I’m going to combine the update for February and March since February was a short month. For those months, the implementation plan scheduled:
- Patio cover installation
- Buy mat for kid’s play area under patio
- Choose pavers for under the clothesline
- Install pavers for the clothesline area
- Buy and install new clothesline
- Water tank quotes
So what happened?
These activities were based on having the patio cover installed and otherwise prioritised, so they have all slipped from their schedule. Instead, this is what I did.
The soil around the avocado tree received some attention with sheet mulching, all the while hoping that it wasn’t too late for the tree and it would show signs of life again.
The herbs grew in the kitchen window
The pumpkin plants flourished
I drew an avocado tree guild to begin our first food forest. I have noted the layers of the avocado guild (tree, shrub, herbacious, ground covers, rhizosphere) on the right, and available resources, and needs on the bottom right.
I set up some pots for Miss Z to grow sugar snap peas and flowers for a butterfly garden to educate her on growing plants, give her some responsibility, and allow her to forage her own food when the time comes. This follows permaculture principle #1 observe and interact.
I set up a new area for growing sweet peas along the pergola, which will add beauty, attract insects, reduce weeds, and improve the soil for when we’re ready to start growing a passionfruit vine.
I had a quote to replace our 2 full flush toilets with water-saving dual flush toilets. This was bumped up the priority list as we were toilet training our little one, and it was complicating matters to turn on the water at the wall to be able to flush the toilet (long story). This helped us to use permaculture principle #6 produce no waste (or less waste, in this case).
I had 3 quotes for a patio cover – at last! My husband used the http://www.homeimprovementpages.com.au/ to outline our job, and then we shortlisted our top 3 for quotes. I wasn’t impressed with one company, was imagining the sky with another company, and grounded with a vision with the last company.
What I learnt from that
I love growing seeds! It’s fascinating to watch for changes every day and see how they evolve. Having seeds on the kitchen window sill is great as not only do they grow well there, but it’s very easy to check on them and give them water if they need it. The pumpkins have been an unexpected joy. I’ve never grown pumpkins before and I was amazed at how quickly they grew and I loved to admire their fuzzy leaves and beautiful yellow flowers. I noticed that they attracted bees and ladybirds, which was a bonus.
Having a drawn plan of a guild makes the implementation much more straightforward and quicker. The implementation highlighted to me that we don’t produce enough compost to meet our needs, and bags of compost from Bunnings are almost siphoned into our clay soil. It strikes me that it would be more efficient to have a truck deliver a few cubic metres of compost and then shovel it into a wheelbarrow and tip it where we need it, but that would probably require a working bee. The other point is that our home made compost springs up gifts from the seeds that are in it, and I’d be inclined to only use that in our food growing areas because of that.
I took advice from Sarhn from Greener Me to teach Miss Z to grow her own plants and have found sugar snap peas are very easy to grow. Miss Z enjoyed sprinkling seeds in the pots.
What about the plan?
The hardscaping has been delayed but is still on the agenda. Lots more to come!
I’ll give course news in my next post – are you excited?