The Big Tomato Challenge
I’m going to join Jon Franks big tomato challenge this year, in my home garden. I’m going to try to do it using home made fertilizers and in the Institute gardens we’ll use Environmental Fertiliser products similar to those Jon Frank is using… and see how the trials compare. Check out Jon Franks Tomato Challenge …
The focus of our Guided Tour on February 4th will be in the tomato patch with Grant Paton from Environmental Fertilisers so this will be a great time to join us and be part of the discussion around growing high brix, high health, incredible tasting tomatoes!!
Next week I’ll publish the recipes Grant recommends for our Koanga Tomato Challenge, and I will tell you how I’ll be growing mine at home using nutrition I can collect right here! This will be a challenge you can all get involved in and if you use our heritage seed we would love to receive your results and comments as well but wait… more details next week.
Environmental Fertilisers, fertiliser is based on the same principles as that of International Ag Labs owned by Jon Franks, both based on Carey Reams research.. as described in the incredible book Nourishment Home Grown. This book has been my bible around growing nutrient dense food. It describes how healthy cells are created and maintained and this applies no matter if it is a plant, animal or human.. all cells have the same needs.
Biochar and Liquid Fert
This week in my home garden I’ll be making a load of Biochar as I’ve used up all the last load. I’ll need this Biochar (urine charged ) to feed all of my Spring planted crops from now on, and I’m making up enough liquid fertiliser from the recipe in last weeks blog to last me a few months.
I’m also going to begin planting my beds of alfalfa for mulching and feeding my perennial beds and tomato beds.
My broadbeans, peas and garlic all look great, I gave them all a watering can soil drench today with a weak handful (of fresh, organic, cow manure/molasses , and the shallots and potato onions) are all up now and the first beetroot seedlings are in along with carrot seed, daikon seedlings and turnip seedlings. Apart from potatoes, the early Spring root crops are now planted.
The other major job in my home garden this week will be preparing the bed for my early potatoes. I plant Yellow Fir as my early Xmas potatoes, they are top texture flavor and don’t get the psyllid because they are ready to harvest before the psyllid become a problem. My main crop potatoes will go in near the end of September, because we have late frosts here. Click here to check out our potato collection.
I’m going to plant my potatoes in trenches with compost and urine soaked Biochar, then fill in the trenches and soil drench with liquid fert and molasses, as described in my last blog.
The New Winter Chicken Food
One of the classic Permaculture ‘sayings’ is “The problem is the Solution!!”.. well we’ve come up with a solution that fixes a few problems in the garden right now…. We have sparrows eating our silverbeet and beetroot leaves, we have no comfrey to feed the chickens during winter (a lack of protein) .. and guess what, we are catching the sparrows in a trap and feeding them to the chickens. Shaked is the master of this art here at Kotare Village and he has been catching 13 sparrows every day!!
Finally this week, the slugs and snails are appearing again so I am back out at night with a torch and a jar of hot water to catch the slugs, of coarse the chickens benefit. Another example of “The problem is the solution!!”
Next week I’m going to answer some of the questions I’m getting around using urine. I was nervous about beginning this conversation but I can see a lot of you are very keen to learn more.. .. we’ll also look at how we can grow our own carbon that is ready to use at this difficult time in Spring when it’s all weeds and green and no carbon in sight!