Tag Archives: permaculture

7 days till the blitz

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20130317-190524.jpg And Kirby just had all these plants dropped off at our house. Blackberries, grapes, and asparagus, among others.

The thought of having this type of growing system established in our backyard in a few days feels surreal. If you have free time during any afternoon this week come and help us get ready!

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Companion Planting & The Patterns of Nature

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We harvested one of the largest beets to date from the keyhole garden today. Believe it or not it’s actually the second biggest!
We also made a few more starts including gypsy peppers, Jamaican peppers, red bell peppers, pepedew peppers, habanero peppers, bee balm, and dill. The peppers and bee balm we are planning to companion plant with tomatoes, basil, carrots and nasturtium. The dill we will plant with some already existing kale to confuse those pesky aphids!
Along with the starts we direct seeded borage, bunching onions, and radishes. These were planted in a spiral pattern to mock natures existing patterns. Watermelons will be accompanying all of these plants for a nice pest confusing medley. Don’t forget, plants need friends too!

Drinking the Rain

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After the fresh rain we had the other night catchment attached to the chicken coop is about half full. Its made out of a simple bent piece of metal we found in the forest and hung up with a few bent nails at the corner. The roof is not very large and I was amazed when I went to fill their water this morning. Its nice not to walk back to the house to full up the water anymore. And its one less water resource needed on our farmstead.

Propagation

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We recently acquired a good number of fruit tree cuttings so I slapped together this prorogation house complete with a soaker hose wrapped around the top to serve as a mister. The point is to maintain humidity so the cuttings will develop roots.

In the house are pomegranates, mulberries, figs, persimmons, and more. We got them from our friendly neighborhood fruit tree guy Lee Wallace.

The guy must have a hundred fruit tree varieties in his backyard, many of which he has adapted to this region or is probably the first to try here. He even has one tree that he’s grafted 12 different fruit varieties onto. We walked around his backyard and were overwhelmed with fruit, knowledge, and the armful of cuttings and seedlings he gave me and Taelor. Thanks again, lee.

After we cut the branches down to size, about four nodes each piece, we placed them in quart sized pots half filled with condensed coconut fiber, a handful of pine bark, and a couple handfuls of volcanite.

Happy growing in there.

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Start House

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Our Start house is beginning to fill up. These little guys in the picture are about two weeks old. Today we doubled the amount of starts in anticipation of our upcoming food forest.  Almost have enough to get our summer garden going.

In another two weeks or so we’ll do another round. The plan is to have way too many and an abundance of variety so that after our land is planted there will still be plenty to offer at the San Marcos Farmer’s Market. Hint hint.

Permablitz 2 at scissortail

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Kirby Fry hosted his second permablitz, coordinated and promoted by our very own Taelor Monroe, at Linda and Curtis’ house. We dug two 50 foot swales with accompanying berms about 10 feet wide and established them with fruit and farmers’ trees, asparagus, blue bonnets, artichoke, cover crops and more. It feels good to get another one of these systems going. They’re springing up all over south Austin.

Our permablitz is coming up in 5 weeks, and we have so much to do to prepare, but I feel reenergized by all the talk and excitement amongst our fellow permablitzers

The Sword in the Snap Peas

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Been eating these often in salad. Growing quite well on small trellis work and the greens are as good as spinach.

 

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This simple raised bed of forest soil and our own compost never ceases to amaze me with its level of production. It resides over the only flat spot in our back yard (and pretty much the property) and gets full sun all day. I think the real winner with this bed is how deep we made it. I’d say its a solid twenty inches tall.

Honey Bees and Fruit Trees

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20130202-223212.jpg We all drove out to Wimberly in the Roots mobile (aka Jared’s car) to visit Heirloom Blooms, a permaculture community 20 minutes west of us.

They have a beautiful piece of land that they’ve begun to populate well with animals and fruit trees. I hope to visit their place again and work more with them in the future.

They were hosting a bee keeping class. It was a great introduction to the craft and to the complexities of the inner workings of a bee hive. They’re incredible creatures and we couldn’t live without them.

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This evening when we got home Lee Wallace came over to help us graft mulberries onto our paper mulberries and Asian persimmons onto our Texas variety. I hope they all take. Thanks to Lee for his knowledge and expertise.