Eco's Lodge

Discussion in 'Members' Systems' started by eco4560, Sep 8, 2010.

  1. eco4560

    eco4560 New Member

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    The passionfruit was planted on Sunday. Lets see how long it takes to create the "roof" of the dome. I'm wondering if there is such a thing as a subtropical grape? Maybe it could share the space with the passionfruit. I also planted 20 acacias on Sunday - fimbriata and melanoxylon. I'm hoping they grow like weeds for me to turn into mulch.
    I'm harvesting fat broad beans, little cabbages, and tiny leeks. The leeks look more like shallots. Still - that's an improvement on last years effort when they didn't survive transplanting! Maybe next year I'll get it closer to right. Strawberries and mulberries and cape gooseberries are there if I'm faster than the kids. Fennel and kohlrabi, turnips, silverbeet, warrigul greens, plenty of herbs. I can't wait until my fruit trees reach maturity and I get fruit too. The nectarine is full of promise. I must put bird netting over it in the next few days or they might beat me to it.
    The big compost pile is almost 4 months old now and has reduced by 50% in volume from when it was completed, so I started to pull it apart over the weekend. It's a bit of a disappointment. There are bits in the middle that are well composted but also areas that are dry and the vines haven't broken down at all. After seeing Purple Pear's reply to the Ant topic I had an aha! moment. I never watered my compost pile apart from when I built it. The ones I've done before have been in plastic compost bins so they've kept wetter. I assumed that being open to the rain would be enough, but obviously it wasn't. I always wondered why you would cover an open heap and now I realize that it is to keep the water IN not OUT. I've put the 2 plastic bins back into use down beside the mandala beds and have filled them with some of the better rotted stuff and some of the not so well rotted stuff, and added some compost worms, watered them well, and gave them a generous splash of molasses. I hope that restarts the biology and they compost down a bit more.
    Then I went and watered the other compost pile that I have just finished. It has layers of mushy compost and one of site soil (left over from the recent landscaping) in between the green leafy stuff and the cardboard and the cow poo, so hopefully that'll hold some moisture better than the last one. There's a real art to this compost making - each mix is that bit different to the next. I can't wait to get started on the next one now. Plenty of purple top weeds waiting to go in... I need to visit my mate with the cows and get more cow poo first though.
     
  2. sun burn

    sun burn Junior Member

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    I don't think watering your compost heap is enough. I think you need to include more wet/green stuff. I also think turning it more often would help it to get even breakdown all over as well. When you water it, it still dries out. It seems that its mainly the damp vegetation and manure that holds the moisture.

    I tried adding soil to one of my heaps and didn't like the effect. It seemed to make mud.

    I probably wouldn't put a grape and a passionfruit on the same trellis. I think it would spoil the effect of either of them. But its your garden. On the other hand, maybe you can put a divider down the middle.
     
  3. purplepear

    purplepear Junior Member

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    Occupation:
    Farm manager/ educator
    Location:
    Hunter Valley New South Wales
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    Climate:
    warm temperate - some frost - changing every year
    The place sounds great Eco - I feel I want to come visit.
     
  4. eco4560

    eco4560 New Member

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    I wos thinking of you on Sunday Mark. I went to Sandy Creek Organic Farm at Beerwah for their open day and did a farm tour. They do a CSA project and he uses biodynamics just like you.
    He hasn't discovered the joy of circles yet and has lots of straight line rows planted up, and the chooks aren't part of the system - they have a grass field of their own. I learnt a few things - like the white flowering thing that looks vaguely like broccoli that was flowering at his place is radish - which is also flowering at my place in a green manure crop and I hadn't yet figured out what it was. I also discovered you can grow savoy cabbage here on the coast - I thought it was temperate only, but his look magnificent. And you harvest garlic after it sets a flower spike, and you can eat the flower.
    I was secretly pleased that his tomatoes look just as daggy as mine - not like the ones on Gardening Australia, and his peas have sooty mould too just like mine!
    There's always a free bed for you and Kate whenever you can drag yourself away. You can have a beer with me in the meditation dome.
     
  5. sun burn

    sun burn Junior Member

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    Your meditation dome sounds better and better.
     
  6. eco4560

    eco4560 New Member

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    I stuck my hand in the compost bins this morning and it's hot, so it has obviously started up again. Love those nifty bacteria!
     
  7. sun burn

    sun burn Junior Member

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    Was that because you turned it over? Or because you watered it? or both? I reckon it might have needed some air.
     
  8. eco4560

    eco4560 New Member

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    Yes... I turned it, added molasses and watered it. All or any of the above did the trick!
     
