01 June 2014

Its time to bring the honey in

We were given a hive and a swarm by our wonderful friend Hans, who for many years now has been building up his knowledge on natural bee keeping.  He has about 18 hives on his 12 acres and sells his excess honey (which as you could imagine is quite a lot). He gave us a top bar hive which consists of a box with just the wooden bar sitting in the top of the frame (inside the lid of course).

24 May 2014

How things have grown

I've been very focused on fencing and sheep for a while now and its amazing to see how fast thing grow when you don't watch them. Below is the swale that I cleaned up and planted out in February.

20 May 2014

New additions

So after a little fence teasing in my last post, here are some pics of our newest additions

25 April 2014

I know, I know, its been a while

Its been a very busy first quarter now that I'm back at work.  Having said that, there is still some movement on the property.  Big things are afoot.

15 February 2014

What's coming to a table near me

Whilst most of my attention has been gonig to clearing new areas of the food forest, other plants have still been busy doing what they do.  So here's a glimpse of what's on the way. We've got five banana circles now with four hands of bananas busy ripening and getting fat.  Three are in the first circle I put in - can you spot them in the first photo below?

27 January 2014

A la carte dining

The more we put food plants onto our property, the more visitors we have that come and enjoy what's on offer.  But this one is just for the birds

26 January 2014

Little by Little

As I go back to work next week, its been full steam ahead in the garden. Thankfully we've had rain and cooler temperatures, but still, its dirty,sweaty work.  And the other gift is the help I've had from Beau and Greg, who are taking it in turns (wise men). So the top swale where the apple and macadamia trees are was next on the list.  The grass was as high as your shoulders and needed the same treatment as the lower swale had just had.  So we stockpiled manure and mulch and got to it.  Here's what it looked like when we started.

15 January 2014

What's potting

I was out removing more grass today (surprise, surprise but more on that in the next post) and low and behold - apples

11 January 2014

My new forest sprung a leak

I'm so pleased with the expansion of the food forest, but with the first rain came the first problem.  We'd taken so much grass away, which was great, but it left loose soil along the swale and especially where one swale drops into the one below, not so great.  So there was only one thing to do - slow the water down through the little gully so I didn't lose all the soil and mulch with the next rain.

I had read a post on Milkwood's blog about Yuni Bowls (http://milkwood.net/2011/11/04/making-a-zuni-bowl-let-the-water-do-the-work/) and whilst it wasn't quite the solution I needed, it gave me the blueprint of what I had to do.

The problem was a steep gully where the one swale tapered off and turned downhill to allow the rain to be captured in the lower swale )you can see the swale curving to the right in this photo).  A large tree stump stopped us continuing the swale straight along contour and so this seemed to be the best solution.  But with the removal of all the grass and the first dumping of rain, the problem became clear.  So I went to the local landscaping store and hand picked some cast off standstone and voila
 Well perhaps not quite 'voila'.  Those rocks were heavy! And rather than just laying the rocks down the slope, I dug three small pools to slow and capture the water as it moves down the gully.  The idea is not to create ponds per se, but just to slow things down and avoid erosion.

08 January 2014

Creating more forest

Mad I know, but as I was taking some time off, the thing to do was obviously to work on my food forest in the height of summer.  Thankfully, I had help from my friend Beau and together over a few days, we cleared the next area of the food forest and since then, I've been busy planting and weeding as the area starts to establish itself.  The first thing we had to do was to remove all of this.