Suburban Micro Food Forest's Blog (271)

Evidence of dog attack

Added by Suburban Micro Food Forest on June 22, 2015 at 8:02pm — No Comments

Patience

Some citrus this year, mandarins, oranges, limes, grapefruit. Should have put in the persimon in year one. I've put in asparagus three years late. The bed in front of the west facing wall is very hot and dry. Good for melons and grapes. Have moved the rhubarb to a better irrigated spot with deep soil. Passionfruit seed has germinated. I have to figure out how to contain the chooks but still let them forage. They seem to be happier on everyone else's property and I think it's grass they…

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Added by Suburban Micro Food Forest on June 22, 2015 at 7:42pm — No Comments

Chitted seed

The chitted corn and beans had fantastic germination but the corn is dieing back although it has pollinated. Broad Beans are a winter crop anyway.

Added by Suburban Micro Food Forest on June 22, 2015 at 7:37pm — No Comments

Chickinsulation

Temperature will drop to 4 degC tonight and one of my chooks was attacked by a roaming pair of dogs and lost half her feathers. I have solved the problem by loading steaming composting grass into their sleeping house and putting a layer of polystyrene foam waste on the roof. So insulation plus under-floor heating. The compost will generate heat for three days. One other chook hasn't come home so I don't know if she is dead or just hiding. Have dropped flyers around the area with a phone…

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Added by Suburban Micro Food Forest on June 22, 2015 at 7:35pm — No Comments

Persistence

My bananas didn't produce very promising fruit and took up a lot of space so I chopped them up and dumped them in the soak hole at the lower end of the section along with the taro. Being indestructible they both took root and now serve as transpirers and will block the neighbours house in two years. May eventually produce something edible if you can wait that long.

Added by Suburban Micro Food Forest on June 22, 2015 at 7:29pm — No Comments

Passive solar

House design is an integral aspect of permaculture with passive solar and other low energy input designs. The conundrum is that we really need different designs for winter and summer. In Japan we have cold dry winters and hot muggy summers so the Japanese approach was that it was better to be cool in summer and freeze in winter. If I paint the west facing wall matt black the concrete will absorb heat during the day and radiate half of it back into the house at night. In summer a white wall…

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Added by Suburban Micro Food Forest on March 5, 2015 at 3:58pm — No Comments

Arid micro-climate

Water melon and cucumbers have done well in the searing heat by the west facing wall of the house. Everything else seems to struggle. It's all about trial and observation. I want to avoid being dependent on hand watering if possible. I'm considering another grape or peach against this wall as they seem to be able to find water.

Added by Suburban Micro Food Forest on March 5, 2015 at 3:52pm — No Comments

refusing to die

The banana roots and taro I chucked in the soak hole to die have revived and are doing well. It's the lowest point of the site so they must be getting water. Should have put them there in the first place. As Jacques Cousteau said 'Life is very persistent.'

Added by Suburban Micro Food Forest on March 5, 2015 at 3:47pm — No Comments

Spring update

Have constructed more terraces for annual veg beds. Big problem germinating seeds this year. Kali's toms have self sown along with lettuces left to go to seed. Now have comfrey and seaweed tea barrels for fert. 99% ground covered with weeds but removed some to make clean terrace beds. Still adding grass clippings and coffee. I miss my chickens.

Added by Suburban Micro Food Forest on December 5, 2014 at 11:08pm — No Comments

Permaculture property for sale

5 acres and 5 bed house for sale Paremoremo - suitable permaculture with good water catchment, space for zone 1 veg garden zone 2 fruit trees and zone three livestock plus forest. email james.westaway@raywhite.com for details

Added by Suburban Micro Food Forest on December 5, 2014 at 11:02pm — No Comments

Winter diary

Have dug in the sheet composted coffee grounds and grass clippings. I think it makes a better veggie bed combining the organic matter with the topsoil although no-dig purists may disapprove. Have planted out a lot of self sown corn and lettuce seedlings and mixed the corn with broad beans. Need to add squash for the Mexican triumvirate. The whole site is covered in weeds now and we are finally getting some mandarins, lemons, limes and oranges. 

Added by Suburban Micro Food Forest on July 2, 2014 at 9:42pm — No Comments

Gluten free

Junko has researched and perfected a number of gluten free bread and cake recipes to get me off the wheat energy roller coaster. I don't fall asleep in the afternoon now and my bakery bill has dropped. She's using mixtures of spelt, rye, rice, corn and potato flours. Some taro and a couple of bananas have survived where I chucked them in the corner soak hole where the run-off ends up. Comfrey is everywhere. I miss my chickens - if anyone in Akl needs to get rid of a couple of layers please…

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Added by Suburban Micro Food Forest on July 2, 2014 at 9:41pm — No Comments

Food security news

I produce a facebook blog posting news articles on global food security issues. Feel free to post any articles you come across that are specific to the topic and properly researched.

https://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Food-Security-News/199771066772925

Added by Suburban Micro Food Forest on April 5, 2014 at 10:24pm — No Comments

Permaculture lifestyle block

In order to fund our planned move to a potential permaculture block I am back selling real estate on Auckland's north shore. I did this job back in the 90's in Epsom/Remuera. If you have a question about the market or would like to know what your property might be worth, email me james.westaway@raywhite.com

Sorry for the commercial, but it's for a good cause :-)

Added by Suburban Micro Food Forest on April 5, 2014 at 10:16pm — No Comments

Endless summer

Another long dry summer. A mowing contractor is adding regular loads of grass clippings. Kali's heirloom tomatoes have been fantastic - we can't keep up with them. Interestingly they have very thick skins and the birds have left them alone. We peel them by dropping them in boiling water for 10 seconds. Had loads of acid free with basil and various dressings and buckets of the deepest red tomato soup we've ever seen. Thanks Kali! A local I met has saved me a black variety. My corn all dried…

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Added by Suburban Micro Food Forest on April 5, 2014 at 10:09pm — No Comments

Edible berm

In case you missed it

http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11200159

Added by Suburban Micro Food Forest on February 12, 2014 at 9:46am — No Comments

Tagasaste - supporter or competitor?

Forking over the chicken run I unearthed surface roots from the adjacent Tagasaste (tree lucerne). As a nitrogen fixer will this tree increase vegetable production or reduce it by competing for water and other nutrients? Much is made of suppport planting in permaculture theory whereas organic gardeners tend to eliminate competing plants and add nutrition through leguminous annuals or green manures in the rotation. Eliminating competitors reduces diversity of habitat, a possible reason…

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Added by Suburban Micro Food Forest on February 5, 2014 at 7:53pm — No Comments

Berm flowers

This wonderful Akl. councillor in Grey Lynn has planted her berm with flowers instead of grass. However, the fascistic Denise Krum is angered by violation of the rules saying 'it's a dog's breakfast'. Actually it's a bees' breakfast. Perhaps we should plant killjoy councillors in the berms?

http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11196784

Added by Suburban Micro Food Forest on February 5, 2014 at 5:56pm — No Comments

Compost bin gone

I demolished the 1 cubic metre bin with the coop as without the chickens I wont be producing much compost. I drilled holes in a plastic dustbin for the kitchen waste and parked it under an orange tree so the effluent feeds the tree.…

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Added by Suburban Micro Food Forest on February 4, 2014 at 8:09pm — No Comments

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