I like that idea, much better than first mandala bed1 etc... Was Nelson married? maybe I could do Nelson and (?)Betty,Elizabeth(?) I finally decided where I wanted to plant the rest of the Avocados. We have a Nectarine tree that has never produced ripe fruit due to Brown rot every year inspite of using all the reccommended cures. It has high spreading branches that let in dappled light thru in summer. I have planted the Avocados infront of this in an L shape. To the north is an old brush wood fence that I put up when I was going to put the chook pen in the North back corner behind this fence. This area is already well mulched with leaf fall and lawn clippings. It used to be a flower garden til they were expelled. I have sort of used the high density planting method and have them at 1 metre spacing(approx) which is further than I was told to do but I cant help it I will prune them wider than deep so they will join up as a loose sort of hedge at 6 or so feet high. Before I planted them I checked to make sure which were type A and B so they could be planted alternately. These 2 rows are behind the bed I didnt have anything to plant into and are about 2-3 feet outside the bed so I should be able to get to everything without damaging anything. I will use this bed as a composting site and maybe a place to put in the offsets from the strawberries and cuttings from the currants and gooseberries etc... The Nectarine branches should give protection from any frost we might have... I have never seen 'white' under this tree so I figure they should be safe. I have loaded the area around the young trees with old horse manure and lawn clippings to give them a good start. I figure that come midwinter I will have worked out where I want the soft fruit to go and will have transplanted them and have chook food growing there for when the chooks are back to this bed. I have gone around all the tomatoes and taken off all the leaves below any fruiting clusters. I dont know if you do this but here we do it to get the air flow thru the plants. It can be quite humid and windless during the day-mid summer and you get browning leaves and fruit otherwise. It seems to help the plants concentrate on their fruit and as I start off with good intentions and remove the laterals, but forget til they have flowers and/or fruit; I dont want to remove them.So taking the leaves off helps slow down (AH cant remember the right term for it-transperation-losing moisture thru the leaves).Also helps them not be so overcrowded due to too many laterals I see with lovely fruit on. I have decided that jam packed planting isnt working so well and have thinned things out abit. the peppers for one are far happier and dont look so scrawny and now have lots of flowers and fruit starting. All the Rocket plants I harvested have dried out and I have put them head first into an old chook pellet sack and wacked agains the side of the fence to thresh out the seed. The potatoes I planted along the top of the rock wall on the front road side died back except for two that are still green and flowering. Out of 50 plants so far we have got just over 50 kgs of mainly med to large spuds. There are afew kgs of wee ones but thats okay cos I like them boiled and then smothered in butter and parsley. My small sowing of the last 6 peas I had from some other time, has resulted in enough seed to do a more reasonable row next year. I have dehydrated some tomatoes and have a jar sitting in olive oil now. The rest seldom make it to the kitchen as I am usually munching on them as I weed or water the garden. The Choko plant was slow to get going this year and is still inflower with afew tiny fruit. I will be picking them at around 2 inches and pickling them. I will try the lactofermentation method. So far, my lacto-ferment pickles have gone really well. I did do a couple of jars of normal vinegar style pickles so we can do a taste test later on. I have been reading on the net that I cant grow enough food for one person on a 1/4 acre section. This person is in Hawaii and is very insistent about it. Makes me laugh. So far I am not even using half of a 1/4 acre and we are eating all our own vegies and some of our own fruit. and have done so for since Xmas. Okay so its eggs, vegies and some fruit but I can see I have room for alot of rabbits and guinea pigs, more fruit trees,vines and shrubs; more grains and legumes. The only thing I dont have room for is a dairy animal so no milk or cheese. I have been comtemplating where and how I can get some nut trees in for nuts and coppicing for firewood AND garden stakes- my garden stakes are too puny and not long enough!! I have been told to look at Hazelnut and chestnuts for nuts and coppicing; and paulonia and black wattle for firewood. If anyone is growing a coppicing woodlot I'd really like to know how you are getting on. I'm thinking of planting a single row around the perimetre, including along the road front garden. I should be able to grow pumpkins and pop corn there with them. Why popcorn? well... If anyone pinches my corn for dinner, it wont be sweet, they wont like it and I guarantee that they wont be back for more. I have been wondering what to plant along the north wall of the house. It makes sense to me to put up a trellis and plant some kind of vine, but thats as far as I have got with that area. I found a source of polystyrene boxes. One of our local fish and chip shops onsells them very cheaply and I got his last 2 for $2 each, with lids.