Garden update 19-9-2010

It’s a lovely mild day today. We may get a bit more rain this arvo by the looks of it. I’d love to get out there and dig a little, but I’m ambivalent about the whole thing now that I know I have to move soon. I think I’m going to cry when I have to leave this garden. Over the last five or so years a lot has gone into it. A lot of time and love.

And then there was the artistic installation…

That was the day I was feeling rather flat and decided to experiment with food and meditation as a “mood stabiliser”. Needless to say it worked brilliantly and the raised veggie patch was upgraded and artified in a couple of days.

There are all sorts of posh portable or kit garden beds getting around the cheap and nasty garden department stores and they cost an arm and a leg. Not a bad idea if you’re in a small space and have money to spend, they bolt together and are Australian made & design. The Permaculture revolution started in Australia btw. But for those of us with time and space and trying to reduce or recycle, there are some brilliant alternatives.

Since permaculturists have elevated scavenging to a high art local tips are now being renamed “recycling centres” which means you now have to pay to reuse the stuff found there. At the one in Melton I’m always surprised by the number of dunnies, shower stalls, bath tubs and spa tubs lying around, in perfectly good condition. Originally the trip was about finding wooden edging for the garden bed and something to make a top bar bee hive out of…

The idea is to have the dunnies with perennial herbs and a fire extinguisher and some chilli plants… so it’s a ‘ring of fire joke’ but also a comment about recycling crap. I’ve been unable to paint or draw in recent months so the artistic outlet was quite rewarding.

Pak choy, wom bok, rocket, lettuce, coriander and other things grow wild like weeds around here and the chards can’t be killed with a stick. So we eat really well. A bit of rice or some noodles and you get yourself a stir fry or soup in about ten minutes flat and it’s all so fresh.

I’m starting to save up seeds and organise planters, so we’ll have some veggies going in the meantime while the new garden beds get sorted. Whereever they may be. At the moment it’s looking like I might end up out near Benalla. There was a place on an acre out near Stawell, but that’s too far from the kids, unfortunately. An acre of permaculture food forest would be amazing!

This is the root system of the pink chards that had to come up in order to finish the corner of the patch. It had been there for over two years and you can see how it had spread and dug itself in. It’s in the opposite corner now and wilted for a while but coming good. With many of these plants you can pull leaves off and keep the thing in the ground for seed, so you get the best of both worlds. When they need thinning, eat the young plants or give them away to neighbours.

This is the b#stard oxalis. The one with leaves that look like clover and the bright yellow flowers. Kids pull them up and suck on the stems as they taste really sour. We used to call it lemon grass. Hehe. Anyways, it’s a real bane in a garden. On the roots you can see the little white corms forming. When you pull it up by the roots those corms come off and are actually planting more oxalis.

It’s a brilliant survival technique on behalf of the plant, but a right pain for gardeners. I’m trying out digging it up and putting it in a hot compost with manure, to see if that will help get rid of it and perhaps some wilt as well if I’m lucky. Or if the next gardener here is lucky.


About Syburi

Witch, bitch, creatrix; hippie, dreamer, gardener. Lover of books, music, rescue animals, piss and vinegar.
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