On Saturday I took a drive out to foodnstuff’s house. She was having a thermomix demo and had said that she’d give me her old food processor. I thought that it’d be perfect to have a spare one to use to mince up food for the worms in the freezer worm farm so I agreed to pop over, see the demo and pick it up.
I didn’t end up taking the food processor home. It turns out I had no need for it after all.
I’ve blogged about foodnstuff’s garden before. It’s 2.5 acres of bushland, with an area set aside for growing food. She’s a bit of a tree-hugging greenie, so everything is set up to be as sustainable and green as possible. (She even has a composting loo, which I just HAD to use to see what it’s like to throw a cupful of sawdust down the bowl instead of flushing. It’s quieter… just in case you were wondering.)
The top shot is a view of the natural bushland that’s part of her backyard. Imagine the peace of waking up to that every day?
But I was really keen to see her three Barnevelders.
They’re pretty little things, looking a little like my Hazel but not quite as showy and flashy. Their plumage is more muted and they look very attractive. Trouble is, they all look alike so it’s almost impossible to tell them apart!
They didn’t want to come near me until some sunflower seeds were sprinkled near them as an inducement. (This happens to me all the time… I can’t get my students into class unless I throw sunflower seeds on the desk…)
Here’s a view from down in the food forest looking back up at the house. Her rainwater tank is arranged so that she can water her veggies and fruit trees without the need for a pump… it’s all gravity fed.
You can see part of her extensive collection of wicking beds in the foreground. She has them scattered down here and also up near the house for zone 1 permaculture living.
Here’s one of her “crop circles”; a way to make garden beds without the need to drag in heavy garden beds/logs of wood/whatever to make some more growing space. She just makes a circle of wire, puts some home-made compost in the bottom and then off she goes! At her place the height of the fence is determined by how high a rabbit can reach, whereas at my place the chickens will be the deciding factor. Still, I think I might steal this idea to use in the backyard… one day….
As I was leaving I was in the car and we were talking when I noticed this little fella sitting in a tree just a hundred metres away.
I got so excited! We don’t see kookaburras in the city.
When I got home I found a bucket of rainwater to put the azolla that she gave me. Azolla is fabulous for compost, full of nitrogen. Foodnstuff’s chooks love it, but mine weren’t keen. All the more for the worms and bugs then.
I also made cuttings of the lemon balm and rosemary that she gave me. I adore rosemary and I want to have as much of it around the place that I can. I already have a couple of blue flowering plants, but these are pink, so that’ll be a novelty!
The leaves left over were used up in herbal teas and the rosemary was used on a chicken roast. Waste not, want not! I discovered that rosemary leaves are also really tasty as a herbal tea. Life just keeps on giving gifts, doesn’t it?
Speaking of gifts, when foodnstuff came to the gardening club meeting in July she gave me some Purple King beans. I planted them in one of the wicking beds of doom and for a long while it looked as if I’d killed them all. But when I got home on Saturday I wandered out and saw a couple of plants had extended tendrils along the string over the lettuces. Maybe they’ll live, thrive and survive after all!