Since I’ve done the Organic Market Gardening course at Milkwood, there has been a decided and dedicated drive to get more organised. We’ve sorted out our seeds, labelled our veg boxes and we’ve started logging exactly what we plant where, when, from who the seeds were sourced, how long they take to germinate and how long they take to bear.
Our tomatoes are coming to an end, and the last stragglers are getting hung upside down on the back of our mobile dartboard, in order to free up the beds for winter crops. The apples weren’t as abundant as last year, but we got a few boxes full – enough for our own use. Some more of Patricia’s gorgeous and healthy sugar-free apple pies coming up!
Pumpkin was another story though – we had a bumper crop! Pumpkin soup all winter, here we come!
We’ve been prepping beds and planting autumn / winter crops. I’m now experimenting with a gas burner to get rid of weeds before planting. Ideally you should give the bed a week or so for the weeds to germinate before burning, but that’s hard to do with our tomatoes running so late and the season changing so fast. We’ve been planting all kinds of brassica vegetables, root crops, lettuce and other leafy greens. A huge bed of garlic is also going in as we speak.
On the “hill” between Homeland and the school behind us (OK it’s only 2-3 feet high) we’ve been terracing with the pine branches and there we planted tea trees, emu bushes, local hibiscus and a lot of bee-friendly native flowering perennials. They’re all small tube stock, so not much to look at yet. However, I’ve diverted more of our grey water to the area, so hopefully they’ll thrive.
Between Homeland and Dreamland we’ve also planted about 300 daffodil bulbs, so spring should be quite pleasant. Hopefully they will also deter the rabbits at Dreamland as they’re supposedly meant to do.
Despite the on-going battle with the couch grass, some of the citrus is showing some promise!
We also attended Geelong Sustainability‘s event at The Farmer’s Place in Freshwater Creek, where the Formidable Vegetable Sound System provided the entertainment – and entertain us they did! What a great evening meeting old and making new friends, and such fun music!
All I can say is if you’re in any way interested in permaculture and enjoy a fun night out, don’t miss the Formidable Vegetable Sound System if they ever play near you.
Talking about water, we’ve had our first good rain! Apart from one squall a few weeks ago, this is the first rain we’ve had since December. It couldn’t have come at a better time, because we have just run out of tank water (all 120kl of it) and everything was parch-dry. Over 48 hours we had just over 10mm of rain. With all the new plantings, the vegetable garden tanks are already empty again. However the house tanks still have enough in for the drip irrigation to run for a few days. Let it rain!!
The guilds over at Dreamland are coming on nicely and it’s great to see the herbs and flowers attracting more bees.
Talk about wildlife, we’ve been having a mouse infestation – I’ve got a steady stream of 7 mousetraps set in and around the shed and the greenhouse. I haven’t been counting exactly but we’re catching around 4-5 mice every two days at Homeland alone.
Well, that’s our autumn in a nutshell!