So grow what you love, and do it in the way you love. There’s many techniques, there’s so many techniques of growing things. I don’t know, a lot of people get caught up on I want to go biodynamics, I want to go permaculture, I want to go organic, I want to use sprays. I don’t care which way you go.
Personally as small time landowners and producers, I think organic is actually the best way to go in some ways. It’s hard work. I work, as I said, on a large farm where we use what’s called non-integrative pest management approach. I’ll get to that in a sec. It’s a really smart way of growing if you do still want to use sort of sprays. And there are safe sprays and not so safe sprays. I myself, I’ve chosen organics. I find things like permaculture and biodynamics, have great ideas, but they’re all pretty much the same thing. I think it can get a little bit hooked up on the details.
You’ve gone through your site analysis, you figured out where your sun comes, where your wind goes, what kind of rainfall you get. And that’s where Bureau of Meteorology, or BOM, is a great way of actually checking this year’s rainfall and the last decade’s rainfall going back quite a way. You can really start to map out what kind of water requirements you’re going to need. Other than water which is a great resource, it’s probably our primary resource, soil is your other primary resource. So look after it. That’s all I’ll say for that.
It deals with what you’re growing, how you’re growing it, what you’re feeding those things with. Using synthetic fertilisers can be great. You get a really instant result out of your plants. But what those fertilisers can do is actually lower your worm count in your ground, so that your soil starts to suffer. You can get nutrient build up further down in your block if you’ve got a slope in your block catching water. If you get green algae, you’re going in water after about two or three days of it sitting there, then you’re probably over fertilising. Or someone upstream is as well.
Things like compost bins and mulches. On a large block, in a garden that’s great. I have a single one in the patch we have three bays. And we produce a hell of a lot of vegetative matter, actually compost. That’s great. It supplies the patch itself. But when you’re dealing with an acre that can be a bit of an issue. Trying to get that much bio-mass to compost down and actually have enough space to do that can be a bit of a problem.
My advice would be start high. If you’ve got some slope on your land, lay all those bins and everything at the top. One, because it’s heavy and you can just bring it all back down so it’s all sloping downhill. Plus nutrient runs down with water. So I put all my, I suppose, nutrient-rich enterprises at the topside of my block, or in my garden at the topside of my garden. It’s not much nutrient run off, but it does actually start from the top rather than putting it at the bottom, and having all the nutrient run straight down into the water course or into your neighbour’s yard.
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