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Our latest adventures out and about...
 
Installing the food garden at Magill for Lesley and Adrian was our main job in March.  We also visited Woodside to help Sharon and Kym with digging holes and managing chickens.

As we install more food gardens in suburban homes, our weekly regular servicing schedule increases, so we're enjoying watching the progress as all these gardens flourish...

 Lesley and Adrian's food garden at Magill
 
Lesley had done her homework and researched Vital Veggies and the services we offer.  She and Adrian have a lovely house in Magill but their back yard needed a makeover and they needed help.
Lesley contemplating some make-over options for the back yard
 
Adrian has always been a keen gardener but a debilitating health condition has confined him to a wheelchair  He had been given a high galvanised garden bed as a present but hadn't been able to successfully grow much in it.  We agreed to remove most of the soil and replace it with Vital Veggies soil, then move this bed and make 2 new garden beds, high enough for Adrian to access from his wheelchair.  The distance between each of the beds also had to accommodate the extra width so that Adrian would be able to tend to the plants.
The site for the new garden beds
 
We were keen to help Lesley and Adrian.  The back yard had a lot of potential and they just needed some help to breathe new life into it.
 
After removing the old in-ground and above-ground garden beds, we had the sand and soil delivered, along with the new pavers.
Then it was time for the important preparation work.  We dug up existing pavers to install the automatic underground irrigation system and Roger used the digger to break up and level the ground.
Roger using the digger to help level the ground.
 
The existing galvanised garden bed was moved and refilled with our special soil and a line of new pavers were laid around it.
For this job we had to build the 2 new garden beds onsite (each 60cm high), then place them and lay the pavers sequentially to ensure they all fitted in together perfectly.
The galvanised bed is now in place on the left, a line of pavers have been laid, and the first new bed is being constructed.
 

After constructing and placing the final garden bed, we teamed up to quickly fill it with soil - Roger dropped the soil in using the digger and Sally raking it out.  We worked together laying the final row of pavers and then did a massive back yard clean up for Lesley and Adrian.
 
Finally...planting the veggies
 
We were hoping that Adrian might be able to help with the planting but he wasn't feeling up to it on the day.  So Sally returned the following day to plant the seeds and seedlings.  Although winter veggies aren't as exciting a summer crops there's still a lot to choose from.
 
The galvanised garden bed is now the herb garden containing dill, fennel, parsley, basil, golden marjoram, chives, thyme, lemon grass and a few others.
 
Following directions on what the couple can and can't eat, Sally planted peas, kale, broccoli, cauliflower, 5 different varieties of carrots, 3 varieties of beetroot, 2 of turnips, 3 types of radishes, about 6 varieties of lettuces, some rocket, spinach, silverbeet and parsnips.
 
Whoever said a winter veggie garden was boring?
Not this one!
 
What a difference we made to this back yard..
.
Finished view of the new food garden, just after planting
 
Irrigation and fruit trees
 
Two lines of irrigation were installed in Lesley and Adrian's back yard:
One line waters the 3 garden beds and the other line runs around the perimeter of the back yard to water all the fruit trees and a few other favourite trees. 
 
The fruit trees (lime, lemon, mandarine, apricot, peach and fig) have suffered a little over the years but some regular watering and ongoing fertilisation will give them the nourishment they need to recover and begin producing more fruit.
The rear of Lesley and Adrian's back yard prior to the renovation
 
Water conditioning device
 
Lesley and Adrian have researched and investigated many alternative therapies in an effort to help Adrian with his health condition.  Lesley agreed to install a water conditioning device for the house and garden only after thoroughly researching it's methodology and efficacy.  We are convinced that the charged water enhances not only the growing capacity of plants but also our own health.
 
Life enhancing practices
 
When we first visited Lesley and Adrian's back yard, we were delighted to find that they had a Paramagnetic Antenna Device (Power Tower)  Paramagnetism is the capacity of a soil to receive and store electromagnetic energy from the environment.  All of the world's most fertile soils are highly paramagnetic.  The towers are used to generate positive magnetic energy that supports and enhances life.
 
