Brisbane Local Food

Growing local

Nothing leaves my property that is likely to rot away.

With my 3 hard working chooks I have garbage processing covered. I call it back end composting.

What is not chooked-over, like bones is buried in holes and trenches about the place -- uslaly under stone ware dinner plates so the dogs can't dig them up..

My paths are highways layered with paper and cardboard and strewn with a carpet of brush cuttings and sometimes manure.

So I love trench composting. Any excuse to bury stuff.

Down at the chook pen, I've built a pen within a pen -- a three sided corral into which I throw the kitchen scraps. The chooks keenly work through this every day so that there is usually nothing left by teatime.

However as a rodent protection, i turn over the floor of the corral and bury what scarps may be left in situ. Later I harvest that corral dirt for garden use.

Ironically, any fly infestation feeds the system because the chooks love to dine on maggots.

But you need to feed 'em the scraps early in the day and make sure they are well worked over before any night time visitors arrive.

With 3 -- and soon to be 4 -- pens among my immediate neighbours we are sure to have rats. ... and the buggers eat my seedlings .

I keep a stainless steel kitchen pot on the bench in the kitchen. One with two handles and a secure heavy lid. Into this go all the kitchen scraps and all the waste fluid from washing and cooking veg and such.

Over the day is soaks and brews.

I take this pot outback and pour its contents through a strainer into my large ferment tank. The leftover solids go to the chooks.
Every so often I decant the tank's contents -- which I  inoculate with aloe vera fertilizer -- onto the garden.

The system seems to work.

You still need  grains/layer mash to feed the poultry, but I've found that grains are the primary rodent magnets so I watch to make sure all of the grains and seed is eaten.

With rats you should  get snakes, but my dogs seem to have spooked the serpents.That and my frequent hand watering.

So what we have here is no Garden of Eden.

Afterall:

Genesis 3:1-7

Now the serpent was more crafty than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said to the woman, "Indeed, has God said, 'You shall not eat from any tree of the garden'?" The woman said to the serpent, "From the fruit of the trees of the garden we may eat; but from the fruit of the tree which is in the middle of the garden, God has said, 'You shall not eat from it or touch it, or you will die.'" read more.
The serpent said to the woman, "You surely will not die! "For God knows that in the day you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil." When the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was desirable to make one wise, she took from its fruit and ate; and she gave also to her husband with her, and he ate. Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loin coverings.

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In 2017 I will be more organised with my composting and like your bins idea - when I saw then I thought practical with not much effort :)

Oh you bet - been there, done that with the expensive and energy-wasting specialty bought bins. Don't fall for any fancy things like Tumbleweed. The two separate bins make great garden beds but it's an expensive way to buy pots! Few-to-no people or fancy bins can make 'compost' in 6 weeks. Compost or rightly humus when it's at its most nutritious is dark brown, fluffy and silky-feeling with no hint of what are its constituent parts. Not the dry krud with bits of this and that which we see on GA, with Tino throwing this stuff around and calling it 'compost'.

Thanks for your help Elaine,  when we were at your place some time ago, you showed us your bin with your compost in it and your stirrer.  We purchased one after that and used  it in our above ground bin, it works well.  We may invest in some plastic rubbish bins and use them to make our compost. They can break down out of sight and be ready for next spring.  We did a rough count and have about 30x100L blue bins, 5x tin side wicking beds, and 5 x 200L black plastic bins, and about 20 or more wicking garden pots and buckets etc.  About 20 trees and shrubs in the ground.  We had intended to purchase more blue bins as they are the inexpensive way to go for us.  We were going to put all our good ferns in some and keep some for lettuce, parsley herbs etc.   

The problem is topping them up with good stuff and keeping them healthy.   The rubbish bins are an easy way to do the compost, we will keep a bale of sugar cane mulch next to them and use that at about 3 to 1 and with water spray and added weeds we should end up with a mix. We also buy some horse manure from Tim, and that goes on top of the wicking bins. 

You have always showed us a way around things and the easier way for us broilers as you put it.  Next door we had a huge machine trying to pull the stump of a 50 year old Mango tree and it took the operator about 3 hours of work before he managed to move it out.  So sad to watch.  

You have a great collection of wicking bins! Despite what I read about composting, I use possibly equal parts of scraps to sugar cane mulch. I don't add water, it's wet enough. Chop and drop the weeds; composting them is the ideal but I'm always looking for mulch and often use the pulled weeds instead of mulch.

Hi Christa,  I have been trying to get hold of a compost spiral for quite a while, do you remember where you got yours from?

Mine came from the big green shed.

Cheryl, I notice they had one a Green Harvest when we were there last week. We are not sure where we got ours, I think it was the same place as Elaine, at Redcliffe.  

Thanks Christa,  if Elaine can give me the address (couldn't find it on line) I will get it from there, if not will put an order in at Green Harvest  

Hi Elaine, can you tell me the address?  

Bunnings at Rothwell. Any Bs should do though.

Hi Cheryl,

Not sure if it’s any help. I brought one from Bunnings at Stafford a couple of months ago, out where they keep the plants etc near where they keep the wire. They had them hanging on the posts and they had two different types.

Thanks Jacqui, I am going there today so will check it out - hopefully they are still hanging around (haha)

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