I told the goats I would slit their throats myself…

We have five acres that we are trying to knock into shape using the permaculture theory and one acre down the back of our property is the food growing area. We have the hens in top left hand side, vege gardens in the top-middle with a couple of glass houses and top right hand side which is the hottest driest area, is the citrus grove, with oranges and lemons etc surrounded by comfry.

This acre has a gentle slope Sou-West, so lovely mid day and afternoon sun. A perfect picnic spot. All down the left side and across the bottom we have planted natives to break the southerly wind and in the middle past the glass houses is the apple and pear orchard. Down further in the middle is a subtropical area where we have planted bananas, pawpaw, custard apple and taro to start with. A gorgeous Canna Lilly hedge that we grew mostly to provide the mulch for this area is a beautiful red tipped semi-circle hedge. It grows from ground level to 2 metres tall in one year. High in water content but fairly fibrous, its easy to cut and rots away slowly, providing a fantastic mulch in amongst the subtropicals which love a high humidity. Surrounding this circle of gorgeous sub-tropicalness is Queen Palms on the left side, to help create a canopy to shelter and hold in that humidity, and a feijoa hedge on the North side to help keep the heat in but still alllow that sunshine in to ripen bananas. Everything is still tiny, but this is the second or third year for the orchard and the growth is amazing as it begins to take shape.

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The brown mulch inside the area is the Canna Lilly Mulch and the old coloured pumps will be part of a planned sculpture.

On the right hand side (out of shot) on the outside of the feijoa hedge, is the stone fruit area… so peaches, nectarines, plums have all been planted here. Unfortunately the goats first, and then the cows have managed to get past any number of barriers and trimmed a few, so not sure which ones will survive. I told the goats I would slit their throats myself if they stepped in there again and they just looked at me with their stupid goat eyes. I was going to tell the cows the same but they are much bigger than me so I just gave them an evil look and hoped they got the picture. Between them they ate the tags off pretty much everything so I have no idea what is what now, but will look at replacements next year.

We have had a few apples which I think I was supposed to sacrifice so as not to deplete the tree in the first year, but couldn’t bring myself to do that. They were huge and delicious! Right now the yellow quava are ready and they are fat and sweet and the persimmon tree is loaded. I feel very smug when I see them in the supermarket sales sheet for around $5kilo…we have eaten dozens. We have oranges and grapefruit looking fabulous right now too and the choko I planted in the hen run is just ripening. Its so exciting having produce coming at you. Something starting as another thing finishes. I’m imagining wine fermenting, drying racks and seed saving stores but for now being able to pluck and eat straight from the tree is pretty cool.

I just wish someone told me about permaculture years ago. Its such a fantastic way to grow and make the most of whatever space you have. I’m not sure how this is all going to end but if the beginning is this cool I’m looking forward to things getting better and better.

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