Six years ago we got serious about this gardening business! I've always been a gardener. As a single mother renting properties, I always threw in a silver beet plant or two. But now we had our own place, the house was built and it was time to garden. So I had a few years of experience behind me but somehow I missed learning the basics.
I think I failed to follow the seventh permaculture principle, design from patterns to details. I immediately set about growing veggies without addressing some basic stuff. By making a no-dig garden, I was able to grow veggies in the first year. So here I was growing our own veggies and cooking meals from scratch. It all felt pretty sustainable. However I had not addressed issues with water, soil fertility, water retention of soil etc. I had dabbled in compost but had only ever had ONE successful batch.
Now in my defence my first year of gardening was the year that Buddy Boy was born and he was quickly followed by a surprise package in the form of his little sister. The following years were incredibly challenging and some days I was lucky to find time to glance at the garden. But that has all changed now. In the last six months the children have matured enough for me to be able to walk away for a little while.
So after realising that my garden was in serious trouble, I set about changing it. I dug over a resting bed much more deeply than usual. I mixed in manure, leaves, blood and bone and covered the lot with straw. I planted some bean and broad bean seeds in the hope that they germinate and then I will dig them in.
The very next day I went to a racecourse to gather manure. When they muck out the stables, they pile the manure out near the road so that people can come and collect it. So Belle and I filled the trailer, brought it home and shovelled it into the compost bin. Another load on the weekend with Hubby and it was full. I covered it with straw. The next day there was heat coming out of the top of the pile! I'm so excited! It's working. I will turn the pile into the next bin soon.
|I added this photo to show off. Guess who backed the trailer right up to the compost bins!|