AUGUST 2015

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Cucumbers are going off right now!

The little kids found all these in one visit and ate them fresh off the vine. 

There is still time to plant cucumbers with the lovely dry season still upon us.

Make sure they get enough water but don’t have soggy, wet roots or they will go mouldy. 

Today  I was  cutting pigeon pea trees in the  garden.

 Then I  put them  on the ground for mulch to stop the weeds and make the soil healthy.

By Tatiyana

NOVEMBER

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It might be hot, but we are still growing heaps in our garden. 

Right now we are harvesting loofah, snake beans, wing beans, Madagascar beans, greens for our chickens! We also have lots of sunflowers, bananas and pawpaws flowering and fruiting. 

In the big open areas near the bush, we are planting lots of different legumes to get ready for the wet season. They will block the weeds, fix nitrogen and provide mulch and chook food.

October 2014 – SWEET POTATOES

We have been digging up sweet potatoes for months now. Just the other day these three boys (Jarlz, Matthias and Elijah), were visiting our garden to ccollect eggs and they spotted this monster poking up out of the soil!

With the wet season looming, we are breaking off the ends of our sweet potato runners and planting them in the open spaces so that they fill it up before the weeds come. 

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July 2014 – SEED SAVING

We are getting lots of pumpkins off of our vine this year so it is important that we save seeds from it to grow next year because it is strong and healthy.

If we use our own seed we will get more lovely pumpkins again and again. Also….it makes good sense because these seeds are free! 

We get a lot of seeds from one pumpkin so we can take the spare ones home to grow ourselves.

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After we scrape out the seeds we spread them onto paper towel.

When they are dry, they are ready to plant….easy!!

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We did it with our rockmelon too.

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CHILLY IN THE DRY SEASON

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What’s hot? Well….not us!!! We are all feeling very cold in the morning and we have to find some warm clothes to wear because usually it is hot everyday! Sometimes we laugh at how we look in warm clothes because we are not used to wearing them!

At the moment it is about 19 degrees in the morning and that is very very cold for us. We don’t get any rain and it is really good weather for going camping so we are all looking forward to the long bush holidays.

JUNE – Pigeon Peas

Our pigeon peas are covered in seed pods, so today we were shelling them and collecting the seed.

Pigeon peas are MULTI FUNCTIONAL because they

– fix nitrogen in the soil

– can be trimmed and used for green mulch

– have flowers that bring in good bugs

– give us shade

– fill in spaces where weeds used to grow

– can be made into dahl

– can be fed to the chickens

– look nice and make use of the edges and empty spaces

…and maybe even more! We are going to plants lots more so we can have them everywhere around the edges of our garden.

MAY 2014 – Rosellas

After a long wet season, rosellas keep springing up in the bush so we are having a big harvesting week to collect seeds and make all kinds of yummy food like fruit leather (rollups), jam and cordial! Free and healthy, what could be better? Kids love to eat them straight off the bush, and they eat the leaves too.

Here is Williams 5 finding some rosellas in the Garden.

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Working as a Design Team

27th May, 2014

Its getting pretty dry in the chook’s yard and they are starting to jump up and eat the leaves on the small bananas. So its time to get some green feed growing for them. Today Ellemor 7 designed and began making a growing tunnel. Next week they will plant lots of Brazilian spinach inside, then cover it with chicken wire to stop the chickens eating it all at once! They will be able to peck at any leaves that grow outside the mesh though and have lots to eat.

Great ideas and teamwork Ellemor 7, especially Sylvia who worked hard – even with a broken arm!

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Pruning Mulberries Again!

20th May, 2014

Every time we prune, we get new trees from cuttings….and fruit! This makes the job much more enjoyable 😉

The tree nearest the container was done a couple a weeks ago and has new fruit all over it. Once this one, in the front where Rico is posing, starts to get little fruit forming, we will prune the next one in the line so we always have trees at different stages; to spread out  the work-load and get a continuous yield!

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March 20th, 2014

Mulching

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The rain has nearly stopped and its getting hotter and dryer. During the wet, heavy rains have washed away a lot of our nutrients, so its time to top up the mulch.

We have been putting cardboard boxes down on all the weeds to stop them growing and putting palm fronds through the mulcher. Both of these things are good if you live remote like us, and can’t get regular mulch.

green manure

We have also been pulling up our green manure crops of cow peas and mung beans and putting them back onto our beds as green mulch. These crops have stopped weeds growing over the holidays and capturing nitrogen.

Now they are flowering. We could let them make pea and beans, but picking them now means they put their energy (nitrogen) back into our soil instead.

March 15th, 2014

Mulberries

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Our Mulberries were tall and leggy after a wet season of glorious rain. They were putting a lot of energy into growing stems and leaves and were a bit chaotic. So we have been pruning them back nice and short.

This is good for three reasons;

1. When we prune our Mulberries back hard they fruit many times throughout the year in the tropics. We can see little buds just days after we prune them.

2. It keeps the trees at a size that is small enough for tiny hands to reach up to the fruit!

3. We get lots and lots of cuttings to stick in pots and make new Mulberry trees. These grow easily with very little care and we can take them home for our own Gardens.

March 4th, 2014

We are a bit slow to get started on this page….

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But here is what we are already growing in our Garden;

– bananas, pawpaws, sweet potato, lemongrass, rosellas, gooseberries, Brazilian spinach, snake beans, loofah, sunflowers, passionfruit, watermelons, pumpkins, rockmelons, mulberries, basil,  pineapples…

In our Aquaponics area we are growing;

– chillies, mint, bokchoy…

And right now we are planting;

corn, eggplant and cucumbers and more watermelons and pumpkins!

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