Friday, 1 August 2014

A warm place to work out of the rain,hail and wind

Awoke to large piles ofP8011462 icy hail around the place , 43.5 mm  in the rain gauge for the past 24 hours and more rain,hail and wind on the way I headed to the polyhouse to get things done.Normally in winter polyhouse there are daily harvests of greens for us and the chooks. Our flock require a large basket  full of greens to be blended into their mash daily and the outside gardens never grow fast enough in winter to keep up.

 

This year has been quite different as I was out of action from Spring to Autumn with firstly with a broken leg (Thanks to neighbours goat, which is still managing to climb the fence to my vegies garden.) Then a new knee! Over this time the polyhouse became covered in lovegrass whose seeds latch on to your clothes and was proberly responsible for the invention of Velcro. To remove this weed required me to wear a polyester type bee suit,and long gumboots and still some seeds ended up on my socks.Once removed the beds where dug over to removeP8011465 invading roots , the soil had mineralized , which means when you push the spade in you hear a crunching sound similar to putting a spade into gravel or the grittiness of potting soil or when  compost has been left too  long.

It was now late May and getting too late to plant most things even in side.

The two centre beds had some of my humus rich  compost dug in and where planted with brought in brassicas seedings and lettuce,kale and silver beet seedlings from my garden. The outside beds where left dug over and watered to get the weeds to germinate and today I dug them in as a green manure and then stirred some biodynamic barrel compost and treated all the beds. Next week I will dig in some  humus rich  compost and do another stirring of barrel compost and it will be ready for spring planting  and some  biodynamic 500  to get an early start  for the summer vegies.

Monday, 7 July 2014

Winter is the smell of roasted chestnuts

roasted chestnuts lThe wonderful aroma of roasting chestnuts can be experienced every weekend in Stirling in the Adelaide Hills. Between May and July and sometimes into August you can experience local produce , grown at Nirvana Farm just 3km down the road at Heathfield and expertly roasted by owner Quentin. And if you enjoy them roasted why not visit the farm to purchase some fresh ones to take home.  

Wednesday, 2 July 2014

After the wind and rain of the last few weeks

The sun came out, we came out and this blue tongue lizard came to enjoy a little sunshine.

lizard enjoying the sun

Wednesday, 21 August 2013

In the pink – mulching with petals

Having a self reliant garden is an important part of our overall aims at Nirvana.Everything is recycled in some way or other resulting in soils jumping with life and producing a top quality integrated environment where all life thrives.

So when the CamillaOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA         a trees are in flower they are seen for their beauty 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

But also the usefulness of the fallen petals.The ones falling on the surrounding footpaths are raked up and used as mulch. All that fall around the tree are left to be turned ,with the help of biodynamic preparations into top quality humus. Over the 30 years we have been here the camellias have never needed fertilizer and have only been watered in times of extreme drought , mainly to prevent the house cracking!  The tree grows so well it needs pruning with a chainsaw to prevented it growing over, and crashing on the veranda.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA           OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

This mulch usually known around here as ‘fairy carpet’ not only is valuable as it evolves into humus it looks great especially on a grey winters day. It also means that Spring is around the corner.

Thursday, 4 July 2013

The coming of the light means a new season of eggs.

chook and goose eggs in Spring

Its often hard to convince customers that eggs have a season

as we all know there is always a plentiful supply in the shops all year.

 

But like all things in nature, when left to live as naturally as is possible while still being in the care of us humans, our humble chooks fit into the rhythm of the solar clock .

 

As the Autumn Equinox approaches (By the way that occurs on March 21or 22) The day length begins to shorten the birds lay fewer eggs or stop laying altogether and go into a moult.

During the moult a hen will stop laying and shed its old feathers which are replaced by new feathers.

After the Winter Solstice  (marking the shortest day)  The days start to lengthen and the hens start laying again. By Spring there are abundant eggs for all to share.

RIR out and about

 

As the days lengthen a little more moving into September the hens start to look for nesting sites so they can secure a clutch of eggs to brood,  then  hatch chicks.