Thursday, August 27, 2009

Banana Tree: A New Home

Here is our new banana tree in its new home. It is well sheltered in the corner between the potting shed and the chook shed with the passionfruit vine giving some welcome shade in the afternoon. This one is a lady finger banana tree which has small, very tasty fruits. It is wind and disease resistant. They can reach heights of up to 16’ and send out shoots to create new trees so can quickly turn into a grove. We have several well sheltered spots picked out around the property for new trees as they emerge. We also intend to get a Cavendish at some stage as well.


Monday, August 24, 2009

Bamboo Grass: Much at Stake

Fun Fact: Bamboo is classified as a grass, not a tree!

In the search for an eco-friendly way to source material for stakes, perches, supports and pipe runners we needed to look no further than our own backyard. Introducing bamboo, thought to be the fastest-growing plant on the planet! We have 3 mature clumps of the stuff with about 40 stems to make use of. We have already cut down a number and utilised them in stakes for the apple trees, string stakes for planning out new projects and chicken perches!

And it does grow fast - bamboo can be harvested in about four years! Compare that to how long it takes most other trees of comparable mass to grow to full maturity. You can also stagger the stalks that you remove so that you have a ready supply of various ages at all times. It also does not require replanting because it continually creates new sprouts so it's an eternal source of strong material. Bamboo is so incredibly strong that certain varieties have been compared to steel! It is used in the construction of homes and even bridges in some parts of the world. It is also resilient and will merrily grow to over 60 feet in some cases — without the aid of toxic pesticides and fertilizers or much TLC.

Bamboo has also been used to make clothing, knives, spears, insulation, anti-bacterial ointments (bamboo contains a naturally occurring antimicrobial agent called kun that prevents the growth of bacteria.), name it really...magic stuff!


Friday, August 21, 2009

Banana Tree: A New Arrival

Welcome to our newest addition - a Banana Tree!

Thanks to friends we have a new Banana Tree for our growing edible gardens. Now bananas like a warm climate so we are hoping that the odd frost we get won't kill it.

Banana grows in a wide variety of soils, as long as the soil is deep and has good internal and surface drainage. The effect of poorly drained soils can be partly overcome by planting in raised beds, as the plant does not tolerate poor drainage or flooding. Hence we are planting this fellow on a raised bed behind the chicken coop, next to the main shed.

The planting site hase been chosen for protection from wind and cold weather and excessive heat as well. I will post pics once we have planted it to show the alcove we hope to soon reap rewards from.


Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Vege Patch: The Extension Project (Phase 2 complete)

Phase 2 is officially complete. Well Phase 2.1 in any case as we still intend to put a fence around the area but that has been postponed pending the house extensions. Here are the pics of the final gardens (already planted with beetroots, carrots, broccoli and corn)

Monday, August 10, 2009

Strawberry Patch: Late winter berries

Well the new strawberries have started arriving and they are looking good. They are redder than they were last crop and actually appear firmer so it may be an easier sell to the chillen this time around. Maybe if we pick them all and put them in the fridge in a commercial punnet we can at least get them to try them this time around.


Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Vege Patch: The Extension Project II

The weed mat has now all be put down and we have started putting in the 20mm river stones to create workspaces around the various gardens. The garden area itself is edged with old railway sleepers - at $5 a pop they are a great way to have a nice rustic edge to gardens and other edging.

The area is coming together very nicely - without the constant battle with the in between grasses it will be far easier and more enjoyable to work the gardens. It gives the kids somewhere to play as well as rocks and dumptrucks go very well together.

The boys are all being great helpers with shovelling rocks around as well. Altogether the extension will cost us $50 for the sleepers, $25 in bolts, $90 in weedmatting, $160 in stones totalling $325 for easy access, low maintenance, healthy gardens!


Sunday, August 2, 2009

Avocado Trees: Let Nature Decide!

With the death of our mature avocado tree that we struggled to keep alive since we brought it home from the nursery and after much debate on the best approach and best location we have decided on a new strategy. Let Nature Decide! Amy's parents have brought us a multitide of old avocados from the nearby fruit shop and we are going to plant them all over the property and see which, if any, grow into trees.

If we get an absolute multitide of trees coming through then we can transplant a few into pots and either give them away or move them to the choicest bit of the land (where other Avocados are doing well) and create a grove of sorts. Nature knows what it is doing! Long live Entropy!


Saturday, August 1, 2009

First Paw Paw Tree: One Year

Well our Paw Paw tree is doing exceptionally well and is currently flowering (cheers and applause from the collected audience). Paw Paws are apparently very productive plants so we are looking to a future of bumper crops on this one.

It has grown over 3.5 feet in the last 12 months so that is exciting. It is obviously in the right spot there beside the potting shed and gets sun all afternoon.

I will keep you posted!