It has been a really good weekend with lots to inspire me about our ongoing projects in the house and garden. On Saturday we went to the home of Green Dean to “Meet The Flockers” and have a tour of his wonderful garden.
Dean and his wife, Ashleigh live on a small, suburban block, but that doesn’t hold them back from producing as much home grown organic food as they can possibly grow in the limited space. It was inspiring to learn that in the production of their gardens, no organic materials ever leave the property. All green waste is recycled back into the system, woody offcuts are burned, softer, green waste is composted or fed to the chickens and this creates a wonderful, self sustaining system .
There was so much to see and to learn about, all accompanied by Dean’s infectious enthusiasm for permaculture and sustainability and such generous hospitality. A delicious morning tea was followed by the garden tour where everyone was encouraged to touch, taste, smell, photograph and ask questions.
I was particularly impressed with how the plants were simply allowed to grow in natural profusion. No rows, no regimentation, just a prolific jumble of life and greenery. There were all kinds of plants. Kale, Radish, Lettuces, Tomatoes, various legumes, potatoes, mustard greens, corn and so many others all making the best possible use of space and resources.
And of course, there were the ‘flockers’ Dean’s chickens whom we had come to meet with. One in particular, named Mu (Miss Uncertain) is a VIC (Very Important Chook) as she is the ambassador for the KFC (Kindness For Chickens) project.
Mu is an ex battery hen, rescued by Green Dean as part of their very first batch of battery hens to be rescued by the KFC project. When she first arrived, Mu was very sickly. She had no feathers and would stand on one foot for hours at a time, not moving, nor eating and Dean thought that she would probably die. Mu had other ideas though, and survived to become a sweet, placid little lady who is very obviously the pride and joy of her owners.
There were so many great things to talk about and think about, and we met some lovely people at the event as well. I came home, inspired and planted out my pumpkin seedlings, revamped my Bokashi Composting system, and spent the afternoon getting my hands dirty!As a result of this garden visit, we have now decided to add a few guinea pigs to our permacultural wish list. Guinea pigs can eat four times their own bodyweight a day in greens which they then convert into 1kilogram of manure per week which can be used straight onto the garden as a slow release fertiliser without any need to age or compost it!