Friday, 23 August 2013

August 2013.

This is a picture of part of our beautiful garden taken in 2006 (at least we thought it was beautiful, and that's all that matters really).  It was mainly ornamental in those days and although all organic, we only had a small area devoted to growing vegies.

Most of it survived the 13 year drought despite 3 years of severe water restrictions starting in April 2007.  Melbourne's worse drought in living memory began in 1997.

We survival by installing rainwater tanks to collect what little rain came our way, we installed drip line irrigation underneath heavy mulch so that evaporation rates were reduced, and we increasing the amount of compost and animal manures incorporated in the soil to increase biological activity and help feed the plants.

When I retired 3 years ago, I began researching ways of drought-proofing my garden, and I came across a lot of information about self sufficient gardening.

I started to build up knowledge about soil at the micro level, and the complex relationships which exist between the soil's inhabitants, and the plants and animals that are dependent on them for their nutrition and energy.

All indicators seem to point to the dissagreable fact that modern agriculture is based almost exclusively on synthetic fertilisers and pesticides.  Not only do these damage the environment as a whole, but at least as importantly, damage the soil's biology too.

I am an enthusiastic amateur gardener who doesn't expect to have much impact on the problems of the  world, but I do want to apply my time in retirement finding ways to create a truly independent and sustainable system for growing my own food, and if I can inspire others to do the same thing along the way, I'll be very happy.