My energy at home has finally shifted from the forest garden… it’s been huge year here this year in our forest garden and all over Kotare village planting forest garden support trees….and today we finished planting around 1000 of them. They are going to look amazing in the years to come.. maples galore, dogwoods galore, viburnums, golden chain trees, Japanese snow bells and strawberry trees of various kinds, flowering crab apple and pears, edible hawthorne and much much more, alders tagasaste… they are all in! It has rained on them and I’m moving over to the vege garden, feeling as though the forest garden is ready to burst!!!. I’m waiting for the fruit now., and I’m contemplating using my foliar Calphos for the fruit trees as well as the vege garden. Calphos is designed to initiate flowering and setting of healthy fruit on vege and fruit trees.
My chickens and ducks are laying flat tack now, and this is the critical time to take special care of them because they will only continue laying if we keep their nutrients up. Just as with humans and plants, our animals need high levels of nutrients to maintain their health and the ability to continue laying eggs day after day. If they become de-mineralized because they are not being fed enough high quality food their combs will go dull and lose the bright red vibrancy and fullness and they will stop laying. It’s super difficult to keep up high levels of nutrients/minerals if you are buying pellets or grains (best fermented), so adding chicken minerals to their food is a great option. I do that and we have had no gaps in egg production this past winter, sure, we had a lot less eggs but no actual total break. Now is also the time to access their health in every way to ensure they have the best possible environment to continue egg production. Have you got a dust bath for them? Use wood ash or diatomaceous earth mixed 50/50 with sand. This will prevent lice on their bodies… a big problem in the heat of Summer. Have you limed their roosts and scratch yards? We throw lime into their scratch yard regularly to ensure the resultant compost has balanced minerals and that it smells sweet and does not encourage pests, and we paint their roosts with soaked hydrated lime to help prevent lice from living on them.
I have my perennial beds (asparagus, globe artichokes, seakale, rhubarb, Welsh Bunching onions and Multiplying Spring onions) weeded and cleared and fed with urine charged biochar and mulched with shredded leaves. The seakale is coming through now, the artichokes are growing strongly, and the first asparagus spears are appearing.. we are harvesting rhubarb, Welsh bunching onions and Multiplying Spring onions… wonderful early Spring food!!!
I’m really into bed prep now, clearing beds to plant alfalfa, and areas to plant more comfrey to use as fertilizer, nutrient maintenance via mulch or compost … making biochar and collecting urine to charge the biochar. I have 3 compost heaps that will be ready to use this Spring, giving me 3 cubic metres of cured compost, enough to put 2cm over my entire 140m of garden beds, so I’m hoping I have my soil building pretty sorted.
Ive used my garden planner and got my new shape garden all planned and now it’s a matter of following my plan. This week I’ve been making Calphos from the recipe I gave last week, finishing my liquid fert recipe and making my fish fertilizer. It’s also time to plant the next lot of Spring seeds, check the moon calendar here.
I haven’t got the tomato challenge recipe from Grant yet so that will have to wait for next week, and I’m trying hard to be patient about getting my greenhouse finished and setting up the wicking bed soldier fly farm and getting all my seedlings in… a couple of weeks away yet I’m afraid.. Our PDC students take top priority right now but our Spring Interns can help me get it all set up. I’ll be excited to show you when we get it happening!