It’s nearing the end of summer here at Fernglade farm and what a summer it has been. Two inches of rain in over five months, and extreme heat for days on end, results in a most unpleasant experience.
Still, despite it all, things are still growing and there is still food to eat. The kangaroos, wallabies and wombats are also still eating from the farm and they are here often enough now that I’m assuming that conditions are harder elsewhere.
As a response to the extreme weather conditions, in very early summer I set about heavily mulching all of the plants in the food forest and whilst overall about 10% of the plants and trees here have died, 90% have survived.
I accept that these conditions are part of the environment and so I’m still adding trees to the food forest, plus collecting seed and both considering and implementing changes based on the lessons learned during this period.
The good news is that all of the efforts that have gone into storing water in the ground and improving the depth of the top soil are paying off, and the older, better established fruit trees are thriving despite me being unable to water them.
In addition to this I’m also experimenting with new perennial crops and have recently planted out a bed of tree onions and am looking forward to seeing how they grow in this environment.
There have been some close moments during summer here and the photo below shows the smoke from the very large fire in the eastern end of the mountain range rising above my farm in the forest:
But there have also been some really great moments, like when the silky chook “mum” took the three new silky chicks under her wing:
Most of all though I’m looking forward to the cooler weather of Autumn, Winter and Spring and I wish all of you Permies the best over the coming season!