I always love opening our emails in the morning and getting stories like this in our inbox from our members.
We asked Keith & Kay Jeffrey to share their story with us on zoom which you can watch in the video.
They share their story about how Biodynamics has been the most interesting thing that they’ve done in their life. Enjoy the video and story below.
A Bit About The Garden
We have been trying for the past couple of years to look at handling the heat in summer better for the veggies. We have planted some fast-growing trees ie paw paw, bleeding heart, and tall easy to manage grasses ie sugar cane, and lemongrass to have them creating shade from the west during summer and able to cut them back in autumn to let in the light and sun. This is proving very successful.
This year we are trying more flowers such as sun flowers, Sun Hemp. some salvias, plus a couple of shrubs. Bearing in mind the flowers each of these produces as we are looking for more diversity for beneficial and predator insects. The success of this will be to have a continuous supply all year to keep the ecosystem balanced!!!!!!! Always sounds easy but even though we consult nature it does not always work out that way.
All this allows us to have a true cottage garden with flowers and vegetables mixed together. We just love the mixture of all these things – drives some of our friends nuts as they love their straight rows. A lot of the inspiration for this comes from Syntropics philosophy of mimicking the rainforest. This is all a work in progress. We intend to bring back some inoculated wheat with mushroom mycelium. and we will plant that out in selected areas in the dabbled shade, looks easy on Youtube a lot will depend on the weather.
We are great scavengers we get heaps of dump mulch which Atherton dumps makes plenty of due to the area being tropical with huge growth. Some say not to use it as you don’t know what is in it but when you see how much mycelium grows in it just sitting at the dump it can’t be too bad. We feel that the diverse texture and plant material, is proving to be a real winner and it’s free we estimate we use approximately 4 cubic metres per year all collected in our plastic tubs 12 at a time.
One of the local farmers grows straw to send out west and he sells it from a shed @ $6 per bale we just go and collect it whenever we need it. We use heaps of approximately 20 bales per year. At the onset of summer we lay the biscuits flat around all the trees and the moisture retention is excellent plus it is turning into compost as it goes. Before we lay the straw biscuit down we pile it on the dump mulch.
Sharing Some of Our Photos
Compost tea is made and sprayed out generally every 2 weeks in-between the Biodynamic preparations. I can say the Biodynamic Preps are done every month according to the BD Calendar. Compost tea has times when we might be making dandelion, or comfrey, or stinging nettle, or yarrow drenches or teas. It is all dependant on weather and seasonal plantings.
Keith’s worm farm is a hands-down favourite, we get approximately 8-10 litres per month on average of leachate (worm wee) this is mixed at various rates of 50% – 10% ratio to water dependant on the plant and delivered either as a spray or drench. There is nothing else that compares to this for plant food especially veggies. The castings supply depends on the season, summer is about 60 litres and in winter it’s about 25% of that amount. The castings are mixed in the compost and spread as needed and available.
Amazing Bees, we have one very active hive with approximately 40,000 bees in spring/summer less in winter although some natives flower in winter so the numbers are subject to the seasonal food supply.
The bees pollinate our garden (and our neighbours) and they add something to the property like our Penda Tree Xanthostemon Chrysanthus that has grown but never flowered for 7 years. The Beehive is located near the tree and this year it was ablaze with the most magnificent display of yellow balls. We believe the bees have made a massive change in the energy of the garden. We have more birds, native bees, insects, and flowers than ever before. Plus we have beautiful fresh honey yum!
Our next-door neighbour sells firewood at this time of year and we get the bark and small chips – his rubbish by the wheelbarrow full and it’s great as it’s come from properties that are cleaning up usually from cyclones or summer storms and is full of mycelium spores. We use it everywhere even as edges which make whipper snipping easy.
Belonging to garden clubs or any club associated with gardening is an excellent source of cuttings and plants they always have exchange tables or rolling raffles where you can get some excellent plants for a 5 cent ticket. The best way of receiving free plants are the birds, although they often bring in unwanted fast-growing undetected vines.
All this sounds like a lot of trouble and some days it is but we wouldn’t have it any other way, to personally know the food you eat and the trees and plants living on your property that shade you in summer and willingly supply you with fresh juicy orange, or strawberry when you take a break, how can that be called too hard?
The fruit and rhizome spices we
currently have growing
- Finger Lime
- Dragon Fruit
- Malabar Chestnuts
- Passionfruit x 3 different
- Kaffir Lime
This is a lot of information but we thought you might find it interesting and inspiring.