So here I am back at Milkwood – I did my Permaculture Design Certificate here in October 2009 – and I’ve hit the ground running. It is Friday evening – we arrived here lunchtime on Tuesday – and I have still not unpacked ! And it has been hugely enjoyable.
Joyce Wilkie and Michael Plane, along with Matthew who helps out at Allsun, and I left Gundaroo at dawn on Tuesday. Arriving here we had a swift lunch under the tree by the Woolshed and then took the Cultivator down to the OMG where 2 pigs had done …. well not a lot really. But the cultivator soon ripped into the virgin soil and in short order it was well churned up.
We spend a bit of time laying out the outline of the garden within the fenced area – we had planned for 28 beds in 2 blocks of 14 with a path down the middle of the two blocks.
Then it was down to work making beds : a bed is 1 metre wide in total – 700mm of cultivated bed and 300mm of path. This is a really efficient bed width – an average height person can straddle the bed for working on it…. you can get quite yoga- like about gardening throwing in the odd Trigunasana in between weeding, planting, seeding …. but I digress. Sorry.
4 beds were prepared (weeded and de-stoned and raked and raised into flattened mounds) and fed with compost, pelleted chicken manure, dolomite and a good rock-dust of assorted essential minerals.
And that was pretty much it by sunset. The next day was planting stuff grown early at Allsun – Endive, Spring Onions, Mesclun salads (lettuces) and Pak Choi. And suddenly it was time for Joyce, Mike and Matthew to return to Gundaroo.
Since they left on Wednesday afternoon I have prepared another 2 beds, planted out Rocket (seedlings and direct seeded into a bed) and sown Cima di Rapa. I have also created row-covers for 4 beds which is a slight luxury for these hardier plants, but it was a first go and provides night-shelter for the newly-planted seedlings.
Meanwhile, back on the farm/Milkwood Permaculture a course (Food Forest/Forest Garden) has started and I spent yesterday afternoon in Mudgee on errands (buying a new rake), more Rocket seeds and collecting a course participant.
By the end of today, Friday, and thus the end of the week, the new Milkwood Organic Market Garden looks like this :
Just the beginning – but a good start. Watch this space for our weekly reports on progress.