On Sunday we had our “Christmas” breakup for the gardening club. (It’s an SGA Gardening POD, but most people look at you funny when you say that so I just call it a club.) Mick, one of the original members, hosted a barbeque at his place, where we wandered around his yard and nattered about all things food-growing and a lot of things that weren’t.
Mick’s a bit of a permaculturist at heart. See the garden beds in the background? They’re made from old fence posts. It’s a great idea and they look really nice. Permaculture argues that we should recycle things wherever possible and try to give more than one use for things. (eg, if you have a fence, use it as a trellis to grow a plant on.) Most permaculture gardens have a pond and Mick’s is no exception.
A couple of months ago that pond wasn’t there. He’s done a good job, hasn’t he?
He has a few native fish in there and is waiting with bated breath for frogs to discover it.
Weird looking things, aren’t they? Mick says that every time he brings one of these into the kitchen it’s full of earwigs, but they don’t seem to destroy the artichoke.
One thing I was envious of was this rhubarb. It’s going gangbusters! Mine is thriving in its wicking pot, but it’s just a baby so I have to wait before I can make rhubarb and apple. mmmmm….
The berry cage, built to deter birds. See the escaping raspberry?
It’s grim warning to me… my raspberries and boysenberries are running amock in the left hand veggie garden. I have to don some gardening gloves and a whip and go in there to tame them.
Here’s a long shot to show how most of the garden is laid out, with gardening club members far enough away to ensure anonymity. The vegetables are planted in the square beds, laid out in a grid, which makes crop rotation easy. Fruit trees are in other parts of the garden, round the house and garage.
This garden was originally a flower and ornamentals garden, using LOTS of water to maintain it. Gradually, Mick is moving to a more productive space with more water efficient ways to sustain it, such as a grey water system, irrigation and a water tank. (That last one is hardly surprising… he’s the guy who put my water tank in for me!)
October 2010 was when I sent out the first emails to start the POD in our area. Time has gone so fast, yet it’s satisfying to think that we’ve kept it up… meeting once a month on the third Sunday every month, (with a break in December for Christmas.) I’ve said that we’ll meet at my place in January, which will be good because by then I’ll have my freezer worm farm up and running and I’ll also know how to use my brand new solar oven and kettle.
Oh! Did I forget to mention those…?
I have to get ready for work now, so I’ll fill you in later.