Saturday, 13 September 2008

Scarecrow's Garden (South Australia; 1/2 acre; organic fruit and vegetables)

Scarecrow's Garden was recommended by Peggy at Organic Growing Pains in Ireland.

The wonderful thing for Northern Hemisphere gardeners is that when they are inside after short, cold days during winter they can be following and learning about spring and summer growing (although in different climate conditions) Down Under.

Scarecrow lives with her husband in "a quiet rural town in the Mid North of South Australia," their two children now having grown and left the region for work.
She was kind enough to drop me a line about their garden and her blog.

Their total "block" (a good Australian term) is half an acre and "most of the area is in food production"

Scarecrow is studying permaculture design so she tries "to have all elements on the property linked in some manner and multi-use."

"We keep chickens (12 at last count) not only for the eggs (not meat yet) but also for their value in the garden. They eat the weeds, keep the bugs down in the orchard area, and provide a clean source of manure where we at least know whats gone into the making of it. We also keep 'Compost Worms' that provide us with a rich compost (castings) that forms the basic growing medium for the 'Wicking Beds' we grow our food in."

The climate in their part of the world is "quite arid and I'm always willing to experiment with the latest water saving ideas to make it easier to grow our food."

"We like to eat organic food and up here that is quite difficult to achieve so we grow our own. Folks tell us that we can't grow stuff here it's too hot, over 40C in summer or too cold, down to -7C on frosty mornings or too dry with 360mm of rain in a good year."

"We eat well from our little patch. We try to grow as much food as we can on the land that we have."

"Fruit trees that were planted when we moved here 15 years ago are now either in full production or dead and haven't been replaced. I have allowed some seedling trees to grow where they have voluntarily sprouted and these are fruiting well too."

Scarecrow is "always keen to grow unusual, hardy or new crops" so she is trialling "some Australian 'Bush Foods' this year. Ones found in the arid regions mainly so hopefully these will add to our food supply."

As to the blog, Scarecrow's Garden is "basically a weekly journal of what I get up to in the garden. Planting notes, weather check, suppliers. From the comments left and emails I get, I often post with more information. I'll also make posts that I may need to refer back to later. For example testing soil pH and the moon planting notes."

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