Tuesday, 5 January 2016

Holiday Garden

It's time to take our garden boots of for a couple of weeks and head to the beach. Our lovely neighbours are keeping an eye on our place and coming over to take care of the chickens. The guinea pigs have gone on holidays though - to the children's friends who will love and cuddle them well. We have some friends coming by to stay in our cabin, but didn't want to load them up with lots of jobs, so in preparation for going away here's what I've been doing:

  • I forked the garden areas where the soil needs some opening. I just added holes and lifted it a bit, rather than turning - this way I do not hurt the roots of the perennials still in the garden. Loosening like this helps to let any rain just soak right in.
  • I added lots of extra mulch around all the garden to thicken up the soil protection/weed suppression layer.
  • I planted lots of seedlings in gaps so I have some fresh salad coming up we come home. 
  • I watered everything well with comfrey tea
  • I added compost around mulch around fruit trees
  • I turned the existing compost heap and start a new one.
  • I topped up the chicken yard with lots of extra mulch and checked that their watering system and feeding system is working well.
  • I fed up the worms - in the worm farm and in the worm towers. Hugh actually split the main worm farm. Now we'll have one specifically for growing worms for the chickens. Since the goshawk has found our chicken area and we need to keep them enclosed for much of the time, they need extra protein. I think some worm treats will help them a lot.
Over the last two nights we have finally had some nice rain so I feel happier that the garden will thrive while I'm not here.  This rain has come at a perfect time to give all my new plants a good soak and to penetrate more deeply into the freshly opened soil.

I am looking forward to a simple holiday - some cycling, sailing, paddling, swimming, beach combing, cubby making, and peach picking over the next two weeks with my parents.  My dad has a lovely little orchard full of stone fruit which we just cannot grow here - I can't wait!

When we get back we will be launching straight into our 2016 series of educational programs from:

  • our permaculture garden at Crystal Waters, 
  • the Moving Feast Garden at the University of the Sunshine Coast, 
  • the Northey Street City Farm, 
  • a rooftop garden in central Brisbane, 
  • local neighbourhood centres; and 
  • throughout the Brisbane City Council library network. 

I'll post a full list of programs here soon.

We also will start welcoming our 2016 WWOOF guests. We regularly host people here in our garden as WWOOFers (Willing Workers on Organic Farms) - an international network where people come to work for 4-6 hours per day in exchange for food and accommodation.  We have hosted people from around Australia, Uruguay, Chile, Columbia, Spain, Portugal, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Belgium, China, Japan, Korea, and beyond.  We have bookings until the end of February, but if you know someone who'd like to express interest in WWOOFing with us, please do encourage them to contact us.

We love the help of WWOOFers and their interesting stories. The kids love learning about other cultures, languages and having extra people around to play with and chat to.  Ever since he was about 3, Hugh in particular has loved to get out and help them in the garden.

Hugh helping to prepare for a Hugelkultur workshop

Spanish WWOOFers get ready for the Hugelkultur workshop with a bit of help from Maia and Hugh.


  1. Looks Devine! My favourite place to be,other than home, is the beach! Have a great relaxing holiday with you and yours. You deserve a good break. And yes, I have been out dancing in the rain too, anyone would think I am a farmer. I just get so excited when it rains. Something magical happens when water comes from the sky...

  2. Good advice about the best way to set up a garden while you take a break.
    Enjoy well earned break with family.