Food Forest & Permaculture

What We’ve Been up to…

As I mentioned in my last post, there’s been some serious Mimsy the Mango Tree love going on in my life.

In addition to time spent admiring Mimsy’s beauty, I have also been pampering Cecily the Mandarin Tree: cleansing her of her slightly embarrassing pest problem (leaf miners and woolly aphids – ick!); giving her a brave new look by way of pruning off her raggedy bits (out with the old, in with the new!) and giving her several luxurious baths (with eco-oil). She’s also been well fed and watered (citrus fertiliser) and as a result of giving her the attention she so desperately deserves, my girl is now beautifully in bloom.

We’ve been loving our visiting wildlife. We have a family of magpies that come for scraps each day (much to our kitty cat Vella’s shock and horror) and this pair of cockatoos love the natives growing around our yard.

What most of our energy is going into at the moment is starting our food forest. We’ve been long intrigued by the permaculture system and we’re finally able to get in there and start the ball rolling in real life! It’s going to take many years to properly get our food forest established, but we’re keen to get things moving asap.

The week before last hubby and our youngest staked out our yards first two key lines. This past week the older boys came home for a visit (in exchange for Mum’s cooking and a fun and slightly more productive alternative to going to the gym!), and spent the week out in the yard breaking up the earth, digging and levelling out the swales.

On Friday we have a literal tonne of crap delivered (and some green compost to boot), and this coming week we’ll be spreading our crap around the yard to start enriching our soil. The older boys left on Friday, so I’ll be getting out there too this week. Mostly up until now I’ve been fussing over my veggie garden (back right), encouraging from afar, documenting how things are progressing and cooking up a storm each day.

It’s nice to be feeling like we’re moving things forward with our yard. I have my little veggie patch producing some food, but I’m itching to plant some fruit trees and get some ground cover plants going too. We haven’t the greenest of thumbs! But we’ve been researching and learning as much as we can for years now. Putting what you’ve learned into practical stuff can be a little tricky (especially if you live mostly in your head, as I do!), but having your hands in soil is a glorious feeling and I’m excited to give it all a go.

I must be getting old, my 20-year-old self would be shocked at my sudden passion for gardening!

I don’t think we’re alone in this though. Green compost is in short supply in our area as of October 2020. A lot of nurseries sold out of a lot of their stock back in April and there’s been a buzz of gardening going on all around us.

Anyone else getting into growing their own food this year? This was our plan when we landed back home in Queensland, Australia 2 years ago. It just took us this long to decide on exactly what kind of home we wanted to buy, buy it and get settled in.

In the end we picked a smaller block in exchange for beautiful walks and access to fishing and kayaking on our literal doorstep. Granted it comes with midgies and mosquitoes galore…but you can’t have everything!

On our To-Do list once the gardens are a little better set up:

  • new fencing
  • water tanks
  • solar on the roof
  • a new puppy
  • chickens & quails!

I’m going to s-mother the hell out of those chickens…

But that’s what empty-nesters do right? Get fur and feathered babies to fill the void?

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