Friday, October 29, 2010

Lesotho Keyhole Garden

Recently I turned our round raised bed into a Lesotho style keyhole garden (minus the wedge) as an experiment in 'arid' gardening, because let's face it with multiple days in a row of 40+ heat here in summer, temperate gardening techniques aren't really adequate.

For those of you who aren't familiar with the concept, Lesotho (in Africa) has a temperature range of 40+ during the day, down to -15 degrees at night. Some years ago the people were in dire straits, as their crops weren't producing and a large proportion of the population was malnourished. That was until they developed the idea of a keyhole bed.

The keyhole bed is a raised circular bed (made of stones, bricks etc) with a wedge cut out for access to it's centre. There, in the middle is a basket which sits through the core of the bed. The bed is built up in layers (like no dig gardens) but the inside is raised so the dirt/straw etc slopes down to the outer edge of the circle. Food scraps, manure, straw, compost etc is placed into the central basket, and grey water is poured into the basket which ensures the bed is gravity fed and moist right to outside, whilst fertilising as the baskets contents break down.

There are a number of great sites on this method. Here a link to one which shows you how a group of school children did it.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2I-_6Bog-rM

I planted some seeds and a few plants in mine, and it's the most exposed garden bed I have - yet seems to be doing really well so far. I'm still top watering though as I haven't managed to fill the basket (chook wire in my case) to the top yet so the gravity fed aspect isn't functional yet.

Just a tip though to any of you thinking of giving it a go....cover each layer of food scraps with sand, clippings or something...as the smell from mine wasn't terrific after a week or so in the sun until I sorted it!

Photos to come in a future post.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Dragons, Pan and the Fool

I love this time of the year. Besides the intense need to spring clean, there is a sense of new beginnings, potential and renewed energy. I see it in the kids who have revived their interest in the sandpit and are now chasing Spring pets (in the form of aphids and bugs), in our beautiful goslings and the hen who has decided to go broody again this week, in the Husband who has been inspired to help build our lower pond, in the seedlings which have sprouted from the dark soil, in the dreams that visit with some definite purpose and even in me, and my outlook on how I will grow this season.

Obviously I'm not the only one to notice it - some like-minded souls shared their sightings of Spring energy with me this week, and the common thread couldn't be missed.

I even found the energy to go to the drumming circle that I've neglected for a couple of months and felt energised on so many levels from that night. I realised how much I appreciate this group of people. We're an eclectic mix but each member has their place and the rhythms just wouldn't be the same without the contribution of each one. I feel happy when I'm with them, and comfortable because a few of them are 'like-minded souls' and that adds another element to what we share.

Today I had a chance to chat with the Crone (of Wit's End fame) and during our conversation I found myself thinking how lucky I was to have found some people that understand things the way I do. People I can share things with, without having to explain, justify or watch for the raised eyebrow.

And later I felt, I'm getting better at being me.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Sunshine through the rain!

There was sunshine at our home today despite the rains... but this golden orb was fluffy!

Zeus, Medusa and Persephone are pleased to announce the arrival of Nysa.



She was born early this morning. Nysa, means 'goal, ambition' - fitting since she was so keen to break out of her egg first.

Another gosling has since arrived this afternoon, but being a little damp still, it was hard to tell the sex...so naming will wait until tomorrow though I think it was another little girl. Since these goslings have arrived during a day of spring rain, I'm giving them both Rain Nymph names.

There are still a few eggs to hatch so tomorrow will bring more joy. The Munchkins are delighted. *Sigh* Isn't spring wonderful?!