  9. Tezza

    Tezza Junior Member

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    Hey ECO, Youve re inspired me to officially declare my own meditation zone.its perfect spot as allmost smack in middle of our Block, its next to my aquaponic system,next to my chook house

    door,and close to my main shed,where my music gets played,nice n close, and just far enough from the house to be well hidden without even trying to hide....

    Tezza
     
  10. eco4560

    eco4560 New Member

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    We can meditate on each others meditation spots!
     
  11. Tezza

    Tezza Junior Member

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    ommmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm

    My meditation seat in my meditation area

    Tezza
     
  12. eco4560

    eco4560 New Member

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    Nice wattle. I've just planted some near my done too. Om Tara tuttare ture svaha.
     
  13. Tezza

    Tezza Junior Member

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    not sure on its variety but its huge tree with huge spread..

    it drops a lot of yellow blossom in my aqua tanks,have to sift it out when in season...

    its been thinned to over shoot my tanks and give more summer hot shelter....

    ditto with your latin lol
     
  14. eco4560

    eco4560 New Member

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    I'm heading off to Adelaide tomorrow for a week for a conference. That'll be pretty ho - hum, but I'm REALLY looking forward to hitting the city market. I discovered it late in my visit to Adelaide earlier this year and was disappointed that I hadn't found it earlier. As soon as I check in I'm hopping on the tram and heading down to buy good coffee, sourdough bread, fresh organic fruit, cheese, cheese and some more cheese, and probably some yoghurt. Maybe some of the local organic bacon and pork and some salad makings.... And a bottle or two of the local vino.

    I've spent the past few days getting the garden ready for me to be absent for a bit. The kids will (I hope!) remember to feed the chooks, but they'll probably forget to water the seedlings. So I've planted as many as I can and the heavenly powers have been kind and it rained well last night and is currently bucketing down and looks like it has set in for a few days. So the plants will probably survive without me. In the recently vacated chook bed went potatoes, sunflowers, capsicums, eggplant and tomatoes. By 2 of the trellises I have planted beans and corn, and by the third jicama (yam bean). By the Great Wall of Nambour 3 gourd plants (close to the choko which is starting to get a kick along!). An achacha tree that has been knocked out of its pot by the cat in a nocturnal adventure went in below the meditation dome. It's only about 10 cm high... Hope it survives. Comfrey and lemon grass went along the southern edge - I've almost got the entire length of the boundary planted up. The arrowroot corms that went in back in early winter are starting to send up a green spike with red edges. A few sweet potato plants went in by the banana tree on the south side of the house. Well actually I think they might be yams. The label said sweet potato, but they are white / yellow corms and they taste different to sweet potato. And the leaves are identical to the plant that permasculptor gave me and he called his a yam. I have another plant that looks similar, but it really is a sweet potato.

    I harvested some of the mystery yam for tonight's dinner. There's something magical about thrusting your hands into the earth and coming up with a corm the size of your forearm! I also found 2 jicama corms when I was planting them out - they stayed in the ground in perfect condition for several months since I pulled the tops off! (I had wondered where the bottoms went.) I did a beef curry so the yams and the jicamas went in the pot, along with lemon grass, kaffir lime leaves, Vietnamese mint, coriander, garlic chives, silverbeet and warrigul greens. I added some of my preserved ginger (in sherry) and a spoonful of the chilli jam that I made last year. Stupendous!

    I pruned my recently planted passionfruit back to one leader - I want to get it to go up before it goes out. The cape gooseberry plant got a prune too. Something gets to it at this time of the year - it looks like brown slimy snot on the leaves and the plant very quickly gets stripped of foliage. I tossed the prunings in with the chooks so they can eat whether the critter is. I've got tiny seedlings for more of the same to plant in other spots around the garden. The original seed came from my recently departed grandmothers plant. As kids the highlight of a visit to her place was to raid her bushes for the sweet yellow fruit. It's nice to think that my kids now get to enjoy the same thing. Hopefully I can pass the seeds on to them when they have their own gardens.

    I have covered the nectarine in bird netting. The fruit are now starting to colour up and are about 4cm in size. There's a lot of fruit on there, and I'm REALLY excited by the thought that I'll be soon eating my first nectarine crop. This might be a bad time to find out that I do have a fruit fly problem after all.... So far I haven't had any problems with it. Fingers crossed. Which reminds me - I think there's a flower on the banana on the north side of the house - I was looking out the window this morning and could see something burgundy in colour, and I was going to go out and have a closer look at it today but I forgot and now it is dark and pouring rain! There's never enough hours of daylight!
     
  15. Tezza

    Tezza Junior Member

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    wow makes my garden sound quite bare lol.

    We moved in our place 18 months ago and after two real bad dry winters,Im just glad i didnt go crazy with new tree planting programs? maybe my aquas has been a sign to save me heaps of water..

