Hi from Gold Coast, Australia

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself Here' started by KiwiInOz, May 26, 2014.

  1. KiwiInOz

    KiwiInOz Junior Member

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    Hi, I have just joined and just starting to have a good look around .... sooooo much info!

    I live on a steep one acre at the back of the Gold Coast. I have been here for almost 15 years, and started off with high self sufficiency goals, dreaming of food forests, ducks, chooks, milking goats... But, everything went wrong...

    I had some but not enough knowledge and made so many mistakes. Nothing seemed to want to grow here. Then the water restrictions came in and all the fruit trees I had stupidly spread all round the property in "attractive" places - were the first to suffer. Then problems with neighborhood chickens constantly destroying my compost and garden beds. Any piece of fruit I see on a tree gets eaten before it is ripe by possums, King parrots, a little bandicoot/rat type animal (it's always too fast to tell exactly what that is) and others.

    I have never had enough money to do anything properly. Finished up just too dejected and tried to sell the property for years.

    However, I have just got bitten by the "bug" again and spending my days watch YouTube permaculture stuff. I am now hoping to put everything behind me and start again. Although I am a lot older and now with back problems - which makes the physical work a lot harder.

    I still have a sprinkling of trees still alive, mango, macadamia, mulberry, a mandarin ... hmmm - I just noticed they are all "M" trees - wonder what that means? I have started off some seedlings that are doing quite well, Pomegranate, Avocado, Pawpaw, Lychee, Chia.

    Is there anyone/anywhere local that is interested in sharing/trading/selling plants really cheap? Because I am in search of all sorts of fruit trees and plants for my permaculture gardens. Along with any appreciated advice on what grows well on the Gold Coast.

    I don't have a lot to offer in trade. A number of PawPaw seedlings, tiny Goji & Chia seedlings. Cutting could be taken from some ornamentals and a couple of herbs, and also from a beautiful black bamboo Bambusa Lako. Also, have a heap of wood from 2 felled weeping fig trees ... if anyone wants some? One of the trees has WoodEar mushrooms growing on it that spring to life when it is wet.

    Anyway, nuff said for now, off to do more reading :)
     
  2. Terra

    Terra Moderator

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    Hi Kiwi and welcome

    Its never too late to make a difference , Trees can be moved ect ect , beg borrow or preferably buy the Design manual (mollisons) do a PDC course they are available online but I would think that mixing with like minded people while learning for two weeks is a better way if you can do that . Start small and prioritise what will give you a yield for your effort .

    Bigger picture get usefull control of water flows through your property , use of large or small swales , ponds tanks ect to store / direct water , we have to have water to grow plants.

    My food garden was a scattered mess and I moved my house fence out on the side where my citrus grow set up a chook dome food garden (My version of Linda Woodrows popular system) best thing I ever did I save a lot of time and effort I used to waste marching here and there , Also she promotes the moon planting guide , I follow a very simple version of this , split the moon cycle into 4 quarters , a fruit crop section then a leaf crop section then a root crop/ perennial section then a preparation section , my seed containers are labelled the same , now I don't follow it religiously but it keeps me organised when im really busy away from home . So if im in the fruiting week I pretty well forget about the rest I spend my time organising planting and starting new seedlings in that plant group , watering pulling a few weeds for the chooks ect , I can go out give the chooks a little grain eat a mandarin chuck some greens to the chooks grab the eggs pick something to take inside done .

    Point being use design to save your back and energy for other projects , you could consider rethinking your tree crops mine are all closely planted so I can net them against raiders , a small permanent cage/ net area might be worth considering the food forest concept is very romantic but spending all your effort feeding native birds and animals will wear you down , here its almost impossible to get anything ringneck parrots will ringbark new trees before they even get started flowering .

    So a couple of options design your tree crops so they can catch /trap water select varieties to give a good spread of fruit and nut yield over the year and cage them , run a couple chooks or ducks underneath for periods then grow some garden crops that take space like melons use the cage to provide yields all year not just for a couple of weeks , lots of chooks will damage roots , one of my cages is about 8 x 15 metres and two chooks keep that area weeded and fertilized for me .

    If that's not practical for you Join one of the permaculturegroups in your area or the food swap groups that are springing up on facebook , grow what you can and swap for what you cant . preserve fruits in large quantities when in season .

    Self sufficiency goals can be difficult to achieve , unless we have a army of helpers we just run out of hours , funds and that leads to no fun , we see the lovely places online that teach permaculture and get a picture in our head of our own place , so we do what we can .
     
  3. KiwiInOz

    KiwiInOz Junior Member

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    Thank you for the in depth info, much appreciated. Yup, I figured I would be better keeping my fruit trees in close and compact so I can both water and protect them easily. Wish I had figured that out 10 years ago, though.

    I have made a couple of raised garden beds from roofing iron (excess from my verandah) and behind them I have started a row of stacked tyres as planters for fruit trees. I figure that I can easily run a drip line over the top of the tyres. And the tyres will also catch and hold a little water in their rounded, bottom area. What do you think of that idea? Attached image is looking South.

    It is on the lawn close to the house, and should be easy enough to fence/cover to protect from the locals.

    I have a little gully that runs right through the middle of my property, which is steep at the back. It only ever has water in heavy rainfall, and then I get white-water rapids.

    Although when I originally planted all my fruit trees, I made individual baby swales at the downside of each one - I never realised the extent swales should/could be. I have always tried to get the water off the property as quickly as possible - as being so fast it does a lot of damage. But now I know better and am hoping that I will be able to afford to put a little dam at the top of the property where the water enters, then lots of swales everywhere.
     

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  4. eco4560

    eco4560 New Member

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    Hi Kiwi! Brian is one of the regulars here and he is on the Gold Coast. He's more a worm farming expert than a gardening expert (though he managed to not kill some tomatoes this year- go Brian!). There is a permaculture group based in Ashmore, with a community garden. You may be able to find people interested in plant swapping. I have found gardening types to be the most generous people I know!
     
  5. KiwiInOz

    KiwiInOz Junior Member

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    Everything has changed. Had a horrible year and a half, and am now back home - right at the bottom of New Zealand. I was in Aussie for 26 years - so growing anything here in this temperate climate is all new to me and a big learning curve.
     
  6. Billy VanCuren

    Billy VanCuren New Member

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    Hi there! I hope your upcoming year is better and things grow well for you! I just started on the forums. I live in the desert/high desert of New Mexico in the US.
     
  7. 9anda1f

    9anda1f Administrator Staff Member

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    "so growing anything here in this temperate climate is all new to me and a big learning curve."
    Your options will be vast and rewarding!
     

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