Pondering from Purple Pear.

Discussion in 'Members' Systems' started by purplepear, Sep 6, 2010.

  1. purplepear

    purplepear Junior Member

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    Thanks Grahame - it is a pretty thing isn't it?
    I have posted my onion planting in the past I think but i have just completed garlic planting (atleast all the beds as prepared) and I took some photos and did a photo blog
    It is available here.
     
  2. eco4560

    eco4560 New Member

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    Nice! I planted a few bulbs of garlic under some fruit trees as part of an "guild in progress" about 6 weeks ago. And it rained and rained and I thought they had just rotted away... But last week I found 4 of them had come up! I hope it's not too late to plant more.
     
  3. purplepear

    purplepear Junior Member

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  4. pebble

    pebble Junior Member

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    That looks exciting!

    I was going to comment there but she's got comments set to other accounts. There is a way to set it so that I could comment with my permie username and not have to be logged into another system.
     
  5. purplepear

    purplepear Junior Member

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    so sorry pebble but I have not been around for a while - I will ask Kate about the blog comments. She has been regular in her updates and has quite a following now, including a few from here so thanks.

    We have been busy at Purple pear preparing for the summer crops. I have decided to start some "no dig" beds a the sides of the mandalas to utilize the space but as the ground has not had the benifits if the fertility provided by the dome rotation I thought the no dig would add organic matter to the area and boost fertility for the future while producing a crop now.
    I have a blog post here that shows what I have done.
    As you will see, we have planted zuchinni and the three sisters on the right of the garden and on the left we are preped for pumpkin, capsicum and eggplant which are all growing on in the plant propagation area, ready for planting.
    Excessive rain has come at a great time to soak the hay used to create the beds and the sawdust paths make a better surface to walk on.
    We have just a farm tour and a PDC and a weekend workshop on backyard gardening to navigate as well as a couple of workshops for council and the year is over. I will do a couple of days with David Holmgren which will be great. We had the great opportunity to address the Newcastle University last week on sustainable agriculture and CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) and next year we are looking to do more with schools and a community garden is being discussed as well as some workshops with the Housing Department.
    Next year may be more crasy than this one and we very much hope to continue the skills for living sustainably workshops but will probably do just one PDC as the interest seems to have wained or money got too tight.
     
  6. Grahame

    Grahame Senior Member

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    Similar to what I have done to the sides of the mandalas I think PP. Although I've included trellis wires for espaliering some extra fruit trees and filling the beds with perennials as much as I can. It sort of acts as a 'Fedge', a sun trap and a windbreak depending on the aspect. Or at least that is what we are building up to. When I find the time I will have to post some photos too.
     
  7. purplepear

    purplepear Junior Member

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    please do Gman - then maybe I will complete the geo dome instructions lol
     
  8. Grahame

    Grahame Senior Member

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    Here you go mate - I just rushed out and took a few shots and signed up to photoblog. Talk about action man!
     
  9. purplepear

    purplepear Junior Member

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    well done Grahame now I will have to get on to finishing the dome stuff.
     
  10. purplepear

    purplepear Junior Member

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    finally the rain is here

    It was in November 2011 when I last posted in this spot. So very much has happened since than but this is the first real rain we have had.
    A remarkable thing about our spot in the Hunter Valley is that we can miss rain that falls not 3 kilometers away in Maitland and costal rain in Newcastle and the Central Coast can miss us too. We are not in some rain shadow I think but are located in the centre of the valley and showers often follow the edges of the valley one side or the other. Today ex tropical cyclone Osca has reached us as a rain depression and has dropped 35mm of great water on the farm. This is far from filling any dams or swales but is starting to see the cracks in the ground close up. When they do the water will be able to flow so I am hoping for more.
    The long dry has allowed us to do earthworks that will hopefully drought proof the farm AND allow for a swimming hole for those long hot days of summer. I am keen to see the water run off and check if the levels and falls are working as they should.For now I am happy to see garden plants and pasture responding so quickly to the rain.
    The mandala garden has been kept productive to a great extent through the dry using firstly the water stored in the ground. We are fortunate to have built great soil, with the help of the chickens and the organic matter they have helped spread. Second water storage is the irrigation ponds we installed as part of the mandalas. The high water table in the paddock the garden sits in allows for a larger water storage than it seems, still the ponds water level drops rapidly when you are irrigating daily. Thirdly we pumped water from the dams at the lowest point of the property. These dams fill quickly when it rains due to the valley catchment they have but the energy to pump (petrol) makes it less than ideal and to be done as a last resort. We have never considered it ethical to take water from the river system or the aquifer, a little madness when attempting horticulture. We now have extended the swale system and dug a sump to collect water from the low area at the top of the property as well as a large dam at the top of the slope which I spoke of before as our swimming hole. (You should see the jetty I have half finished)
    The cows have been sent down the road to an extended vacation with the bull. I did a deal with the guy (one of our CSA subscribers) to take the two cows and the overgrown calf for as long as it takes to be sure they are pregnant and I will collect the cows and never see the calf again. The little spell (several months) will allow for pasture to regenerate after the long dry.
    We have been propagating leguminous and fodder trees through the summer for a plant out in the autumn. Carob, Albiza, Mulberry are the main species and we trust these will enhance the drought proofing by allowing for fodder when the pasture receeds. I must say that the cell grazing allowed for great regeneration of pasture in trying times before the cows went away.
    If indeed this is finally the end to the drought then I am well pleased with how the farm and myself and Kate have come through and even prospered in a very difficult couple of years.
     
  11. purplepear

    purplepear Junior Member

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  12. purplepear

    purplepear Junior Member

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  13. Grahame

    Grahame Senior Member

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    That is wicked good PP!
     
  14. matto

    matto Junior Member

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    Nice work Mr Brown! How much land will they be fertilising?
     
  15. purplepear

    purplepear Junior Member

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    sorry about the lack of words guys but i was pushed for time. More pics of it working today I hope. I have around thirty chooks covering about ten acres Matto and moving every second day though the night droppings look like a daily move will be best.
     
  16. Mumchook2

    Mumchook2 Junior Member

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    That looks fantastic, Mark.

    I picked up an old trailer for free, with the plan to do exactly what you have done.

    I think that dear husband of mine may have been dismantling it, for reasons best known to himself. I'm almost reluctant to go down to the paddock behind the shed where it was sitting as I may find it in pieces, or missing the wheels!

    I'm going to show him your photographs.
     
  17. purplepear

    purplepear Junior Member

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    Cool Ree - it is working well. Lost another chook last evening so looking at a electronet for added protection but it will restrict their free ranging
     
  18. Mumchook2

    Mumchook2 Junior Member

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    I have the electranet netting and yes, it restricts their free ranging but keeps them safe from foxes. The nets come in 50 metre lengths and as I have about six of them, I can connect and make a good sized area or simply have smaller areas for rotational grazing, etc.

    The only issue I've had with them is when (well, this is the only reason we can come up with, actually) a delivery truck must have backed into it and ripped the cording. We hadn't noticed but the jolly fox did and over thirty chooks went in one night, plus ducks. Truly awful.
     
  19. purplepear

    purplepear Junior Member

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    We always lock away at night but the time between the stragglers decide to go in and the fox prowling is a fine line - in fact it was still quite light out when it struck yesterday. More pics soon I hope - House in action!
     
  20. matto

    matto Junior Member

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    That has been my opinion too if you arent deep bedding. But depends on the seasons, and stuff.

    Is there a rotation plan for the birds?
     

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