Permaculture in Action

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

In the Garden

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.


  1. I'm very grateful for the unusually moist conditions we've been having too. When the in-laws came up for Christmas, from Brisbane, they said they were expecting everything to be brown, like it was at their house. Which completely surprised me. But very grateful for the rain nonetheless.

    I love your gardens and that you've incorporated ponds too. The insects have had a field day in our vegetable patch lately, and I've been considering we need to do something to encourage the birds more. But I like the idea of the ponds. Enjoy your down time. :)

  2. Loving the photos of your gardens, when we are in NZ we are considering putting a beehive and permanent plants like lemon grass and herbs in the center instead of a pond as it will be too cold for frogs and we do not want to have to deal with stagnant water. Any thoughts on these ideas?