Pond, garden, woomery, chooks...bringing it all together

The great advantage with working on several projects at once is that you can draw them together as you fiddle.

Here at mainson d'dave we're at a stage where we can begin to join the dots.

All this is simply an exercise in sustainability relative to urban living and I'm not advocating it as a social standard. However, I have these elements I've constructed over the last few months:
  1. A pond
  2. A vegetable garden
  3. A wormery
  4. A chook pen - with chooks of course
Once you start following the logic of one element it suggests the ecological relevance of the other.

Here are a few samples:
  • I harvest from the pond algae and pond plants and deploy them as mulch on the garden
  • Since I also use the pond as a reservoir for rain water I bucket the water from the pond to water the vegetable garden.
  • The wormery also grows maggots ( dealt with by frequent dustings of lime) but I serve up the maggots bon appetit to the chooks.(How to harvest a maggot: soak sliced bread in milk. Next day remove bread and its occupants).
  • I harvest the vegetables -- of course --and the off cuts go to the wormery or the chooks.
I've yet to harvest much of the organic matter in the wormery but after experimenting with standard compost bin I think I prefer wormeries to composting -- although I may process the mash from the wormery through the compost bin as a finishing off . While you wait for that to kick in worms give you buckets of worm tea as a fertilizer.

So if you want to go organic -- think worms. They make great pets too! (If you are hard up for friends).

Chooks --bantams in our case -- are pet types too. But you could circumvent the chook route if you had the worms. That's' primarily because of space issues and the fact you have to purchase chook feed -- which isn't cheap. The eggs are nice of course (but they will be dearer in the end than the supermarket's).

But I think the axis of the system I'm coming at is three core elements:
  1. Water: pond to capture rainwater; grow water plants; keep fish...and maybe swim in.
  2. Garden: to grow stuff. Herbs first then salad greens and tomatoes plus your other culinary preferences.
  3. Worms: Takes a bit of learning to get right and this is my second attempt. But once you get it just so -- its factory production thereafter and an easy routine.
My major interest now is to explore the potential of the water I have. What can I harvest from this body of water? How can I use it?

It's becoming the axis of everything -- the life source in fact. So you learn to respect the H20.

My general point would be -- here in Australia at least -- that if we could integrate dams and ponds and lagoons into our local urban environment as a form of water/rain harvesting the dynamic unleashed would be significant. Such water catchments need to be manged, of course. There are problems like pollution, mosquitoes, safety & access , etc that need to be considered and dealt with. But rather than treat them as something au natural and picturesque -- as your modern day water front housing estate does --you deploy them as motors driving the local ecology and, inasmuch as it takes off, local agricultural production. Bodies of water are also great micro climate moderators.

Similarly if each locality had its own worm farm -- bye bye garbage.All you'd need would be a committee and maybe a full time caretaker who supervised water and worm issues: the local neighbourhood ecologist attending to environmental health and practices. And across the urban landscape -- a network of these.

Hey! That sounds just right. I should turn it into a political demand!

You could also monitor local carbon emissions that way so that you could build up a statistical grid or map plotting the whole urban area.