Chris McLeod

Fernglade Farm – Winter 2013 Update (Australia)

//www.youtube.com/embed/2LkVPAhxoCE The rains turned up here in Victoria, Australia, in April and then kept on pouring. So far this year has seen almost no rain over summer and then about 600mm (2 foot) since about the middle of Autumn. In addition to that, winter maximum temperatures have set new records (which date back to the 1860s). The climate here is turning strongly Mediterranean. As you’d expect, everything is growing strongly […]

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Fernglade Farm – Late Autumn (May) 2013 Update

Some of the 50kg worth of tomatoes growing this season What a summer it was in the South Eastern corner of Down Under. The weather was just wacky, in that the farm received no significant rainfall between early October and late February. The farm received 60mm (2 ½ inches) of rain in very late February and then in early Autumn we went on to have the longest period of continuous […]

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The Great Strawberry Heist

The thieves watched and observed from a safe distance, noting my movements 24/7, 365 days a year. They struck hard when opportunity presented itself and then disappeared, leaving only a trail of destruction and broken dreams. Hundreds of strawberry plants, leaves, roots and berries all disappeared within days, leaving only a bare patch of good (but now bare) soil and the forlorn hopes of enjoying those precious summer gifts. It […]

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Fernglade Farm – Late Summer 2013 Update (Australia)

It’s nearing the end of summer here at Fernglade farm and what a summer it has been. Two inches of rain in over five months, and extreme heat for days on end, results in a most unpleasant experience. Still, despite it all, things are still growing and there is still food to eat. The kangaroos, wallabies and wombats are also still eating from the farm and they are here often […]

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Fernglade Farm – Mid Summer (January) 2013 Update

What a difference six weeks has made to the food forest here! The change in climate between cool and wet to hot and dry happened in less than a week during early October and since that time there has been no significant rainfall. The rain probably won’t fall here now until about April based on past experience and records. The abrupt change surprised me and I took a while to […]

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Fernglade Farm – Early Summer (November) 2012 Update (Australia)

Writing the article series about Food Forests has made me aware of how much interest there is in them and how they can vary from region to region, but it also highlighted to me just how difficult it may be for people to actually visit a food forest. However, thanks to the wonders of the internet and YouTube, people have the opportunity to take a virtual tour of a food […]

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Food Forests, Part 6: Diversity, or Picking a Garden Salad

One benefit of a single crop farm is that it isn’t hard to remember what it is that you are growing! Most of that single crop is sown at one point in time, grows at about the same rate and is then harvested at about the same time. 100% too easy, well apart from all of the very real problems created when growing a mono-culture…. Permaculturalists, on the other hand […]

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Food Forests, Part 5: Water – Friend and Foe

I always thought that rain was a nurturing and gentle aspect of nature. You know how it is, you get a bit of rain and it helps all of the plants to grow, provides water for us and the animals and generally stops the place from drying out. That was my thinking back in an urban environment. In that area, the drainage infrastructure had been developed and maintained over the […]

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Fernglade Farm – Early Spring (September) 2012 Update (Australia)

Writing the series about Food Forests has made me aware of how much interest there is in them and how they can vary from region to region, but it also highlighted to me just how difficult it may be for people to actually visit a food forest. However, thanks to the wonders of the internet and YouTube, people have the opportunity to take a virtual tour of a food forest […]

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Adventures in Hugelkultur in Australia

A while back, the Permaculture Research Institute of Australia presented an article on hugelkultur raised beds (see also here and here). I found the idea of planting out raised beds made of tree saplings covered in a bit of soil and woody mulch to be intriguing. I’d never heard of hugelkultur before, but living surrounded by eucalyptus forest started me thinking about the possibilities. I’m not sure that hugelkultur techniques […]

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