Food forest Wollongong NSW

Discussion in 'Members' Systems' started by lukemurphy, Apr 20, 2013.

  1. lukemurphy

    lukemurphy Junior Member

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    Hi

    This is my attempt at a food forest in Wollongong on the east coast of NSW Australia. It is almost 1 year old (Though 2 of the trees I transplanted from my neighbour so they are a bit older). I love spending time here, I find it a lot more interesting than the vegie patch (need to redesign vegie patch for more diversity). There is always something happening with the plants and insects, its very nice.

    Although I did give a bit of time for thought and design, I did rush into the planting and could have done more detailed design, but it seems to be working out ok, everything is growing pretty well. Its funny I see things now that I would have changed, but I wouldn't have known to change them if I hadn't done it in the first place. Always the way :)

    It is on a slope so I made some small (and shabby) terraces, then filled these with logs and sticks, then horse manure and compost and woodchip mulch.

    The main species are:

    Trees: custard apple, acerola cherry, lemon, pomegranate, and a mystery transplant from my neighbour (he thinks maybe a quince?)
    Shrubs: lime, finger lime, curry leaf, tagasaste, grevillea, christmas bush, westringia, blueberry x 2, butterfly bush, leptospermum
    Herb/ground cover: comfrey, lucerne, chamomile, lavender, perennial basil, perennial coriander, mushroom plant, strawberry, borage, cowpea, vetch, lemon thyme, lemon verbena, lemon balm, nasturtium, brachyscome, galangal, mint, turmeric
    Climbers: grape, raspberry

    I have also just planted some annual vegies such as garlic, silverbeet, kale to use the empty spaces, which I will be able to do until the trees get too big. Planning in terms of time and space is a nice challenge.

    I hope you like it, any suggestions on improving it would be appreciated!

    View attachment 1601 View attachment 1602 View attachment 1603
     

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  2. aneurine

    aneurine Junior Member

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    Looks wonderful! Its very tidy looking too. It's interesting to me that you chose to plant into sticks/logs and horse manure/compost - I know of hugelkulture but I didn't know you could plant into horse manure/compost - where did you get the idea? It looks like it is working well. Did you make the compost yourself?/what method if you did? Was the horse manure mixed with sawdust/urine or anything else?

    I wonder in the first pic if the path might get crowded out by the plants/trees in a year or two? or maybe that's ok? I didnt make a path wide enough here in my garden in Miranda and I always thought, oh I'll keep it trimmed this season, and the plants always ended up crowding out the path in the end.

    Interesting comment on time and space planning - I was going to suggest you could use choko and passionfruit as some more vines, but I dont know abt the time/space thing re those. I thought maybe some more root layer stuff could be good but dont know abt what roots would grow on sticks/logs - oca maybe? flat leaf parsley would probably be adaptable to that too and would function as part of the root layer as well as being an umbel-former which could attract beneficial insects.

    Artichokes would look good in there, maybe around the quince? Its a guild friend for apple and I figure quince is related.

    To add a few clumpers - lemon grass and vetiver grass.

    Bananas, tamarillo, pawpaw, gooseberries for some quick growers/fruiters.

    not that I'm hugely experienced.. just my thoughts
     
  3. lukemurphy

    lukemurphy Junior Member

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    Thanks for the comments. In terms of planting into the horse manure/compost mix I left it for about a month to break down a bit before planting into it. Yep made the compost at home - just a standard pile system - main ingredients were sawdust, newspaper, cardboard, seaweed, food scraps, straw, chook manure, lawn clippings, lantana and other weeds. All of these materials (apart from the straw which I use for the chooks bedding) I can get for free, as well as the horse manure from my neighbour. The manure formed the bulk of the soil with compost spread through to activate it and add nutrient.

    I already have a passionfruit growing in my backyard, and will have to research about choko. I'll also have to research artichokes as a possibility to add.

    I'm going to try some sweet potato as a root crop/groundcover when the weather warms up, theres enough soil now above the sticks in some places that I reckon it would be able to grow ok.

    Haha I have had the same thought with the path 'I'll just keep that grevillea trimmed' but also haven't gotten around to it, I'm sure I'll get there one day.

    I like the sound of pawpaw, may give it a try this year.

    Hope all is well in your garden!
     
  4. Raymondo

    Raymondo Junior Member

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    Good looking little forest. How about an annual photo? Be great to follow its progress.
     
  5. lukemurphy

    lukemurphy Junior Member

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    Yep Raymondo, I'm going to try to get one on the first day of each season.
     
  6. Grahame

    Grahame Senior Member

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    How big an area have you got there Luke?

    Have the neighbours made any comments yet?
     
  7. lukemurphy

    lukemurphy Junior Member

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    Its a bit less than 200sqm Grahame.

    Being in the front yard, all the neighbours have noticed. They have all made positive comments, saying it looks great. They always ask what the different plants are. In fact all of the comments about the front and back gardens have been positive. (except for one neighbour's reaction when I said I was considering getting a beehive - but a jar of honey (and the fact that he never got stung) won him over a few months later).
     
  8. dyllos

    dyllos Junior Member

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    Is this still going Luke? any online presence of the Food Forest?
     

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