Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Change the World Wednesday Challenge - 16th May 2012 - Permaculture, part 2

Following on from last weeks challenge of learning about permiculture, it is time to put the theory into practice for this weeks challenge:

Now that we've observed the area around us, let's use that knowledge to plant something. Choosing a location which considers rain fall, sunlight, "pests", etc., plant something using sustainable methods such as double digging, companion planting and natural pest control. Use natural compost instead of fertilizer. And
then ... come back and tell us all about it.

Or ...

If you've already planted, tell us all about the process ... did you choose the garden's location based on natural elements? Did you prepare the garden using double digging? Did you make use of natural compost and companion planting? How do you control pests? And, knowing what you now know about Permaculture, will you make any changes next year? We want to know everything.

Every year is a bit of an experiment, growing different varieties in different locations with varying results.  I have found that the factor which influences results most is the one we can least control: the weather.  Other factors, such as pest control and feeding the garden, are more controllable and I wrote about some of them here. I guess it comes down to not bringing in unnatural or unpleasant things and allowing nature in around the edges.

I must be getting something right because the garden is teeming with life. My daughter has been learning about mini-beasts at school and she was fascinated by this critter that she found under a stone:

I'm not sure I fancy the chances of the newly planted out turnip seedlings (below) with it and its friends about.

And it isn't only the creepy crawlies, this rather sociable little chap stopped by for a visit:

He first landed on the handle of my trowel a couple of feet away from me before moving to this stump by the time I took my phone camera out of my pocket. I had another couple of visits over the afternoon, not for my company but for the freshly dug soil and its bountiful supply of dinner!

And so on to the last task of the day, earthing up the potatoes we planted a few weeks ago:

These were the first earlies. The second earlies planted in the last week of April are just starting to break the surface. The potatoes in a sack that was in the west side of the garden has grown faster than the one on the east, but they may not have been planted as deep. I will continue to observe.

Last Weeks Permaculture Challenge:

Post script: Came home today to find not one, not two but three robins in the garden at the same time, so it may not have been the same one being very sociable!

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