By Dave B
With a passion for all things green, Dave will be sharing his journey as an (wannabe) urban farmer. A small 1/2 acre plot of sloping land and 3 wild kids won't hold him back. From planting to harvesting to preserving, Dave is our go-to guy when it comes to the garden. On a large scale, his dream is to raise awareness of the need for reconnection of local people with local food, to benefit the general health and well-being of the community as well as the earth. You can follow his journey more closely over at Blindberry Farm.
If you live anywhere on the east coast of NSW, there's a good chance your garden looks like mine; overgrown, full of produce and slightly out of control.
A busy summer holidays, combined with work, and consistent rain / sun / rain / sun etc. has meant everything is growing like crazy, and I am not not quite keeping up.
We live in a warm sub-tropical zone, so our pumpkins are well into production, cucumbers are nearly finished, tomatoes are growing crazy, summer herbs in full swing and beans are all over the place. And there's still a good 2 - 3 months of summer growing time to go!
With that in mind I thought I'd share what I'll be planting, along with a couple of cool resources that may interest you.
FEBRUARY JOBS AT BLINDBERRY FARM
- Continue with planting perennial crops wherever possible - this means fruit trees, grasses, edible herbs, berries, edible ground covers to the establishing food forest areas and continued heavy mulching.
- Finally, get my contour swales and planting mounds in down the back (I booked in a machine today! Yeehaw!), with tree crops and pasture alleys to follow.
- Keep planting flowers (again, as many perennials as possible) to attract beneficial insects, and generally admire. When I started I wasn't big on flowers but I've gone 180 degrees and have even considered using some veg production space for flowers (gasp!).
- In the Beetleshack Kitchen Garden, I'll be cleaning out the crops that are finishing up and feeding them to the chooks or compost, then prepping beds for the last summer run of produce. Also I'll be cutting back hard any perennial herbs which are taking over (i.e. most of them).
Annual vegetables that I plan on getting into the garden now are (all planted as seedlings):
- More Basil (any variety you like)
- More beans (runner/pole beans and bush varieties)
- Cape Gooseberries
A great resource that I love is Gardenate - they have a cheap app and a free email reminder that gives you a list of planting guides suitable for your climate zone. I use it a lot and highly recommend it - their website has a lot of great resources. They have a NZ site too.
And now for a great little outfit based in Victoria; Grown & Gathered is run by Matt & Lentil who grow for sale and trade, vegetables and flowers. They also do heaps of other amazing stuff like preserving, keeping dairy cows, making cheese, and generally being awesome (I've never met them but I think it's a safe bet). Head over to their site for some inspiration - I stop in there regularly for a bit of a pep up when I'm feeling low on inspiration. I believe they also have some workshops lined up for this year, so if you're in the area, why not check out their shop and book in for one?!