Terras Patch

Discussion in 'Members' Systems' started by Terra, Aug 23, 2012.

  1. Terra

    Terra Moderator

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    Probably time to start a record of my place joined the forum in 2007 , been a keen food gardener for 45yrs and interested in permaculture principles . Been here 24yrs and had a haphazard fragmented food garden so finally decided to get some design into my zone 1 , The northeastern side of house was proving to be difficult , rock for soil and hordes of raiders from MrsTerras extensive native garden , earwigs millipedes slugs snails ect . Ideal would be to put high netting on the fence and run some ducks in there but would be a huge cost .
    So against the northern aspect thinking i have moved the southern house fence out and are establishing 75% of zone 1 in this area , remainder is across the western and Nth western side which are sheltered by high iron fence , already have established citrus in this area have a selection of old water tank rings as raised beds , room for a Mandala and more fruit trees . The southern side has plenty of room for expansion into Zome 2/3
     
  2. Terra

    Terra Moderator

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    We have horses and use worms to process manure , straw , mower , clippings , seaweed lots of cardboard paper ect to produce large quantities of great organic matter to use in garden beds i have a variety of compounds.
    This is my middle size compound made of course from recycled materials , light and easy to shift but pretty sturdy .
     

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  3. Finchj

    Finchj Junior Member

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    Terra, how much "work" would you estimate that it takes to turn your horse manure into castings? Do you age the manure first, then add it into the compound- or do you use it fresh? I want to give some worms to a friend who has horses and runs community gardens, but he doesn't have much time. Does this system require input every week?

    Thanks for starting your thread! Always enjoy your posts.
     
  4. Finchj

    Finchj Junior Member

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    Terra, SOP was kind enough to send me a message regarding an answer so we didn't derail your thread into talking about worms.

    Can't wait to see more updates from your garden :)
     
  5. Stubby

    Stubby Junior Member

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    Love your worm 'bin' :) Thanks for posting a pic of it. Now I know what you ment in the other thread.
     
  6. Terra

    Terra Moderator

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    View from outside kitchen window Raised beds have been a huge success they are filled with equal parts dam silt , sand , and compost , soil around the house is best described as dreadfull gravel 500mm deep .
     

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  7. Terra

    Terra Moderator

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    I now have room for a Mandala I got Linda Woodrows book 6mths ago read it in 3 sessions but didnt have the space in the house yard to set one out . I moved the southern fence out 8 metres this gives me tons of extra space and room for more of Mrs Terras banksias and Proteas .
     

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  8. Terra

    Terra Moderator

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    Time for an update and looking for a bit of advice here , previous post has a link to photo of my Mandala not a lot has happened in this area since then , red bucket area has pumpkins finishing , over to the left i grew a nice patch of potatoes . I decided to let it sit as very little water flowed into my primary dam that i like to use in the veg garden , Dam is situated up high and water just siphons out the dam and provides pretty good pressure at the house for no pumping cost , i have good water in a bore but not much supply and a period of a week with little wind and i can be low on water . All i did for the rest of the area is keep mowing the green down and i did loosen the circles up with a fork it was pretty compacted from horse traffic .

    As i was going to be short on water i put the mandala on hold and built a second Aquaponic system , both AP systems have been a big help this year .

    The middle section of the mandala grew a few tomatoes and i have a rhubarb plant still going but its basically blank ive kept the pond full and 90% covered , rocks are packed down deep alongside the pond for frog hide areas . I managed to score a truck load of material from a farmers cattle yard cleanout , straw , manure , soil lumps , nothing nasty in it i know these people well . I also have 90 bales of pea straw , poultry manure , horse manure i can mow kikuyu for green .

    So im thinking is it worth me building a compost pile on each circle or build them between the circles or just build one big one and turn it with the tractor , i have a plan for the chook dome it will have to have some weight in it or it will end up at the neighbours ( Wind ). Im going to build the bottom ring out of sheep yard weldmesh sounds radical but it will make construction pretty easy , several poly hoops with recycled Tuna Net over the top . As i have nothing growing for the chooks to work over should i just get on with improving the soil and leave the dome for when i have soil moisture which is probably about 7 or 8 weeks away . I dont really want to throw water at it until it rains (pessimist in me) be nice to sow a legume mix to get it rolling but i think the smart move is to wait.

    Rob
     
  9. purplepear

    purplepear Junior Member

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    My take would be that if the production was on hold then build on the beds. This would affect the depth of soil in the beds over time. Compost piles between the beds is a perminant solution and it may pay to get them started. The big heap will need plenty of energy to move. The long and short of as I type is "Buggered if I know really' We make ours between the beds as this keeps the compost close to where it ids needed.
     
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  10. eco4560

    eco4560 New Member

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    I put one of those black bottomless bins on the mandala as it is getting close to being ready for the chooks to go round again and fill it up. The chooks love to rip it apart looking for wee critters to eat when I move them on and spread the compost around for me at the same time.
     
  11. Terra

    Terra Moderator

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    Thanks i recon i will get a couple of heaps going cant hurt , found a leak in the pipe from up the back ive lost a heap of water , big green patch so no wonder the dams low .
     
