I've been meaning to write to you about my Carboprotus (Aussie Rambler), aka giant pigface for a while. As visitors will know, it's my 'go to' for new plantings and tricky places/spaces - big, bold and beautiful.
It wasn't until I watched the awesomely hirsute Armish Farmer John Kempf go head-to-head with Elaine Ingham (of Soilfoodweb and no beard) on soil biology that I realised it's a pioneer plant which isn't that suited to the more complex fungal based society in our orchards...which is why it tends not to thrive there after a while. But it does work as a ground cover for new plantings including trees (initially, a couple of years), opening up and stabilising heavy soil and recycling calcium. It loves 'easier' soils and is very drought hardy. It's basically a plant and go.
It's also a store of water, a fire and weed retardant, frost resistant, cheers up most corners, can be pickled as a condiment, chooks eat it as needed and is an absolute Autumn-Winter favourite of the bees. If you want some, let me know, it would be my pleasure to spread the love of this happy piggy.
So far in our raised rows we seem to grow Solanacea (potatoes, tomatoes, capsicums) quite well and they apparently need a fungal/bacterial balance which somehow we appear to have generated. I love planting potatoes and working out what varieties go best in our soil, and even in cooking. Here's a nice slow tv of them being harvested in Poland. I like how music can humanise machinery.
Churchill wrote "Solitary trees, if they grow at all, grow strong."
In other words, they like their mates around them and the sleepy, undisturbed, complex soil life beneath. Don't we all?
I like Churchill quotes, so here's another one for you...
"An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile, hoping it will eat him last."
As many of you are aware I've gone from headspace to greenspace in the last few years and my physical body has had to adapt - fast. My hands have had a hammering but after considerable search, these unlikely Showa gloves have been outstanding, taking everything I throw at them, daily for 9 months and still going strong. I was lucky to get 6 weeks out of ANY of the others before the fingers gave out including the posh leather ones. Best $25 spent ever (I should get out more?), they even do some long sleeved versions for 'managing' roses. I lather on skincare before I use them each day - a magic combination.
As you can see from the top pic, we have chooks in our half our covered orchards now and every couple of months they are moved safely and easily. Lots of clucking whilst they're on the 'bus', then lots of happy purring when they reach their Brave New Orchard. Yes happy chooks purr, who knew? I have dina-chook-feeders and drinkers in their coops, keeping rodents out of their food and ensuring permanent clean water supplies and obviously contamination free eggs. So much better than the standard issue stuff if you too have had it with food spoilage, mess and feeding furry freeloaders.
Finally if you're like us you're generating plenty of wood ash as the evenings turn colder. It seems to have more uses than I could dream of, so I hope you too find this piece interesting and useful. Everything old is new again...
Lots of love, wishing you warmth inside and out,