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Meet our new Urban Garden apprentice, Fiona!

Fiona watering the urban Garden
Fiona watering the urban Garden

It’s a busy time here at Koanga Institute and particularly in the Urban Garden. Otis, my two year old son, and I have arrived from the Northern Territory of Australia to begin our learning in the management of a small Urban Plot. It’s been exciting, hectic and the brisk spring weather providing some climatisation challenges!

The winter crops have finished and it was awesome to see the Clementine Mandarin and the Meyer Lemon pumping out a whopping 100kg each of fruit over that time. Other points of interest from the winter produce were a regular supply of soup greens, silver beet, salad greens, leeks and a continual supply of kale. The last of the kale was picked from the stem and dried in the solar drier to use in summer soups and stews.

On the animal front in the Urban Garden, the rabbit doe gave us a beautiful litter of 5 charming kits who are growing up fast, last week they were weaned and she’ll be ready for another run with the buck in the next month. The guinea pigs all produced litters, recently weaned also and the boar has been put back with the older females to begin the cycle again.

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The shy new mothers and their pups

 

The garden supplies us with enough comfrey for food for the chickens twice a day. They love the flowers and the protein provided in the leaves ensures that the chickens continue to produce amazing quality eggs. Otis also loves foraging for snails for an extra fowl treat too!!

Look at how bright red the combs on this chook is! She is getting plenty of calcium and minerals from the comfrey I give them.
Look at how bright red the combs on this chook is! She is getting plenty of calcium and minerals from the comfrey I give them.

Over the last few weeks all the beds have been prepared and the summer produce has been planted. The wicking beds are loaded with early season tomatoes, courgettes, egg plant and peppers. Fruit has set on the tomatoes and we’re expecting them to be ready for Christmas. Wicking beds have been such a valuable addition to the Urban Garden Plot and its well worth looking into doing if you have a small yard which is paved or decked. Here is a small sketch of how the wicking beds work.

Curtosey of Koanga Institute
Courtesy of Koanga Institute
Our wicking bed plants are growing very quickly!
Our wicking bed plants are growing very quickly!

 

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