Our gardens are split into three:
- The Winter Garden Food Forest – Intensively growing perennials with annual beds mixed in between
We have planted fruit and nut trees in this food forest, each one was planted with supporting perennials in guilds. It is quite near to the house and the trees are still young so we will continue to use the space between the trees for a winter kitchen garden using the Back to Eden garden method (wood chip gardening), it also includes 7 sunken beds and perennial vegetable beds, a green house and propagation area.
Photo above from 2019 and below from 2017 can you spot the difference?
Photo above of the food forest in September 2017 and below in March 2017, can you spot the difference ?
2. The Horta – annual kitchen vegetables planted right next to the house
Here we have converted a sloap into three mini terraces with 2 swales and flood ditches going through it. We have put in a small pond and intensively planted annuals and herbs here. This spot also stays warmer in the winter as it is protected by wind and there are huge rocks that warm up from the sunrise. This prevents it from getting frost so we can use this for an early crop of fruiting vegetables that would usually be burned by the first frost. However we are now using this area as a salad garden with various kales, spinaches, chards, perpetual spinages, lettuces and various perennial plants and herbs that can be included in salads. We found it is much easier to keep all salad plants together next to the house.
3. Terrace 1 – Our first food forest.
Here in the first year we planted a lot of summer crops in larger beds, such as the three sisters (corn with pumpkin growing around and beans growing up the corn), sweet potatoes, beans, pumpkins and potatoes. We found that the soil is more dry up here and it is uphill from the water source, however the soil does hold water well. Now we have a two year old food forest in this terrace with over 200 different varieties of perennials
Photo above is Terrace one in August 2017 when it was used for annual vegetables and below is in March 2017
4. The chicken food forest
Planted in October 2018 and including more than 100 perennial edible plants that chickens will enjoy to eat and will not destroy, for more information on this food forest please click here
5. The sheep and chicken food forest
Planted in 2018, this 100 square meter area is fenced off with over 150 tree and shrubs planted in swales. It includes a windbreak and plants and trees that will give us a yield but also sheep and chickens can enjoy and not destroy. We plan to integrate chickens in 2019 and sheep in 2021.
6. Reforestation area
This is a 1 hectare area we have fenced off and planted more than 40 species of trees and shrubs as part of our reforestation effort in November 2018, it is complete with a new lake, a windbreak and many wild fruit trees. We plan to integrate sheep into this in a few years to help keep the grass, weeds and low hanging branches down that can present a fire risk. Click here to read more
7. Future areas to work with
- More than 10 hectares for reforestation, Each year we plan to fence 1 hectare and fill it with trees.
- 4 Lower terraces, these hold more water and we plan to convert these into food forests with space for summer vegetables
- Citrus alley with the outdoor shower, a path where we have planted citrus trees that receive water from the out door shower
- We plan to plant more diversity into our 2 hectares of cork forest
- We plant to remove eucalyptus and mimosa trees for building and fire wood and reforest these areas with native trees.
- We plan to create anover 5 hectares of food forests using different methods and for different purposes
Other areas we garden in:
Billy Jean sits by the small pond waiting for frogs to play with. This is water from one of our grey water systems that cleans our shower and washing machine water. We plan to transform this into a flood based terraced system that waters itself every time we shower
The herb spiral is one of the places we centralise herbs and it is auto watered by our grey water system that comes from our kitchen
Older photos from winter 2016/2017 (we bought the farm on 22nd November 2016)