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Urban Garden December 2014 Report

Pumpkins climbing the structure we built to keep them in a small space

 

If you’re new to this project please go to our website and read the back ground story. This is about researching ways we can grow meet our nutritional needs ( based on the Weston Price nutritional model) in our own back yards in an urban environment.

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December has seen temperatures soar here and growth along with it

Every thing is humming, the rabbits, the bees, the corn and all the vegetables, The fruit trees are climbing fences and the growth is generally going nuts and being recycled in the system to the compost, guinea pigs, rabbits and chickens.

Soldier Fly Farm

The Solider fly farm is now producing a lot of larvae, but we’ve had some management issues that are not totally resolved. All these great sounding things need management and commitment.

We have realized over the past month that if we leave the buckets of liquid fertiliser that we get from under the soldier fly farm out in the open they grow hover fly larvae which also make great chicken food. So we now think we can feed them soldier fly larvae, and hoverfly larvae over the warm months and keep the worms under the rabbits for the colder months

Chicken Numbers

We’ve have been playing around with chicken numbers in the chicken straw yard , it is an area of 2.2m x 2.5 m and I’ve come to the conclusion that a space that size can hold 1 rooster and 6 chickens comfortably for the chickens, after that some of them get too marginalised …..more than feels good…. So we’ll hold our numbers there. We’re putting all the Biochar we’re making with the tagasate sticks back into the system via the compost. We use outside sources of annual carbon to keep this compost area producing high quality chicken food and compost. Currently we’re using some of the material recouped after Koanga seed cleaning.

Guinea pig tractor run 1 week after being eaten down
Guinea pig tractor run 1 week after being eaten down

 

Guinea Pigs

We’re also on a learning curve with the guinea pigs. We believe that for many people in the urban world guinea pig is going to be the meat of choice, because they could be the most practical animal to keep. We’re working to discover how many guinea pigs we can feed well in our garden, and also how to maximize growth on the tractor system and surrounds. The principles of growth are just the same on a guinea pig path tractor system as they are on the farm for cows. If you eat it too low, it takes a long time to recover, and you get way less production and other good things happening, if you let t get too long it is not as nutritious, we need to practice Holistic Management for the guinea pigs I can see. I’d love to heart from any of you who may be feeding comfrey to guinea pigs.. how much of their food can be comfrey do you think? Ours are mostly getting grass clover, comfrey, chicory, alfalfa, raspberry leaves and vege tops right now.

Summer greens being sown in shadey places
Summer greens being sown in shadey places

 

Fruit Trees and Perennial vege

In the fruit tree vine department we are focusing on growing size into everything right now so we have structures to hold fruit in the coming years, and our perennial vege are beginning to get some size to them as well, with both rhubarb and globe artichokes showing their heads

Bees

Our Top Bar hive was requeened last month as the hive was not strong and it has picked up well now, we are adding top bars and will hopefully see a stronger hive going into winter this next season

Wicking Beds

We began playing around with wicking beds on our concrete area, and very quickly came to see the potential they hold. We filled them with compost from the chicken system, and they grew so much faster than in the garden, all about getting as much water as they can use… this will be an exciting area to develop in the future.

In the mean time our Total Value out was $808, not bad for something we can see could be far more productive!!!!!!

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Urban Garden Crowd Funder

The major thing that frustrates me is that we don’t have the resources to train an urban garden intern to do this job well over time and get seasonal changeovers right so we get close to maximum production etc etc. I also believe all animals need a permanent carer, somebody who gets really tuned in to them, and is there for a year at a time..(actually as plants do too). If we had somebody committed to this garden rather than volunteers that keep changing the production could be far higher. That’s what our crowd funder is for. This project needs to be done well, and we see so much potential here for inspiring a lot of people.

White scotch runner beans shading rabbits in summer
White scotch runner beans shading rabbits in summer
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