    They say aqps use only 2% of water for that in normal in ground methods.... pretty impressive id say lol

    Enjoy your trip
     
  16. eco4560

    eco4560 New Member

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    It IS a banana flower! A huge one - and there are already 3 little banana hands forming. That's just as exciting as the nectarines!

    Oh and by the way Tezza Om Tara etc is Sanskrit - I think the translation is Homage to Tara the Saviouress - or something. She's my favourite Buddhist Goddess and that's her mantra. She's the Tibetan equivalent of Qwan Yin. It also happens to be my daughters name - I chose it long before I know that she was being named after a Goddess! It also means Star, and in Gaelic Tara (Teamhair) was the ancient city of Druidic rule.

    Boy did it rain last night.... I left the pump on the tank by the house - the one that pumps up to the big header tank. Normally it runs dry after a few hours and switches off, but it is still running and the tank is 3/4 full still! It must have rained faster than the pump could go for most of the night. There are very few boggy spots in the garden. The water management work that my landscaper did for me was worth every penny. It either soaks in or runs off down the dry gullies and down either side of my driveway.
     
  17. sun burn

    sun burn Junior Member

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    Stupendous indeed. It all sounds fantastic, the curry and the garden.

    Now about this chilli jam.... What is chilli jam? Is it sweet? What do you eat it with?

    I actually am afraid of chilli and don't like it when i am in india but its fine when it has an Australian touch so I'm willing to have a go at anything. If its quite harmless, could you post the recipe here please?

    How are you capsicums growing? Are they growing up? (remembering our previous discussion).

    One day could you take some pics of your bean trellises. I am not good at trellises. I am trying to make teepees with string around them but they are a bit wobbly and even the string sags.

    What do you think of those jacama yams. Are they yummy?

    I am excited for you about your nectarines. Good luck and may the dreaded fruit fly lose its way on the path to your tree.
     
  18. eco4560

    eco4560 New Member

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    It is sweet. I found the recipe on the 'net, made the stuff and lost the recipe again... sorry. Think sweet chilli sauce but thicker. Use it any where you would use sweet chilli sauce. On sausages, in a salad dressing, in a curry or casserole etc.
    I cheated and went to the nursery and bought capsicums as mine still haven't germinated. They are yellow ones. Fingers crossed that they bear fruit.
    I'm not good are trellises either. I think they might be in some of the pics on my photoblog if you hunt a bit. I bought some dog wire second hand - the stuff that has square holes about 10 cm in size - whacked in a star picket at either end of where I wanted it to go - and tied the dog wire to it with tie wire. The first time it rained they sagged sadly in the middle - so I straightened them up and whacked them in again. Then as the vines got heavy they sagged in the middle again, so after I cleared the vines at the end of the season I whacked them in again.... I'll win eventually... They are butt ugly but cheap and I thought it would be good to see if they work well where they are, before I pay someone to come and do something attractive and more permanent.
    The jicama is really yummy. Which brings me to Adelaide. They aren't very clever the Adelaide people. Saturday afternoon - I went up Gouger street to the market with cash burning a hole in my pocket and a desire to EAT. And it was shut.... I found a Chinese supermarket instead and figured that it would be a good adventure to see if I could put together a meal. I found a really big fat jicama corm, and kang kong leaves (never had it before), the skinny thai eggplants, mung bean sprouts, dried mushrooms, rice vermicelli, coconut milk and laksa paste and made a pretty good laksa. I'd have the kang king again - I'll have to see if I can score some to go by my pond....
     
  19. Tezza

    Tezza Junior Member

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    Wow all that from four lettle letters Tara

    Tara for now.enjoy rest of your trip
     
  20. sun burn

    sun burn Junior Member

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    thanks eco. You've persuaded me on the chilli sauce. I like making vietnamese spring rolls so they'd go well with those. And likewise the jicama yams. Now i just need ot find that packet of seeds.

    I've got kang kong in. Its been really easy to get start and is growing madly. I water them a lot as they like a moist soil. Its like an attractive plant also.

    Some of my capsicum seedligns are starting to move - produce new leaves - perhaps they are just really slow and require really warm weather. My friend from up the hill at Kuranda visited yesterday. She said she also has difficult with them. Perhaps i've been too impatient. The ones that are moving, what i did was after they'd germinated and grew up to about 6-7cm i transplanted into a more spacious container with potting mix. Perhaps i could have sewed them more sparsely in the first place to save this step. I've taken to sewing the whole packet of seeds as i find it tedious sewing a few of everything. I'll probably live to regret this approach. There must be an easier way.

    You sound like a pretty good cook eco. I went off laksa after having it too much but it sounds like i need to refresh my asian cooking techniques to enjoy all these asian vegies i'm growing.
     

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