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Time to Start

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Hello out there,

First post/thread after lurking here for a few months. I've just recently moved back to my parents property after studying and living away from home for 5 years.
After watching/listening/reading into permaculture since the start of the year I can finally put some of this theory and knowledge into practice.

So far, my plan is to establish a vege garden/chook run in the style of this video (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eHcL2fFQO54), he refers to it as a keyhole style but I've seen different looking gardens that are also referred to as keyhole gardens (the type that is raised with a rock bed and compost is fed into it's centre.

I know the most important thing for growing anything is developing healthy soil, so I've constructed a compost heap based on Paul Taylor's video (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LAB3KP0KLj4&feature=relmfu ), the only problem was that I couldn't get a hold of any kelp, bone meal or rough dust (Anyone know the best place to track this stuff down?). Also, how does one go about extracting the compost tea Paul talks about?

I have plans to begin a polyculture/food forest/orchard in one of the paddocks here, I've got a whole heap of reference on order, but at the moment I have Jacke and Toensmeier's Edible Forst Gardens Vol. 2 book to begin the design process. My first question would be about the existing soil health, it's a fully grassed paddock (100mx40m) that has a horse graze in it. What sort of soil prep should I look at doing?? I know a lot is said about sowing nitrogen fixing ground cover such as clovers to help, also the ground quite hard (but as I said it's fully grassed so it can support plants).

Here's a satellite of the property, it is in the Northwest foothills of the Blue Mountains, west of Sydney. The circle is where I plan to put the vege garden/chook run, while the rectangles are the paddock in which I plan to put the orchard/food forest. We are lucky in that our water can be provided by the large spring-fed dam that we have.

Well I guess that was a way to introduce myself, and type a load of words. I've enjoyed reading these forums, such a healthy format for exchanging ideas and views.


Posts: 4437
Location: North Central Michigan
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most important in my opinion if you are planting trees in an area that has been grass, is to go get a few buckets of forest soil from your forests and put that soil in when you plant your trees, the grasslands have a bacterial microorganism make up and the woods would have a fungal make up..you want that fungal soil to support the roots of your trees..so that would be a good plan to start.
Joshua Hay
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Thanks for the reply Brenda, anyone else out there got anything to offer? I realise that this got moved to introductions, so I doubt it will see many responses. I did have a number of permaculture related questions within my post, but oh well.
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