Saturday, 10 March 2018
This is a newly hatched Queen bumble bee in my garden. I have attempted to define the roles we play below.
She will; pollinate a few plants while she builds up her reserves for overwintering and then in early spring when out of dormancy, build up a brood of worker bees that will pollinate my garden all growing season.
I have made; nesting boxes for her 'mother' and then her to raise their brood, sure there are overwintering sites for her, made sure there are food sources available for her and her mother when they need to build reserves (early spring and autumn), sure of a diversity of food crops throughout the whole growing season to support the whole nest of workers, there is clean water and no pesticides or herbicides used.
Tuesday, 6 March 2018
In my sea of green Hyasynth bean vines provide a splash of colour. They ramble up trellises and fences.
The pods of the bean are not very nice to eat but the flowers have graced our salad bowls all summer and provide endless bee food.
Thursday, 1 March 2018
These guys are for seed alone and need to sit for a few weeks to 'cure' before I open them and dry the seeds for winter. I have started growing these again as I have a new garden now so can grow more variety and still save seed.
Monday, 12 February 2018
Wednesday, 7 February 2018
Seed saving is a true abundance. To be able to generate more and more seed each year (lines and quantity) means I can scatter them around my family, friends and community.
Who needs money bags. This is my security.
Wednesday, 31 January 2018
I think that the wet winter killed off a lot of our overwintering Queen wasps which then in turn have not been around to keep caterpillars in check. It is very different.
I have noticed lots of moths and butterflies in my garden pollinating for me and there has been a late season explosion of ichnid wasps, Potters wasps and other solitary wasps who have been enjoying caterpillar feasts. I would much rather have these guys around than the Common and German wasps.
This is the pupa of the Convovulous Hawk moth that likes munching on Kumara, Convolvulus and all in that family. I have not noticed much damage on my Kumara so left this beauty to do its thing.
Thursday, 25 January 2018
Tuesday, 23 January 2018
This one is taking a life of its own as our climbing gourds and hyacinth beans grow up a bamboo trellis. The no-dig garden is shallow and it will be good to see how the plants cope over our hot summer.
This is an edible wall that will provide shade and privacy over summer when there will be more people using this place.
Saturday, 6 January 2018
I love the way three separate materials turn into one. Sand, pumice and
clay with a little stomping and then some rolling with a tarp makes a mix strong enough to make a wall.
This mix is one of the last that will be mortar for our toilet wall.
Ari and I spent the afternoon today putting up a few more layers of bricks.
One of my criteria for a food forest is that they should give the workers (including me) food from the outset. Why else would you spend time there while you were waiting for the trees?
This will eventually be a guild of citrus.
In the meantime in the succession of things we will be eating pumpkin, tomatoes, chilli, sorrel, spring onions, mellow, dill, buckwheat, strawberries...........
There is also plenty on offer for the pollinators and co.
Saturday, 30 December 2017
I love the miracle of corn. Each of these beautiful red hairs is the female pollen receptacle. The male flowers are at the top of the corn plant and the heavy pollen blows down to this female flower. Once each 'hair' catches a pollen grain it will then fertilize one kernel of corn.
Part of the beautiful dance that is corn.
This is my Popcorn that I have had for over 12 years.
Wednesday, 20 December 2017
If we harvest before Christmas we can be sure there will not be poisonous Tutin in our honey. This stuff can be eaten straight from the comb.
Passion vine hoppers suck the sap from the Tutin bush and then in turn bees harvest honeydew from the hoppers. This is especially true during hot summers so after Christmas all honey harvested needs to be tested.
As bees categorize nectar as they store it in their hives then Tutin honeydew can be concentrated in small areas of the comb. After Christmas comb honey is a no go.
Saturday, 2 December 2017
Wednesday, 29 November 2017
Because this is my sandy top garden I also sheet mulched the paths with long grass.
Two types of mulch to cover the soil, hold moisture and mix up the diversity of flora and fauna. I will keep an eye on the 'living mulch' and possibly turn it into sheet mulch as needed.
The edges of this bed are also planted out with beans and squash.
This garden is an isolation garden to keep some of my seed lines separate.
Thursday, 23 November 2017
Life in that the land is healthy as they are very sensitive animals.
Life in that the weather is warming and I need to get a move on with summer plantings. When the frogs start singing every night I know it is time to strat planting straight into the warming soil.
Monday, 13 November 2017
This is my overwintered Kumara bed.
Mustard to clean the soil, feed early wakening pollinators and build up ladybird, parasitic wasp, and hoverfly populations.
