Updated: Dec 28, 2019
The food gardens on our small farm on the northern edge of the Strezleckis are relatively recent additions to a well-established garden cut out of a steep hill. The gardens are zoned according to what they grow: pots of herbs & spinach close to the kitchen, plants that bear food over a period of time, like tomatoes, capsicum, berries & leafy greens near the house, and plants that can survive with a little less attention in the old orchard. We also have chooks, sheep, and beef cows, and now I have house cows as well, and am dabbling (with only occasional success so far) in cheese-making.
Our site has particular challenges. Our sweeping view of the valley also comes with strong winds, and it’s usually 2 degrees cooler up here. As well as feeding the 3 generations of humans that live on our farm, we also feed rabbits, deer, wallabies, wombats, curl grubs and grasshoppers. My food gardens are all fenced, and many of the beds are netted. We have no town water, and the time my garden needs water the most is when the dam level is low and we’re keeping water in reserve for firefighting. I use milk bottles and offcuts of downpipes to direct the water straight into the root zones. We were plagued by grasshoppers last summer, so I’ll net more of my garden beds this year. This year I’m going to espalier my tomatoes, and I’m trying a new variety of popping corn. The strawberry patch will be extended, and I’m going to try growing my pumpkins over arches. Will the garden in January be how I’m imagining it in September? Come and see.
A toilet is available. Dogs on leashes are welcome. Our garden has large play areas. The gardens near the house are on flat ground and easy enough to navigate. Elsewhere the land is steep, and the steps are a little uneven.