One of the key principles of both organic and permaculture farming is to minimise external inputs to your farming system. Given how important soil is to farming and gardening, growing your own soil is a great strategy. Autumn is an ideal time to get some compost put away for the coming Spring. Whether it’s to [...]
We recently bought a bucket of mushroom starter from local outfit, Parkvale mushrooms. It’s currently living in our firewood box outside the back door in the relative cool and dark. We’ve harvested over a kilo of mushrooms from it so far, and more keep coming up. At the current price of mushrooms it’s already paid [...]
I was just up at the hay paddock and was struck by the loud buzzing coming from all around me. We’ve had a bumper season for clover this year and now it’s all coming into flower, the bees are making the most of it. Having bees definitely helps the clover grow. White clover propagates by [...]
This is the third in what has turned into a three-part series on organic pest control (it’s just that time of year). The previous two posts were on organic wood lice control and white butterfly decoys. Like most rural dwellers, we accept flies as part of life. Some years are worse than others but wet [...]
The previous post about organic woodlice control touched on a couple of elements of pest control: trapping and physical separation of pest and plant. Another strategy that can work quite well is using environmental elements to confuse or deter pests. You can apply the principle to planting technique, by mixing up your plants to confuse [...]
For the most part, our small greenhouse has done a great job of keeping bugs off the veges (at least, the flying ones). Of all the plants you’d think bugs wouldn’t eat, chili peppers must be top of the list. Given we’ve just planted some Bhut Jolokia chili peppers, otherwise known as Ghost Chilis (the [...]
A few years back the plastic greenhouse got a mighty rip after I managed to drive the quad bike into it. We’ve put up with it for a while, but the Wairarapa winds kept threatening to make it much worse if we didn’t fix it. I talked to the manufacturers and they sent me some [...]
Our poor wee broccoli in the kitchen garden braved the snow, but still tasted fine after it had thawed out.
The grass around the big garden is getting a bit out of hand (you’d think it was Spring) so Bree and Cammi are getting a few hours of lawnmower duty each day. They don’t seem to be complaining and their “emissions” are good for the grass.
The first test crops in the greenhouse are doing well, possibly too well – we’re eating lettuce every day to keep up with production (not that it’s a bad thing). The spinach and broccoli are doing great too, and we’ve just planted out a bunch of tomato, eggplant and chilli plants. In the middle row [...]