This month everything went crazy in the urban garden, but like all our other food gardens this is the month for greens. It has been really easy to harvest 2 salads per day plus greens for cooking plus a good egg meal every day. The fruit trees and legumes and vines have gone crazy with growth, we can see a few berries ripening and many bunches of grapes and a few apples and olives this first year .
Lemon Tree Guild
The forest garden layers we planted under the lemon tree look truly amazing. That lemon is very very happy and the energy is buzzing under there now.
Harvesting the animal forage
All around the rest of the 200 sq m that is not in Biointensive vege garden the herbal ley and forest garden species are getting established, and it is a bit of a journey learning how to maximize production with out harvesting too much or too little. I have come to realize that managing comfrey production on 200 sq m or alfalfa production or chicory or grass and clover is no different to managing it on a farm. If you keep it short all the time you get very slow regrowth and are not growing soil or sequestering carbon and production and brix is low. If you let it get tall, but harvest it before it goes to seed it grows back strongly and fast and the soil benefits as does the nutrient density of the plants so also do the rabbits guinea pigs and rabbits and chickens. If you let it go to seeds it also takes ages to regrow less production and less carbon sequestration in the soil.
That is a bit of a thing to learn and practice but it is a powerful thing to learn .
Soldier fly Farm
The soldier fly larvae are now climbing their ramp and dropping into a bucket to be eaten by the chickens, we have had to change the system a little so that the bath drained well and did not get full of liquid. The liquid drains out into a bucket underneath the bath and we found that hover flies are laying eggs there and we are able to feed hoverfly larvae to the chickens too. We could maximize that by having several buckets of soldier fly juice around the garden. We’re refining those systems all the time. The worm farm under the rabbits has also required some attention so it did not get anaerobic.
Worm Juice/Rabbit Pee
We are at a stand still around what to do with our 100’s of litres of rabbit pee/worm juice that comes from under the rabbits. WWE had it tested to see what was in it and discovered as I had wondered that it is nitrate nitrogen and potassium mostly 2 things we don’t need more of and putting it on the garden anywhere is going to make our mineral balances even further out and create havoc to our journey of learning to grow nutrient dense food and growing soil. We need to be able to add calcium and phosphate to it to balance those minerals out…. Any ideas out there, how do we use a liquid that is high in nitrate nitrogen and potash ad very low in calcium and phosphate.
We are in the process of putting up a crowd funder to support the development and management and record keeping in this garden. It’s a labour of love right now and we se this kind of research as being so exciting and so important in todays world that we want to see this 200 sq m garden go to the urban world. We’ll let you know when it goes up in early January via our Koanga newsletter so keep in touch. We’re looking for a major sponsor for this garden which will get a lot of publicity in the next year so if you know anybody who might be interested please let us know.