Thursday, 8 December 2011

More Water and The Wonder of Nature

Summer sees us concentrating on water.  The kids were out with Dad laying the pipe.  It runs from the dam at the bottom of the hill.  Today's job is to run it under the driveway because Mum is lazy and runs over it with the car rather than getting out to disconnect it.  Drives Dad mad so it's going in a trench!

They're good workers, my kids, but Miss Four seems half hearted here.  Nice arm rest!
Then the batteries ran out on my camera.  No more photos of the fantastic job they all did!   The boys set up a new barrel for the gravity feeding.  This one has a tight fitting lid for the kids safety.
So how do you make it work Dad?

Yep, it worked!  I see water!
This was how our whole yard looked when we moved here.  It was completely barren.

I found it very disheartening to live on top of a hill with only dust and dirt to look at and the ground was too hard to dig and full of rocks.  I set about making a couple of no-dig gardens with not a lot of confidence.
From outside the yard looking in the gate.  Please excuse the mess!
After five years the place has changed dramatically.  Outside our yard fence is still pretty barren but inside the yard is green. In summer, on a hot day, when walking into the yard you feel the temperature drop dramatically.  I can't believe how plants make a brand new micro climate!

How different does the vegetation look in the yard?!
The change in our garden is not because I'm a good gardener.  I'm not!  I don't get enough time outside to care for it.  The change is because Nature wants to work well.  Given a little encouragement, she takes over and voila!

All I did was throw in some no-dig gardens and water it occasionally but even in the areas where I have done nothing, the soil has improved.  For example, in between the garden beds, where we have dropped mulch, mown and left the clippings there etc., the ground has about five centimetres of good soil now.  Last year I actually harvested beetroot out of the grass for a yummy meal.  I didn't plant it - it was self sown.  I didn't water or care for it.

I see my garden as a miracle!  My ultimate garden would be one where nature takes over and does most of the work, just like she does when man keeps his nose out of it.  I would like to just be a caretaker and help to create fertile enough soil so that nature can take over.  With lots of vegetation growing, more leaves are dropped to add to the fertility, more shade is created and the soil retains more moisture.  Plants start self seeding and the cycle continues.

This year I have been given tomatoes, leeks, silverbeet, marigolds, potatoes, beans and lettuce!  I didn't lift a finger for any of these.

Thank God for the miracle that is nature!


dixiebelle said...

You & nature have done a brilliant job!

Busy mum of 3 said...

Wow, what a difference in your yard! It never ceases to amaze me how relatively easy gardening is IF you 'feed' it. I'm just learning/experimenting with gardening and improving soils, but at the end of the day, as long as you keep adding nutrition to your soil, in whatever form you choose it will reward you. After I have picked our summer crop, I intend to plant a green manure crop in the bed which I have seen on TV, so I can learn about it.

Stitchin' time said...

Lol, about the photos. I now have a spare set of rechargable batteries I keep charged but previously I had a set of heavy duty batteries that were back up for my rechargeables as I'd missed some great one-time only farm shots in the past!
Nature certainly is wonderful and I have self sown pumpkin and tomato plants growing.

Kim said...

What a lovely miracle to tell us about. Don't you just love nature and how she just keeps providing!! You have done a magnificent job in your yard , it was really interesting to see the transition.