Costa Georgiadis

Costa Georgiadis

 

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As an Australian, I am pretty well aware of Costa as both a super enthusiastic permaculturalist but also as a TV host, excellent speech giver and all-round likeable guy. This is a TEDx talk from Dubbo, Australia where Costa talks about getting children involved in gardening. His passion is infectious and I hope you get something from watching his video.

Costa is also host of Australian Broadcasting Corp. – Gardening Australia but also Costa’s Gardening World amongst others.

http://www.abc.net.au/gardening/stories/s2476106.htm
http://costasworld.org/

Straw bales and other things…

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This straw bale was delivered today to our allotment, luckily we managed to convince the seller to deliver it to us because neither myself or my husband drive. We are planning on using it as ground cover, in lasagna style garden beds amongst a growing list of things. 

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Most of my seedlings are coming alot quite happily, growing in a combination of natural and artificial lighting. I move them from under the flourescent lights into the sun and rotate them as often as possible. The above photo is a tomato seedling called Brandywine. 

 

in less happy news I have sprained my left ankle quite badly and So have no been able to do many practical chores on the allotment because of it. Hoping that it heals quickly and that i can get gardening again soon. 

Permaculture : Intro course

This weekend I had a very interesting and intensive learning experience at a permaculture introduction course, it was also a great way to celebrate my birthday on Sunday. Having originally come from Australia I have a fairly decent understand of permaculture in relation to gardening practices but it is alot more broad than just gardening, its more a way of living that is based on Perma (Permanent) Culture (Agriculture).

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“Permaculture is a philosophy of working with, rather than against nature; of protracted and thoughtful observation rather than protracted and thoughtless labor; and of looking at plants and animals in all their functions, rather than treating any area as a single product system.” – Bill Mollison

 

I learnt quite a lot and it was quite intense as swedish isn’t my first language, but I had such a fantastic time.

The core tenets of permaculture are:

  • Care for the earth: Provision for all life systems to continue and multiply. This is the first principle, because without a healthy earth, humans cannot flourish.

  • Care for the people: Provision for people to access those resources necessary for their existence.

  • Return of surplus: Reinvesting surpluses back into the system to provide for the first two ethics. This includes returning waste back into the system to recycle into usefulness.

The introduction course discussed the principles or permaculture, composting, different plants, fungi, water collection, design practices, harvesting energy and so much more. A great slideshow i found is: http://www.slideshare.net/katska/intro-to-permaculture-course

I hope to later do a PDC – Permaculture Design Certificate so that I have a better grounding and learn design practices.

Vilken underbar helg! (och inte bara eftersom det var min födelsedag) Jag gjörde en introductionkurs kurs hos Medborgareskolan inom Permakultur. Min lärare heter Maria Svennbeck holisticgardening.se och lärde jag så väldigt mycket, trots att permakultur kommer ifrån Australien (mitt hemland). Om man vill lära sig mer om permakultur finns föreningen http://permakultur.se/ som har samlat information och kurser i Sverige.

 

The exciting beginning of things to come

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Beautiful mixture of seeds from Runåbergs – a Swedish seed company who I thoroughly support. 

 

 

This year we have decided to try make our own potting mix as the most easily available one
is not all that good and contains peat. Despite the distance coconut coir travels, it is a 
much more sustainable resource than peat and we are very excited to try it as a growing medium. 
Bat guano will be used as a nutrient source as well as trying some mycorrhizal fungi that I actually 
first heard about via a TED talk on phosphorous depletion. 
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The above perlite and worm poop is a purchase from ebay, and will be included in our potting soil. 

Autumn

It’s now August and the days are getting darker and darker. Whilst still warm during the days the weather is shifting into Autumn and the last of the plants are being sown. 
Garlic can go into the ground up until mid October where we live, asian greens and dill are also late season items that people can grow. Our plans are turning to next year and winter protection including using leaves to cover any sensitive plants. 

What are your plans for next year’s growing season? 

The allotment

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The greenhouse is partly up, we had alot of issues getting it together with the wind and only the two of us trying to build it. The instructions were also sadly missing alot of key elements which made it extremely difficult to put together. But it will be great once it is together.
You can also see the amount of dandelions and other weeds in the photo. We only just started using the lott last year and because we are not going to use a mechanical tiller we have to go a bit slower trying to remove all the dandelions. It is suprisingly alot better already (not that its easy to tell from the photo).

I really thoroughly dislike using the lanscape fabric but because we dont currently have enough mulch or the ability to remove the weeds, we have been using it to reduce the amount of weeds. It is also used over the winter to prevent all the snow melting into the soil and just sitting on top of the soil. The soil needs a alot of organic compost added to it, we have a large amount of well rotted horse manure on parts of the lot which has substantially helped the texture and the level of compactness of the clay soil.

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Here is some of the garlic my husband planted.

We also planted the apple tree we bought at the Nordic Garden Fair and some of the berry plants. We also planted two types of corn and I am really excited to see how they fair, some potatoes and some bortolli beans.

1st Hugelkultur bed

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Went to the allotment this morning to using the trees and the twigs we collected last week. We are hoping this helps us fro having to run down to swater everyday and helps to aerate the soil more because it’s mostly just highly compacted clay soil. 

The allotment was unused for over 3 years and when we started trying to grow last year were met with  just a mass of dandelions and grass roots so we have been slowly trying to improve the soil. 

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Our final bed is probably about 1 foot higher than the rest of the lot because of the slow compaction of the wood and also because we were sure what the allotment would think of a high hugelbed so it just looks like a standard raised bed. 

Can’t wait to see how well it works

Compost vs Mulch

Mulch and compost serve two different roles in the garden.

Compost is somethingyou want to become apart of your soil, rather than something that is intended to simply cover it like mulch.Compost is chock full of disease fighting organisms and  essential nutrients your plants need to thrive especially important if you’re an organic gardener, or simply trying to use fewer chemicals.  Compost needs to be where the roots are. If you place compost only on the surface, like mulch, it will help, but to really be effective, it needs to be incorporated where the action is.

Image: Created 6/12/2006 Photographer: Kessner Photography

Image: Created 6/12/2006 Photographer: Kessner Photography

Mulch on the other hand: mulch (for example leaves, shredded bark, or straw) , will eventually break down and add important nutrients to your soil, but the primary purpose of mulch is for it to cover your soil, to protect it and plant roots growing there from extreme temperatures, retain vital moisture, suppress weeds and soil-born diseases.

There are some great tutorials and information about composting available online.

Including:

http://urbanext.illinois.edu/compost/process.cfm
http://www.gardenorganic.org.uk/composting/

Mulch:

Gorgeous Gardens From Garbage: How to Build a Sheet Mulch