Permaculture project: front garden -- first stage

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After the success of my experiments with potted plants watered from recycled house water I've now begun a larger project out front.

This is an in-the-ground vegetable patch facing due west.

The format
  • Basing layout on some of the principles of square foot gardening the plot is 8 feet by 4 feet.
  • Concentrated design rather than the indulgent space use offered by the permaculture mandala
  • For 'walls" I've begun to accumulate old pieces of cement, brick and such I found around the place. I want to rise up the need by at least 8 inches/20 cm.
  • Paths lead on two sides and to keep the other growth at bay I'll employ the Permauclture standby-- a hedge of Lemongrass a herb I've grown and used for almost 20 years.
  • I hope to fill the garden bed with several years accumulation of lawn clippings, animal manure and whatever compost I can gather seeded with a good sprinkling of Wettasoil.
  • I'll back up my walls and the garden shape with layers of wet newspaper applied to a papier mache to the four sides.
  • The optional ingredients in the Square foot system -- such as peat moss, and coarse vermiculite -- are far too expensive to employ and hard to come by in separate and large quantities.
Challenges
  • Getting enough water
  • Transporting the water to the garden 'out front'.
  • There is a garden tap a metre away from this garden, but the exercise is designed to employ recycled water from the house rather than some other resource
  • At present Brisbane is under Level 5 water restrictions and watering from garden taps must be in buckets fora few hours three days per week. The chlelnge is can the water supply be kept up to this garden?
Why this project?
  • I think willy nilly switching households to individual tank water is a mistaken course. Better to conserve the town water we have rather than rely on tanks or switch to sewerage recycled water in the mains. So this is an exercise in recycling water.
  • Long time the environment movement has encouraged the urban population to shift into self sufficiency mode. I think that is a misguided approach as it fails to consider the scale of acculturation involved. Not everyone wants to garden. However the Cuban experiments with Permaculture systems do beg the question that maybe some adaptation is very feasible. Can it be applied here? Is it too hard to master?
  • Because of the drought vegetable prices are skyrocketing. Growing your own can save your big time in the hip pocket.
  • I'm back actively gardening after years of not being so engaged and I love it. In effect I'm moving up from a kitchen herb garden to bigger stuff. I come from a family of dedicated gardeners and green thumbs.

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