@ Berry - being a country newb. Project #1 Palm leaf and pond weed half-mandala

Discussion in 'Members' Systems' started by aneurine, Apr 22, 2013.

  1. aneurine

    aneurine Junior Member

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2013
    Messages:
    36
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    We haven't moved in yet, but I have been itching to plant something since first setting eyes on the property months ago, and I needed to start moving plants that I wanted to keep from our urban block in Miranda, soo... yesterday I made an instant garden there. I spent the morning uprooting artichokes, kale, feverfew, large marigolds, banana capsicums, nasturtiums etc. and we stuffed our car full of plants and drove down. We got down there at about 12noon and I spent the next 6 hours flat out.

    I had decided on a mandala shaped garden so I had brought our garden hose with me. It felt huge in our urban block, but after laying it out it only reached around to make half a mandala garden, so that's what I ended up making for now. Maybe I'll make the other half in the future.. shall see.

    I chose a spot 15m from the house that gets full sun and wasnt boggy, yet is right next to the stream, so that I can use the water with a watering can. I am wondering if it might prove too much sun, with its northerly aspect.

    I dug around with a shovel to test the soil depth as there was a boulder near there, but it seemed ok when I made about 10 digs in various places over the area. Then I sprinkled blood and bone over the area and a bit of dolomite and then I robbed the enormous comfrey patch on the property and laid down comfrey leaves over it all.

    I took the boxes I'd brought the plants in and laid them in the stream until they were soggy, then laid them over the area - with only one problem, not enough cardboard. We drove up into the forested area of the property, and brought back a car full of enormous palm leaves to the garden, and used them instead of cardboard for the rest of the half-mandala and paths.

    Then I hand-carted a pile of pond weed (that dad had pulled out of the pond a few weeks ago) and spread it across the palm leaves/cardboard. After that I ran like a crazy person down our steep driveway to hand collect cut grass as the final layer of the bed, carrying it back up the hill to the garden on my head in a plastic container (I was very keen - I had to make this trip 5 times!).

    Once complete I had hubby chainsaw some logs for me to lay around the edges - but it was past 4.30pm and the sun was rapidly disappearing. So I planted until 6pm when really even the car headlights were not enough, so I haven't actually seen this "garden" yet, at least not in broad daylight. The four artichokes from my garden turned into a lot more than that since they'd suckered, and I was able to divide them up, so that was positive.

    It's a bit experimental, in every way really. The composition of the bed, the location, and I know we have wombats and wallabies so I'm half expecting I'll never get to see it since we'll come back and it might be rearranged by nature.

    Will post pics when I go down there next
     
  2. lukemurphy

    lukemurphy Junior Member

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2013
    Messages:
    59
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Exciting to start planting! Looking forward to seeing photos of the place
     
  3. Three Happy Aussies

    Three Happy Aussies Junior Member

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2013
    Messages:
    17
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Hi aneurine, good to see another Shire family moving to the country. Berry is such a beautiful place to live.... Wayyyyy outta our price range but awesome non the less. Can't wait to see pix of the work your doing. Were just about to start doing our fences in the next week or so to keep those pesky foxes from eating our girls...lol. Best of luck with yours.
     
  4. aneurine

    aneurine Junior Member

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2013
    Messages:
    36
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Hey there - where abouts are you located? Its been three months that we've been here now and its been interesting. We've experienced some wild weather - a few weeks after moving in we had 340mm rain in 3 days - our ponds were flooding across our driveway, our driveway turned to slush mud and we had to walk up to the house in our gumboots, then after getting our driveway bitumened it was bone dry for a month.. we have had wild westerly winds that seem to come as wind events that last 3-4 days. After the last one my husband was driving to work at 5.30am and crashed his car into a large fallen tree and had to have his car towed/fixed. We had no water for a week just after we first came due to issues with the spring water / tank / house connections, the electricity company couldnt find us, we both had a flat tyre since moving in, and our daughter seems to have caught every cold around this winter. So its been interesting. But. Its lovely here, there is _alot_ of nature, and we do love it. I discovered the Kangaroo Valley community group are currently starting up a forest garden/food forest, and I joined the North Nowra community garden.