Wheat for carbon rich mulch and mychorrizal connections.
Both to keep soil covered and keep weeds at bay.
Next step is to sythe the wheat, broadfork the soil, pull out wheat roots, plant tipu and then mulch with wheat tops. Done.
I only prep a bed when it is ready to plant.
Wednesday, 8 November 2017
It is amazing how fully tuning into the context can give unexpected form. I think this space would have been totally different if I had not used Living Design to allow it to unfold.
This is to be a thick screen to stop eye contact between road and private space. It will be better without people harvesting or even looking for food. Some food plants have been used in the gardens succession but eventually is will be a garden nobody will notice as it supports the many happenings that take place around it.
Friday, 3 November 2017
These guys were lucky enough to be planted on land that had been grazed holistically for years. I just loosend soil with a broadfork where we were going to plant each cane. Planted rasberries and a little comfrey and then sheet mulched with old fridge boxes an pine needles.
Thursday, 26 October 2017
This year we have planted, Almonds, Pine nuts, Walnuts, Oak, Hazel, Peach, and of course the Tagasaste, Alder, various Acacia as support species and loads of natives. (over 400)
As this area has sheep to keep the grass down we built tree guards out of brush. These should act as a mulch as well.
Tuesday, 24 October 2017
This was my first ever go. All I did was roughly chop the apples, cover with water and then leave for 6 months.
A great way to use up apple abundance and also get rid of one more plastic habit.
Tuesday, 17 October 2017
Loud birds, wildflowers, gold, flying foxes, living design, kangaroos, milking goats, steam trains, Big city, gum trees, rocket ovens, markets..............
Am so grateful for the amazing people who shared how they are interacting with their landscape. I am now inspired and seriously kick starting my summer gardens.
Not to mention guilty for carbon......more trees to plant.
Tuesday, 19 September 2017
We will start harvesting over the next few weeks. Just before growing season to make sure the new culms get enough light and do not get damaged.
Thursday, 14 September 2017
I'm loving the path to the garden at the moment.
You transition off our drive under the Tagasaste (which is full of Bees, Bellbirds and Kereru), past the Grapefruit, over the drain and you feel there before you even open the gate.
The narrowing of the path (off the drive), preview of destination and sense of slowing down or arriving always invites me whether I am driving past, going to work or passing through to gather food for a meal.
Friday, 1 September 2017
It is great how easily you can create a dense comfrey barrier by planing out root sections.
As small gardeners start awakening in spring I always try and keep one step ahead with nesting places.
This bug hotel is made especially for mason bees, potters wasps, ladybirds, and lace wings.
Next week I really need to make a few bumble bee nests.
Wednesday, 30 August 2017
One weeks growth!!
Our sheep never stay long and the grass just springs back. I love looking back down the paddock where they have been and seeing the growth.
I usually move them daily. If grass is grazed once and not too low it will grow back fast. My favorite feeling is that as it is growing it is pumping a large proportion of the energy it makes back into the soil. These root exudates feed the diverse range of micro organisms who then make nutrients available for the grasses growth. Magic!!!
I like to think this aliveness is helped by the diversity of my pasture and the long rotations that allow things to grow back strongly.
Wednesday, 23 August 2017
Yay!! The roof is up. Talk about delays.
We stained all of the timer and then put up the clear light.
It is great having such a big dry outdoor space. As they say when building with earth 'good hat and good boots'. This should do the job.
Next week we will take down our wonderful bamboo scaffolding clear the sight and start on the wall design.
Sunday, 13 August 2017
A lot of my garden beds have trenches down the middle. These are filled with stalks from my carbon crops, and then seaweed, animal manure, wood ash, leaves, weeds............ depending on specific crop needs and what I have at hand.
In-situ composting that creates a diverse habitat for the many decomposers in my garden, feeds my plants and holds onto moisture.
Wednesday, 9 August 2017
Tuesday, 1 August 2017
Before the fence was build we did a little design.
Some of the patterns we knew were;
*central access path (people & wheelbarrows).
*duck and rabbit proof . Sheep proof for short durations.
*private garden (destination -not a thoroughfare).
*separate from berry patch & easy berry picking from path by fence.
*gardener approaches from over here (east).
*water on east side.
*shady south edge.
*drive way openness -set back from main driveway (north edge).
*north-south beds for sunshine.
Next step was fun. We all moved string, fencing standards and bamboo around. The first decision fell into place (bamboo in front right hand corner) and then we had to get the wheelbarrow out!!