Mid-week report – Week 3 (In which we build a Hay House)

Monday 12 Sept – woke to frost and my thermometer in the Garden read -2.5…. the next night it dropped to -5 ! eek!. Mike and Joyce (from Allsun Garden Farm) were due on Thursday with 150 Tomatoes, 30 Capsicums (Peppers) and 30 Eggplants (Aubergine) all of which are precious, expensive and don’t like frosts.  What was worse was that the place I had intended to put our little propagation house was also frosty …

… But, ahah, the Shade House and surrounding area was frost free. It sits half-way down the hill under the swale, in a clearing of trees and next to the Tiny House dam – well sheltered.

Just under the dam was a pile of spoiled hay bales of which some were intact.  So Celia and I got to it and built a House of Hay to shelter our precious seedlings.

First the site (mostly woodchips on the bare earth) was leveled. Then we carried the intact bales and built our walls – 5 levels with intact bales topped of with remant ‘biscuits’.  We supported the walls with tree-trunks and topped the walls with logs, lining the interior with black plastic.  A 200L barrel (used to keep olives in) was placed in the sunny corner and filled with water.  Our little propagation unit was inserted and the whole covered with a sheet of plastic.  Ola! A cosy home for the babies !

Our resident Food Forest Garden expert Mr Dan Harris Pascal reckons this is a true Permaculture addition to the Milkwood plant … and who can argue with that.

Better still it works ! Hoorah !  Here are the stats to prove it … comparison of Overnight Minimum Temperature

Fri : OMGarden : -1  Hay House: 2.5
Sat : OMG : -1  Hay House : 6 (time lag – the water barrel needed a day to warm the water)
Sun : OMG : 0 Hay House : 6.5
Mon : OMG: 2 Hay House : 9.6

Our seedlings are safe.  Hoorah !

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