Although a number of farmers around the country have installed these structures and noticed the improvement to crops, they are not a common sight in Adelaide back yards.  Consequently Roger and Lesley enjoyed many conversations about energetic frequencies, feng shui, meditation, and alternative health practices. 
 
After completing the food garden, Roger used a few of the leftover pavers to lay a little path from the garden to the chair under the Power Tower.  The chair is where Lesley sits each day to meditate and she has remarked on the enhanced energy in the back yard now that it's been renovated and revitalised.
 
How blessed we are to be able to install a food garden that can make such a difference to the quality of people's lives.
The new garden beds, the chair and the power tower.

Sharon and Kym's food garden at Woodside
 
Sharon and Kym already had a great permaculture garden set up in their back yard at Woodside.  They'd cleverly used the available space around their suburban home to grow fruit trees and veggies and to house a few chooks.
 
They contacted Vital Veggies to help with digging some deep holes in their rock hard soil so they could plant some additional fruit trees.  These holes needed some Vital Veggies soil, and so did a few other garden beds.
 
We also discussed how to renovate an area in their back yard to allow their chooks to roam.  We worked out an ingenious CMS (Chicken Management System).
Read on to find out why...
 
Front yard
These images show the garden bed along their front side fence.
First, we removed the Agapanthus and other bushes, then used the digger to make four deep holes in the rock hard clay soil, then filled the holes with Vital Veggies special soil (second image).
After this we covered the entire area with weed control mat and then a thick layer of compost.
Sharon and Kym will now be able to plant four fruit trees along here, knowing that they'll get off to a good start in their nourishing little beds of soil.
Compost being delivered to Sharon and Kym's front yard.  The right hand mound is Vital Veggies super soil.
 
Back yard
 
Roger removed the old soil from 4 of Sharon and Kym's existing garden beds and topped them up with Vital Veggies super soil.  Even a minimum 10cm layer of special soil will provide extra nutrients and live biology to brighten up the next crop of plants.
Using the motorised wheelbarrow to fill an existing bed with new soil.
Dropping soil from the digger into 3 small beds
 
Chicken Management System
 

Chickens love to roam around and feast on a variety of plants.  This in turn produces extra nutritious eggs.
But chickens can also annihilate all plant life in a large area very quickly if they aren't managed correctly.
 
When Sharon and Kym asked us to renovate the area by their back fence for the chickens to roam in we designed a system which easily rotates the chickens' grazing areas so that each area is given time to recover and be replenished with green chook food.
The back area before renovation
 

As they wanted to plant more fruit trees we used the digger again to make some large holes for the new trees and filled them with our Vital Veggies soil.  The ground here felt like rock and it would have been impossible for Kym (or us!) to dig the holes with a shovel.
After digging the holes and filling them with soil.
 

Weeds were removed from this area, then a layer of soil and a layer of compost were thickly laid over the rocky ground.  Green chook food seeds will be scattered around and left to grow wild.
 
After laying down the mulch we constructed the Chicken Management System.  This is comprised of simple mesh fencing and steel mesh gates.  The ingenious interconnected system allows for the gates to be opened one way or closed another way, thereby opening and closing off different areas of the chook run.  Magnets on the gates make them effectively simple to open and close.
 
There are five separate grazing areas now - the chickens will have access to one area at a time for approximately a week.  The gates will then be opened and closed in a different conformation, giving the chickens access to another area and restricting their access to all other areas so they can grow lush new green chook food undisturbed by pecking beaks and digging claws.
The finished chook run
 
Dean and Melanie's Food Forest at Stonyfell
 
We're as thrilled with the abundance of luscious food in Dean and Mel's food forest as they are.

During our servicing visits in March, we harvested their pumpkins and a surprisingly large sweet potato.
 
Here's the evolution of the pumpkin patch in pictures:
1. Digging up grass to prepare the area for planting
4. Pumpkins in full bloom
2. Area planted and covered with compost
5. Withered plants after harvesting the pumpkins
3. Pumpkin plants growing
6. Harvested pumpkins ready for storing

And let's not forget Dean and Mel's phenomenal sweet potato...
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