The Bamboo Garden

Discussion in 'Members' Systems' started by aikidesigns, Nov 13, 2013.

  1. aikidesigns

    aikidesigns Junior Member

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2009
    Messages:
    44
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Hi all,
    About time I posted a bit about the home garden, one of my longer-running site-based projects. Hope to get around to outlining some of my other projects too, sooner rather than later...

    Scene: Brisbane Southwestern suburban side-street, late '90s. Alluvial soils with reasonable fertility but somewhat tending to water-repellency during El-Nino events. Veg includes mature Allocasuarina, Ti-tree and Silky Oak with numerous introduced woody pioneers (some more spiky than others) forming a novel ecosystem mix with few usable foods or materials. Just out of water during the '74 floods.

    Enter eccentric wildlife ecologist and rampant indigiphile, stage left. Sees introduced "weeds", curses and shakes fist. Begins ongoing savage co-opting of exotic woody biomass for soil- and habitat-building...

    Skip forward almost two decades: We replaced many of the introduced "weeds" with hand-picked perennials with multiple utility: clumping bamboos for shade/visual screening, wind modification and craft/building materials; native foods/medicines; wildlife fodder and habitat plants from lianes to cabinet timbers, a few volunteer exotic fruits etc.
    We initially used sweet potato as pioneer low shade and living mulch around new plantings, native spike-rushes (Lomandra spp) for steering runoff and for low structure. Piles of prunings from the woody weeds became hugelkultur (didn't know it was called that at the time) planting/volunteer sites for bushtucker trees (lillipillis galore, sandpaper figs) and smaller natives. Coffee, banana, mulberry, passionfruit and other exotic perennial edibles have their place here too. Annual foods are thin on the ground at the moment, but include parsley and some of the more intrepid herbs and veg. Should grow heaps more veg than we do. *slaps wrist*

    In my defence, we have waaaay "too many" trees (as if there is such a thing), and possums, for any decent-sized vegetable-gardening efforts; only a narrow strip of lawn down the centre of the driveway for the kids to run on, and elsewhere pretty much just understorey and groundcover spaces left, if any, to plant things in. We do have the western facing fence but that is being reserved for some quality wine and table grapes, when I stop being tight and fork out for select stock. Will inevitably try to fit in more fruit trees (espalliered it will have to be or they'll block the drive) along that strip too, despite having neglected our fair share of expensive grafted stock unto death in that hot exposed position.

    Our single rogue chook is a murderer, so I am reluctant to introduce gentler birds to her territory at the moment. This is not such a bad thing, as the yard provides heaps of food for one chook - I supplement her foraging with the kitchen scraps, and the odd handful of whatever seeds I have around, sprouted in a jar beforehand. She doesn't seem lonely, and is currently preparing the last bit of un-forested ground (behind the garage) for my usually ill-timed, half-baked annual attempt to raise some cereals - for her feed mainly, though I do still fantasise about a single home-grown wheat chapati... Just one would do!

    Ill post a sketch of the latest iteration of the site's permaculture design to this forum when I can. If you like, check out the gallery at my website: https://www.aikidesigns.net/practice/the-bamboo-garden/

    I have been working on building up my permaculture business for the last couple of years - the site linked above also has links to other stuff I am doing in permaculture. Been particularly busy with community resilience stuff post 2011 Briz-vegas floods - even got a brief spot about it on Gardening Australia last year.
    Apart from all that, staying positive and raising kids in this scary mean selfish society takes up all my time. Feel free to prod me if its been a while, and make sure I haven't gone postal...
     
  2. 9anda1f

    9anda1f Administrator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2006
    Messages:
    3,046
    Likes Received:
    199
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    E Washington, USA
    Climate:
    Semi-Arid Shrub Steppe (BsK)
    Two things I love ... bamboos and Japanese maples, neither of which grow well around my block.

    Thanks for the pictures and write-up. You're looking good on the home front!
     
  3. helenlee

    helenlee Junior Member

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2006
    Messages:
    1,519
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Very appealing website - beautiful graphics & layout & great pics :)
    Thank you for sharing :)
    I also love bamboo & Japanese maples :)
     
  4. eco4560

    eco4560 New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2009
    Messages:
    5,925
    Likes Received:
    8
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Nice. I have a blood lilly too. They don't last long in flower but are worth the wait when it does happen!
     
  5. aikidesigns

    aikidesigns Junior Member

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2009
    Messages:
    44
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Thanks heaps, peeps! =D
    I am really happy with how its looking here at the moment. Especially with this spring soaking via a good ol' fashioned Qld electrical storm. How's the rain treating you up there eco?

    9anda1f, is it too cold where you are for bamboo? How tragic for you! =(

    Helenlee: thank you so much for the compliment! I have worked pretty hard on that site for a while now. Would welcome any constructive criticism all of you experienced permies might have of the content I'm developing in the student section of the site (register free to access the intro to pc content). I would clearly be mad (not to mention supremely arrogant) to think I can replace/duplicate the great permie resources already available online, but I like to think that my approach will gel with enough people to make it worthwhile having built it, and hope that I can give those people a unique viewpoint on the great mosh that is this movement. =)
    If you genuinely think someone will benefit from the site then feel free to bump them my way. I don't hard sell, and the certification end of the stick is something I don't beat people with, though I do offer it as an option for more serious students. I just want to see my baby being used by people.

    I would also be interested in any posts here you may know of, touching on permaculture pedagogies and particularly online learning models. Cheers! =)

    PS: Forgot to post the link to the project at WPN, though there is only a little extra info there as yet:
    https://permacultureglobal.com/projects/497-the-bamboo-garden
     
  6. Rick Larson

    Rick Larson Junior Member

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2013
    Messages:
    743
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    You might want to reconsider those evacuated tubes. Otherwise, I'm heading your way.
     
  7. eco4560

    eco4560 New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2009
    Messages:
    5,925
    Likes Received:
    8
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Re permaculture pedagogy - the only person I know who teaches something along those lines is Robyn someone or other - sorry having a mental blank, who comes from Crystal waters. If it comes to me I'll come back and tell you. Someone else might be able to fill in the gaps here too!
     
  8. helenlee

    helenlee Junior Member

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2006
    Messages:
    1,519
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Are you thinking of Robyn Clayfield?
     
  9. eco4560

    eco4560 New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2009
    Messages:
    5,925
    Likes Received:
    8
    Trophy Points:
    0
    You're a genius - that's here.

    She's even written a book about teaching permaculture. She runs workshops from time to time.
     
  10. aikidesigns

    aikidesigns Junior Member

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2009
    Messages:
    44
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Awesome, thanks guys. I'm familiar with some of Robyn's work - that book is now on the wishlist.
    Let me know if anything else occurs to ye!
     
  11. S.O.P

    S.O.P Moderator

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2011
    Messages:
    1,456
    Likes Received:
    5
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Robin has just reprinted her book "You Can Have Your Permaculture and Eat It Too" as well. I believe she is going to Cuba for the convergence.

    It's funny, I talked to Brendon online the other day, found out about the Tea Farm and then he let me know that he did his PDC with Bazman, a nearby neighbour and member on these forums. I'm planning on going to check out his operation soon, as the agroforestry and milling is of particular interest.
     
  12. aikidesigns

    aikidesigns Junior Member

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2009
    Messages:
    44
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Awesome! If you like, PM me your dates and I'll try to make it up there then...
     

Share This Page

-->