Permaculture in Action

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Around The Farm

A little look at what's been going on around here..

The ducklings are getting bigger. Aren't they cute!


A bed of tomatoes interplanted with marigolds. Behind them are four beds of capsicum  interplanted with lettuce and cosmos for added colour. These beds are in front of the mandala gardens.

I planted the pair of Kiwi fruit that Meg gave me for my birthday. They are right outside my door and will eventually give shade to the west side of the house as well as yummy fruit of course.

We put in a couple of blue barrels as water tanks. They collect water from the shed roof and it will be used to water the kiwi fruit, some strawberries, the white mulberry and the grapes.

We bought a water diverter for this job. Once the tanks are full we can turn the blue tap there on the side and the water will be diverted back into the downpipe and flow back into the paddock where it eventually runs down into our swales. No need for an overflow.

These grapes are growing opposite the kiwi fruit. Eventually they will join up with the kiwi and create some beautiful shade. The trellising is yet to be built.

The new pig pen is taking shape. I'm sure Cinnamon and Nutmeg will be very happy here. They will have access to green pick, some soil and mulch to root around in, and the shade of some trees to lie around under. We will rotate them between the three runs, planting each run out with root crops and greens after they move onto the next yard. The main pen will be able to be washed out with the waste water going into a banana circle soon to be created just outside the yards. We will plant mulberries and nut trees for shade and forage for the pigs. We have positioned the pen so that the children who visit the farm can interact with the pigs. I think they have become the most popular attraction.

Next year we are opening the farm up once a month for "Mums and Bubs''  I will take them on a tour, where they can feed the animals and collect the eggs. Afterwards they can stay and have a picnic lunch. The children can interact with some of the animals and play.


  1. What a great update, and where do I start to comment? The kiwi vines give beautiful shade as well as fruit. Tell Mark from me they need a STRONG trellis... those vines become heavy! The garden has come on just in the last couple of weeks; that rain was good, wasn't it? Those blue drum and diversion set ups look great, and I'll take notes as we are wanting to rework some of our drum systems. Hopefully we'll have some time over the Christmas break to do something about it.

    And those pigs. For some reason, pigs have been a hot topic this past week and your Cinnamon and Nutmeg have come up in several conversations along with pig tractoring and Permaculture. The tours sounds terrific.

    You continue to do an amazing job and be a great example to all at Purple Pear. I know it's hard work and it seems to me that you should be rewarded with great recognition within at least Permaculture circles as a real working and productive farm with as many elements packed in and interacting as is possible. Well done, both of you. xx

    1. Thanks Ree for your encouraging words. And thanks for the hint about the strength of the trellis. It will be a little more than a trellis really, anchored to the roof of the wwoofers room and the verandah. The blue tanks work quite well. there are two of them attached at the bottom with irrigation pipe so they fill together as one tank.We have just ordered electro netting so the pigs can be moved around within the paddocks.

  2. How exciting to be getting pigs! I love how you have thought about their shade etc straight away. I used to have a kiwi fruit vine until a 'helpful' person whippersnipped around it . Don't let anyone whippersnip near the kiwi fruit vine.

    1. Hi Kim. We do have the pigs already but they are in an old chook run. Although quite comfortable not really suitable. The kiwis are in a garden bed so no chance of being whipper snipped thankfully.

    2. Kim, I have to say that someone CUT one of our kiwi vines, straight through. I thought that would be curtains forever for the plant but I didn't do anything about it, didn't move it, and the cut surfaces bonded together and grew until now, you can't see the cut anymore! Someone (he shall remain nameless but Kate knows who I'm talking about!) cut through something else, so after the kiwi experience, I just left it and was patient. Presto, it grew. Probably wouldn't happen with everything...

  3. Love the happy sunflowers in the background! Also love that the trellis is 'yet-to-be-built'! Sound like our grape which is patiently waiting for a structure to climb on. Merry Christmas!