Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Chook Tractors

Oil-free cultivation and conditioning of soil for a relocalised food supply and happy chickens.

To assist the chooks I turn over the sodden clay with a shovel and let the girls do their thing. They gently break up the sticky particles while manuring the ground at the same time. Once each area of compacted clay is conditioned then the cultivation area becomes a no-dig garden where we just add manures (green and brown) and compost to the top layer.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Weeds and Swales

I've been employing two helpful, completely free strategies this winter – digging more swales and eating more weeds and wild plants.

Foraging for over 50% of our greens this winter is joyous and has become a daily ritual; walking Zephyr to school; teaching him about edible weeds and bush tucker; 'nibbling' to experiment and learn together. I estimate that between 60-70% of the autonomous flora, or what others call 'spontaneous flora', is edible in these parts. Probably a fairly universal percentage.

Similarly, harvesting winter rains passively, without having to pay for expensive synthetic storage systems (tanks, pipes, valves, etc) is a wonderful and easy thing to set up. There's a little toil in the digging of the swales on contour, but this work is deeply rewarding, especially when the swales fill up with beautiful rain, which then slowly and deeply absorbs into the soil, ready for summer's use and the bounty that follows that we haven't had to irrigate.

All the very best things in life are uncapitalised.