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  • Writer's pictureHuttons Valley Permaculture

Soil Appreciation Week!

For most of last week I was either preparing for a soil biology workshop presentation or making a video about soil. Like I developed a passion for improving the gut biome, I've now got this passion for soil and all the life you find there. The permaculture group held a workshop in Boolarra on Saturday. It was a usual spring south gippsland day - cold, wet and blustery but we all prepared for that with beanies, raincoats and gum boots, so, all good!! The morning went well and I think a thing or two was learnt over the three hours - so I consider that a success. If you want to get an idea of the sorts of things discussed - check out this weeks video that also explores this important topic. Fixing climate change - yes fix soil, fixing human health - yes fix soil. It is all connected and if everyone could make some small changes then big things could follow!! Link in the bio!!

Back home on the farm I finally found some time to get into the front garden. Although I only built these garden beds last year the organic matter on top needs replenishing to help feed all those little critters who live there. I've still got some mushroom compost that I'll spread around then I'll top it off with some of my home made compost so that there is a good layer to last through summer and beyond. Not only does this organic material feed and shelter the critters, it also hold lots of moisture which of course is essential for plant growth.

In my photos below I have some young celery starting to take off along with my potato patch that is appreciating the longer days and slightly extra warmth. I also threw some lettuce and coriander seeds into the beds with the potatoes. They should be ready to harvest before I pull any potatoes out. The extra roots in the ground will pump more of the suns energy , in the form of sugars, down to the soil life in the root zone. More plants equals more abundance rather than less - quite magical really!!

My two flowering plants are some nasturtiums which have made a come back after being wiped out by frosts in May. The other is actually my boysenberry bush which is in the kitchen garden. Last year I had pruned it back hard and it barely produced a flower. This year however it has returned to full glory - masses of flowers, hopefully will become masses of gorgeous purple berries. The final photo, if you can make it out, is my bush pea patch. I love podded peas and I only grew enough for one small freezer bag full to get me through winter - it didn't last long. I'm hoping to grow lots more to add to winter roasts for next year.

Meet Jack. This little fella doesn't appreciate it, but his manhood has been saved, unlike his brothers. When he is old enough, he will be headed to the neighbours to become the man of the flock over there. Lucky boy! My neighbour was the one to give me a hand to bring this young man into the world. He was a really big lamb born to quite a small ewe and didn't present well at birth either. Another neighbour called it the superman presentation - one hoof forward and one right back - made it a challenge to get him out and proved to be quite an emotional experience. Given the shared experience I thought young Jack would be the perfect selection to join my neighbours flock.

Just showing off some of the rewards of growing my own food. Cauliflower rice with an egg curry - look at those golden yolks!! Onion, snow peas, parsley, spices and coconut milk (no I didn't grow it all!!) - a delicious combo!!

It's been two years this week since Chloe was bitten by a snake and left us way too early. It reminds me that snake season is with us once again and I'll be on the look out and mindful of where Ruby gets to. There were lots last year and I'm sure they'll pop up again in all sorts of places!!

So thats it for this week. Enjoy what the next week brings you and I'll catch up with you again soon. Check out the video on soil - link at the top of the page!!


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