November update

A month late, and in fact I’ve been up there again since I finished the work on the new vegetable bed, but haven’t had a chance to write things up, or show off the photos of my bit of forest in autumn. I think this is one of my favourite images:

autumn woodland

Here are a couple more:

leaves turning

splashes of red

These were all taken in early November. It had rained quite heavily the week before, and the creeks all had water in them. The rain had also softened the ground, and so digging the rest of the vegetable bed was a much easier task than when I put in my Summer Solstice bee garden. I think I mentioned in my last post that this bed should be named for my grandfathers, who were both keen and experienced gardeners, and would certainly have wanted to help me with it even if only in the form of long distance encouragement and gardening tips. Although peanuts and ginger and peach trees — all on my to-do list — were not things they ever attempted to grow.

I know I’ve already shown you photos of site clearance when I dug the bee garden, but at the risk of boring you with more of the same, here is the adjacent vegetable patch in progress:

extending the veggie bed

And here’s the full extent of it (at least for now) before I covered it with landscaping cloth:

finished (for now)

I was discussing progress with my dad, and he mentioned a gardening system I think I’ll try as well — “Das Hugelbeet”. It’s basically a layered mound of twigs, leaf litter, turf, compost… I have all the ingredients in huge abundance. Well perhaps not compost yet, but I’m working on that. Otepoti Urban Organics has a great post on this with step-by-step instructions.

And finally, my expanding to-do list. If I write it up here, it might spur me to do some of these things sooner rather than later. Now that semester has finished etc etc…

1. Finish posting “No Hunting” signs around the perimeter. (Should be easier to do now that the leaves have gone and I can see the pink boundary ribbon again).

2. Get an extension for the rain barrel (aka another rainbarrel?). It overfloweth.

3. FIREWOOD!! I think I own an axe. But I need to plan better to build up firewood stores over the coming year.

4. Construct some trails through the woodland. Potentially one of the easiest ways in from the homestead site is littered with old barbed wire fencing from animal enclosures, thicker undergrowth and fallen trees. With a bit of clearance, there could be a much more inviting (and less scratchy) beginning to a woodland walk.

5. Build a cabin! OK, this is a longer term goal, but I know where (photo below), and I’m always so inspired by people who’ve done it themselves. For now I’m reading up on the subject, but a first step will be to:

6. Salvage materials from what is already on site. Breeze blocks, an old window pane or two, corrugated iron roofing.

cabin goes here!


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