Our mandala garden. Seven circles times seven which are cultivated by chickens housed in domes.
Once the chicken domes have been moved onto the next bed the vacant bed is heavily planted out with a combination of fast and slow growing seedlings.
While the slow growing larger plants are spreading out and taking up more room the fast growing plants have finished growing and been removed. In the bed below lettuce and tatsoi has been harvested leaving room for the beans and rockmelon to fill the space.
The compost heaps can be found scattered throughout the garden providing us with compost close by when we require it to plant out our seedlings. We make hot compost in these bins surrounded by tomato stakes which we got through LETS from a local olive grower. The compost is made all in one day and reaches up to our shoulders. As it reduces in size as the composting process continues, we dismantle the structure which can be used elsewhere as we make the next heap.
Corn and zucchini grow well together. We have, in the past, grown beans with these two as in the American Indian's three sisters but that requires us standing on the bed to harvest the beans so we have decided not to do it this year.
On the outside of the mandalas is the long beds which are sometimes cultivated by the pigs. You can see a chicken dome in the background.
The middle of each mandala is a pond with habitat for beneficials which plays a large part in our pest management.
We have been very lucky with the amount of rain we've had this year since spring and everything is looking quite lush. We are having a bit of a break at the moment. There's a little bit of cricket watching (Mark) and some light reading (me) going on at the moment but everyday has to include some gardening to keep on top of things. There's always weeding to be done, insect control.. a lot of 28 spot lady beetles at the moment, and of course harvesting vegies, morning and night. We're picking beans, tomatoes, cucumbers and zucchinis at least once a day.
And once things dry out a little I think there will be some mowing to be done.