Potato Planting

What better way to get the garden in order than to re-establish beds and get them planted out. On occasion I have found that I have been weeding and mulching beds and not getting to plant them only to have to come back and re-prepare to plant. So we are focusing on just get them ready and plant immediately. Today’s focus was on two narrow beds that had a lot of edge which is great for small greens, however as we have way too much garden for only four of us we are moving the greens all into one main area at the top of the garden nearer to the kitchen.

This will make it more efficient for harvesting and then this area that is a bit further away we are planting out to vegetables that will be harvested all at once when mature. For example the garlic and now potatoes. So I reshaped the two narrow beds into one double reach bed and loosened the soil with the garden fork. We still have rather heavy soils even though they are getting darker with humus and organic matter. Then added six big wheelbarrow loads of our wonderful Bio-Digester Chicken Compost (BDCC) (See previous posts) and set out the potatoes for planting.

I buried them in deep and then added a nice medium layer of mulch. We will need to add more mulch later so that the potatoes stay nicely covered.

The potatoes spaced ready to be buried.
The potatoes spaced ready to be buried.

Another area that I have been addressing on a regular basis is to keep on top of the woody weeds that wish to take over the pastures that the cows are grazing. Mainly lantana and tobacco bush and a few other species. The pastures up the back which are closer to the forest are being re-established and so are a bit sparse in grasses and then nature moves in plants of its own. I am doing a style of Holistic Management/cell grazing to build the pastures, which I must say is working well with a bigger percentage of grasses showing. So to help this along when I go up to bring the cows in each evening I go a bit earlier with a machete and mattock and systematically remove the unwanted plants.

The lantana that nature wants to use to create forest however I would rather pasture.
The lantana that nature wants to use to create forest however I would rather pasture.

We had volunteers and students managing the cows for a few years and so the “weeds” have taken hold but now that we are doing the animal systems I am applying myself to get back on top of things. I find that I actually enjoy to engage in this process and always feel a fulfilling sense of achievement each time after each stage is addressed.

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Reproduced with permission and with sincere thanks to

Tom Kendall

Tom Kendall is a permaculture farmer with a lifelong broad acre agricultural background. He is co-founder of the PRI Sunshine Coast Inc and PRI Luganville, Vanuatu and runs PDC and Practical Life Skills training courses on his Permaculture Demonstration Site “Maungaraeeda”. He is part of the Permaculture Sustainable Consulting team and does regular personal consultations. He has extensive experience in tropical, sub tropical and dry land climates and has the ability to read large scale as well as smaller scale landscapes. With his farming background, Tom is a very hands on and practical man and is solution focused. He has extensive travel experience, integrates easily with local cultures and people and enjoys studying landscapes, buildings and the effects of climate on structures, flora and fauna.

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