The abundance of subtropical permaculture gardens is so clearly evident at this time of year. I am now trimming back areas to create little niches amongst this diversity to plant new season's crops (our lunches and dinners). Tucked away, they are protected from winter frosts - and wallabies.
We trim back some of the wonderful edible perennials that form the structure of the garden, and create niches for lettuce, beetroot, broccoli, beans, peas, rocket, coriander, silver beet, mustard greens and so on... The trimmings all get returned to the soil either by chop and drop, or through one of the many compost systems.
Some plants, like Brazilian Spinach, just seem to flourish most of the year providing a constant supply of leafy greens for everyone - including the chooks and guinea pigs.
|Zone 1 in my permaculture garden - can you see red hibiscus spinach, mexican tarragon, society garlic, yacon, turmeric, sweet potato, taro, madagascar bean, chia, red salvia...|
She's also been teaching our homeschooled kids Japanese language and culture. She has a very interesting story to tell about her life. She comes from a town not far from Fukishima. She was just 15 when the tsunami hit and was of course heavily impacted by it's aftermath. The chronic food shortages that resulted inspired to study agriculture and explore sustainable food systems. She is in second year of her degree and leads a youth club that rescues food. They cook it up and sell it in a little cafe in their town. I love having such interesting guests and WWOOFers visit us here - we learn so much and the children are exposed to such worldly issues in a direct way.
|Maia was out in the garden working with Rin from Japan and took this photo and the others of her included here. I am looking forward to these mandarins ripening.|
|The colour and contrast of the Red (purple) Hibiscus Spinach is such a wonderful addition to the garden, here with Red Salvia. I pluck the lemony flavoured leaves for just about every meal - in salad and in stir-fries, pasta sauces, soups....|
|Watering from the rain and hand-watering - my main ways of watering the garden.|
I have designed my garden so that mostly the rain is enough - I divert water from paths into keyholes, I build soil organic matter, I much thickly, I plant hardy and seasonally appropriate plants. Every now and then during the hot dry times, I get out the hose and move it to where it is needed. I also like to give things a good soak when I prepare the soil for a new garden niche. I had re-forked this area and added compost and mulch. I had been prepared as a no-dig garden with paper last season. The weeks and grasses are so week, I have decided to not add more paper this time around.
|Bamboo teepee Trellis cubby|
The teepee trellis cubby near the swings is screened by a yacon, pelargonium, salvia and turmeric hedge while the beans are starting to form over the structure. A great little hangout space - our garden is an edible playground.