Original artworks sharing my journey available at Art Lovers Australia

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Organic Food Garden Successes and Failures

The second year of my organic food garden is bringing both successes and failures.

While I dream of total self sufficiency and even my own fish the reality is a constant learning curve, continual awareness of the needs of my plants and some wonderful surprises.

So far have two vegetable garden areas and now a food forest. I dream of more but need to get on top of these first.

The constant message is renewal of the soil, and I continually build up the soil areas in which I am growing food, all my leaves and the dry shredded cow manure I obtain locally are added to the soil and topped with rock dust.

Slowly what was a very dead soil is becoming full of life and worms now scramble away when I dig.

No serious composting yet, but all my food peelings etc are put in a bowl and dug into holes around the garden. I learned this habit from my sisters in New Zealand and it adds both to the soil and brings some wonderful surprises such as the tomato plant above.

I am not a straight line gardener, but put things when I feel they will grow. One advantage of this is that I have an assortment of plants and pests are confused by the arrangement.

My broccoli as you will see is pest free and that may or may not be because I have grown it surrounded by garlic. All a learning curve.

The fruit area is proving more of a discovery zone.

This passionfruit vine is still giving fruit but has needed work and lots of feed. Got too big and had some scale. Cutting it back and allowing air flow to the scale areas has resulted in a healthier plant and many new flowers.

Mid winter still but already flowers on the paw paw.

This paw paw was very fruitful last year so have been giving it extra nutrients, seaweed emulsion and blood and bone dissolved in water to bring healthy, plentiful fruit again this season.

The fruit forest has needed ongoing adjustments.

The star fruit tree needed to be replanted on a mound as looked like it was not going to make it.

Now is looking greener and has finally, new shoots on the end of each branch.

Also needed to put the sandpaper creek fig in a container. It was such a little tree when it was planted but it was growing so fast and then I was told that native figs have invasive roots.

It will be smaller in its pot but is shooting again after looking very floppy.

The Drumstick tree below is flowering. This is a real survival plant and you can eat these flowers as well as the leaves. The trouble is each time I look at it it seems far too beautiful to be eaten.  Know it is there growing each day and able to provide lots of good protein food if needed.