Just starting out

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself Here' started by MayRoberts, Jan 30, 2010.

  1. MayRoberts

    MayRoberts Junior Member

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    Hi, We're living on bush acreage where the soil is poor and the land is generally covered with gums and lantana. Begining to create an area where I can grow some food and establish fruit trees. We have some hens and a rooster, all of whom regularly escape from their designated area! The fruit trees I have are young and presently growing in buckets while I figure out where might be the best place to establish them. Power is from a 240 volt solar system and water is captured in a small dam and tanks. I have scratched up small areas to grow some vegies with minimal success. Water seems to run off the surface of the ground and it seems this is caused by the gums. My hope in joining this site is to learn about permaculture, and hopefully also learn from the experience of others.
    Cheers
    May
     
  2. Aaronj

    Aaronj Junior Member

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    Welcome,
    I just joined up myself, and though we are half a world away Im in Colorado USA, but I just returned from a year in Australia, and miss it already!
    cheers
    Aaron
     
  3. eco4560

    eco4560 New Member

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    Which bit of Qld are you in May?

    My first suggestion is to take the easy way out and go raised beds for your veges. Depending on how permanent or temporary you want them to be you could spend a lot or a little to get them started. The cheapest way to do it is to buy some bales of sugar cane (the small block shaped ones, not the big circles) and make a square or a rectangle from these to mark out your bed. Put down a layer of cardboard or thick layer of newspaper and then fill it with anything compostable - manure, grass clippings, fallen leaves etc etc. If you are in a hurry you could top it off with purchased garden soil, or just wait for it to rot down a bit and then plant into it.

    Len is a regular around here and there are photos of his version of this on his web site - https://www.lensgarden.com.au/straw_bale_garden.htm
     
  4. MayRoberts

    MayRoberts Junior Member

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    Hello Aaronj,
    I can't imagine living anywhere except Australia and understand how you'd miss it after being here for a year. What keeps you in Colorado and which areas of Australia did you stay in during the year you were here?
    Cheers
    May
     
  5. MayRoberts

    MayRoberts Junior Member

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    Hi Eco4560, (I began a reply and not sure what happened to it and apologise if two show up. My talent is not technology!)

    I'm around 26klms out of Toowoomba in the Gatton Shire.

    I began something similar under a carpet square that hasn't turned out how I envisioned. Hadn't thought of putting garden soil on top, will try that, thanks. Some time ago, I did buy what I was led to believe was garden soil ready to go, unfortunately the water just ran off it so I'll go to a different supplier this time.

    I'm considering making a mobile chook enclosure, the desired size of a garden bed, and moving that around. Would take care of the garden beginnings and keep the chooks in, at present they are escapees on the run, stashing their loot in undisclosed places. I found a dozen eggs the other day hiden under some play equipment! Fortunately the eggs were all good and I have an egg and spinach pie in the oven as I type!

    I'll check out that site, thank you.

    Are you in Australia and if so where abouts?

    Cheers

    May
     
  6. teela

    teela Junior Member

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    Hi May,
    Yes chooks are very frustrating creatures (a bit like computers lol) I have just clipped the wings of all my chooks to keep them in their own area but there's always a trouble maker who escapes somehow and trashes my garden.
    Do you read Grass Roots magazines? Plently of usefull tips in them (and on here too of course).
     
  7. Michaelangelica

    Michaelangelica Junior Member

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    Welcome Aaronj and may
    Sounds like you both have lots of work ahead of you.
    The first principle of permaculture is to observe.
    Sit on your block for a day and really look at it
    Where are the biggest trees?
    Where does water go?
    What insects are around.
    What type of weeds grow?
    What manner of shrubs?
    How would you describe your soil?
    What is the chooks' favorite spot (You can learn heaps by quietly watching animals).

    I am still working out where the sun goes over a 12 month period in my garden and i have been in my new garden for 4 years now.I have just created a few little micro-climates

    Picture the land in your mind; then try to get a picture of it, as you want it, in your head.
    I was in one garden for over 15+ years in my tenth year or so people started complimenting me on my garden. I was surprised and puzzled rather than pleased. This perplexed me for ages and the compliments still kept coming. I finally realised that MY garden was in my head all those first ten+ years. I always saw it, as it was ,when people complemented me. That was always the image in my head. Does that make any kind of sense? I do tend to think in pictures.

    Another principle of permaculture is relationships-with land, animals and plant. My plants are my friends. I now know what many like, where they are the happiest, what they would like to eat. I know their history and their stories --this has taken me a lifetime. I still love making new friends-the weirder the better. So before you plant go vist nurseries, talk to locals about what grows best. Join a local Garden Club even if you are the youngest by half a Century! Better still find a permaculture group and wander along--listen and learn. It is such fun--when you stop learning you will be dead.

    Hopefully these forums will help you in your travels.

    Welcome
     
  8. eco4560

    eco4560 New Member

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    I'm on the Sunshine Coast - slightly different climate! You might like to get hold of Linda Woodrow's book on Permaculture gardening - she has a chook dome and garden system like you describe. There a bunch of us here that use her system including myself. We have our own spot under Groups called Mandala town if you need more info.
     

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