The vegie garden has been producing for almost twelve months now, but it's been so unfinished (and unkempt) that I haven't shown it on the blog. But we're back to work and finally making some progress, so I thought I'd give you an update.
This was the 'before'. There was just nothing there. The soil was poor and sandy and in need of serious improvement. I wanted a vegie garden and orchard large enough for us to be self sufficent for fruit and vegetables, and with room for free range chooks. So, before we started work, I designed this plan -
The scale and proportions were completely off (but that was Farmer Joe's job to sort out - I'm a bit of a girl when it comes to these things).
Over the June long weekend last year we removed a row of melaleucas that posed a serious bushfire risk and replaced them with white flowering crab apples positioned further away from the house. We also planted the orchard from bare-rooted fruit stock - you can just see them in the background, looking like small dead sticks surrounded by mulch.
We were a bit tired of gardening after that, so we left it until spring to start laying out the vegetable garden beds. We used recycled redgum railway sleepers and filled them with a mixture of hay and rotted sheep manure (instead of soil). The vegie garden was planted in early summer, and produced a bumper crop in its first year (minor disasters aside. If you haven't already read about the cockatoo attack and the 800 stray sheep, you can find the post here).
Last week, fresh from holidays, Farmer Joe and I got back into it. We shovelled three and a half tonnes of gravel, by hand, into the garden. Sounds like lots doesn't it? Well, it only covered half the vegie garden and we haven't even thought about the orchard path yet.
Farmer Joe finished the surface using a Whacker Packer (I swear I was working too, I only stopped to take photos), and Miss Georgia tested the new paths for us.
Still a long way to go, but at least it's progress!