On 24 October I went on an Organic Farms NZ field trip to Earthtalk at Awhitu which is owned by Tanya Cumberland and Charmaine Pountney. When they first moved there they had Kay Baxter of Koanga do a permaculture design and, with a few modifications, they have followed it, resulting in a delightful property. They were great hosts, and I loved how they gave credit to all the people who have helped with the work over the years. Some places I visit or read about leave me feeling totally inadequate as it appears that just two people do amazing work while both still working away from home for at least 40 hours a week! Tanya and Charmaine talked gratefully of their helpers, professional and voluntary.
an old mangle used to squeeze out the juiceThey offered us, among other things, a delicious drink of sugar cane juice and kaffir lime - and I came home with a piece of rooted cane to try and grow - here's hoping. But even if it grows, I fear the possums will get it. Note to self: need to buy more traps, and a gun.
sugar cane growing near the middle of the pictureIt was most inspiring and so since my last report on the garden we have done a lot of work. Mac and Steven, with a little 'help' from me, made me two compost bins out of recycled pallets from the rubbish heap around the back of Bunnings. On Monday we got three more so will be able to finish my three bin arrangement.
Mac has hoed and mowed, and I have weeded and scythed, and now the place is looking a lot tidier.
last of the broad beansWe have planted potatoes,
We've had a few strawberries - and so have the birds, so yesterday I put the netting over them.
It's all been pretty hard work, this reclamation from winter wildness.