DESIGN UPDATE FEBRUARY 1995
One of the large eucalypts 3 blocks away was felled in 1993 - others not so large remain and are in same place,
but allow more light to reach garden in the late afternoon.
Large area of glass
now well-shaded by arundo panax & bananas.
No more gypsum has been applied, & for the last 2 years almost all the mulch has
been produced from within the system. I still add a little seaweed from time to
time, & collect some leaves from surrounding streets.
This year a compost tumbler has been installed, to supply potting soil.
The only weeds are soursobs - if you can call them that. They nurse seedlings
through the cold weather (Living mulch reduces frost damage) Guinea pigs & birds
eat the corms if exposed. I use the flowers & leaves sparingly in salads, & the
whole plant is an excellent dye-stuff.
Snail & slug damage is almost non-existent - at least five blue-tongued skinks now
live in the garden, & I have a hard time finding any snails big enough to eat.
At least 18 different species of birds now visit the garden, more than 66% of them
natives. They do eat furry caterpillars - Iíve watched them. They strip the fur
off first, by pulling the caterpillar bewteen their toes!
Disappointingly, it has proved necessary to raise the height of the front fence. A high fence has been constructed from mattress springs, which keeps out cats very
effectively, from the front. The back is still somewhat vulnerable, because of
a neighbourís adjoining shed, but the prolific vegetation & the use of wire net-
ting acts as a deterrent to all but the most determined moggies.
Rats now need to be actively controlled in winter, there is an abundance of food,
& the local rat telegraph obviously works well. I donít mind them, but if they
got out of hand, the Council might demand I clean up my garden, so I trap them
(with the assistance of the E.S.Group) when they become obvious.
So far(touch wood) the possums havenít bothered about my fruit - or perhaps the birds have driven
them away. Wattle-birds and honeyeaters are very possessive of their larder.
People have become very interested in the garden, some taking great pride in it.
Cuttings, seeds, names of plants, & advice are often sought. Our little com
munity has become more interactive as a result, we also share Sulo bins, produce,
swap rubbish, & recycle quite actively.
Guinea-pigs were introduced to the system this summer (1995 ) & are already breeding. They convert produce I cannot use to protein, & will be used for meat.
also produce excellent fertiliser.
A SE facing skylight has been designed and installed in the living room, & is quite successful. Prolific summer
growth keeps the house relatively cool in summer, while pruning, coppicing, harvesting, & natural leaf fall allow access to winter sun.
I now have a trailer for my bike, a hand-cart made from an old pram, & have customised my shopping trolley, so I can now accomplish most tasks without having to run
Last year I taught a PDC at a local community centre, & two of my neighbours did
the course. This I did in addition to a number of short courses, talks & workshops,
& the co-ordination of the Permaculture Network in S.A., plus community work and
writing a fair number of articles for various publications.
In March I retire from the
Network, & do not plan to teach this year. With the extra time to spend on processing my harvest, I should be able to supply 60% of my needs within 12 months,
if my health remains good.
In any case, with more time to focus on those needs,
I can access assistance through the local PC group, which is active & mutually
supportive. I couldnít have achieved what I have without them, or without the
interest & support of the wider community.
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