Monday, 4 February 2013

Reaping what you sow.

Back in October I posted about my project to turn a disused block of land into a productive oasis. We are now a few months into the trial  and while the garden has struggled a little of late, due to access to water (there is no tap) -overall I would rate it as a success. Here's an update of progress to date:

This is a shot of the garden I took back in mid December. (The sky looking deceptively stormy - since the planters were installed back in November I think we have had only had one or two rain events that were capable of soaking the the soil)


Here's my box with my first harvest of radish, some beetroot and some baby carrots. (Sitting in the middle of a gravel patch didn't deter the hungry little caterpillar that took to the radish on the left)

Here's just a couple of the beets that I have successfully harvested over the last month or so.

Fast forward to February.......... (and is starting to look like my 'artists impression' from my before and after shot on the promotional flyer)

Someone is growing some awesome eggplants!

And here's what the neighbourhood playgroup have been busy planting....
More produce from my box.... the last of the beetroot and the first of my carrots. I moved the eggplant (in the foreground)  from the back garden (it was being overshadowed by other stuff). Not sure how much it will go? Perhaps not quite as well as the picture above but its worth a try.

So in summary

Whats worked?
  • Adding to my home grown produce haul.
  • Cleaning up the block and turning a vacant wasteland/ car parking area into something attractive and worthwhile.
  • Creating a space that's respected by the local community. Even though its still technically possible, no ones parking on the block, people smile when they walk by and no one has stolen anything we have grown.
What hasn't worked:
  • Council delivering on the water tank they promised. Apparently due to some bureaucratic issues it sitting at the depot waiting for permission to be able to fill it!
  • The wicking beds...... while I know they have their dedicated supporters ....I wonder if our wicking beds have achieved anything at all.  As the dirt was never watered in I am sceptical if the water in the reservoir has been able to wick up to the surface- its like the dry dirt has created a barrier between the water reservoir and the plants above. Some of the boxes have practically died off while the little water level monitor is showing water still in the reservoir. As I have been growing from seed I have mostly been watering from the top.
Whats next:
  • Here's hoping council extends our trial and makes it a permanent fixture. I reckon there's space for a few more planters yet!

1 comment:

  1. That's fab Jodie. I can't believe that the planters haven't been tagged or anything. Very cool and nice that people seem to genuinely respect the garden. I agree with you on the eggplants - very nice looking indeed.