are helpful and interesting. I keep thinking that what I am changing wasn't worth keeping track of, other than not to do it again, but it is a good record of how much work we do!
     
  12. bazman

    bazman Junior Member

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    Hi Guys, thanks for the kind words.
    The stuffed animal is one of our many dogs toys, they sometimes get water logged when left in the rain.

    The 1/2 acre food forest is a fenced off area on the 7.5 acre property. I have an integrated water catchment and swale system which takes flood water from the council road outside of my property, see the main storm drain in action below. We get hard fast rain here which then moves quickly through this area (100mm in an hour is quite common). Once I get it past my house and shed it is slowed and flooded across a paddock then into a contour swale which overflows into a 1million litre dam. I take water from the dam to water the food forest via fire fighting pump to holding tanks, then via a high pressure pump and line which hook up into tap points along one side of the garden. Rain Fall is between 800-1200mm with dry winters and wet summer (generally)

    Mulch I use has to be clean but these days most of it is produced via legume and clumping grass chop and drop. I do get the odd load from a local mate who may lurk around this forum. :)

    The area has many eucalyptus and a few figs, not many real old trees around here, I have a couple of nice figs on the property and I just work with the two big trees in the food forest. I did end up removing a big sheoak from the area as I just could not work with it.

    I have planted heaps of local natives and koala fodder trees over the years, I have a 1/2 acre native tree area which runs along side the food forest which is now kicking long well, this is used as a wind slow.

    This shot slows once I had my plans I used the mower mark the paths and them I filled in the gaps with the 220m3 of mulch I scored early on. All moved in with a wheelbarrow.

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    Main storm water drain in action.
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    The main swale was made using my tractor, ripper and a grader blade.
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    The swale overflows into my 6m deep dam.
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    The main swale after a couple of weeks. It was finished just before the wet season hit.
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    The after a few months, these days you can't see the water in it when it's full, I keep the horses out of the swale as they will damage it in the wet season, when it dries out I will drop the tape and let them eat down the grasses. This water system works like magic and I have yet to have a rain event which it has not coped with and we have had some major rain over the last few years.

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    I'm always happy to show fellow Permies around.
     
  13. Grahame

    Grahame Senior Member

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    Bazman, nice work!

    I feel like you should have some trees along that swale though.
     
  14. Ludi

    Ludi Junior Member

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    Do you actually have koala on the property?
     
  15. bazman

    bazman Junior Member

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    Yes we do have the odd koala visit, you hear them calling during mating season and every now then you see one.

    One side of the swale now has trees planted along it's wall, the other has pigeon pea among the grasses, putting trees one one side will block our view of the lake which we want to keep.
     
  16. Adrian1976

    Adrian1976 Junior Member

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    Looking at your swales Bazman, to me they look more like drainage channels for the dam than swales. Id like to know how much water is really kept banked up before the overflow goes into the dam.
     
  17. S.O.P

    S.O.P Moderator

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    Annette, myself and Bazman live in the same area. Koalas are almost extinct in this part of Australia now, thanks to non-helpful development. Over the years, I've had 3 koalas in my front yard and I'm more urban. Sightings aren't so frequent now.
     
  18. pebble

    pebble Junior Member

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    How much ecosystem do you need to support a population of koala? (eg how big/small a block in hectares of bush?)
     
  19. bazman

    bazman Junior Member

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    Adrian1976
    Looking at your swales Bazman, to me they look more like drainage channels for the dam than swales. Id like to know how much water is really kept banked up before the overflow goes into the dam. ​
    They run on the contour of the land scape so you do not get any water movement apart from an overflow at one end of the system, they hold water for up to two weeks depending on the conditions. They hold about 35-40cm of water once water has stopped entering the system and can hold about 80cm in full flood. I did add a slight off contour kink in the main swale due to a stock bottle neck but increased the depth to compensate. The water catchment system has been in place for 5 years now and while it does a fantastic job at filling my dam it also holds water in the paddock with some areas now below the swale getting a little boggy where water now moves slowly through the landscape.

    Re: koala, they eat about 500g of eucalypt leafs a day, from about 20 or so local species of eucalypt. They can cover a bit of ground at night too. When I walk around my place I look at the ground due to a high snake population so I would often walk past koalas 30m up in trees.
     
  20. juhill

    juhill Junior Member

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    I had the privilege of seeing bazman’s place several years ago and I was impressed back then, I'd love to see how is looks now... Good work baz.
     

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