    I'll post some pics of the mandala I made. I guess I never got around to that before. I had to net it so its made it a bit ugly since the netting was just whatever I had laying around. Thanks for the wishes!

    aneurine
     
  5. aneurine

    aneurine Junior Member

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2013
    Messages:
    36
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    View attachment 1781 View attachment 1783 View attachment 1782 View attachment 1779

    where there are flowers = mandala garden now, no flowers = first setup 3 months ago... of course. NB: road now bitumened too! Mandala garden looking pretty with the borage, nasturtiums, seeded chinese cabbage, alliums going to seed etc, but needs attention. Needs a whole lot of soil and whatever else added. I found out shoalhaven council has a waste recycling site 16min drive from here and they make a 'composted' green waste product... maybe Ill get a few uteloads of that and dump it on top and lasagne it with other things. Its just not much fun planting into it at the moment. Also think maybe some polypipe bent over it in an X from above and covered with a continuous netting might look a tad nicer. Ideas? anyone? I actually wanted it to be the kitchen garden but I'm thinking it can be the perennial kitchen garden, and another raised bed can be outside the kitchen for standard salad stuff and herbs.
     

    Attached Files:

  6. eco4560

    eco4560 New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2009
    Messages:
    5,925
    Likes Received:
    8
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I'd be a bit cautious with the councils composted green waste - you may bring a bunch of weeds and pathogens onto site. Making your own is easy and can be inexpensive with the right choice of ingredients.
     
  7. Three Happy Aussies

    Three Happy Aussies Junior Member

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2013
    Messages:
    17
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Hi Aneurine,

    We are now located North of Bulahdelah NSW (previously Cronulla then Sylvania). God it sounds like our families were seperated at birth literally...lol. Virtually the same thing has happened to us that has to you. We moved into our new home in March of this year only to find that the old owner (lovely lady but a bit of a horder) had left us with approx 26 trailer loads of crap, the septic had according to the lovely guy who came to fix it "never" been emptied, the roof was leaking in about a million places, the water tank wasn't filling because the guttering was all falling off an/or not connected oh and like you our driveway which is down hill of the house itself turned into a bog that only the meanest of 4X4's could get up (luckily we have one of those...lol)....the winds oh the winds... well they almost lifted 140 year old roof right off or at least that's what it felt like although the whole house is built very heavily out of hardwood which the termites seem to like but seems to also be very very strong so thank god for small favours...lol.

    Like you we don't show up on any maps, council diagrams, electricity, postal or RTA listings so apparently we don't exist.... however sunny side of this is that a) we reckon we can rename our laneway whatever we damn well please, b) no records of our place means we can do what we please c) Aust Post give us a free Post Office box (because mail doesn't come to us) and d) we get a break from the electricity company because of "frequent outages" and our rural location....lol (thanks wind). So there is a silver lining to every cloud.... Also the soil at ours is absolutely amazing and choc full of lovely wormies. We've already planted herbs which previously resided in a shallow pallet planter box hubby designed for our old apartment in the Shire and they have just grown like Jack threw magic beans in the ground so we hold out huge hopes for the Perma Garden once we've got the fence sorted out....

    Hubby hasn't crashed into a fallen tree yet (not for want of trying as we live in the middle of a national forest) but he has had a few narrow misses with Roo's, Possums and the odd cow....lol. That said however on his one hour drive to the dreaded day job each way each day he has broken down twice with broken timing belts but luckily again both times were right beside the RTA Truck check station so he had somewhere easy to pull in and fix it (he's getting very used to changing them now and carry's around a tool box in the boot....lol).

    All in all though we are blissfully happy and as much as we loved the shire we love our little farm soooooo much more.... and we are only a little bit jealous (ok a lot) of you living near the amazing Kangaroo/Jamberoo Valley's (the view from some of those lookouts up your way makes you want to cry.... Prior to The Bear (aka our 1yr old Alegra) arriving we used to jump on the motorbike and go riding up through there.... some very hairy turns but god the beauty made it all worth it and the pies at the top even more so...lol

    Feel free to get in touch if your ever up our way... although our garden isn't very ummmm started yet... we have big plans and we are positive it will be an oasis of calm and yummy food very shortly...:rofl:

    Lots a love,

    Kristy, Kai & The Bear
     
  8. aneurine

    aneurine Junior Member

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2013
    Messages:
    36
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    eco - well that is possible. I guess I should hot compost it first. I'm getting the knack! I have 2 enormous piles going and 1 completed. 18 days a la Geoff Lawton style. Such a lovely free resource though imo.
     
