Springtime moves so fast! And seems to go in all directions at once – wind from everywhere and then nowhere at all – hot, cold, wet, dry – and suddenly everything is blooming and seeding and exploding and chirping and laying and swooping. It’s all wild and colourful.
Peak hour in the nest box.
Eggs are back on the menu. The willy wagtail has been returning to direct traffic when we’re working in the garden. And the wattlebirds have started feasting on the burgeoning population of bees, who in turn have been foraging on all the flowers. Continue reading
It started out well…
Let’s just say July didn’t go entirely the way I had planned. First, the incredibly inspiring, sustainable-living folks I was really, really looking forward to meeting on our winter family holiday couldn’t be there after all. Next, I couldn’t be there either, as both a pet and a family member needed TLC around home while recovering from accident and surgery respectively. So I waved goodbye to husband and child on the first day of school holidays and pulled my boots on. I thought, on the upside, having a relatively quiet 10 days here would provide me with the ideal opportunity to catch up with my garden to-do list, starting with distributing a small truckload of compost and mulch – compost for the fruit trees and mulch for the garden paths – after I cleared out the tonne of soursobs. With plenty of tea breaks, of course, and a little pruning along the way. But… Continue reading
Over the past month I’ve been digging deeply into David Holmgren’s recently released book, ‘RetroSuburbia: the downshifter’s guide to a resilient future‘. The book is based on the premise that for most households, making the most productive use of a promising suburban block is a more realistic way to apply permaculture principles than moving to acreage in the country. It features a ‘RetroSuburban Real Estate Checklist‘ (follow link for spreadsheet) to assess a property’s fitness for sustainability – and a series of real-life examples, also included on this page of the website.
I’m using the book and the checklist to help structure a review of how our property retrofit has come along over the past 10 years and where we could take it from here. Making our progress quantifiable allows for comparison with the properties featured in the book so that we can gauge how we’re going a little more objectively. This month, my case study takes the place of the usual monthly garden guide (so please search the archive if you’re wondering what to plant and what garden jobs to do in April). If you’re thinking more broadly and long-term, read on 🙂
Andrew and I will also be speaking briefly about our retrofit process this Thursday evening (April 5) at the Joinery’s community dinner and film night featuring the documentary ‘Living the Change‘ – follow the link for details and tickets. Continue reading
THE START OF AUTUMN – OR MORE SUMMER?
The weather outlook for the next three months suggests that conditions in Adelaide and much of SA are likely to be drier and warmer than average for this time of year as the La Nina system gradually breaks down during autumn. For our gardens, the main question is whether this means it’s worth continuing to grow summer vegetables or to switch to typical autumn vegetables around this time. Continue reading
How is your garden looking at this time of year? Have those couple of heatwaves battered it around a bit?
Here we haven’t lost many plants, but we’ve seen some of those prized mangoes get sunburnt, along with many baby persimmons, both of which had a long way to go before ripening – the result of choosing not to shade trees when it was inconvenient to do so. And when we finally did shade the mango tree, the biggest fruit fell off. Never mind, I have just been to chat to my friendly local Indian grocer, who has shared a recipe for green mango dip. Wish me luck! Continue reading
Posted in Food, fruit, maintenance, markets, permaculture principles, planting, raised garden beds, recipes, summer, vegetables, workshops