  12. eco4560

    eco4560 New Member

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    Well they do say that the best pace to store water is in the soil. But maybe not like that!
     
  13. Terra

    Terra Moderator

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    Built my chook dome about 4 weeks ago , 12metres of sheep weldmesh , some recycled 1"1/4 poly pipe , some new 40mm blueline poly pipe , a handfull of bolts some tie wire and netting clips , some recycled Tuna Net . Chook Palace is built from the scrap heap mainly , an old dog kennel , bits of a golf buggy , scraps of weldmesh , broken posts for perches .

    Easy to shift , just lock birds in by lifting ramp ,Wing dome on its side , roll palace to new station , roll dome to new position jobs done .

    I have heaps of old weldmesh to make the low retainer rings on the beds once dome is moved to next spot will have five of these handy little trellis for peas / beans ect.

    Being new ground (Moved fence out) there is a compaction issue (horse traffic ) and some troublesome weeds ( Sorrel ) .
     

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  14. eco4560

    eco4560 New Member

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    Nice work! Love the kennel on wheels.
     
  15. Terra

    Terra Moderator

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    Ive Moved my dome off the pattern to get it out the way for major earth works (water pipes) , i have a serious trench 50m long that will provide me with decent close water supply . For the last few years ive had various pipes laying on the surface with annoying leaks that finally drove me to despair once they are buried i can wizz through with the mower .

    The current dome position will most likely get used for melons or potatoes , i planted the area i moved it from today , the dome has been off it for only 3 days i am amazed at the number of worms still there the dome was on site for a bit over 3 weeks the birds hardly eat any grain . My mandala is on new ground so very little plant residue to feed them i do have numerous worm bin / sites through my garden area so no doubt worm numbers would be high again i was plesantly surprised to see them in such numbers after the murderous chooks had given them a woopin .

    I have learnt must have heaps of mulch in the dome to prevent the birds packing the surface down rock hard . Wished i knew about this system 45yrs ago . 8)
     
  16. eco4560

    eco4560 New Member

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    When you were 2?

    Worms are sure smart to be able to hide from chooks. I'm always amazed that I can turn over the soil right after I move the dome and find worms.
     
  17. Terra

    Terra Moderator

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    2 Hmmm i wish , im a spring 59 drop

    Had my first veg patch when i was 5yrs old at Hilltown primary school , everyone there had a patch and i had a patch at home as well with adult organisation of course also planted my first tree at 5yrs old on the old Arbour day i think it was called .

    Gardening at school is starting to happen again veg patches being set up and quite a few large aquaponic systems being installed at schools , good way to get young ones interested in growing good food . AP is at least addictive its not a perfect system but if it gets people changing their habits thats good enough.

    The little tractor in the link has been a huge part of my life i started driveing it at 8yrs old under supervision of course , it has a heap of attachments rotary hoe , deck mower ripper (real handy this week digging the mega trench) stick rake / dozer . Has had the original motor changed to a 10hp honda all the tyres had to be replaced still havent been able to find 16" tractor lug tyres that will fit without scraping so for now it has bodgy courier wheels and tyres on the rear .

    My father build a veg garden for me based on the tractor / rotary hoe so yes ive been at it since very young , the fence was built from splits off pine tree logs free in those days to cut the wind threaded through the wires small gaps in between the slabs , no pumps so it was built close to the road as far down slope as possible to get a bit of pressure for watering .

    Cut it short i should have studied horticulture and NOT learnt to shear . :p
     

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  18. eco4560

    eco4560 New Member

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    Love the covered orchard.

    It's great that schools are starting to teach kids to grow edible plants. When you think about it - it's a fundamental survival skill.
     
  19. sassed

    sassed New Member

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    Farm visit.

    Thanks so much for taking the time to show us around. I learnt so much in such a short time. (Might take awhile before all the concepts with the aquaponics sinks in, but I will be starting with the Mandala garden system which is much less complicated!) Am thinking of making the some chook domes large enough to pop over my fruit trees. That way, the chooks gobble up the codlin moth, and other bugs, the chooks get shade and the fruit trees get fertilised. I am thinking that the best time to pop the chooks in is just after fruiting season, in case they take a shine to the ripe fruit, so I might need to make up a few domes to ensure I can use them to protect the fruiting trees from fruit eating birds before I move the chooks in. What do you think?
     
  20. Terra

    Terra Moderator

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    Keep your chook numbers down too many will damage the shallow surface roots of your fruit trees , wing plenty of straw ect in there to keep them busy . Ask around the tuna net scraps are usually pretty easy to get hold of then put bird net over the tuna net it will strengthen the dome .

    I was watching a crow the other day trying to work out how to get in (crow had spotted a egg out on the ground) but couldn't get in , the ring neck parrots get in and pinch chook food , the net does come in a smaller size which would be ideal as the ring their neck parrots wouldn't be able to get in and you might get away with out needing fine mesh .

    Put a intro post on and ask away there are others that run mandalas with lots more experience than me , be fun to have a look at your block you have tons of room .

    Rob
     

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