Before this life-crafting blog goes any further it is most definitely time for us to acknowledge that the traditional owners of our land are the Yuin-Monaro nation.
So we planted a little vegetable garden in the backyard of our new temporary house. It's teeny tiny and oh so burgeoning but we hope will soon provide some summer abundance - heirloom tomatoes, basil, chard, beans, zucchini and squash, cucumbers, parsley, mizuna, watermelon, pumpkin and some other tastes of summer. Wowsers! How good is summer eating from the garden! And so daggily exciting for us, the mulch for this little garden came from grasses on our land. Fear of impending snake activity was giving us the willies so we cut a path from the top of the land down to the dam for easy walking and snake spotting throughout the warmer months. It's early days.. baby steps etc but we did get a little thrill about not having to buy mulch from north Queensland in plastic bags from the nursery.
It's a funny thing to plant a temporary garden in a temporary house when we have 7 very permanent and lovely north facing acres just 8 minutes up the road. However those 7 acres are also populated from time to time with wombats, kangaroo, wallabies and god knows what other forms of garden eating wildlife. And while I am really very happy that 150 years of dairy farming hasn't totally desecrated our native friends, the wildlife factor leads us to move slowly lest our efforts be in vain. Jackie French is very adamant about the need to share share share with the native fauna. I love sharing, totally into sharing, total sharing addict. However it seems that initially it will be less a case of sharing, and more a case of wombat takes all. If you have any thoughts or special little tricks for how we can get things started without losing all to our furry friends please, you know, share. My gut tells me there must be some kind of tricksy companion planting that may help ward off the worst of the predation, so any pointers? Oh but another reason for the delay is that we're fundamentally grappling with what to do with our 7 slopey acres... fruit trees, olive trees, nut trees, chickens, berries, herbs and vegetables with a side of bush regeneration yes yes yes, ah but how?
We know that part of the process is to observe and feel - the land, the sun, the wind, the rain to start to get a feel of how things might work together in this place. And it is an interesting thing to stop and observe and to feel ok in this seeming lack of doing. We're going to have a bit of a chat with local permaculture trainer John Champagne this Saturday to get the garden conversation started....Exciting and a little bit heart in mouth scary. Scary because it's so big, so much land. Ah but who said this life crafting bizzo would be quick and easy?