Brisbane Local Food

Growing local

I'm in the process of renovating two gardens at present: my own and the school garden.

As I pointed out -- HERE-- my home patch is now an exercise in Vetiver design. I'm thinking of trying to make it a sort of 'model kitchen garden' ruled by Vetiver.

[I know. I know. These Vetiver groupies are hard to fathom. 'It's only a grass!,' you say. ]

The retrofit proceeds apace.Plenty of mulch laid out and a good plant out of seedlings on the weekend.

I gave my remaining Vetiver clumps a short-back-and-sides haircut as a resource.

In the meantime I'm almost finished recovering the school garden from its Summer verdancy...and tomorrow we start planting out. My oft cited clay pot irrigation system is now a feature there as we teach the under 10s how to fill terracotta pots with water.

I've also put my in-house serf to work and have finally generated enough signage so that the children can spellcheck their horticultural pursuits.

Naming the plant and its uses is a thing to cherish.

Mind you, child labour nowadays isn't as reliable as it used to be. No sooner you get them out into God's good air than it's the end of a period and you have to march 'em back to their desks.

We run a succession of matinees each Tuesday as the whole school-- bar the senior class -- is rotated through the garden.

The rest of the week the Special Education children maintain the garden. Generally, they are a delight to work with.

It's a great system that harnesses so many benefits.

This is our third year so I've wondered often about what's gonna work given our resources. Aside from the clay pots (we use tank water by the way as the bore isn't working) I've switched the garden over to woodchip mode.

Since there is a regular supply of these chips available on the grounds, I'm mining a one year old pile to cover all the beds with a deep layer.

Without exploring this option, it is hard to keep the moisture up.

I'm also adding more perennials -- frangipani for shade, banana, citrus, mulberry, Dragon Fruit, Paw Paw,Pigon Pea, Passion Fruit and...Vetiver (of course).

We've also renovated the 'Chill Out Zone' which is a daggy shade-cloth and weedmat tent we occupy for teaching the kids the DIY.

Very much the cubby.

We all sit on logs underneath a roof held up by bamboo poles.

Scarecrows face outwards from the main uprights.

I tell you, I'm indeed blessed that the school allows me so much freedom to indulge myself.

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Comment by Dave Riley on March 3, 2018 at 12:12

We are advancing on BOTH garden fronts...

Now that the heat hot has passed 'tis a lot easier to labor in the gardens.

Here at home, after all these years cultivating soil, I now can concentrate on cultivating particular plants.

I have the means to do better by the botany.

And this weather offers an auspicious beginning.

I've prepped 6 new beds ringed by Vetiver which I am now planting out. All thickly mulched with whatever I could find.

VIOLENCE WARNING:A lot of brutal cut and drop was involved.

But every sod I turn is occupied by earthworms.

“Nobody and nothing can be compared with earthworms in their positive influence on the whole living Nature. They create soil and everything that lives in it. They are the most numerous animals on Earth and the main creatures converting all organic matter into soil humus providing soil’s fertility and biosphere’s functions: disinfecting, neutralizing, protective and productive.”
- Anatoly M. Igonin

More seeds are afoot in their dirty little vessels, with green heads popping up to the sun.

Comment by Elaine de Saxe on February 20, 2018 at 1:04

'Only grass'! But *what* grass! There's nothing that I know of that can grow on the smell of a raindrop and have such deep roots and has so many uses. Part of the Vetiver harvest is going to cover the Strawberry beds instead of tearing my hair out trying to find the recommended material.

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