Friday, March 18, 2011

Permaculture course day 5

Day 5 was all about "cultivated ecology" ie: vegetable gardening.  The morning session was spent as a general question and answer session on vege gardening, and everyone had a chance to throw out a topic that they wanted to know more about relating to their vege garden or vege gardening in general. We also had a look at the "Mandala" designed vege garden, which is a permaculture designed keyhole, circular type vege garden. I can see so many advantages to this type of system. It will mean re-designing my gardens here, but I knew that was on the cards anyway.  There were food presentations just before lunch  on kang kong and cassava. Jeff did the presentation on cassava, which is so versatile, and he made a yummy cassava was really nice, and had a rice pudding, custardy type taste and texture. He also did some in the oven and made a fritter out of others. These will definitely become an addition to our garden. Tim did the presentation on Kang Kong, he made it up into a stirfry, this was also really nice, and can be used as a leafy green in stirfrys or in salads, again very versatile, easy to grow and tastes good to boot. It is quite similar to spinach, and I liked it much better than pak choi. The thing that I like about the food presentations is that I am trying food I have never heard of or tasted before, and it is opening up my eyes to the vast array of food available out there, that is much, much easier to grow than the standard vegies we've eaten for years as our standard daily menu. I think a cooking course might be on the cards after this utilising all of these types of foods. In the afternoon we got dirty in the gardens! We constructed a no dig vege garden, which is basically building up  composting layers on top of your vege garden and planting in to compost into this layer. This is obviously no good for root vegies, but fantastic for leafy vegies, and builds up the organic matter in your vege garden. This saves back breaking digging in your vege garden. This method is also fabulous for growing potatoes in. After this was a bit of revision of the day. So another informing, educational day. Next week is part 2 of water and trees in permaculture. I will be late for next weeks class as I have flowers arriving for weddings, and these need to be unpacked and regfrigerated before I can leave home for the day. I am really looking forward to the bus tour coming up in a couple of weeks where we go and visit other permaculture farms, I think this will be really inspiring. Tomorrow I go and do my skin care course that was postponed 3 weeks ago and Tafe. It teaches how to make skin care creams, shampoo and conditioners out of natural products.  I am really looking forward to this.

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