  9. aneurine

    aneurine Junior Member

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2013
    Messages:
    36
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I guess we were lucky we had a great solicitor who nit picked with a fine tooth comb so to speak and wrote into the contract that the sheds be emptied of junk and all other junk laying around be removed.

    Where *exactly* are you? lol We were looking at Bulahdelah at some point early on... we would LOVE to have moved north of sydney rather than south, as much as we have always loved it down here - we always visited Fitzroy falls and minnamurra falls, drove macquarie pass, did a million bushwalks around here. But really I mean I know you can grow stuff here but north of sydney things just grow faster, and you can grow more of the subtropical stuff. And the soil is awesome. In the 1900s this area was cleared by early settlers and all of the topsoil washed away to kangaroo valley. I have pH tested the soil and its ph 7 which is lovely, and its pretty rich, but in our property it is nearly 100% silt soil from what i can tell (soil shake test in jar) in areas, and if you try to hoe it it all sticks like clay to your hoe and on the upswing you take the whole garden with you = heavy. Lots and lots of rocks too. Wherever water has flowed... which is seemingly everywhere here! lol. Anyway we actually fell in love with a place called Comboyne. Its inland from Taree, it is where we would REALLY have loved to have moved. But alas way too far re hubbys work. Even here is too far really. He needs to go full remote its a bit ridiculous. 3 days travelling to Sydney city. 2 days working from home.

    Would love to visit you guys one day, and hey, if you're around/want to come visit, we'd love that too. We wish we had more of a permaculture community thing happening rather than an isolated family unit move to the country type thing.

    aneurine
     
  10. Three Happy Aussies

    Three Happy Aussies Junior Member

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2013
    Messages:
    17
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    We couldn't afford a solicitor but luckily one of our best friends is a very very talented conveyancer so we got a great "free" deal on purchasing our little peice of heaven... We actually didn't mind the junk as there were a few things in there that turned out to be useful like a garden shed and a wheel barrow so we aren't complaining and like we said the lady herself although a chronic horder is lovely and very friendly and only lives just up the road.

    Where are we...lol? We've asked ourselves that question many times..... basically we are on the border of the Myall State Forest. It would have been great to have another friend close by although we have made some lovely friends already in our local area...unfortunately none of them are Permies but that said we made a new friend recently at the Nabiac Market Day who runs the Bulahdelah Permie Society and Seed savers network so were not completely alone in our "radical" growing veiws...lol. Your right about better growing up here though... We had the option of moving down to Bega (hubbies family own lots of land down there) but like you work was a concern as we are single income with bubba so we had to move somewhere were hubby could still work and since wifey is a Novacastrian (another name for a Newcastle Bogan...lol) this was the obvious place... Also we were very pleasantly surprised to find that land and lovely houses were within our price range without a mortgage up here and the same cannot be said for the south coast...especially where you live =).

    We wouldn't know where to start with soil like yours so it sounds like you certainly have your work cut out for you..... That's the best part of this whole site i.e. that there are just so many people on here that can answer any questions pretty much instantly... which is awesome when you can't afford to shell out the money for a PRI course (not that we wouldn't if we did have it). Never heard of Comboyne but we will make sure to look it up.... Gotta ask what kind of work does hubby do that is to far? Newcastle is only 1.5 hours drive from us and with an iPod in the ears listening to audio books the journey seems to fly by =).

    We will definitely look you up if we are ever down Berry way... like you we love the idea of living in a community where everyone grows and grows together and away from the whole modern consumerist society.... Oh well one day maybe when we've traded up to a larger farm we might be able to organise some like minded people to form our own little village... =). (not the Mnight Shamalan version with the monsters...lol).
     

Share This Page

-->