Cabbage Massacre.

We lost almost all of our last cabbage seedling to slugs we think. So we had to plant more. It was more like a re-sew than an interplanting. I’m guessing they tasted quite good from a slugs point of view.

Garlic. Year two. Month two.

Second round of garlic planting.

We already have two large rows (1-6 DEF) planted of the garlic harvested from earlier in 2017.

Today we uncovered the area known as 1-6 ABC. We had used shade cloth single layer. This had allowed the water through but grass and “Romulia” had grown a bit.

We pulled that up. Burned the grass back. And planted in a super dense pattern.

The south half of Plot 1-6 B-C has 9-10 across. All Australian Purple. Bought.

The north half has 7-8 across. All harvested 2017 crop.

We started into the next row along 1-6 A-B. This was unfinished today. It has about 50 cloves of the Australian Purle to the south.

There’s a gap in the middle. Then there is  a new species from a friend in Rye called Featival. Known for storing well.

That now fills 5-6 A-B.

New Plan; Yards and Metres.

The Ample Sufficiency Paddock started as a rectangle approximately 32 metres by 6 metres.

So we’ve drew a simple grid that we will use to illustrate out plot. The grid looked like this;


That was a year ago. The original post is here;

Things have changed a little. Unfortunately I will have to change the plan too.

When we put in the irrigation I noted that the longer axis was inaccurate. My strides are just short of a metre. The original Patch was 30 metres by 6 metres. Thus the original grid was closed to Yards than Metres.

The irrigation is set out on a 6×6 metre grid because thats the recommended distance between the individual sprinkler points.

So I should set the entire thing out again. This will mean that the older grid references will be slightly wrong. I am sure we can cope.

So the original grid was 30 metres by 6 metres. So 5 separate 6 metres by 6 metres squares. We then added a new plat of 6x6metres at the south end.


So now we have a 36 metre by 6 metre plot.

Each 6×6 metres square has a highly flexible sprinkler at each corner. The watering system works in Zones which will be superimposed on the planning and design of the plot. There are 4 zones. Red, Blue, Yellow and Green.

Seen as it has to change I have also decided to set the grid out starting at the south end rather than the north end. Thats because the point at which the two families meet is always at the South end of the plot.

The following drawing shows the new design and hopefully this will not require any tinkering for years to come.



Spuds; love hate etc.

We planted spuds at the north west corner.

Just 2 metres by 9 metres. It’s a sheltered corner and gets afternoon shade very early. We’ve run one entire crop through it and the most northern plants were harvested first. Above the first two thirds has been cleaned up, puffed up, covered up and rested. 

Below you can see the first of the second round in the foreground.

I’ve loved the spuds but they have an odd place for the two families as there are multiple ailments and dietary restrictions that mean several of us can’t or don’t eat potatoes.

Yet when I come down the plot with no idea what to cook for dinner I’m always happy to have spuds available. Probably my conditioning. Not just a cultural association, I am Irish. Also a self sustaining drive. If we have spuds it is a large part of the meal. When I look at the plate I see most of it is from my garden and that makes me happy.

The amount you get for so little effort makes it easy to see how they became so important to Ireland during English rule. 

That’s a whole other essay.

Garlic (Round 2)


The second planting of garlic is in. Some of it is already up.

This year we will plant 4 different crops.

We will seperate each planting by a month and adhere to accepted moon planting times.

We planted over 400 cloves of the same species we used last year in early April. This filled half of the new plot even though we went for much closer spacing.

We plan for 3 more similar sized “double-beds”. To do so we will need to source new stock. The new stock will be different species. The choice of species will depend on a few things but importantly including species that like to be planted and harvested later.

All good fun.

Hawk Attack

A rather dramatic event yesterday evening about 19:45 when a large sea-hawk attempted to take one of our Chooks! We usually close the chooks into their Coup after 20:00 and they are usually out and about scratching at 19:45.

We were very lucky in that I happened to be sitting with the Ample Puppy (Rufus) in the kitchen and heard a bit of squawking. Normally this amounts to nothing but I jumped up. The hound jumped up! We both jumped out the door!

The hawk was on top of Marie-Antoinette and has his/her talons and beak in her! Two of the other chickens were jumping on the hawk! Which is pretty brave and I was touched by their devotion. Even I was a bit scared of this big bird of prey!

Rufus wasn’t. He sensed a chance to be the Farm Hound and he went for the hawk! Fortunately the hawk flew away before Rufus decided his duty required him jumping over or through the electric fence.IMG_0677.JPG

Marie-Antoinette was very shaken but has come good.


The upshot was that the chooks all got moved today from where they were (the hot weather spot) to a new spot. Its well protected by trees. The kids swing has been annexed by Chooklandia.

However, lets face it, if the hawk wants to come back we are in trouble. Our only hope is that the triple combo of shouting irishman, team working chooks and excitable Irish Terriers all adds up to a bit too much bother for the terror from the above.



So it was Cormacs birthday Party at the weekend. We snook as much home grown stuff into their hungry little faces as we could but two days of non-harvesting and wow!

Looks like a day in the kitchen is required again.

Next Year we will engage with the swapping aspect of all this! Maybe we should sell some or at least give more away!

Carrots & Beetroot


We planted 5 rows of Beta vulgaris and 5 rows of Cosmic purple carrots.

All from the Seed Collection in Upper Ferntree Gully.

On the GRID this is 31 B & C but there is bad news about the grid!

The grid was paced out and each pace was closer to a yard than a metre.

When I put in the irrigation it was set to a metric grid. So the old grid is in yards and we have an irrigation zone set to metres. I’ll have to update the system. The new grid will be 30 x 6 metres. It is worth redrawing it methinks because the watering sprinklers can be set to water almost exactly along any angle between 90 & 270 degrees and as such it makes sense to have the east west paths between the sprinkler heads as the lines to set the beds against.