22 December 2011

from foreign policy back to the chooks

I have put up this page on how to manage a small number of chooks (Australian English generic and gender free term to cover roosters, hens, chickens, chicks) in a suburban environment, relatively disease free and withou also raising hoards of sparrows, pigeons and less mentionable birds.

I have placed our place near Bodalla on the market, info here ... too hard to get there these days, sob.

I have been inhibited writing because of problems with my right arm, have now acquired some speech recognition software, hopefully will return to the writing, but perhaps via painting first... meanwhile, it is a very busy time with a food garden gone mad in this season of alternating rain and heat. Here some photos from back garden. 


First, this is the view north from my office window, 
this damp frog-rattly morning 22 December 2011. 
'Lawn' of chamomile and parsley, bush basil and rocket in seed, 
bangalow palm growing;
rose climbing below and peach leafing over window
- all this was grass and concrete path to clothes line three years ago.
Yesterday a blue wren sat for some time on that tall post (cypress, not yet sculpted) 
behind the young palm,
bouncing, as wrens do, landing to face 90º away each time,
a slightly apprehensive rotating lord of all he surveyed.

... looking northeast down the path from veranda, across the previous view:
rose, peach, banana, fig, rosemary, potatoes, more... 
tamarillo tree with huge crop developing, droopy leaves right side...
in a permaculture garden you seek to develop  mulch from what grows
and you take more interest in harvest from the cubic metre 
than from the heavily fed individual plant.
In time, the objective is to close the system, minimising inputs from outside, 
collecting seeds and cuttings, roof water; kitchen scraps and fresh pick for the chooks, 
chook poo back to the compost and garden.

Compost, youngberries, mosaic - always combine art and nature!
Always expect a photo to include limbs of parsley gone to see!

floral and food-al; 
two callistemon (bottle brush) bushes in company with sweet potato, pumpkin, mandarin;
marjoram and lotus leaves poking their heads into the bottom left of picture.

Here lived chooks before
— the well manured run now planted densely to asparagus, dill, strawberries, yacón, marjoram, mint, comfrey and more, including two white cedar trees
 (two white cedars being allowed to grow, many suckers being pulled up!)

I look around and see so many suburban gardens 
where the owners seem to try to impose a permanent look from the beginning, 
a recipe for mowing, snipping and reflecting a need to control nature. 
But nature evolves, ecologies change and they offer us opportunities to marvel at them.

This northern and eastern back garden in pictures above 
 has growing palms and deciduous trees 
It will turn into a great shade area in time, in summer, more open for light in the winter.

Already the eastern garden (below), around the corner of the house, 
which had two large established deciduous trees when I arrived ini 2008,
is heavily shaded in summer, open in winter. 
Work continues, to make this a rainforest room, with earthy women, 
ponds and a stile to enter and exit the bedroom. 
Source of cool breezes through the house later in the summer day; 
leaves off and warm early sun in the window in winter.