"Self-sufficiency does not mean 'going back' to the acceptance of a lower standard of living. On the contrary, it is the striving for a higher standard of living, for food that is organically grown and good, for the good life in pleasant surroundings... and for the satisfaction that comes from doing difficult and intricate jobs well and successfully." John Seymour ~ Self Sufficiency 2003

Sunday 11 December 2016

It's that time in the garden... (part 2)

The first shadecloth covered veggie patch is doing well - perhaps too well.  We can't eat what is growing in it quick enough... (so ruddy great armfuls get given away - neighbours / kids, etc)
Garlic and swiss chard - they did wonderfully this year inside
 the shade cloth covered veggie patch
My multi-coloured swiss chard did really well - a lot of self seeding went on at the end of last summer when the previous plants bolted....
Swiss chard city lol
... and I left them to it.
That parsley plant is roughly 45 cms in diameter - it obviously
 loves the raised bed

As the chickens loved my strawberry plants they had to be
 moved away from beneath the berry beds.  I placed them
in gutters, and fixed the gutters to either side of the raised
beds.  That has worked brilliantly and has kept most of
 the strawberry loving insects (a.k.a. snails and slugs) away .
 I also planted garlic between the strawberry plants
 in the gutters 
I then took a wander to the pumpkin veggie patch area.

I love recycling whatever I can and when we scored some raised bed pallets / boxes from the tile shop at the end of last year, I lined them with plastic and chucked alpaca poo into them during the winter months until they were full.  Then I tossed in some pumpkin and butternut seeds, ran a sprinkler head to each one, and left them to do what they wanted.

This is what they wanted to do - with no further help from me...
A recycled tiles transportation pallet, lined with plastic and filled
 with alpaca poo  makes a brilliant pumpkin bed - especially if it's
 placed next to an "anti chicken" wattle fence
 Those raised pumpkin beds are there permanently - I will empty them out every autumn, use the contents to work into other veggie beds, and start filling them with alpaca poo every winter so that they are ready in late August for more pumpkin / butternut seeds again.  I am totally addicted to growing pumpkin and butternut against a "trellis" - it keeps them off the ground so that RMan can still mow, keeps the orange filled orbs of deliciousness high enough away from slugs / chickens and other devious creatures / insects, and makes harvesting such a breeze.
The anti-chicken fence is ideal for growing pumpkins on :D
Finally, for the first time ever, I found some 2 year old artichoke plants in the nursery on the way to town.  RMan and I LOVE artichokes (however, after our latest cholesterol tests perhaps we'll have to go a little easier on the butter when we eat them).
It seems that the artichoke plants love their position between
 the two raised pumpkin beds
I popped the two artichoke plants facing west between the two pumpkin beds where they are protected from the worst of the wind - and they seem to love their spot.
Another couple of days and that artichoke will be ready for eating
I am amazed how quickly they grew, and started producing...

Yummy luscious-ness straight from the garden.  It seriously doesn't get better than that!

For more info on the Foothills DryAway please click the link.


  1. Dani-everything looks terrific. Love the idea for putting strawberries in gutters raised up like that. I gave up on berries because the slugs got them all. What a great idea!!
    And pumpkins are such a rewarding thing to grow. Your Alpaca pellets seem to be just what they need. Good idea to refill yearly.

    1. Sue - Thank you. Bear in mind that the strawberries need more frequent watering because their root space is "limited". But, yeah, I'm happy with the system - and the strawberries are cleaner too ;)

  2. Wow, that looks fantastic, obviously shadecloth is the way to go. Mine is a desert wasteland, but never mind, there's still time.

    1. pqsa - Oh, in this heat, shadecloth is the only way to go!! It's only fair to give the veggies a fighting chance... ;)

  3. Everything is so green there at your place. Here, it's barren and bleak. All the tourist have fled, so it's deserted as well. Hooray!

    1. Harry - The only thinks that are green are my veggies - under shadecloth. Everything else is brown and crisp and almost dehydrated... :(


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