Mid-winter harvest (and how a permaculture garden survives six weeks of neglect)

We’re back from a long trip and I come home to a garden that is pumping food (and some weeds too!). During that time we’ve been away, I believe the garden survived on its own, fed by the diverse organic matter and soil biota which I have lovingly helped establish and by the occasional rain.

The fridge was empty when we got home, and there was no energy left in us (or desire in fact) to leave the farm -again- to buy food in the supermarket… And why would we do that anyway? We’ve learnt over the years to live with what we have… some call it being frugal. We think this is the only way to live sustainably, simply, ethically.

With this in mind, I had designed the garden so that it stores our carbs (arrowroot, Jerusalem artichokes ,yacon, spuds), our vitamins (whatever fruits left from the ravage by parrots!), our greens, our proteins (12 eggs a day from our pastured chooks, frozen rabbit meat from our own pastured bunnies) and finally our tonics (aromatic and medicinal herbs). Besides, it is nettle season here so we just have to walk our paddocks to find a perfect soup ingredient!

The only thing that was missing was milk… I often wish I had a house cow… maybe one day. Meanwhile, we did our first breakfast with UHT milk which I always have a stock of here (for the just in case).

Another thing which I don’t produce here yet is pig meat and beef… If I had planned this better, I could have bought some from our friends at Grace Springs Farm or at Full Circle Farm. Both run ethical, pasture-fed, chemical-free meat… And they’re a sneeze away from us here!

On a sad note, the local wildlife had some nice feed on some of our crops: broccoli, peas, spinach, some greens and we lost most of our crop of oranges and lemonade -I should have netted them before leaving… argh. 😦  But I am happy for them – they’re well fed now! 🙂

Now, there is still a bit of time to come and learn permaculture design and gardening! Get in touch with me soon, course starts August 6!

Failing that, you can join John Champagne, Megan Cooke and myself . Check out Garden to Table for course details.

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