Gardening and Farming
As the number and skills of people who will be at the Gardens will vary, the focus is on long term perennial crops and trees. So the Gardens can be left to 'go wild' and there will be food and useful materials for people.
There is a variety of plants that support each other, slowly over time giving way to more pure 'useful' plants.
For example young fruit trees may be planted amongst wild roses to gain protection while they grow up. As the tree gets big enough, the protective, spiky rose can be removed.
The most widely cultivated plants are:
- Fruit trees
- Underground long term crops such as potatoes and sun-chokes.
- Perennial or self seeding flowers. Salvias are a favourite.
There are also annual vegetables grown in beds nice and convenient to living spaces. These are in a wilderness garden style and spread between trees and middle story perennials and companion ground covers.
Chickens and ducks have almost complete freedom to range, however they are also an important part of the garden system and have specific areas they work preparing future gardens, clearing plants, aerating soil and dropping nitrogen fertiliser.
There are sometimes cattle or horses. These keep the grass down, give valuable poop. However they do eat everything they can reach.
In time these will free range less and graze in fenced areas which will be moved over the property using regenerative agriculture principals. This will help store carbon in the soil and improve soil health.
An important aspect is the attempt to keep and expand forage and habitats for the many wild animals such as
Hawks, parrots, wrens, koalas, echidna, wallabies, bees
With the ranging animals this means the gardens themselves are often fenced to protect them. The aim is that the plants can spread out from these protected areas.